How we plan to create political crowdfunding for revolutionaries.
Well, this is not so much of a plan, really. It’s more an argument for selecting us and not the other ones. Biased much? Yup.
We launched a beta-version with the raw sketch and idea of www.firefund.net. We did this, because of two reasons:
- The kurdish community in Kobanê needed the exposure and solidarity, and we wouldn’t let them wait for our final product.
- It was a test of the whole idea of FIREFUND. This test is over, and we spend some time evaluating.
For those of you who don’t know FIREFUND already:
We’re activists, pretending to be start-up’ers, making a crowdfundingplatform for radical social movements. This is about our first (and failed) crowdfunding campaign we did the summer of 2015 with the Kurds. In 30 days they reached $50.000 in pledged donations — but that’s far from the goal of $130.000.
For some people, the general idea of the campaign was, that the failure of reaching the target had something to do with choosing a new crowdfunding platform, with no name for themselves and no track-record to raise trust.
After another project at IndiGoGo successfully crowdfunded generators for another city in Rojava, it has also been pointed out, that maybe IndiGoGo is a better platform to use for future projects.
And yes, in case of the Rojava Electricity Project, then IndiGoGo is a much better choice — and FIREFUND would not even be an option, since the project is initiated by third-party activists from Sweden, instead of constituting a direct relationsship between kurdish activists and other movements from around the world.
The difference is, that the FIREFUND campaign was organized by the kurds. The model, the goal, the campaign dates, the preparation, the social media strategy, the press-work and the organizing was their own activists working their ass off.
FIREFUND is not a copy of IndiGoGo, Kickstarter, GoFundMe and all the other crowdfundingsites. These sites are highly institutionalized, they have a name people trust with their money and compared to our beta-version, their functionality and information levels are muuuch better.
The difference between FIREFUND and the big crowdfunding-corporations are not a question of how much work we have left to do, to fully launch the platform. It is a question about changing the way we work with international solidarity with these tools. We need to create a tool, that will allow direct solidarity, from peer-to-peer, crowd-to-crowd.
It is about anonymity, political acknowledgement of disobedience, a healthy skepticism towards the alliances between commercial banking and the political elite, and a basic understanding of modern day social movements.
It might be true, that these things are not necessary for rebuilding Kobanê, because this work might be closer to charity, than direct solidarity and direct action. But this is not up to me or you.
It’s up to the Kurds who works with the reconstruction — and their initial decision to work with FIREFUND, was based on not using capitalistic for-profit initiatives, that wouldn’t risk supporting more politicized and radical campaigns in the future.
All this haven’t been explained to the community we engaged with during the FIREFUND KOBANÊ campaign, because we simply do not have the website up yet. Please believe me, when I say that this is not to blame or disrespect the feedback we’ve gotten. I am just trying to start a thread on what FIREFUND actually is and I would like to hear other inputs on the subject.