PGA process, structures and projects - Conference 2006 Report

What was discussed and decided during dijon's spokes council

PROPOSALS TO THE PGA PROCESS DISCUSSIONS You'll find a lot of information about the PGA process structures in the “Plaisantation”. At the end of this document there is also a note on "What is a spokes council?".


We attempted to discuss possible futures/directions/actions/structures for PGA europe through a spokescouncil (big assembly where people are divided in affinity groups and intervene and react through a spokeperson. You'll find at the end of this text an explanation of the way the spokes council worked). The content for discussion was generated by earlier discussions in working groups that put together each of the sections of this text. The content was first discussed in affinity group and then in general assembly. Around 200 people participated (at least at the beginning and less in the afternoon), and it took the whole day, with a big break in the middle. This document is the combined result of feedback from working groups and comments/decisions from spokescouncil.

(I)nformation These things came out of different working groups during the rest of the conference and have mainly been announced and hardly been debated.

(P)eople are needed for this proposal

(D)ecision Points marked with D should be debated and decided upon in the spokescouncil.

(C)omments Comments that came up during the Spokes Council


1) About PGA

infopoints, general things:

(I) we decided to make available the various infopoint documents and infopoint kit on a specific infopoint page on the website, with a link on the website

(I) the infopoint webpage would also contain an updated and more detailed list of infopoints, as well as survey

(I)(P) the infopoints Kit on the webpage should contain:

(C)There is a part on consensus building and meetings skills on the practical guide. it could be extracted from it and available on the infopoint kit.

(C)A group of people proposed to do a short presentation of pga and hallmarks with pictures and in comic style. Contacts : ?

communication between infopoint and tools of coordination

(I) we thought that the pga_europe_process(at) and pga_europe_resistance(at) lists should remain the main communication tools for infopoints and other people involved with the pga network.

(C) infopoints should all be subscribed to the process list.

(I) pga-discussion(at) list will be destroyed, some lists will be renamed from "stamp-" to "pga-", and descriptions of the email lists will be added on the website.

(I) Email lists and their functions:

(C)' there will be a clarification on the use of every list on the website

(C) we decided to have a regular rotating on the administration of lists

(I) we'll create an email adress for the administration of infopoints: pga-infopoints(at) (./) This email address will be administrated by a group of people. It will be used for various infopoint administrative tasks, for new infopoints who want to be listed, for old infopoints who want to update their survey, and to send the various documents and translations that should be added to the infopoint webpage. The admins inform the process list and will attempt to contact infopoints to get a better understanding of the group. There is a 3 week reaction period. Afterwards the new infopoint will be added to the homepage.


(I)(P) A working group (re)organising the translation infrastructure has been formed. Translations site might be merged with indymedia translations ( The PGA conference 06 translations list will be used until another solution has been found. Admins are needed. Necessary translation work for PGA can be announced here.

(C)There was a strong concern that it might be confusing and generally not a good idea to mix the indymedia translation tools and the pga one. Various groups were concerned with creating a clear specific tool of translation for the pga network. But it was left to the group presently working on translation tool to propose solution and decide till the next pga process meeting.

(I)Proposal to have a part of the website dedicated to translation.

(P) We recommend the usage of 3 working languages posts to the process list: spanish, french, english. It would be nice to have at least translations of short summaries. The idea is that people can use the translation list to make their messages on the process list being translated. But messages don't have to be translated before to be sent on the process list.

(I)There is the idea of infopoints translating the newsletter or the infopoint materials into their local languages.

(C) Infopoints classified list and how to register as an infopoint needs to be translated.

Infopoints classified list and how to register as infopoint

(I) there was a general agreement on the fact that we shouldn't take decisions about pga structures and projects anymore when there are no people clearly responsible to work on the task and make the decision happen.

