The Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC) is an organization based on the guiding principles of horizontalism, anti-oppression, mutual aid, direct democracy, and direct action. We seek to strengthen and support New York City’s anarchist movement through coordination of existing and emerging projects. With the present atmosphere of hatred, bigotry and greed, we create an alternative, radical form of participatory politics.
The MACC is an anarchist organization, and as such seeks the end of all hierarchical power structures that enable the exploitation and oppression that characterize our current society. This includes the state, the capitalist economic system, white supremacy, patriarchy and other authoritarian institutions. We believe that combating forces such as these require not piecemeal reforms but a true social and economic revolution, achieved through direct action.
The MACC makes decisions pertaining directly to MACC and its constituent working groups. This includes, but is not limited to, the structure of MACC itself; the creation of new projects; ongoing projects undertaken by MACC or its constituent working groups; management of resources; media and community relations or representation; principles, vision and strategy; community agreements; Relationship to cultural, social, political, and economic organizations; and framing of statements made in its name. These types of decisions are made at the organizing meeting.
The general assembly is for any individual who identifies as an anarchist or is interested in learning more about anarchism. The purpose of the assembly is to generate and coordinate on citywide statements or actions for the anarchist movement.
The organizing meeting happens monthly. Anyone who has attended one GA can attend and bring proposals to the organizing meeting. Each working group is encouraged to send at least one member. The organizing meeting will reportback back at the GA and will share minutes from the meeting via the announcement list.
The working groups are engaged in concrete tasks around building the MACC organization and the anarchist movements in NYC. They reportback to the general assembly. New working groups are encouraged to form!
Direct Action: Long-term positive change can only come through direct action. We do not attempt to achieve our ends through ends through capitalistic enterprise, electoral politics, or any other authoritarian or otherwise oppressive institution.
Mutual Aid: We seek an economy governed not by ruthless capitalist exploitation but mutual aid, where solidarity, not profit, is the main driver of productive work.
Direct Democracy: Political representation, such as that practiced in liberal democracies, only serves to reinforce oppressive power structures and encourages the abdication of responsibility for the miseries they bring. We favor directly democratic modes of organizing, where all are active agents in sculpting their own destinies.
Anti-Oppression: We seek to resist and eventually destroy all forms of oppression and exploitation, such as white supremacy, patriarchy and imperialism. We seek to avoid replicating these structures in both our interpersonal relationships and organizational activities.
Horizontalism: We are against entrenched power structures both within our own group and society as a whole. Therefore our mode of organizing shall be, to the fullest extent possible, horizontal rather than hierarchical.
The MACC organizing meeting uses the consensus process of decision-making. Consensus is a form of decision-making that expresses the individual and collective voice. Rather than coercing people to make statements or take actions, consensus asks for the consent of all. This is in contrast to voting in which the majority rules regardless of how the minority is feeling. In consensus every voice is heard, and collaboration is encouraged over competition.
Discussion ▶ Proposal ▶ Questions ▶ Concerns ▶ Stand-asides ▶ Blocks ▶ Consensus!
Discussion: There may be a topic brought forward by the MACC organizing meeting or participants in the assembly. This will be discussed generally, and then more specifically until the political point or course of action is clear. The facilitator or one of the assembly participants may synthesize the discussion into a proposal.
Proposal: An idea or course of action that is up for decision.
Questions: Inquiries that help to further clarify the proposal.
Concerns: Reservations, political or logistical, about a proposal.
Stand-asides: If a participant has serious reservations but sees no harm in other participants moving forward with something, then they may stand aside.
Blocks: If a participant feels that the proposal would do harm to the assembly as a whole and challenge the very principles and foundations of the political work, then they may block, which effectively prevents consensus.
Consensus: If everyone has had an opportunity to speak, the proposal has support, and there are no blocks, then there is consensus.
If a proposal cannot reach consensus, then the process drops to a 9/10 majority vote. Even then, though, the people who do not support the proposal are not compelled by the assembly to carry out the decision. They are not coerced, but withdraw their participation, so that others can move forward. The operating principle is still consent of all.
Facilitator: Helps to guide the group through its own process. They listen to, reflect on, and synthesize information that is spoken, written, or felt in the group. They encourage participation by asking questions and helping to clarify what people want to say or do. The facilitator makes sure that roles are filled for the GA they are facilitating and also ensures that there is a facilitator for the next meeting.
Stacktaker: Keeps a list of those who want to speak and calls on them in order. As a general principle, the stacktaker should prioritize people who have not spoken yet or have not spoken as much.
Timekeeper: Makes sure the meeting is on schedule, and that people are respectful of each others time speaking.
Notetaker: Writes notes of the agenda, general topics discussed, and decisions reached. The notetaker is responsible for emailing the notes to the organizing list.
Vibes watcher/De-escalator: Addresses conflicts that arise in the course of a meeting and attempts to resolve them or remove people from the space, so that the meeting can continue.
Greeter: There will be two greeters. A greeter welcomes people to the assembly and helps orient them to the process. These greeters will also gather the email addresses of new people and reach out to them after the GA to help them plug into working groups.