P r a c t i c a l @ n a r c h y
O N L I N E
Issue 2.2, March 1993
An electronic zine concerning anarchy from a practical point of
view, to help you put some anarchy in your everyday life. The
anarchy scene is covered through reviews and reports from people
in the living anarchy.
Postal address Practical Anarchy
PO Box 173
Madison, WI 53701-0173
Fidonet Mikael Cardell, 2:205/223
Postal address Practical Anarchy
c/o Mikael Cardell
Gustav Adolfsgatan 3
S-582 20 LINKOPING
Subscription of PA Online is free in it's electronic format and
each issue is anti-copyright and may be distributed freely as
long as the source is credited. Please direct subscription
matters to cardell at the above address.
We encourage our readers to submit articles and to send in bits
of news from everywhere. Local or worldwide doesn't matter -- we
publish it. Send mail to the editors.
=@= EDITORIALS =@=
Editorial from the U.S.A.
Well, not much is happening on the anarchist front here in Madis-
on. One can probably attribute the lethargy of area anarchists
to the fact that we are still in the throes of Winter. Hopeful-
ly, the anarchists will thaw out when the ground does. They
better, as we only have five months until we host our gathering.
The circulation of the paper copy of this zine has gone over 300
and I expect to break 500 by the end of the year. I may have to
consider switching to offset printing sooner than I had antici-
pated. Luckily, subscriptions are starting to pour in so not as
much money flows out of Chuck's pockets.
The new president of the United States (you'll notice I don't
refer to him as "our" president) has been office for almost three
months. The liberals are still telling leftists and us anarchists
to give him a chance. They just don't get it do they. Anarchist
oppose all leaders, but some more so than others. Sure, Bill
Clinton may be more progressive than George Bush, but his leash
is still connected to those with money, which is usually the rich
and corporations. He's a consumate politician. He wants to be
re-elected again and again and again. Hell, they even have
staffers devoted to this "perpetual campaign" thing. OK, so Bill
Clinton closed some military bases. Why didn't he close all of
them? Have you heard anything lately about a proposal to cut our
nuclear arsenal in half by next year? Don't bank on it. Clinton
has already beat a hasty retreat on letting gays into the mili-
tary. I don't support the military, but it would be a nice sym-
How's Clinton doing on the intervention front? Well, he's look-
ing for ways to get embroiled in the Balkans. Troops are still
in Somalia. The U.S. probably still has troops in the Iraq
area. Where next? Somewhere definitely as the americocentric
belief that the U.S. should save the world from itself still
holds sway over much of the american media.
The deficit is not an issue. I don't care what the deficit is, I
care about the health of this damn planet. I care about the wom-
en who are treated like shit around the world. Want to pay off
the deficit? Liquidate the military and all defense contractors.
They are the folks that have been running up the tab for the past
40 years. Also, go knock on the doors of americans ages 35 and
on up. They are the ones that supported this stupid Cold War.
Mom and Dad, don't come knocking on my door looking for a han-
- P@ Online -
edimatorial from sweden
by mikael cardell
oh well, i've just experienced the first beggar of my life. this
is not something that is common in sweden, but anyway, there he
was. i was heading home from the university and when i got off
the bus and was going towards the house a man called out and ges-
tured towards himself. i went towards him, wondering what he
wanted, and stopped just in front of him.
he started talking about the black, five-pointed star, i wore on
my black coat and babbled about it being the freedom star of the
land of ghana. he said the he himself was from namibia but that
he was born in cape town and that he now was on a visit here in
sweden. he had no money and no possibility to get any, being only
a visitor from another country.
oh, shit. what do you do in a situation like that? i sure haven't
been in anything even remotely reminding of this situation be-
fore. after a short discussion about what he was doing in sweden
and why he couldn't get any money in any other way i invited him
to my home. i figured he at least could get some food if not any
money. i don't have a lot of that kind myself.
at home we discussed further. he was apparantly a very learned
man who had studied sociology at uppsala university in sweden
back in 1964, but then he had returned to his home country. now
he was back in sweden, and broke. we finally arranged so that he
could lend some money until friday since he explained that he
could get money until then.
what would you have done if you were in the same situation? here
was a man that fell through the social security safety net that
sweden is so famous for; he couldn't get any money from the so-
cial bureau since he legally wasn't a swedish citizen. i don't
know if i'm going to get my money back, ever, but that is a
secondary point. the point is that i've discovered how the every-
day life for a lot of people is like. how many beggars are there
in india? how many in the usa? what are these people prepared to
do to survive?
go visit the slum. see how people actually live. then do some-
thing about it!
