Czech and Slovak Anarchist Federation
Czech and Slovak Anarchist Federation
The Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation (CSAF) was founded in the summer of 1995. It was the first anarchist organization to actively try to organize the Czechoslovak anarchists after a spontaneous upraise in the number of young people interested in the anarchist movement.
Currently there are other anarchist organizations besides CSAF that have distinctive orientations. Thus the role of CSAF has changed since its establishment. As an organization of people with differing views on various aspects of anarchism we have become a forum for a variety of opinions within the anarchist movement. We also strive to function as a mirror of possible authoritarian tendencies within anarchist organizations.
CSAF does not limit its activities on specific social groups; instead, we try to influence all members of society. We aim to support newly arising anti- authoritarian groups of activists by sharing experiences and skills and advising them of what we have learned. It is also our goal to help existing anarchist organizations with the development of their materials and outreach, as well as various other activities.
Activities of CSAF
The goals of the Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation (CSAF) are education, enlightenment and outreach.
In striving towards these goals, CSAF publishes anarchist magazines: “A- Kontra” and “Zdola” (geared specially at slovakian readers). Additionally, CSAF produces different kinds of propaganda—posters, leaflets, stickers and booklets.
CSAF organizes demonstrations and sets up information stalls about our campaigns and other topics of interest. Information about CSAF campaigns is always available either in our magazines, “A-Kontra” (a-kontra.net) or “Zdola”, or on our daily updated website www.csaf.cz.
Last current activities to be mentioned are lectures and discussions about the zapatista uprising, International Women’s Day, demonstrations against the war in Iraq, analysis and criticism of extreme neo-liberal forms.
Organizational structure of CSAF
The Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation works on a voluntary basis. Decision making and activities come from the CSAF members themselves. There is no central committee or any similar body. Each regional group within CSAF plans its own activities. The work of CSAF is therefore compatible with the principles it proclaims. The environment of CSAF fosters each member to develop her or his own independent views.
The political development of CSAF and changes regarding the work of the organization are only discussed at meetings that include all CSAF members. Such meetings are usually held twice a year.
The Czech and Slovak sections of the federation work independently; however, they are united by a joint memorandum, this manifesto and mutual solidarity.
We would like to say something about our organization this way, to introduce ourselves, as we are new members of IFA-IAF.
CSAF-Slovakia arose in November 1998 as the backwash of the need for creating an anarchist organization in Slovakia. Because of coincidence of our solutions with the manifesto of the Czech part of CSAF, we found as the most effective possibility to join already existing CSAF, and create a new region. Nowadays we are operating independently, joined by the manifesto and the common principles.
About the consciousness of anarchism in our country: we don’t know about any roots or traditions of anarchism in Slovakia. There were a few individuals, influenced by anarchism, living at the beginning of the nineteenth century, connected to the czech anarchist movement, and individuals influenced by L. N. Tolstoy. There was no anarchist organization at that time at all. Later, after the year of 1948, all potential applications for expression of anarchist solutions were repressed and eventually disappeared in a wide anti- regime movement. After 1989, amplification of anarchist literature and arising support of anarchist solutions, especially among young people, led to the creation of the anarchist organization.
CSAF Slovak ia has about 10 members and around 15 people have the status of sympathizer. We co-operate actively and regularly with about 50 people. This number increases every year. We realize that our role is primarily to acquaint people with the meaning of anarchism, including the criticism of political-economical-social system, because this is absenting in the mainstream media. After the fall of the Berlin wall, official policy took one- sided direction towards west countries characterized by EU and NATO. We are now witnesses of a giant propaganda hitting the sphere of education. Therefore, any interest in anarchism we do find as a success.
At this moment, ou r main goal is to spread information about NATO. We brewed (in the co-operation with the Street Party Collective) the third street party. The main topics were NATO and parliamentary democracy. The action took place one week before the elections). We took part in an international campaign against NATO during the summit in Prague.
We are also publishing the newsletter Zdola! (From below!). For the shake of our financial situation very irregularly, we print out bills, pamphlets and stickers. Our other activities are: distribution of anarchist propaganda, organising of lectures, video-projections, Anarchist Maydays, etc. Two times a year we organize the Slovak congress, where people from the whole country meet together. We work as part of the Czechoslovak anarchist movement, have also good relations with anarchist groups in Poland, Austria and elsewhere.
The existence of an international organization could make the activeness of particular organizations more effective, and should prevent an isolation of anarchist solutions inside the borders of one state region. Although we think that main part of activities has to be done on local level, we find the existence of an international organization as the instrument for exchanging of experiences, or certainty of support and solidarity in the case of need.
For an archism without borders! If you are interested you can vi sit our web site (www.csaf.cz), though right now it is not ready for multilanguage information. Or contact us directly.
Or csaf_sk @hotmail.com
With anarchist greetings
The collective of CSAF Slovakia.