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Consensus protocols in Madrid and Barcelona

Consensus protocol in Barcelona
Well, I’ll explain again the consensus protocol we spontaneously developed at Barcelona:
1. Someone calls for a proposal.
2. Moderator ask if there’s someone against.
3. If someone, go step 4, if not, go to step 5.
4. If someone blocks the decision we ask why. If his arguments are valid and shared by more people, then the decision is finally rejected.
If his arguments are not valid, based on bad information, simply bullshit or he’s blocking to bother, then the decision goes to step 5.
In this point you can start a debate or, if there’s a lot of discussion, the proposal can return to the group where it was developed, the ones against it should join the group to reformulate it to include everyone or finally getting rejected.
5. Nobody is against it, we all agree and we’re happy.
The process is not perfect:
- Can be slow for urgent decisions.
- As always, demagogy could damage a lot; one blocker that speak about feelings can get the attention even if he’s not right.
By the way it’s working and sometimes it’s very very fast, and thanks to this lately we’re using advanced methods on the dinamization of the assemblies: no moderators needed (automoderation), no voting (just fast consensous).

A- Hey guys, what if we do something like bla bla bla? Nobody against? Okay I’ll take care of developing it.
A- Hey guys, what if we do something like bla bla bla?
B- Yeah, sure! I’ll help you to do it! Let’s make a group for it, prepare a meeting and invite more interested people promoting it.
A- Hey guys, what if we do something like bla bla bla?
B- I think that’s not going to work, someone did this ast year and was a fail. We can talk about it later if you want, now we can continue with the assembly.
A- Okay I’ll get more info and try to think about it.
A- Hey guys, what if we do something like bla bla bla?
B- Why not?
C- This is madness! You don’t realize that we’re always on the same! Open your mind!
D- Shut up faggot, you’re always blocking everything!
B- Hey, stop this! You should make a group to discuss it later, now we must go ahead.
As natural as it sounds…



Consensous protocol in Madrid

1. Proposals are presented by people coming from commissions or working groups (C/WG) of Sol in the meeting of conexion esterna which prepares the general assembly every week.
2. The General Assembly is devided in 3 parts: information, debate, proposals
3. Proposal needs consensus to be taken as AG decisions
4. Proposal is presented by the person from C/WG
5. People discuss the issue, there are proposal of small changes
6. Moderator asks if there is consensous for the proposal which could be different from the previous one thanks to the contributions. (case1)
7. Moderator ask if there’s someone who doesn’t see it but let the proposal go (no lo veo pero no o bloqueo) case 2
8. Moderator asks if there somebody totally against (radicalmente en contra) case 3
Case 1: proposal has been consensuated
Case 2: proposal has been consensuated
Case 3 : If someone blocks the decision has to explain why. If his/her arguments are valid and shared by more people, then the proposal can return to the group where it was developed in order to change the proposal or complitly rejected (very rare)
If his/her arguments are not valid, based on bad information, simply bullshit, he’s blocking to bother, and hasn’t got a new proposal of consensus his bloqueo is not valid and the proposal goes onIn the local assemblies I work in and I know we use the same methodology although there are some assemblies talking about quorum (like the APM Popolar Assembly of madrid born as the coordination group of the local and district Assemblies)

There is a lot of debate in Madrid about how to coordinate between each other (working group, trasversal groups, local assemblies) and there are several proposals like.
1. Having one general assembly for all (no APM and AG)
2. Having APM and AG with different functions
There will be a general extraordinary assembly on this issue soon (beginning march)

About author
We are just like you, citizens of the world fed up with the critical situation and we believe a real change can be achieved through the coordination of non violent actions and self-managed alternatives around the world. There must be a better way of dealing with the survival and enjoyment of our life, we believe in consensus and in non-hierarchical organization. We believe that another world is possible, where nobody has to die of hunger while others throw food away. We don’t have flags and we fight the borders crossing them. We try to be in the best place at the good moment, from Brussels to Lisbon, from Madrid to Athens, reporting but also acting. We come from activist groups, hacking platforms or post capitalist projects and we participated a lot in the Spanish revolution since the beginning. We leave our respective assemblies for this international project of global coordination but we keep in touch, sending back information and visiting regularly. We are open to integrate new people to our project or to help the creation of new teams. More information about our way to work in the protocol.
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