Why we leave the autonomous center KTS and why there are now 2 RoR groups in Freiburg!
To prevent rumours and to clarify our situation, we decided to publish this statement:
As great parts of SamBasta (former RoR Freiburg band), how we consisted until a few months, we, the authors of this text, continue as active Rhythms-of-Resistance (RoR)  band. But we don’t see our band as part of KTS anymore. A reason for that is the escalation of a conflict, which lead to irrevocable loss of trust. We understand the action of some within SamBasta and KTS active people as a campaign against one of us, who criticised the structures of this autonomous center. We see this defamation campaign as behaviour we cannot tolerate neither humanly nor politically. Our withdrawal from KTS is a political statement and consequence of this campaign, because we cannot accept the prevalent situation, hierarchies and manners.
But we do not withdraw without previous attempts to break the conditions and power structures within KTS. After internal discussions in 2015 we started with several workshops for « facilitation of plenaries and consensual decision taking in groups ». Some of us gave a similar workshop at a local networking camp in summer 2015. Out of this a working group « Autonomous Center & Concensus » (AZ & K) arose. The group comprised people of varius political contexts and in KTS active persons. As several groups before, « AZ & K » aimed to create a KTS, which would be more open, horizontal and inviting for more people. Due to similar reasons, different groups withdrew from KTS in the past. Some important aspects of « AZ & K » were political diversity in autonomous places, the critic on talking behaviour/manners and the selecitve blockades against people/perspectives in the weekly plenary [main space coordination and decision taking in the aunomous center], as well as the lack of queer and feminist groups in the automous center in Freiburg. We support these critics and try to reflect the underlying values in order to implement these in our political praxis. As part of the RoR network, which refers to the PGA-Hallmarks , we find ourselves in the targets of « AZ & K ».
The group « AZ & K » explicitly excluded people from the inicial process of a so called « future workshop », due to needs of protection which were voiced by individuals. This can be questioned and discussed, in terms of tactics as well as methodically. For us this decision is comprehensible, because some indivuals take so much space in processes and discussions within the autonomous center in such a dominant manner. Others do not feel safe enough to voice their opinions, needs or fears anymore. To establish an open discussion without attacks and dominant behaviour, the group decided to temporarily exclude people in order to create a safe space. The need of this safe space valued more than the complete transparency of the in the inical process of this « future workshop ». The missing legitimation of the weekly plenary was critisised and the procedure was condemned as « attack on the structures of KTS ». Thus, the critics as such were predominantly ignored and a reflection on the behaviours and roles in KTS consequently bypassed. Further, the dismissal of in « AZ & K » engaged indivduals of their jobs in KTS reminds us to a foul show trial and illustrates the hegemonies in KTS. Instead of political diversity a perceived minority aims at an « equalisation » of ideas and opinions. Accordingly, who ever doesn’t stick to the line drops out. This represents behaviour we cannot accept in an autonomous space.
Moreover, we distance ourselves from the remaining « SamBastas », because of their central roles in the escalation of the conflict. In addition to the loss of trust we also realised as a result of this conflict that the understanding of our interaction (missing awareness, information politics, etc.) and the political aims of the band are contradicting. We criticise that the other « SamBastas » organised a beginner’s workshop with out informing us. Thus, the name « SamBasta » was claimed by some few without discussion.
What do we want?
In an autonomous space and our affinity groups we wish to find a practice of common politics that advances by self-reflection, scrutinizing role behaviours, and offering a safe space for critics and exchange on a level playing field. We wish for a radical left politics with many possible approaches. However, currently within KTS we witness an « invisible line » that is drawn by a few and towards which the political alignment is being oriented.
In an autonomous space we wish for an atmosphere that allows for an empathic togetherness and that fosters critical thinking. In the same time we consider an autonomous centre a learning space in which we can share experiences and practice anti-authoritarian acting. We wish for consensual decision making basing on argumentation and discussion. Therefore a disposition for consensus is crucial. As soon as rational argumentation is opposed to polemics, threatening and accusations, something goes wrong! We reject authoritarian behaviour, especially in that radical left. We don’t need bosses and people throwing their weight around! We condemn the active defence of positions of power! It is not easy to live togetherness consistently free of hierarchies but we do want to approximate this vision.
In that sense, we seek an enhanced anti-patriarchal discourse in Freiburg and more pro-feminist practise in the so called anarchist scene. Additionally, we strive for more networking, encounters and cooperation with various political groups. Instead of destructive feuds in the leftist scene of Freiburg we want a common and constructive orientation movement and practise. To achieve this, new spaces need to be created and existing ones require a reformation. In our opinion things have to change essenatially in KTS.
We are hit by the events that step far into personal spaces. For us it is an evidence of incapacity that less and less people feel comfortable in the autonomous centre. Because of the reasons stated above we break up with the current situation in KTS. A space that fosters the participation of various people and groups would eventually allow for a more horizontal and wider self-organisation. However, at this point we consider the obstacles too big for the above stated wishes, needs and aims.
Nevertheless, we get out of this process with new strength and energy and as a stabilised group. We are looking forward to get active and to implement our utopias in(to) reality.
If you have questions to this text, write us to: firstname.lastname@example.org (public key on keyserver: 15A56E44/24.6.16)
Discuss this text, think about it, discuss and reflect, feel adressed, compose answers and comments, or leave it!
In June 2016 former SamBasta RoR-Frei