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ALL you need to know about organizing is what you can learn on the web

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 15 years ago, in 2008, on the World Wide Web.

Alliance of the Libertarian Left Ad Hoc Global Organizing Committee


First things first. Do you know any individualist anarchists, agorists, mutualists, left-Rothbardians or others on the libertarian left in or nearby any of the following metropolitan areas, who might be interested in getting involved, or getting more involved, in local activism and organizing? (If that description matches you yourself, that’s good enough, too.)

If so, please drop me a line with their contact information. I have some requests from prospective local organizers who are looking for people to start locals for the Alliance of the Libertarian Left. I would love to be able to put them in touch with anyone locally who might be interested.

Which brings me to my broader topic. In principle, one of the great things about a decentralized outfit like the Alliance of the Libertarian Left is that it’s easy for supporters to organize new locals and begin building alternatives in their own community. Since there’s no central bureaucracy you need to ask for permission and no paperwork to fill out, all you need to do is find people in your hometown, declare yourself a cell of the A.L.L., and start working on actions and projects in your own community. That’s a pretty low barrier to entry. But Just organize in your own community! is a bit easier said than done. One of the downsides of a decentralized outfit like the Alliance of the Libertarian Left is that there’s little in the way of a ready-made structure or resources for people to find each other, or to know how to move the organizing forward once a core group has managed to find each other. If we’re going to do this decentralism thing, one of the things we’ll have to do is to work out decentralized methods of making these resources available to new organizers who want or need them.

Recently I’ve gotten a number of e-mails from people who are looking for local ALL contacts, or who want to start an ALL but need help with some of the logistics (for example, with getting web space for their group). In order to help make it easier to start up new locals, I’m proposing that we establish an ALL Ad Hoc Global Organizing Committee. In fact, it’s so ad hoc, that I’ve already started it: http://libertarianleft.org/.

The purpose of the Organizing Committee is to serve as a clearing-house for currently active ALLies to help put other ALLies in touch with each other and to provide some information, some advice and some resources that will help people get going on local organizing. Any and all ALLies who are interested in participating are invited to do so. Here’s a couple ways that you can help right now.

  1. Help us network to put local ALLies in touch with each other — I’ve set up an Organizing Committee listserv for two purposes. One purpose is to do some brainstorming and scheming about methods of outreach and resources for newbie organizers to make available through the Organizing Committee website or by other means. (About which, see below.) The other important function is to for us to network so that we can help prospective local organizers find other people in their own neck of the woods. If you happen to know a lot of libertarians or anarchists outside of your hometown (or know people who know a lot of libertarians and anarchists outside of your hometown), you can help out a lot just by signing up to the list as a sort of activist matchmaker — so that if someone gets an inquiry from an ALLy in Walla Walla, say, we can check in with each other to see if anyone knows good contacts in Walla Walla.

  2. Brainstorming useful resources, information, and advice to make available through the page — for example, there’s currently a rudimentary page for helping solitary local left-libertarians find ALLies in their area for the purposes of organizing an ALL local. The page currently consists of a landing-pad that encourages them to e-mail members of the organizing committee, along with Shawn Wilbur’s ALL Frappr map as a means for people to find each other based on geographical location. What it could use are some links to useful resources and some concrete advice on other ways to get the word out. What would you suggest for things to add to this page, either in terms of services that existing ALLies can directly offer, or links we can point to, or advice we can give, on finding other like-minded people in your community?

    More generally, what would you like to see on the Organizing Committee website as a whole? What kind of services can we offer that would be most useful to you, or to prospective local organizers? What kind of information and advice do you think would help out the most? Let’s discuss in the comments section.

Finally, I’d like to mention that, as part of the Organizing Committee effort, I (Rad Geek) am making subdomains and webhosting space available to ALL locals that need them. If you are organizing, or hope to organize, a local ALL chapter, and you want web space for your group (to make contact information available, to provide some information about what A.L.L. is all about, to put up news and announcements, to provide an online landing-pad for people who see flyers or other literature that you might distribute around town, etc.), then I can hook you up. You will get use of a subdomain name of your choice (in the format yourhometown.libertarianleft.org), and, if you need it, I can provide you with free web hosting space on my own web servers. As long as traffic remains relatively low, the hosting will be completely free. If in the course of the Revolution traffic should spike to the point that I need to upgrade my servers or Internet connection to handle it, I would just ask a small cost-price-based fee to help handle the upgrade–good mutualist practice, and far less than anything you'd get from buying a commercial web hosting plan. (Solidarity economy and all that.)