(I) we decided to create a survey on the website for collectives who want to be added on the list of infopoints. These infopoints list will be also classified relating to their various activites, structures and issues in order to have both a general list and some classified lists (eg: to make it easier for people who want to know the infopoinst that are working on gender issues or collective cooking structure or autonomous server...)

(I) This survey will be available on the website. It will also be passed around during the centralised meeting, you can fill it in and give it back to the infopoint of Dijon's conference or send it back to pga-infopoints(at) Infopoint adress administrators will also check if the old infpoints still want to be on the list and if they can fill the new survey.

(C) We decided to update the infopoints database during every conferences which was done during this conference (please fill the survey)

(C) There should be a section added on the infopoint survey for groups who don't have acess to digital and printing tools to say so and for groups who are ok to support an infopoint.

(I) apart from the list of infopoints, a need was felt for a broader database of activist contacts, the kind of which is repeatedly being built for/during events such as PGA conferences. Proposals ranged from merging with already existing projects, such as the Anarchist Yellow Pages, to compiling a list of such databases (there's lots of regional & thematic ones already), mentionning their degree of update & accuracy. This has started on

2) Contents

(P) Reports: working about the outcomes of the conference, rep newspaper and information spreading. Movie projects about this conference...

(P) A long newspaper reporting on contents and projects coming out the decentralised gatherings has been edited during the conference and is available on the website. The first newsletter after the conference will be a compilation of articles and reports from the centralised gathering. There's an already existing working group. Deadline : Send your reports to stamp-journal(at)

(I) PGA newsletter: it was discussed many times to recreate a PGA newsletter that could give informations about pga related groups and actions, be printed and given to people by groups involved and especially the infopoints. We discussed that again. People said it was politically really tricky to have a group of people deciding on the contents of a "pga" newsletter and about which struggles would get or not visibility through this information tool. Two possibilities came up as a result:

(C)We propose to try again to have an « inspired by pga » newsletter that could be distributed over europe and be available as a part of the infopoint kit on the webpage.

(C)the idea is to have it done each time by a new pga infopoint. The group doing it should try to find the next group, both through the pga-process list and using directly personal pressure. :) There should be a rotation of groups doing the newsletter at least at the beginning to see if there is a dynamic about this newsletter, we can feedback about this dynamic during a future pga process meeting (winter meeting or whatever type of process meeetings) and use such meetings to pass a relay if it doesn't happen otherwise.

(C)It should be clearly stated that the newsletter is titled as inspired by pga europe and not related to the global network.

(C)the newsletter focus would be the activities of the network (conferences and pga process) + presentation of infopoints and activities of groups inspired by the pga network. The texts sent on pga-announce list would appear as well. It should be really clear that the newsletter doesn't reflect « what pga thinks ». It's a bit like a forum of discusion and of presentation of pga related groups. The content of the newsletter would be groups talking about the struggles, projects and actions they're actually involved with. There could be an international news sections, but it should be made of groups from other continents writing about what they do and being translated.

(C)There should be no fixed size for the newsletter.the newspaper.

(C)All articles should be sent to the process list, so that people can react if they think that anything is really bad.

(C)newsletter contributions need to be forwarded to translations list

(P) riot.boogie(at) from budapest said he would ask his group if they wanted to do the next newsletter. If another group already wants to take responsability for the next one, it would be great.

3) Digital tools

(C) Various concerns given during the spokes council

there was a concern about potential sabotages on the wiki. we need to clarify the difference between the tools of the network and the work we actually do there were various concerns about not relying too much on digital tools. One group said they would work on proposing various solution for non digital tools of communication. There should be a series of proposals for groups who don't work with the internet.

(I) List-administration: organizing this PGA conference involved creating & using a series of mailing-lists, which were reviewed, some tagged for destruction, some for continuation and broader use:

stamp-ds(at) should allow participants to the “digital struggles” topic to communicate further; pga-announce(at) will hopefully be put to more use, as an announcement list on events & news related to the PGA network; pga-www(at) is used by the webmasters to continue collaborative work on the websites; pga-i18n(at) is maintained as a resource for coordinating translations related to the PGA or associated groups; it took a while to setup such a thing, which is highly valuable to our activisms, but often lacking.

