[noborders-brum] this no borders/arc spat

Shiar shiar at riseup.net
Wed Oct 8 13:57:41 UTC 2008

Here we go again!

On Tue, October 7, 2008 9:36 am, hub13 at riseup.net wrote:
>> Thought this could be a good thing for various NB groups to discuss and
>> also within the network as a whole.
> If you say so. Frankly i wonder what national No Borders will make of
> this, but it's your call.

The relationship with other groups is a recurrent issue within the
network. Other groups have had similar discussions and it was an issue at
some of the national gatherings, such as the one in Glasgow last year.

> When you say it's 'Birmingham No Borders' response, can people affirm that
> they all sign up to it? If not, then it's really a response by people who
> happen to be in No Borders, not a No Borders statement.

The statement was drafted by myself and agreed by other *active* members
of the collective. There was no consultation or discussion on this (open)
list because some of the people concerned (yourself and some ARC members)
are on the list too, so we would have probably run into a flame war and
never agreed on a statement.

By 'active memebers' i mean people who have been attending meetings (ok,
we haven't had one for ages, but still) and actually doing stuff, as
opposed to people who subscribe to the romantic No Borders ideals.

So if you consider yourself a member of the collective because you believe
in a border-free world, or happened to be at the Cottage when people had a
meeting there, then maybe you should rethink that? A functional groups is
as, if not more, important than worrying about appearing inclusive and the
rest of it (obviously i don't mean we should be exclusive and cliquey, so
please don't manipulate that!).

>> There is no 'decision' by Birmingham No Borders to not work with the
>> Birmingham Anti-Racist Campaign as such. Rather, we felt that we do not
>> agree with ARC on certain issues, such as an asylum amnesty, so we
>> decided to not get involved in these specific things.
> Which was a statement released for the previous years event. At the time I
> agreed with it, but on reflection it seems a liitle pedantic, if
> understandable, when it was based on one banner, one slogan. It certainly
> doesn't seem a good enough reason not to have a No Borders presence at
> these events.

Maybe you need to reflect again? It wasn't just based on "one banner or
slogan" (although even that alone is sufficient imo), but also on
discussions with ARC, including one at one of their meetings. That said, I
know for sure that not all ARC members are on the same page politically.
The decision, however, was about their collective decision to support,
however vaguely, an asylum amnesty at the time. They may have changed
their position since, but that's another discussion.

>  So it [the NB's statement about amnesty] seems this is something which
> has been inflated for the purposes of division.

You know that's rubbish, don't you? Is that what other ARC members would say?

> Interesting. I'e been told the real reason for the
> non-collaboration is because funky won't work with what he terms
> 'hippies'. Is that true?

That's one additional (and more recent) reason, and it's certainly not
just Phunkee and not 'non-collaboration' in an absolute sense. Besides, no
one has ever mentioned the word "hippy" here. No Borders and IWW are not
interchangeable, you know!

>> We have a lot of respect for ARC and what they do, and we have personal
>> friendships with some of them. However, there are personal and political
>> conflicts between us and some new members who joined ARC recently; and,
>> from experience, we are unable to work with these individuals.
> Agian as one of the 'individuals' concerned I would like to ask if this is
> a collective statement by Brum no Borders, and ask why Brum No Borders is
> allowing it's name to be used to further a long running hate campaign
> against two 'individuals' neither of whom had much to do with this years
> rally beyond facilitating some of the infrastructure.

As i said, it is a collective position. Think of it this way: There are
two (or more) people who wouldn't work together. One is a founding member
of the collective, is committed and reliable and has actually done shit.
The other has almost never been to a meeting or committed to anything (and
i won't say anything more lest you consider it a 'personal vendetta'). Who
would you choose to work with?

> Again, this is just confusing. The two 'individuals' referred to above
> were involved in the procuring and making of those banners along with a
> couple of other people. They've always been a collective resource as far
> as I'm concerned.

A collective resource for the collective, not anyone in the street who
wants to use it. They are a political statement and are easily attributed
to No Borders. So if the collective decides that they (or the group's
name, for that matter) shouldn't be used at certain things, they have
every right to do so. That's another political statement.

And don't you think it's a bit pathetic that someone would try to reclaim
a "collective resource" because they put some effort into producing it
once upon a time?

> And i should like to point out that even people with an
> education in classical pre-history/myth have no idea what the 'trojan
> horse' refers to in this context, so heaven knows what people without the
> benefit of a  classical education make of it.

"Trojan horse", which come from the Greek mythology, means using something
to deceive a group and get in only to attack it from the inside. It is
widely used as a metaphor and people understand what it means. There's
even a Hollywood film about it (Troy, 2004).

>> We would welcome an open discussion about these issues
> Indeed, bring it on.

Note this was mainly addressing ARC.

> If this is the case then I would like to ask if i
> have a right to reply to the extraordinary personal attack I beleive was
> made on me on this list a year or so ago as a direct response to an
> emergency anti-deportation campaign by 'funky' (whatever)?

I guess you're referring to this thread:
As i said then, "anti-deportation campaigns are serious business; they're
not FnB or social centres; fucking them up could mean fucking up someone's
life! So please keep that in mind."

Oh, and it's spelled Phunkee, and I bet you know that well. So please keep
your bad jokes to yourself. It is funny that you don't consider this a
personal abuse too!!

> Certainly I cannot imagine why anyone in a truth-based Birmingham No
> Borders would have any problem with the two 'individuals' in question.

For the reasons stated in the statement:
"There are personal and political conflicts between us and some new
members who joined ARC recently; and, from experience, we are unable to
work with these individuals."
I don't understand why you're putting individuals in quotation marks and I
don't think it is of any use to go into these personal and political
conflicts on lists. It's been done before and it's not getting anywhere.


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