8 replies to ALL you need to know about organizing is what you can learn on the web Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Joel Davis

    hey hey hey, I found an ALLy in my own town of 30k people.

  2. Joel Davis

    by the by, now that the reddit software is open source, is there any indication of an ALL social media subset to the regular ALL stuff?

  3. Rad Geek


    Cool. If y’all posse up and get anything started, be sure to contact me to let me know about it. Firstly so that I can hook you up with web space, if you need any; secondly so I can add a link to y’ALL on the organizing committee website; and thirdly so that I can plug the new group here at the blog.

  4. Soviet Onion

    Halfway through your post I was going to suggest creating a forum community devoted to announcing local cells and finding other local contacts, but I should have known you already anticipated that.

    I didn’t even know about the Frappr map, I’ve registered now. Some of the dots don’t have any contact information on them, and I can tell by knowing some of the people that not all of them are up to date. Maybe you should amend your post to ask that people include a commonly used name/pseudonym and email address if that doesn’t sound unwise (I don’t see how it would be), or at least remind them to check their Frappr messages regularly.

    I would definitely say include or link to some very basic outreach material, both in general and tailored to specific but universal issues, like your tax day flyers and Darian’s direct action flyer (once he gets the .pdf up). We already have some things that are useful in that regard, and we should make these available for other people to use if they want. Any new things that fit the bill can be added as they come.

    Naturally, people can and will create new materials of their own, but it would certainly help them get started to have some basic stuff already prepackaged. No need to reinvent the wheel if they don’t have to. It would be nice if we could get materials, advice and webspace consolidated in a single pre-packaged page and give it a neat sci-fi sounding name, like “Anarchist Backyard Liberation and Action Kit” (ABLAK).

    Also, a lot of the stuff hosted at Invisible Molotov and Agorism.info makes for good general outreach about market anarchism; it certainly proved it’s worth at St. Paul, both with the social anarchists and the Ron Paul folk. Some advice on ways to lower printing costs, using college resources or wherever, would definitely help grease the wheels.

    I’m sure I missed something. More ideas as they come to me.

  5. Gabriel

    How is ALL organizing in Las Vegas? I know it more as a city for gambling than as a city for radical unions….

  6. Rad Geek


    It’s interesting, and seems to be working O.K. for right now. We have about 5 active members. We do periodic bouts of posting agitprop flyers. We’re about to start distributing some pamphlets and zines (based on William Gillis’s Market Anarchy series) in some local stores. We’re also doing a lot right now that is focused on getting some broader anarchist organizing up and running in Las Vegas (we started and have been promoting the Vegas Anarchist Cafe, which has been quite successful, and are now working on a local FNB and possibly a local Independent Media Center, etc.), because we’ve found a lot of people in town who are very interested, but very little organizational infrastructure to bring people together on particular projects. So a lot of what we’re trying to do is put some of that infrastructure in place.

    As for radical unions — well, I don’t know. Vegas is actually a very strong union town — especially the service and hospitality industry unions, for obvious reasons. But I haven’t yet found a Wobbly GMB or any other on-the-ground organizing from folks more radical than the AFL-CIO. I do hope that I may have the time sometime this year to start seeking out fellow Wobblies and maybe organize some kind of local GMB, or at least an informal meet-up. We’ll see.

  7. Darian W

    The direct action flyer is available at: http://nj.libertarianleft.org/chains.pdf I’ll add a link from the NJ ALL homepage soon.

    I’ve been trying to come up with ways that people can customize a flyer using basic software (mspaint or a word processor). If there is a good open source program for .pdf editing, I’ll post a link to it next to the flyer links. Otherwise, I’m offering to customize any of the flyers I’ve made and will make to put any local ALL contact info on them.

  8. Kevin Casto

    Hey, I’m an anarchist in the DC area. I poked around on some of the sites people mentioned but none of them give much direction as to meetups or the like. My email is schizo.bullet@gmail.com, so definitely put me in touch with whoever the organizers you know are. Thanks!

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