- PGA chat: an Internet Relay Chat channel was created on for easing communication in between distant members of the STAMP collective. It has been put to extensive use during the “Digital Struggles” focus in the decentralized conference in Dijon, allowing interested parties to follow some of the discussions. There's no reason to get rid of it!

(I) Websites: the main PGA-related websites were collectively reviewed: was initially created by Eurodusnie for the Leiden conference in 2002, but recently taken over & restarted from scratch by the STAMP collective. The following propositions were made: is a wiki (freely editable website), which worked alongside with the website. It worked as an online document folder, allowing the STAMP collective to share, edit & design texts easily. It has been proposed to move all STAMP/PGA06-related contents to a dedicated section, rename it to and allow future PGA-conferences to use it. has been the official website for the PGA since years, and has grown big and quite complex, with translations in many languages. It contains some 35.000 pages, with just 3 people working on them, who have asked for some help in the past. A few remarks were made, though time lacked to properly dive into the subject:

'Note:' a working group meeting comprised of website and list administrator volunteers took place the day before the spokes council. They came to some consensus on what they were willing to do and prepared the proposals for the spokes council. Some of these proposals were not properly conveyed in the spokecoucil handout but verbally conveyed to the meeting:


1) Continuity and Skill Sharing

(D) Continuation of the various thematic groups started during this conference: how to have more people taking part in the preparation of the issues for next PGA events and keeping issues working groups in between conference? Discussions about keeping or creating pga thematic lists that were created to organize this conference in between conference.

(I) It was proposed in belgrade to organize some PGA-process skill-sharing and to write a "PGA organization practical guide".

(I) Stamp people have been starting to work on a tool-text/book about the way this conference was organized to pass knowledges

(P) Need to try to keep usefull logistic contacts for the organization of next conferences and to ask already before the end of this one...

how to share the knowledge of things we have learnt and done during the conference (stamp collective discussed)
on a minimal basis stamp has written a feedback and we wish for this to be more collective, and this will be logistic and the politics behind the conference
one of these days we will discuss how we want to pass this onto the next convenor
all written documents and technical tools will be gathered and made available to the next groups convening the conference
to involve more people in the preparation in the coming conference, we need to think of a clear method to do things on time and list all the things that need to be done.
 before a new conference we need to organise a skill exchange between PGA 2006 convenors and future convenors
it would be really good if some organisers were involved in some of the issues

who will collect the logistic contacts, for example the kitchen collective

2) Winter meeting, next convenor

(P) Are there already groups who think about organizing a next conference ?

3) The next european conference

These points have been moved here from the discussion about the next global conference. Both took place in one session so they kind of mixed. But these points here are focusing on the european conference:

(C): We're not to take a decision as to which form the next PGA

(C): In order to further root the PGA within local contexts, there can

(C): Though some skepticism about it was expressed, it was decided to

(C): In the perspective of an evaluation & perspective building moment

4) next global conference

(I)We cannot propose another global conference now. First we must see some results of the process proposed and see also their pertinence for the South. Local, Regional, Continental Gatherings:

(D)Proposed concrete involvements for all groups:


Parts 1-2-3 are a text coming from a working group that met around this issue the day before the spokes council. Part 4 gives a few comments and consensus araising from the discussions around thoses issues during the spokes council.

'''1)''' Actions and PGA network

(I) In order to inform what sort of campaigns and actions a peoples global action network could be necessary or useful for, the working group asks and proposes answers to the following questions: )What are the objectives of the PGA network? The objective of the PGA is to support and further the hallmark principals (summary: reject destructive systems of domination and discrimination, use a confrontational attitude and direct action tactics, construct local alternatives to global capitalism, organise through decentralisation and autonomy.) )In what ways can a PGA network be used to meet these objectives?

