Our call: forming affinity groups – let‘s go for it now!
In actions of civil disobedience with many people, it has proven to be a good idea to form fixed affinity groups (AG) in advance. So we will do like this again at Ende Gelände this year. Therefore: Find yourself up to max. 9 people with whom you will go into action together.
You can print out this checklist and discuss the questions in your affinity group before the action.
Why affinity groups?
During the whole action, the people in your affinity group will look after each other, discuss how far you want to go, how you feel and what you would like to do. Within the affinity group you decide how long you want to stay in the action. You try to go back to the camp together.
Do we have to stay together all the time?
Within the AG you can split into smaller units: Groups of two or three people, sometimes called Buddies, who will always stay together. So if you are a group of 5 people, for example, you can split into a team of 2 and a team of 3 buddies.
If something happens to one of you – injury, imprisonment etc. – the Buddies will be there for that person. The rest of the AG can decide whether they want to stay or continue with the action. When you arrive at the blockade point, you can re-sort yourself within the AG: Who stays here? Who wants to go somewhere else? Who wants to go back? It is important that no one is ever alone!
Who are the right people for my affinity group?
AGs are often made up of people with similar experience of action. But that is not necessary. It is much more important that you have similar ideas about the action and trust each other: How far do you want to go? How long do you want to stay? How do you behave towards the police? etc.
The better you know each other, the easier the decision making will be and the more fun you will have in the action. Therefore: Take your time to get to know each other and talk about possible scenarios!
How do I find the right affinity group?
1. Ask people you know: who will join Ende Gelände? Who has what ideas about the action? Maybe it fits together with yours!
2. Visit affinity group finding meetings in your city or organize some yourself! At such meetings people come together who want to join Ende Gelände but don’t know with whom yet. You exchange your ideas, hopes and fears and see who fits.
3. There will also be opportunities at the contact points to meet people for affinity groups. The earlier you are at the contact point, the more time you will have to form and get to know your AG.
Affinity groups and Covid-19
In order to keep the risk of infection with Covid-19 as low as possible during the action, it is especially important that you have a fixed AG for this action. Your AG represents your infection community, i.e. your “family”, from arrival to departure. The people from your AG are the only ones with whom you should have closer contact during this time. Try to avoid changes between the AGs and, if possible, keep your distance to other AGs. Since there will not be one big camp this year, but several small contact points, it is important that you make sure that you are distributed to the same contact point.
checklist for affinity groups can be found here
Print out the list and go through all the points with your AG before you go into action together!