=@= LETTERS TO THE EDITORS =@=
i'd like to respond to the information from the i.w.w. that ap-
peared in this zine the 011993 issue. people join a union not
only to advance their interests as workers, but also to simply
enjoy the most basic fair treatment that current labor laws spell
having been an i.w.w. member in the mid-eighties, this defense of
basic rights was not their strong point. unless you can move a
large number of your fellow workers to act with you, something
that is very difficult to achieve, you are likely to lose your
struggle without the kind of protection a traditional labor union
can provide. if people want to join the i.w.w., that's fine, but
don't expect much support on the job site.
it seems unfair of them to slam traditional labor unions when
these organizations are providing valuable services to their
members in the daily struggle between workers and management.
sure, these unions are bureaucracies; sure, they do not aim to
take over the workplace; sure, they are not models of participa-
tory democracy. but they are surely not enemies of the workers.
they see to it that employers do not violate the existing labor
laws, and work to see that better laws are put into place.
i wish i had the luxury of saying that workers should not put
their faith in traditional unions and the legal system. if only
our fellow workers would stick together, we could perhaps discard
the existing system. but if you are out there earning a living
in the real world, the fine words of the i.w.w. will not protect
you from your employer. it's a do-it-yourself union.
ed stamm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
=@= CULTURE SCENE =@=
New and Recent Books
reviewed by Chuck
-o- Chronicles of Dissent. Noam Chomsky / Interviews with Davis
Barsamian. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press / Stirling, Scot-
land: AK Press 1992. 398pp.
This collection of interviews is an excellent introduction to
Chomsky's criticisms of U.S. foreign policy, activism, universi-
ties, commercial media, and the Cold War. Chomsky's critique of
the U.S. has consistently been anti-authoritarian and had a
characteristic anarchist flavor. His analysis has been a clear,
bright beacon in the black hole known as contemporary American
politics. Chomsky points out in one interview how the American
left (also read anarchists) needs to develop more spokespeople
like himself. He says he doesn't mind doing lectures and
speeches, but he feels that many activists have the skills to do
the things he does so well. Also of note are his criticisms of
the "intellectual commissars" that haunt the universities today.
These are the folks who are in the forefront of the status quo.
Ever notice how it easier to talk about anarchy with a working
person than with a person who has eighteen degrees?
-o- Friendly Fire. Bob Black. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, 1992.
A new collection of stuff from the mind that brought us that
legendary tract "The Abolition of Work." Several essays further
elaborate his critique of work. Black is also at his best when
he does creative projects like his posters and "happenings." Bob
Black, anarchist creator extraordinaire, is one of the most arti-
culate critics of contemporary anarchism. Where would we be
without him? Wall Street?
-o- The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving. John Hoffman. Port
Townsend, WA: Loompanics Unlimited, 1993. 152pp. Comix by Ace
This new offering from Loompanics is a coffee table guide to
dumpster diving. Dumpster diving is the practice of raiding
dumpsters for useful items ranging from pizzas to microwave
ovens. Tips on how to dumpster dive, tools for diving, and
"treasure" spots. One can really subsist on dumpster food if
they have to. If you are an artist there are many wonderful ma-
terials to be found in dumpsters. When i was in art school
several years ago I often cruised dumpsters, landfills, and junk-
yards for materials for sculptures. You'd be amazed at the elec-
tronic equipment and perfectly good contruction materials that
you can find being thrown away. I still prize the aluminum logo
that said "Oasis" that i salvaged from an old water cooler /
drinking fountain. Dive and enjoy!
