Reclaim the Power aims to be a horizontal organisation. What this means, in simple terms, is that we don’t have any leaders or managers. Instead, it is open to everyone to join in and contribute. Responsibility for decisions, and making them happen, is completely shared by participants.
Join a local group
Reclaim the Power has groups or contacts in Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham, Oxford, Lancaster, Nottingham, Brighton and London. To find out when these groups next meet check out our Facebook page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come to a Gathering
We organise two-day national gatherings to make collective decisions. These are held at different towns and cities across the country. We use them to make important decisions, but they also serve as spaces for learning, developing skills and getting to know people.
All our gatherings provide crash space, childcare, and cheap and vegan food. All our meeting venues are wheelchair accessible.
We try to make our gatherings as inclusive as possible for newcomers, including the use of a friendly buddying system, so don’t worry if you’ve never been to anything like this before!
Join a Working Group
Much of Reclaim the Power’s work takes place in smaller working groups, which are listed below. Our working groups are open to all to join, regardless of pre-existing skills – as part of the role of working groups is to train and skill new people.
The best way to join a working group is to come along to a gathering where working groups are given time to meet. However, you can also email them to find out more.
Here are the working groups that we currently have (correct as of October 2017):
When we’re putting on big events like action camps, we have an Infrastructure working group. Responsible for delivering a safe, sustainable, accessible, and beautiful site for Reclaim the Power’s summer camp. This is a massive job including, but not limited to, toilet facilities; plumbing; marquees; recycling; renewable energy; kitchens; and transport.
Internal Coordination working group
The Internal Coordination working group are responsible for the organising national gatherings, including drafting agendas and minutes. They aim to constantly improve these events so that they’re inspirational and inclusive to all participants – at the same time as keeping them realistic and directional. We try to experiment with new methods of facilitating discussion and decision-making. The group also takes responsibility for continually training and rotating facilitators.
This group has responsibility for Reclaim the Power’s internal communications and democratic participation at Reclaim the Power events.
email: info [at] reclaimthepower.org.uk
Anti-oppression and Movement Building Group
Reclaim the Power has committed itself to anti-oppression work. This working group exists to address the ways in which Reclaim the Power’s activities currently exclude people, seeking to propose actions we can take to address these issues. It also exists to to make Reclaim the Power more effective at movement building.
Media and Comminications working group
Responsible for pushing Reclaim the Power’s key messages through the mainstream and alternative press, and also for training a diverse range of voices to speak with the press as individuals or on behalf of the network. They also have responsibility for producing Reclaim the Power’s publicity materials. This group also manages this website and Reclaim the Power’s social media platforms Facebook and Twitter accounts.
email: press [at] reclaimthepower.org.uk
Oversees the finances of Reclaim the Power’s activities.
email: finance [at] reclaimthepower.org.uk
Aviation working group
Have worked on campaigns and actions supporting communities fighting airport expansion, particularly around London Heathrow Airport.
Fracking & Coal working group
This working group has supported communities fighting opencast coal mining in Merthyr Tydfill, South Wales and also Aberthaw coal-fired power station. The group also organised the ‘Rolling Resistance’ month of action against fracking at Preston New Road in Lancashire (July 2017) and other fracking fights.
Consensus Decision Making
Reclaim the Power uses consensus decision making in all its gatherings, working group meetings, and events. Consensus decision making seeks to find solutions that everyone is happy with (or at least can live). It is an alternative to majority voting that privileges the view of the majority.
Consensus is not a new concept. On the American continent non-hierarchical societies have existed for hundreds of years. The business meetings of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) use a form of consensus decision making. Finally, political and social activists have made use of consensus decision making in recent years; the Camp for Climate Action Camps across the globe and Occupy being just two examples.
If you haven’t used consensus decision-making before, don’t panic! We fully explain how it works at every gathering, and offer additional support (like a buddy) should you wish for it.
You can read Seeds for Change’s guide to consensus decision making here.