  1. Create concrete links between local and global struggles, furthering the awareness of global power structure behind local problems.
  2. Share experiences of autonomous spaces and exchange practical skills through working together on alternatives to capitalist and other destructive systems.
  3. Have an exchange about the effectiveness or relavency of past and present forms of action and reflect about which strategies to continue, abandon, change or invent.

)What are the capacities of the PGA that make it unique from other networks? What makes its additional existence necessary and helpful in meeting its objectives? The PGA is much broader than other existing networks as it is trans-national, trans-lingual, trans-thematical, and includes a diversity of action methods. In connecting these diverse groups the PGA has a capacity to facilitate a unique exchange of information and a unique scale of action coordination.

'''2)''' In argument for proposals

It is the opinion of the working group that while it is good to share ideas and experiences, there are other adequate places to do this and so this does not justify the existence of the PGA if that is its only accomplishment. The working group felt that there was a relatively low ratio of action proposals compared to experience sharing this year and that the PGA is at risk of becoming an entity whose main accomplishment is reproducing itself rather than creating and continuing effective actions towards the change it desires in the world.

The working group concludes that the PGA is useful only as long as it births and informs projects that work towards its hallmarks, and suggests that this be a criteria by which to judge the necessity of its continued existence.

'''3)''' Proposals

(I) Therefore the working group brainstormed about a few project to be discussed and potentially supported around the pga network.

*Do thematical global action days before the G8 in Germany (migration, agrobusiness and education).

*Create alternatives to the capitalist system during the G8 in the region, which last longer than the G8 and involve the community.

*Support the no-border camp 2007 in the Ukraine and plan an action to shut down world wide financial districts.

'''4)''' A few results of the things discussed during the spokes council

== A few general comments about actions ==

local groups are the building blocks of the PGA and the interchange between them need to be strengthened.
one of the function of PGA is connecting groups working on similar themes thus continuing thematic-based communication is essential.
just a reminder that projects such as the ones coming out of this conference excite and involve people and provide concrete opportunities to expand our vision as a network...

== A few Common Points: ==

- action proposals of "movin' Europe" caravan (  and anti-G8 thematic days of actions (as the one proposed about agro-business) obviously fit in with the PGAs goals (see :
- general Support of the use of thematics to organize our struggles ie continuing the thematic working groups
- many felt that it is contradictory to call for global day within the european conference.
- PGA is not the place to rubberstamp or approve projects, there is no logo, ''PGA is not a decision making body about action but a networking tool to help making these actions happen''.


This working group addressed relationships with other continents, global solidarity, exchange campaigns, next global conference, link with the 6th declaration and proposal of new encuentro...

There is a perceived problem that globally the PGA is weak because it has lost its focus, we propose this methodology in order to find the answers

1) Relationship with other continents

We need to make a serious effort at outreach, this means both locally and globally both on and off the internet to establish/re-establish the connecting points of the PGA network (including the zapatistas).

We must revive our dialogue with allies in the South and find ways to make the PGA more relevant to specific struggles.

2) Global solidarity

(P) As part of the outreach effort, start a global Survey-Discussion to see what PGA is (or could be) to groups around the world; what resonates and what doesnt; Are there themes, or junctions of themes, that could connect groups better than just "anti-capitalist"? Which could give a new dynamic and action focus to PGA again? There is already a first list of persons who want to work on this (contact elviejo(at)

(I) Using Theme-based discussions and cross-overs to connect local, regional, global struggles. One proposal being discussed within the German G8 mobilization is using specific theme-days to connect the various global struggles to the G8 (G8 and agriculture for example)

3) Exchange campaigns

(P) Exchanges: As part of the process of our survey, we feel that there is need to seriously consider putting more effort into long term exchanges. This is especially important and proven effective in South-South relationships, and is an option taken at the last international meeting in Haridwar already being worked on in South Asian PGA.Interested persons should write to globalaction-subscribe(at)

Comments: Questions of the meaning of the term "solidarity".
propopsal to discuss how we could focus on ressources sharing rather than money donation
need to strengthen local networks first, before a global meeting would be useful. the idea of resource-skill sharing and activist exchanges are good but we need to first evaluate our resources.