-o- The World of Zines: A guide to the independent magazine revo-
lution. Mike Gunderloy and Cari Goldberg Janice. Penguin: 1992.
From the folks that brought us the original Factsheet Five zine
that reviewed almost every zine on the planet. This is a special
book published by one of the mainstream publishers in the U.S.
They review a range of zines including the paper version of Prac-
tical Anarchy. Some critics have complained that they should
have included more reviews, but this is a competent effort. The
wonderful thing about this book is that it will appear in some
suburban bookstores and maybe a few more people will hear about
the "zine phenomenon." I have gotten a few requests for Practi-
cal Anarchy from people who'd bought this book.
-o- Addicted to Militarism: Why the U.S. can't kick militarism.
An illustrated expose by Joel Andreas. Philadelphia, PA: New So-
ciety Publishers, 1993. 64pp.
A wonderful illustrated guide to U.S. militarism. I sure hope
they pass this one out to the kids in schools. Covers how cor-
porations are involved in the war machine. Deals with the U.S.
war against Iraq as well as the history of two centuries of U.S.
intervention and terrorism abroad.
-o- Ecstatic Incisions: the collages of Freddie Baer. Freddie
Baer. Stirling, Scotland: AK Press, 1992. 73pp.
A collection of collages and art by the women who has provided
several fine covers for Anarchy magazine (Columbia, MO). Com-
ments from Peter Lamborn Wilson. Freddie's style uses thought-
provoking collages of old etchings and other materials. Her work
is usually anti-authoritarian. She has made collages for zine
and book covers, posters, and t-shirts. Also includes a scary
collage essay on the U.S./Iraq War and a piece to accompany a re-
print from Fifth Estate on the pope's visit to Detroit several
years ago. Highly recommended.
-o- Sabotage in the American Workplace: anecdotes of dissatisfac-
tion, mischief and revenge. Edited by Martin Sprouse. Pressure
Drop Press / AK Press, 1992. 175pp.
Couldn't put this down once I'd started reading. This book is
one of the bestsellers in alternative bookstores right now. A
sort of *Working* with an anarchist flavor. Sprouse provides the
reader with anecdotes from workers in various occupations. It's
interesting how workers justify their sabotage, workplace pranks,
slow downs , and revenges. The design of this book is excellent.
Some of the best humor I've seen in a long time. Back to work!
Pressure Drop Press
San Francisco, CA 94146 U.S.A.
3 Balmoral Place
Stirling, Scotland, FK8 2RD
New Society Publishers
4527 Springfield Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143 U.S.A.
PO Box 1197
Port Townsend, WA 98368 U.S.A.
POB 568 Williamsburgh Station
Brooklyn, NY 11211-0568 U.S.A.
Common Courage Press
Monroe, ME 04951 U.S.A.
- P@ Online -
the alternative electronic publishing company
by mikael cardell
a new type of company has seen the light of the day. it's the
electronic publishing company. the inspiration is taken from free
software business like cygnus and signum who provides support to
free software. the difference is that the free e-text publishing
company instead of providing support provides access to electron-
ic texts, often in combination with other services like electron-
ic mail, news, irc and the lot.
the basic idea is to hold a lot of electronic texts available for
download by anyone. probably there will be a lot of material
available from these companies by project gutenberg and the on-
line book initiative, but increasingly, the publishers will get
some original material in as well. what they would offer is, sim-
ply, the access to electronic texts for a fee. the other services
may be seen as a bonus. for a person with no interest in elec-
tronic books or magazines things might be seen the other way
around, of course.
what the companies sell is therefore not the individual texts,
but services, computer time and the access to company hard disks.
