Affinity Groups

Let’s build affinity groups for the action – because we’re stronger together!

In actions of civil disobedience with thousands of people, experience of the past has proved that we need fixed affinity groups to stay together and look after each other. That is how Ende Gelaende will work this year again. For this reason: look for three to seven other people with whom you will join together to form an affinity group for the action.

Why affinity groups?

During the whole action, the affinity group acts like a family. You 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 the whole time?

Within the affinity group, you subdivide in smaller units, called buddies: 2 people (a tandem) or 3 people (a tridem) who will stay together under all circumstances. For example, if you are a group of five, then you split in one buddie-team of 2 and a buddie-team of 3.

If something happens to one of you – injury, detention etc. – his or her buddy/buddies can support this person. The others in the affinity group can decide whether to stay behind as well or go on with the action. When you have reached the blockage points, you can reflect again and decide together: Who stays here? Who wants to go elsewhere? Who want to go back? What is important is that no one should ever be on her or his own!

Who are the right people for my affinity group?

Often affinity groups are composed of people with similar action experience. But this is not necessary. It is much more important that you share similar ideas about the action: How far are you prepared to go? How long do you want to stay? How do you behave towards others, e.g. the police?

The better you know each other as a group, the easier it will be to take decisions and the more fun you will have. Therefore, you should take time to get to know each other before the action starts, and discuss possible scenarios!

How do I find my affinity group?

  1. Ask your friends: who is travelling to Ende Gelaende? Which ideas do they have about the action? Maybe they coincide with yours!
  2. Visit meetings in your town to form affinity groups or organise such a meeting yourself!
    At affinity group meetings, people come together who want to travel to Ende Gelaende but don’t know yet know with whom they want to go. You can exchange ideas, hopes and fears and then get an idea about which people could form an affinity group.
  3. Go to a meeting to form affinity groups in the camps in the Rhineland!
    There will be opportunities in the days before the action (21 to 23 August) to meet people who are still looking for an affinity group. The earlier you arrive at the camps, the more time you’ll have to get to know people and form a great affinity group.

Here you’ll find a check list for affinity groups. (Link).
Print the list and examine all points within your affinity group before you go off to the action!