DFS2011: the big meetup

Hi! Here is the Durruti Free Skool skoop: details first and then hopes and dreams.

It’s not all firm just yet, but it will all be fine.

Dates! Aug 12-14: a dinner-timely meetup on Fri evening through a final group hug around 5:00pm on Sun. Feel free to stay that night. We’ll be hanging out.

We are looking at a couple locations: our hope is to have one day at a gallery type space and one at a library type space. We have backups. No worries there.

More firm details about where and exact times will follow in July. In meantime, if you are flying, it is safe to fly into Oakland or San Francisco. We’ll try to keep it all BART accessible. People will also help each other out with rides. People are easily generous. We learned that last year.

There are various sorts of housing in the East Bay in the summer. Hit up your friends! Hit up our friends! Let us know if you want help with this hitting. Check out Craigslist. And also UC Berkeley rents summer housing; some folks did this last year and it seemed to work.

Also, we need to get some vague idea of a headcount. So we’re asking this, if you are planning to come, could you check in? We need to raise some money for the space. So we were thinking the easiest way to do this and also begin to get a headcount would be if you were to make a $5 donation via paypal to durrutifreeskool@gmail.com if you are planning to come. That will be the only fixed payment. We will for sure accept little donations against costs that come up, but are fine without. [NB: you may have an older and misspelt version of the email address in your records. Can you update and use this one above?]

Can we just say that we are really looking forward to seeing you!

Because we are meeting for a shorter period this year and are guessing some things were puzzled over in the local DFS parts, our main thought is moving toward actual plans in the brief period we have, and how to do that.

We are thinking it will take all day if we do report-backs from each DFS, and yet this seems like a fascinating thing. So we are hoping to do that work before we meet. If you will, send us a report we will post it right here which we will be using as clearing house for all this stuff. We can add you as an author of this blog or post for you; just let us know what works.

The confession: our great hope this year is to balance process and project so that everyone feels heard, on the one hand, and on the other, so that we come away from Sunday with some specific marxist/anarchist action plans that we plan to put into action in our local spaces. Like the sort with dates and strategies and future timelines and reasons for being. While we love a good poetry reading series and we love even more a good poetry reading group, we are hoping for some plan-ideas that are more than art, more than language, even as they might have art and language among their tools.

We keep thinking about the difference between stating a position and taking an action. We totally get that for some people these count as the same, but we are working in our lives to disentangle these. Here is another way to put it: less what poetry do we do as marxist and/or anarchist thinkers write, and more what marxist and/or anarchist actions do we do as poets? Or one last variation: for all their differences, marxism and anarchism share a total desire — not to critique capitalism — but to end it: to interrupt and destroy the creation of profit through channels of exploitation and domination in the labor process.

So what if we put it like this: What is y/our interruption of this capitalism? What is y/our escrache? What is y/our insurrection?

We are thinking of the many many kinds of actions that have swept the world in the last couple of years: taking over abandoned houses and misruled factories; interfering with the normal functioning of businesses, schools, and other institutions driving privatization and neoliberalism; escraches; mutual provision of necessary services for those excommunicated from capitalism; organized collective loan default; and so on. But we know there are many other kinds of actions that would fall under his heading and if we name some of those that is awesome too.

To get to Sunday night, we are planning to meet as a group, a gathering of perhaps-not-yet-formed affinity groups. This group is likely to be large-ish (in the too large to agree on anything sort of way, not in the stadium rock sort of way) and variously located. We will not be a general assembly. We will not, thus, push for consensus. We will not assume we will be planning something to do all together by Sunday night.

Instead we are hoping for some talk during the day. Some sharing of ideas. Some supporting. And then in the breaks, we are hoping there will be some unstructured coming together and some planning. We suspect this more focused planning will arise from the inevitable resistance that humans feel when in groups that are too big for the planning of meaningful action. And that some of this planning will perhaps be based in shared physical spaces, some in particular shared interests in a topic or category or interruption. Maybe other reasons too; this part seems unpredictable, which we love.

So what we are hoping is that you will plan to eat your lunch, get drinks after the meeting, eat dinner, continue on to dancing at the bar with your not-yet-formed affinity group. And the other not-yet-formed affinity groups who can be your allies in this forming of affinities.







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