if they sold the individual texts i guess they would have to
prevent copying, like a paper publisher would do, but in an elec-
tronic world this is much harder, with the war between software
companies and software pirates as the prime example. the idea is,
therefore, to publish the texts under copyleft instead of copy-
right and allow copying. i mean, copying is the way these texts
are distributed in the first place, so there's no possibility to
hey, you say, will writers agree with this treatment of their
text? i think they will, because copyright isn't protecting the
author anyway; it's a way of protecting the publisher. i mean, if
the writer gets paid by the publisher he's happy, and i can't see
why the writer can't be paid by a publisher that earns money by
providing access to books instead of selling copies of them. am i
right? or are there any writers out there who disagrees with me?
there has been some electronic publishing companies before, but i
haven't heard of any successfull ones so far. perhaps that's be-
cause most of them just have been interested in a form of elec-
tronic comercials in videotex systems and the like. anyway, i
think this new form of e-publishing has a great potential that
the former really lacked. there are a lot of people that are
prepared to pay to get access to the latest e-zines and e-books
as well as getting their daily usenet fix.
=@= ANNOUNCEMENTS =@=
Call for submissions
To a Book of Essays on the Topic of
Forthcoming for the Summer of 1994
We are an editorial collective dedicated to elaborating the ful-
lest range of possibilities under anarchy, and to investigating
new ways to invigorate the anarchist presence in North America.
We hope to collect essays, bibliographies, addresses and other
resources which detail an array of practical strategies and tac-
tics and sensibilities that include but are not limited to:
o Food production and Consumption (horticulture, community spon-
sored agriculture, communal farming, gardening collectives, &c)
o Housing (Squatting, Urban and Rural Co-ops, &c)
o Neighborhood and campus organizing, integrated strategies for
local political organization
o DIY art, music, and beautification (stenciling, wheatpasting,
alteration, zine production, publication, &c)
o How-to ideas on putting together a People's Bank of Goods &
Services, Pirate Radio Stations, Anarchist hostles, reading
rooms, study groups, bicycle repair collectives, a Free Universi-
ty, an anti-racist action network, &c)
o Women's Health and defense, Menstrual Extraction and other is-
sues of specific concern to women
Send Submissions, Ideas, Graphics, Hate Mail To:
c/o B A U
po box 3207 bloomington
c/o Practical Anarchy
po box 173 madison
=@= PRACTICAL ANARCHY =@=
Practical Anarchy Suggestions
o Make your own subvertisements. Destroy advertising!
o Produce a show on your local cable access station. Take back
o Organize people in your community against militarism. Let's
abolish the Pentagon by the year 2000!
o Read up on the corporations in your area. Find out if they are
unionized or if they emit toxic substances.
o Fight the war on drugs. Picket at your local jail or prison in
support of those incarcerated who would otherwise be free if
drugs were decriminalized.
- P@ Online -
What is the Anarchist Black Cross?
The Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) is an international network of
autonomous groups of anarchists who work to ensure that im-
prisoned activists aren't forgotten.
The origins of the Anarchist Black Cross date back prior to the
Russian Revolution. An Anarchist *Red* Cross was formed in Tsar-
ist Russia to organize aid for political prisoners and their fam-
ilies, and self-defense against political raids by the Cossack
army. During the Russian Civil War, the organization changed its
name to the Black Cross in order to avoid confusion with the Red
Cross who were organizing relief in the country. After the
Bolsheviks seized power the Black Cross moved to berlin. It con-
tinued to aid prisoners of the Bolshevik regime, as well as vic-
tims of Italian fascism and others. Despite the increasing
demand for its services, the Black Cross folded in the '40s due
to a simultaneous decline in available finances. In the late
'60s the organization resurfaced in England, where it initially
worked to aid prisoners of the Spanish resistance to Franco's
fascist regime. In the 1980's the ABC expanded and now has
groups in many different regions of the world.
Working Towards Liberation
We believe that prisons serve no function except to preserve the
ruling classes. We also believe that free society must find al-
ternative, *effective* ways of dealing with anti-social crime.
But a decrease in anti-social crime is only likely to happen (and
therefore prison abolition can only be a realistic option) accom-
panied by a dramatic change in our economic, social and political
systems. These conditions lie at the root of both anti-social
crime and the reasons for a prison system. Our primary goal is
to make these fundamental changes. We work for a stateless,
cooperative/classless society free from privilege or domination
based on race or gender. But it's not enough to build the
grassroots movements necessary to bring about these changes in
society, we must also be able to defend them. The ABC defends
those who are captured and persecuted for carrying out acts on
behalf of our movements.
