►► Q: What is the Brisbane Solidarity Network?►►
► BSN is an anarchist union initiative.
► Our ideas, tactics & organisational principles are drawn from anarcho-syndicalism & decolonisation.
► We are about being active in our communities,
neighbourhoods and workplaces - and supporting each other as equals to improve
► We are against all
political parties and bureaucracies.
► We see our efforts
as helping to build a non-hierarchical, anti-authoritarian solidarity movement.
BSN organise according to 'Action Groups' which meet together as a whole once a month. Action Group activity is currently divided broadly into the following:
►Mutual support in workplace/neighbourhood organising initiatives ('work groups'):
BSN acts as a support group for the formation of workers organisations within and outside official Business-Union structures along anarcho-syndicalist lines (ie: controlled by the base, non-hierarchical, direct-action orientated).
►Organising drives in workplace/housing/neighbourhood issues as a 'Solidarity Network':
BSN initiates organising drives (eg: against landlords and bosses), both through outreach (postering/leafleting) and through 'Organiser 101 neighbourhood forums'. For an introduction to the basic idea of a 'solidarity network', click here for an introductory video by Seattle Solidarity Network or see our organising guide.
►Popular Education, cultural events, distribution of literature & practical organising guides.
BSN currently runs an Anarchist Library at 69 Thomas Street in West End covering topics such as direct action, peoples' history, housing, popular-education, ecology, gender, decolonisation, self-management, anti-authoritarian ideas and workplace/ neighbourhood organising. We also help organise the Brisbane Anarchist Summer School and run regular stalls, reading groups, dinner nights, picnics, fundraisers and events, mostly advertised via postering, our mailing list and facebook.
►Mutual-Aid: Linking with like-minded groups:
In line with international solidarity, we have working relationships with like-minded groups across Oceania and are linked to solidarity networks internationally.
For a copy of our full Aims, Principles & Organisation document, email us.
►► Q: What can a Solidarity Network assist with? ►►
Are you having a problem with your employer?
Is your boss withholding your
Have you been denied your breaks?
Are you working in unsafe
Are you being mistreated or discriminated against by an
Are you having a problem with your landlord?
landlord refusing to return your deposit?
Is your landlord refusing to make
Are you living in unsafe conditions?
When we try to fight
abuses like these on our own we can get caught up in our powerlessness or the
rollercoaster of bureaucracies. By coming together to fight for a demand we can
let those in power know that if they touch one, they touch all. You can get in
touch to be notified of actions and opportunities to volunteer in whatever way
►► Q: What is a direct action campaign?
All of us at some point in time have suffered from unjust treatment from
employers, landlords, or other institutions which hold unaccountable power over
our lives. We believe that by working together people can protect themselves
from exploitation, improve their situation and begin to build the foundations
for a better world. Part of building a better world means avoiding channels
which diffuse our energies into unaccountable bureaucracies which can demobilise
movements from above and encourage a culture of dependence and hierarchy. This
is what direct action is about – doing things ourselves and building popular
This can mean coming together against abusive behaviour
from a boss or landlord, but it's also about empowering all those involved,
spreading our collective power, creating a strong culture of communality,
solidarity and mutual-aid. We see this process as one that moves towards gaining
more control in the work/housing process itself - a step towards total
self-management - transforming and democratising society down to its very roots.
Some examples:  House Occupation  Slumlord Action
disputes arise - whether it’s a dodgy landlord who has stolen bond, or a boss
withholding wages - people linked to BSN can be sure that they have a broad
network ready to back them up. We come together to make a set of demands that
would resolve the problem, present these demands, and, if this fails to resolve
the offense; to organise a direct-action campaign to win a resolution.
For more information on tactics, past examples, workgroups, actions and ideas see:
BSN's Introduction to Workplace & Community Organising
Solidarity Networks & Anarchist Organising
Anarchist Work Groups & 1-to-3 Organising
► Q: I’m being kicked around by a landlord/boss, what can I do?►
If you're being taken advantage of by an employer or landlord and want to do
something about it, Don't fight alone! There are people in Brisbane who can
bounce ideas, organise and fight with you through mutual support and collective
You can contact BSN either by leaving a message on our voicemail
service, emailing us or filling out our contact form below. It is also
recommended that you check out our resources page for
other useful information.
If contacted, volunteer(s) will meet with the
person engaged in a dispute to discuss the issues, grievances and ways forward.
This can go a number of ways- In considering whether or not to support a
particular employee-employer or tenant-landlord conflict, there should be
discussion and dialogue around the following:
► Is the dispute legitimate
► Could we rally enough people to support the dispute, even
if it drags on for a while?
► Is the person willing to be highly involved and
lead their own dispute? This is solidarity not charity.
► Are they willing to
stick with the solidarity network beyond their own struggle and support others?
► Does the network have the resources (emotional/physical/time etc) to be
able to commit to the fight?
Depending on these factors, there are
several pathways that can be taken. A decision might be made to look at other
options depending on the nature of the dispute (housing information/legal info
etc) for example, and/or there may be a decision to organise a direct action
►► Q: How do I get involved / Join BSN? ►►
BSN is controlled directly by its membership, and your level of involvement is
completely up to you.
►... Become a supporter by keeping
in the loop with events (reading groups/ actions / pickets /films etc).
Come to actions to support people in their disputes (such as picketing a boss,
visiting a landlord etc)
►... Send through information on potential disputes
or distribute flyers / posters / pamphlets.
NOTE: We do not advocate Wheat-Pasting.
►…Contact us to be put onto
our phone tree/mailing list to find out when things are happening
along to one of our monthly meetings, get involved as an organiser etc
If you'd like get involved, have any questions or
want to find out when events are on contact us here.
At present we have two
types of membership
1) Supporters ►►►:
Supporters are people who would
like to support actions and keep updated around events, but do not want to
become organisers (ie: be more involved/attend meetings). These are people that pass on their contact details to stay
in touch with events.
2) Organisers ►►►
Organisers are people who can
commit time and energy to action groups and organising, and agree with BSN's general
aims and principles. Email us for a copy of our general aims and principles.
►► Q: What is Anarchism/Anarcho-Syndicalism? ►►
As a practice and over-arching worldview Anarchism is fundamentally about sticking up for each
other – against the whims of bosses, landlords and bureaucrats, against systemic and psychological systems of social control, against racism, sexism and other forces that hold illegitimate power over our lives. At the same time anarchist theory looks at how we can organise ourselves and our struggles in a way that reflects the kind of society we want to see, and the nuts and bolts of doing this in such a way so that our movements can’t be demobilised or sold out from above, or used as trampolines for political careerists, NGO’s and those who seek to rule over and above the people.
Against the social order that demeans our human dignity, we need more and better organisers, and we need the confidence and support to make attempts where in the past we have laid down and been walked over. At the same time we need to make attempts at forming the organisations and infrastructure necessary to build a healthy culture of working class hospitality, resistance and sustenance.
For more on anarchism see our resources section, or check out the following
Libcom guide to anarchism
Fighting for Ourselves
BSN Organising Guide
Write to us for copies of any of our pamphlets or paper.
We are happy to assist others who want to set up like-minded groups in their area.
All material free to prisoners.
ABOUT / FAQ:
(CHECK YOUR JUNK MAIL FOR REPLIES!!)
►►Any Questions? Contact us below ►►
No Justice on Stolen Land.