Affinity groups are a method of organizing in nonviolent direct actions that emphasize the relationships formed between individuals who know one another, who can support one another and make decisions together. Groups range in size from 5-12 people. It is a way to decentralize leadership, allowing flexibility and resiliency during the course of an action. And it is a key to the transformational potential of mobilization.
For the September 28th mobilization in Bow, we are asking you to form an affinity group with friends and others from your local area with whom you would participate in the action. Others may choose to form an affinity group from a particular local climate group, or a particular faith tradition. If you are not able to form an affinity group before arriving at the action preparation at 7PM on Friday the 27th, you’ll have the opportunity to form an affinity group with others then.
We are inviting affinity groups to:
● Get to know one another deeply, and support one another to take the risks of action
● Commit to adhering to the code of conduct
● Prepare for action together
● Anticipate how you would respond, individually and together to various scenarios
● Make plans for transportation, food and water, and whatever else will be needed to be happy and healthy during the action.
● Have individuals take on specialized roles, or point people, within your group. For example: medic, legal, facilitator, outreach to media in your local area, potential representative to a spokes council.
● Deliberate before sharing advice or feedback with organizers
● Potentially consult in a spokes council to make decisions during the action if needed
On September 28th, affinity groups will plug into an action designed by, and led by, a central team of organizers. These organizers will hold responsibility for:
● Overall action design
● Tactical action decisions
● Communication with the media
● Disseminate a code of conduct for the action
● Liaison with the police
● Coordinate legal representation and response
Our friends at the Sugar Shack Alliance have developed a series of questions for affinity groups to consider together. We have edited them for this scenario and are passing them along for your group to consider as a way to begin building your group
Some Questions for an Affinity Group
1. How will we make decisions?
2. What do we want to do as an Affinity Group (AG)?
3. Do you know everyone in the AG by name and description?
4. What role do we want to play in the planned larger actions?
5. How active do we want to be?
6. How spiritual?
7. How willing to risk arrest?
8. What is our political perspective?
9. What level of non-cooperation do we want to use?
10. What issues are most important to us?
11. What methods of action are we willing to use?
12. Who has special needs, physical limitations, family requirements?
13. How do we want to navigate the legal process after arrest?
14. Who among us prefer to be in support roles?
15. What is your affinity group a team name?
We will gather to prepare for action at 7PM on Friday, September 27th. That evening we will do final training, legal briefing, action preparation, and team building. Our expectation is that most people intending to take direct action on Saturday will be present Friday night. If a full affinity group cannot be present the evening of the 27th, a majority of the group being present and able to bring their teammates up to speed will be sufficient.
Once you have a brought together a group register it by clicking the button below.