Support for Imprisoned Activists
The ABC aims to recognize, expose and support the struggles of
prisoners in general, and of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of
War in particular. The form our solidarity takes depends on each
individual's situation. To some we send financial or material
aid. With others, we keep in contact through mail, make visits,
provide political literature, and discuss strategy and tactics.
We do whatever we can to prevent prisoners becoming isolated from
the rest of the movement. We fundraise on behalf of prisoners or
their defense committees for legal cases or other needs, and or-
ganize demonstrations or public campaigns of solidarity with
prisoners we support. We regard prisoners as an active part of
our movement and seek to maintain their past and potential con-
tributions by acting as a link back to the continuing struggle.
Increased communication between activists both inside and outside
prison inspires resistance on both sides of the prison walls. We
hope that we can encourage other activists by providing assurance
that even if you are persecuted for your activities, the movement
will not abandon you: we will take care of our own. Through the
ABC, we are building organizational support for resistance.
Outside of prisoner support work, the ABC is committed to the
wider resistance in which many of these prisoners are engaged.
We see a need to be highly organized if we are to effectively
meet the organized repression of the State and avoid defeat.
When power is challenged, be it in South Africa, occupied Pales-
tine, Chile, Ireland or Canada, it inevitably turns to violent
repression and political imprisonment to maintain itself. In
1989 we set up an "Emergency Response Network" (ERN) to respond
to political raids, crackdowns, death sentences, hungerstrikes,
torture or killings of members of or communities we work in soli-
darity with. An ERN mobilization means ABC groups and others
around the world send telegrams and phone calls, organize demons-
trations or other actions within 48 hours of the network being
alerted. For instance, two Greek anarchist prisoners reported to
be held incommunicado and subject to torture were released from
solitary confinement and allowed access to lawyers after the
ERN's first mobilization brought demonstrations, calls, faxes,
and telegrams to Greek embassies around the world. The ABC's
international network plays the one trump card grassroots move-
ments have in our deck: solidarity.
Remember: We're Still Here
We decide what prisoners to support and what work we will do on a
case-by-case basis. We put priority on the cases of
political/politicized prisoners and POWs as this corresponds to
our committment to building resistance. Although imprisonment is
in itself "political", Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War
are being held specifically for their beliefs or actions. Unlike
Amnesty International, we don't place judgements on what are
valid and invalid expressions of resistance: non-violence is not
a criterion for support. Unlike other organizations supporting
political prisoners, we include those who were "politicized" by
the prison experience and have since become organizers inside
prison. Many "politicized" prisoners face increased harrassment
in return for their activism.
There are many ways of getting involved in this work. You or
your group can:
* join your local ABC group
* set up your local ABC group
* donate labour, materials or money to the ABC
* become active in the Emergency Response Network
* or help as an individual by spreading information about pris-
oners, writing to them, making visits, sending reading materials
For more information on the ABC and getting involved, contact us
at the address below.
Chicago Anarchist Black Cross
c/o WCF, PO Box 81961
Chicago, IL 60681
- P@ Online -
Great Lakes Regional Anarchist Gathering
August 5th-8th, 1993
Madison, WI U.S.A.
Contact Chuck at PO Box 173, madison, WI 53701-0173
July 23rd - August 1st, 1993
#122 1895 Commercial Drive
This Summer (no known date)
Voltarine de Cleyre Cultural Center
4722 Baltimore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143 U.S.A.
Love & Rage Network
Early Summer 1993 / Somewhere in San Diego
Love & Rage Network
PO Box 3 Prince St. Station
New York, NY 10012 U.S.A.
Thanks to the Web Collective in San Francisco for these announce-
ments. They are looking for submissions for their direct action
manual. Their Address: The Web, PO Box 40890, San Francisco, CA
This e-zine is published on 100% recycled electrons