(I) Resource Sharing: having the resources available to the network as was proposed within the decentralized gathering (legal guide; autonomous spaces database; sources of alternative technologies...) People can make suggestions for this to the webgroup stamp-www(at) and/or the globalaction list. There is also a communication group. Contact them at agpcomm(at) And a blog at

4) next global conference

A lot of comments about the next european conference that came up in the combined session on Global Process and the next conference have been moved to 3) Towards the next Conference.

Comments: *Feeling that a call for a global meeting is premature now but not loose sight of the possibility of global meetings.
We cant decide to have connections globally they evolve organically, thus a global conference is premature

(P)Particular job: - Constitute a global database of PGA related organisations for people to know them (volunteers?).

more groups and individuals should participate in the Global PGA list and subscribe


This text is the result of a discussion in Fraysinnous

Noting an ongoing lack of involvement/enthusiasm in the PGA network as such, we tried to specify/explore what we could hope for from a European and global network (1). Redefining our motivation for having/being part of such a network seems to us a necessary precondition before people get involved in taking on work and responsibilities related to the network and the transformation of its structures. These questions might seem quite obvious to some people, but they aren't for everybody. Do we need to stick to them doggedly, to develop them and argue about them? In any case, they bear a direct relationship to questions of strategy at a global level.

Below is a proposal for a template/ templates/format for these type of meetings whether they are under the banner of PGA or not.(2)

1) In general, a network of this type could/should

At a global level

be an 'antidote' to the 'social forums' and other similar NGO and 'citizen stakeholder' initiatives, maintain a network of people who have things such as types of (direct) action and political standards (the hallmarks) in common, which allows us, without necessarily knowing people really well, to meet with other activists, in whom we can have already – a priori/ above anything else, a degree of trust and confidence, which we see as important.

provide a space for co-ordination on a global level.

From a strategic point of view

Co-ordination of struggles: finding ways to give our work a common direction; to identify the common crossover/ convergence points. Provide the means to express our respective needs to establish and develop ways of working together. Allow/facilitate us to bring our actions, methods of working (practices) and political discussions from our own groups (local, affinity) beyond individual (personal or group) positions, to a wider network (from the point of view of coordination of our struggles).

In order to facilitate common actions/action together- it is essential to create confidence and trust between us. For this to happen, we need to clarify what we don't agree on, and in a wider sense, develop the discussion on these points. This is an important precondition to good co-operation between us for an ongoing series of actions

Spice up some of our alternative practices to mix them up with the culture of direct action and proactive politics, and get them out of a culture of individualism in which they're often locked and isolated. Find new ways to engage and inform ordinary people, to get out of our isolated pockets of activism.

A need to broaden the range of things we work on

To pay some attention to the 'smaller' less discussed topics like home schooling, birth etc etc (in the sense of untangling ourselves from the control of the state) Create small working groups on these topics and to think of actions etc to continue work on them/ raising their profile..

2) Proposal for possible forms that these meetings could take, whether as part of PGA or not

Based on the impression from Fraysinnous that perhaps not enough people felt engaged by the PGA, we formulated a proposal for a meeting style/ template which corresponds more closely to the form of the meeting during this decentralized week. This proposal could potentially be taken as an idea that would replace the PGA purely and simply, if the 'defection' were confirmed on a European or global scale!. It could equally be seen as an complimentary and parallel initiative to a continuing PGA process, even as a project to be taken upby/worked on by future PGA meetings.

