2008 Convergence Questions

After months of informal discussion, the general consensus seems to be that there should be a CrimethInc. convergence this summer, but no community has offered to host it. Perhaps the convergence is a victim of its own success, in that it seems like such a massive undertaking that no one feels ready to take it on; this summer is going to be an especially busy one for many anarchists, and time and energy will be stretched thin in some circles.

We’re eager to hear your input: Should there be a convergence this summer? If so, where, when, and how? Are you interested in helping make it happen?

There are many factors to take into account when considering how and whether to organize a convergence in 2008, largely stemming from the fact that the Democratic and Republican National Conventions will be occurring this summer as well. Anarchists in Minnesota and Colorado will have their hands full leading up to the conventions, as will many other anarchists around the country; numerous consultas, action camps, and tours are already planned in the buildup to the convention protests. Additionally, federal funding for repressive measures will potentially be higher this summer than it has been for the past three convergences, so it will be especially important that if there is a convergence it is organized with experience and care. We’ve come a long way since the convergences of 2003 and 2004 were disturbed by police provocations, and we should be careful never to let them get away with that again.

One approach would be simply to let 2008 pass without a convergence, shifting the focus to other events and taking some time to consider how to experiment with the convergence format. As some participants in the 2007 convergence felt it was such a success that it was time to try something new, this could be a good time to take a step back.

On the other hand, if handled right, a convergence could contribute momentum to other events this summer. To anarchists who are not interested in the convention protests, it would seem ridiculous and exclusive for all other anarchist projects to be put on hold until the conventions are over—that would confirm the argument that mass mobilizations detract energy from other activities. Likewise, if the organizing towards the convention protests brings new participants into anarchist networks, but there are no events that focus on more general anarchist ideas, desires, and experiments in the way earlier CrimethInc. convergences have, that will be a tremendous missed opportunity.

If there is to be a convergence, it seems clear it will have to be spatially and temporally distant from the conventions. And the basic information about it will have to come together soon, so there is time to promote it. Hosting a CrimethInc. convergence requires no special skills or powers, simply a little determination and reliability—there is a national network ready to fill in the rest.

If you want to bottomline an organizational role, such as hosting the event in your area or providing food or other resources, or if you have questions for other potential organizers, email crimethincbooking@yahoo.com. If you care to contribute to the public discussion of how and whether to organize a 2008 convergence, please post comments here. Feel free to specify whether you’ve ever been to a previous convergence and what roles you’ve played in the past, so others will have some context for your remarks.

For an extensive meditation on last summer’s convergence, consult the discussion questions released last September in lieu of a full report.