a Workers Solidarity Movement policy statement

Practice of the WSM

'Practive of the WSM' is a set of guidelines we have drawn up to ensure that the group functions effectively, and in a properly anarchist manner.


This paper is out of date the current version can be found at




Passive smoking is a health hazard. Bearing this in mind it is requested of all members that they refrain from smoking during any national meetings - Conference and IB meetings, etc. In consideration of members who do smoke, time will be allotted at such meetings for smoking outside the meeting room. This arrangement only applies to national meetings. It is up to WSM branches to decide for themselves as to whether or not they wish to adopt a similar arrangement at local level.


In order to ensure that all members take responsibility for both developing and implementing WSM policies, members are expected to attend their branch meetings or send advance apologies when not able to attend. Where a member misses four successive branch meetings without good reason the Branch Secretary will propose a motion that the member concerned is deemed to have resigned. The member concerned will be informed by post not less than ten days and not more than one month before the motion is tabled. where a member is not part of a WSM branch (because of geographical distance) they are expected to attend national meetings and conferences, or to send advance apologies when not able to attend. Where a member misses three successive national meetings or conferences without good reason the National Secretary will propose a motion that the member concerned is deemed to have resigned. The member concerned will be informed by post that the motion will be voted on at the next national meeting. any member who falls more than three months behind in their payment of subs loses their voting rights. If they fail to pay subs for a further six week period they are deemed to have resigned. Treasures will keep track of subs payments and notify members when they fall into arrears. any suspensions of voting rights and/or expulsions must be reported in the Internal Bulletin by the relevant Branch or National Secretary.


Since the WSM is not a vanguard organisation (except in the sense of a vanguard of ideas) we must avoid the internal characteristics of a vanguard organisation. To this end we must encourage all members to take part in speech writing, article writing, proposing perspectives, and similar activities. When tasks such as these come up we will always ask the question "Who has not done this before (or has done it least)?" so that we can try to include less experienced people.

We must also ensure that people do not get left behind. This means assuming that people have less knowledge about the group than is generally accepted. Explanations are needed about how decisions are made, what conference is for, what branch meetings are for, how the paper is organised, etc. If members do not understand something it should be automatic that somebody will take time to explain the matter thoroughly. Although it is nice to win arguments, we should not underestimate the importance of bringing up issues and encouraging people to explore ideas. For peoples politics to develop they have to be able to articulate their ideas. We must not let ourselves be drawn into adversarial style debating. It is not, nor ever shall be part of any members responsibilities to hassle, harass, humiliate, embarass, guilt-trip or put down in any way, any member, or for that matter anyone else, by comparing work done by different members or any similar method. Members shall not be asked at any meeting why they will not be attending any event. At the same time, we must ensure that the same people do not get stuck with the same tasks all the time, and, conversely, that everyone takes part in some activity. While debates may sometimes become heated, it must be accepted by all members that every member of the WSM is a committed anarchist, and their activities and comments/statements are directed at reinforcing the group's libertarian credentials.


No member should be forced to miss anything because they have to mind children. Any member who requests it will be reimbursed in full for the cost of childcare. Childminding facilities will be advertised for all public meetings. Those requiring childcare will be requested to contact us in advance to enable us to provide facilities.


In order to save time at meetings, reports from campaign groups, other meetings etc., should, where possible, be prepared in advance, in the style used to prepare a report for the IB. For example, a report from a campaign group would include details of how many attended the meeting (and how many apologies), what major decisions were taken, any reports of how previous major decisions were carried out, what other political groupings were putting forward.


Given that one of the functions of the Internal Bulletin is to be our journal of record, it is necessary that contributions be understandable to members who may consult it in future years. Therefore, descriptions must be clear, eg. texts of talks should state who gave them and to what audience. Dublin branch reports should be clearly identified as coming from Dublin, care should be taken with spelling (at least to the point where meaning is clear), etc.


That a co-ordinator be elected when we are involved in specific campaigns (e.g. a strike support group, 'Justice for Abu-Jamal', service charges). This person will be responsible for collecting information about the issues involved, informing the WSM of same, preparing reports for the IB, and the co-ordination of our activity within the campaign.

As ammended September 2002

This paper is out of date - see the new WSM site for the more recent version