The principal idea is to preserve/ensure the quality of the meetings by limiting the set/number of themes (1) and their crossover convergence points(2) (as in Frayssinous, with "childhood" and "anti-industrialism")

1- Limiting/focusing themes: we can abandon the idea that every meeting concentrates all the topics together (being all things to all people?), to concentrate/focus ourselves around topics or networks and working groups which already exist (No Borders, Via Campesina, etc) and to work on creating others which don't exist yet, on the topics which are important to us (anti-industrialisme, childhood, etc). This orientation comes from the idea that this way of working and grouping together sets of themes suit the people involved better, is more condusive to the way they work on day to day basis between conferences and they will get more out of the meetings

2- Twinning themes: the idea is still based on preserving the great richness/diversity resulting from the convergence/nexus of these different strands of the struggle, by joining/mixing 2 or 3 topics/networks in same meetings. It would also be a question of preserving/ creating a format which would continue between meetings, to allow a sustainable rhythm of work that is less intense and full on ; calmer more constant, connected and complete

problematic- some points that appear as information that are decisions, and quite often that technical (digital) decisions are made that affect political relations/work
more important work outside of the internet, there is nothing on what to do offline
gender balance of spokespeople
A group was uncomfortable with the spokescouncils structure in its prioritization of certain issues over other (communication tools over political orientation)


In large meetings, to enable co-operation and share information between lots of different groups we will use a process called a spokescouncil.

At a spokescouncil, each affinity group delegates a 'spoke' to act as a spokesperson to the meeting. The 'spokes' can be rotated or for the duration. Often, the spokes will form a circle with the rest of the affinity group sitting behind them to simultaneously feed back info from the affinity group to the larger meeting. The responsibilities of affinity groups are to delegate a 'spoke', and through this person to articulate clear proposals to the meeting at large. The meeting could additionally be broken up into smaller groups for the more important or specific decisions to be reached inside of the different affinity groups. Sometimes, a quick spokescouncil can be called consisting of the spokes, if it takes place while lots of other things are happening. The spokescouncil method can provide an example of a flexible and inclusive decision-making structure that can function on a lerger scale than the simple meeting.

Spokescouncil cannot impose codes of behaviour on the autonomous affinity groups or make decisions on behalf of those who are not present, and groups cannot try and stack out the meetings or impose their positions on those who have different ideas about tactics or aims.

This enhances co-operation between a multitude of groups - otherwise, meetings can degenerate into groups trying to make their positions prevail.

for more information

Process in Belgrade

As an example, this is the way the spokes council had been organized during the last pga conference in Belgrade (it worked more or less the same way during dijon's conference except that it lasted during the whole day)

Regarding the discussions and decisions about the PGA network, we decided to find something else than a group of "specialist" meeting during the conference week, with a big decisionnal plenery at the end, as it happened in Leiden. (it was in many ways a quite interesting experience, but also, to many people's opinion, quite frustrating and not accurate to take decisions with 400 people).

Therefore 4 PGA process groups have met everyday during the conference. They divided themselves around four main issues.

  1. actions and campaigns
  2. relations wilth other political/actvist organisations and structures uch as NGO's, trade unions, social foras, political parties.
  3. PGA structure
  4. Global process These have produces a list of proposals to be decided upon by the whole conference in a plenary session through a spokes council. An extra group during the gender day and has produced a set of proposals relating to physical and/or psychological violence during the PGA events.

Process of the spokes council (Belgrade):

(To be facilitated by a rotating group, two spotters and two minutes takers at any one time).

The time restrictions are due to visibility day and the need to clean the conference spaces before leaving. If more time is needed consensus must be reach to continue by the spoke's council. (sorry this is the best we could do under the conditions presented to us.).

We ended with a decentralised Collective clean up of the conference by affinity groups YEAH !!!!

STAMP: MeetingNotes/SpokesCouncilReport (dernière édition le 2008-12-19 18:59:42 par anonyme)