Re: Consensus changing the world
From: Moz (
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2011 15:38:54 -0700 (PDT)
Note that I use the term "anarchist" to describe a mode of political
organisation and analysis, rather than as a pejorative, even though I'm
aware that the latter is ubiquitous in the USA.

> I wonder where the folks who are doing the facilitation training learned
> it themselves?

There are large anarchist groups who are active in the US and involved
with OWS - Food Not Bombs, Indymedia, Critical Mass and so on. At least
some of those groups have used consensus since they started (and they
started more than ten years ago). Then you have the queer and
anti-capitalist groups who mostly use consensus internally and often the
older of those groups have consciously made a switch from democratic
organisation to consensus, while the newer ones have probably started with
explicit consensus. So it's quite possibly "the way things are done" for
many of the participants and especially for the organisers.

Those techniques are common in Australia, and the hand signals being used
are familiar to me. Most activist groups here use either direct consensus
or a spokescouncil model (representative consensus to facilitate
large-group decisions). Anarchist groups here are used to (repeatedly)
explaining to the socialist groups that we don't recognise their coercive
powers so it's consensus or nothing. Dealing with a non-organised bunch of
people who are merely unfamiliar with consensus would be easy by
comparison - we do that every time we deal with media or p*lice.


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