Affinity Groups

 Adopting the concept affinity groups is one of the ways to provide some structure to your activist practices. An affinity group is by definition a small group of people that share common goals and philosophies that work together to organize and take part in direct action. Each affinity group acts autonomously but can chose to work with a network of similarly allied groups. Key concepts are autonomy both as a group and for the individuals that make up the group, and consensus.

 

Seeds for Change have a handy guide to affinity groups that will give you all the information you need to experiment with this kind of organization as well as some of the potential pitfalls you might encounter. If you are already familiar with the concept of affinity groups this resource will be a refresher and might give you some useful tips for your next action.

 

Included in the consensus article there is also a section detailing how to structure and facilitate large meetings including spokescouncils. Spokescouncils are when a number of affinity groups come together to plan or participate in an action. They can be very useful but are notoriously difficult to facilitate. No matter your comfort level it is probably advisable to brush up by taking a look at this section before you attend your next mass action. 

 

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