i’m part of a relatively new group. this group was born after the training of a bigger and older collective, but it’s been said that the group, since the beginning, is autonomous from the other. the group is not openly an anarchist group (also because probably not everyone identifies as one), but it is definitely an abolitionist group with a non-hierarchical organising.
as part of this group, there are also two members of the older and bigger group. this was a great thing for us at the beginning because it kind of helped start us up. however, now things are getting a bit sour.
since the beginning, due to their “louder” voices they always managed to steer the group towards decisions and path they preferred. a thing which is happening still now especially when the group is involved in actions where they do nothing but backup the bigger and older group.
on top of that, there is some sort of “internalised worshipping and leadership culture” constantly coming up from the other members. no one ever actually challenge the elders and, by never feeling challenged, they probably not even notice what they’re doing. i’ve seen people literally step down from the facilitator role the moment one of these elders entered the room.
i’m writing this here as a first post because it’s something that’s obsessing me. right now, i just think i want to leave the group since i cannot stand following a guru, but i would also like to discuss the thing with anyone who has been in a similar situation and managed to get out of it.
so, please, hmu. :)
Are you an Anarchist? The answer might surprise you!
so, well, i thought things changed for a while, but eventually they did not. at the next week meeting, i might going to voice my concerns (internalised hierarchies, unwelcoming space) and then take a break for a while.
we’ll see what happens.
i’m close to burnout anyway and a situation like this doesn’t help at all.
Hmm, yeah that will sooner or later rip your group apart, most likely over a different topic that someone will use to discredit these “elders”. If they are male, expect to see them being challenged from the feminist side, but that is really only a symptom of this more fundamental issue.
Maybe try to start a discussion about putting new people in front roles so that they “can learn” and intentionally mention that any time an elder intentionally or not tries to dominate an exchange. The elders can then be assigned mentorship roles, but explicitly in the background not as active participants.
i can’t see that happening any time soon tbh lol
that actually has been suggested a couple of times, by the elders themselves, but it hasn’t happened yet. perhaps, i should push for it again? it might be a good attempt. specifically, it was a workshop on “how to be a facilitator” since, it has happened many times that no one (beside the elders) has ever volunteered to facilitate. which, in my opinion, it def has to do with these mixed feelings of worshipping/intimidation towards them.