Our core principles
CLAC (Convergence of Anti-Capitalists Struggles) is an anti-authoritarian collective united on the basis of the struggle against all forms of oppression and domination. In addition to its anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-electoralist and ecologist positions, the organization also rejects, by no means exhaustively, patriarchy, racism, colonialism, homophobia and transphobia.
More specifically, we organize on an anti-authoritarian and libertarian basis, which is why we operate horizontally and non-hierarchically. We also believe that states, including the Canadian state, are tools for maintaining systems of oppression and exploitation. We therefore advocate the destruction of all and every state. It follows from this that we are anti-electoral and revolutionary: we believe in more direct, participatory forms of democracy, but have no hope of actually improving the existing systems through reforms.
We also believe that the organization of our struggles must prefigure, here and now, the society we want to move towards. So, of course, we are against all forms of violence imposed by the state and capital, for the abolition of police, prisons and punitive systems, and advocate instead transformative forms of justice and radical inclusion.
We are feminists, against patriarchy and against homophobia, transphobia, ableism and all forms of oppression. We believe in an ethic that takes into account the needs and respects the limits of each individual.
We are ecologists, against the destruction of nature and living things, and against the domination of humans over their environment. We recognize that we are an integral part of natural ecosystems and that we are interdependent with them.
We are anti-colonial, anti-imperialist, advocating international solidarity between peoples, their self-determination, and the dismantling of empires and their armies. We are anti-racist, actively working for the abolition of white supremacy wherever it exists.
We are resolutely anti-capitalist, against the imperative of profit, infinite growth, labour exploitation, private property (apart from personal possessions) and the market economy.
How we do it
Several political cultures coexist within CLAC without the organization claiming to belong to any one of them. Although our members may hold specific political views, CLAC as a collective deliberately refrains from proposing ready-made alternatives to this system or a specific revolutionary program; we don't pretend to know the best way, nor do we wish to impose our vision on anyone. We reject sectarianism and prefer to encourage action by revolutionary activists who share our basic principles.
"As for us, we don't claim to hold the absolute truth; on the contrary, we believe that social truth, i.e. the best form of social life, is not something fixed or valid at all times and in all places; nor is it something that can be determined in advance; on the contrary, it's something that will be discovered little by little, once freedom has been obtained and secured, and achieved little by little, with as little clash and friction as possible. That's why our solutions always leave the door open to different solutions, different and if possible better." -Errico Malatesta
To preserve this way of working, we prefer to take decisions by consensus rather than by vote, in order to encourage listening and dialogue within the group. Far from slowing down our decision-making, this method strengthens our unity and the effectiveness of our political action.
We also believe that anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, environmentalist, feminist, abolitionist and other struggles can and must be waged in parallel, and that none should be subordinated to another. We believe that struggles reinforce each other, and that the advancement of one at the expense of others leads us to reproduce the structures and models of other systems of oppression.
In practical terms, we choose direct action and respect the diversity of tactics in our struggles. This means, for example, that we do not condemn attacks on the private property of the rich, the bosses and the state, and on those who protect them. We believe that multiple and varied forms of action make our struggles stronger. Likewise, we place our hopes in the autonomous action of the oppressed. We believe that supporting social movements and strengthening their autonomy is the best way to achieve emancipation in a revolutionary perspective.
To encourage the activity of its members and the welcoming of new people, the group has structured itself through a series of committees. Permanent committees provide the basic framework for the collective. There are four committees in this category: the production committee, in charge of material production (newspapers, zines, podcasts, stickers, website, etc.), sourcing and distribution; the workshop committee, in charge of creating, promoting and offering training courses on various topics; the legal self-defense committee, in charge of providing support to those arrested or in need of legal assistance; and the finance committee, in charge of managing the group's income and expenses. For obvious security reasons, this last committee is not open to new members. Two formerly permanent committees are currently on hiatus: the External Support Committee, which liaises with other groups and collectives in the struggle; and the Welcoming Committee, which helps integrate and orient new people into the organization.
Another part of the structure is organized around project-based committees. These disappear once their objectives have been met. This project-based structure enables people to concentrate their efforts on the subjects that interest them most, while benefiting from the friendly support of other comrades as needed. These structures are a gateway for people interested in joining the collective. The May 1st committee, for example, is a recurring theme. Every year, CLAC organizes an anti-capitalist demonstration on this date. An action committee is set up for the occasion with interested parties. This takes care of the propaganda details (posters, stickers, banners, etc.) and the practical organization (meetings with other groups, coordination, etc.).
Finally, follow-up meetings are held to manage the day-to-day business of the CLAC and coordinate the activities of the various committees. This is where decisions are taken on matters concerning the collective as a whole. All active members of CLAC committees are invited to attend follow-up meetings. In the interests of integration and collective accountability, we prefer to rotate coordination tasks on a cyclical basis.
Old Basis of Unity:
CLAC-Montréal respects an anti-authoritarian mode of operation, and its basis of unity is rooted in the Peoples' Global Action (PGA) Hallmarks.
CLAC-Montréal also operates on a basis of respect for a diversity of tactics.
1. A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and feudalism; all trade agreements, institutions and governments that promote destructive globalisation.
2. We reject all forms and systems of domination and discrimination including, but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and religious fundamentalism of all creeds. We embrace the full dignity of all human beings.
3. A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying can have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic organisations, in which transnational capital is the only real policy-maker;
4. A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support for social movements' struggles, advocating forms of resistance which maximize respect for life and oppressed peoples' rights, as well as the construction of local alternatives to global capitalism.
5. An organisational philosophy based on decentralisation and autonomy. Source: http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/en/