An Insurgency of Dreams
"Defend the Collective Imagination. Beneath the cobblestones, the beach"
- Slogan daubed in Paris, May 1968
The radical ecological movement was born from the world-wide revolutionary upsurge of the 1960s and '70s. Love of the earth and for each other has always been with us, but in that period these feelings exploded across the world in a way they hadn't for decades. In nearly every land people came together and resisted. In some areas there were decisive victories for people in the battle against power; in others, power won hands down.
The epic struggle of the Vietnamese people and the anti-Vietnam war actions across the world; urban guerrillas across Europe; barricades in Paris; the European squatting movement, the brutal end of the Prague Spring; the rise of the Black Power movement.
Part Two: The Four Tasks
In Part One we looked at some of radical ecology's recent history; now it's time to stop looking back and start looking forward. I called Part One 'Recent Pre-History' because the past is prologue. An understanding of our own movement's evolution so far is essential when discussing in which direction(s) we want to evolve.
For if we are going to help catalyse a movement that can "confront, stop and eventually reverse the forces responsible for the destruction of the earth and its inhabitants," we are going to need good strategy.
We live in important times. This moment does not allow us much margin of error.
"A small group of people have succeeded where Karl Marx, the Red Brigade and the Baader-Meinhof Gang all failed."
- The Financial Times on the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign, April 2003.
In 1997, a Channel 4 television documentary exposed Cambridge-based animal experimentation laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences for numerous horrific abuses of the animals it was testing on, as well as for various breaches of regulations. The government slapped its wrist and let it off.
An Interview with Rod Coronado
The inspiring Native American earth warrior and animal liberationist Rod Coronado paid a visit to Brighton a little while back. Finally free to speak after years on the run, in prison and then with parole conditions banning him from engaging in any political activity, he made the best of it by going on a speaking tour around the UK. He managed to spare some time out of his schedule for a chat with Do or Die...
Genetics Action Round-up
"I don't want to see any GM crops grown in the West Country. If this happens, me, other farmers, and campaigners will destroy the crops... We all have to take action before it's too late. It's vital we pull up and destroy GM trial plots. United we will win, divided we will lose."
- An organic farmer, from Bideford in North Devon.
In the last few years Britain has seen an effective campaign of sabotage against Genetically Modified (GM) crops. Backed by widespread public support, the saboteurs have succeeded in massively holding up the introduction of GM crops and GM food into Britain.
The observant among you may notice this issue of Do or Die doesn’t include any reports or analysis of the anti-war movement. The new book from our fellow Brightonians at SchNEWS is dedicated to the global resistance to the war.
Send a cheque/postal order for £9.70 (including postage) and payable to ‘Justice?’ to:
c/o PO Box 2600
Brighton BN2 OEF
Tel: 01273 685913
We also recommend that you take a look at the forthcoming analysis of the anti-war movement in the new Aufheben, due out in Autumn 2003. For details of how to order this contact them at:
4 Crestway Parade
Brighton BN1 7BL
Beating the Bipeds
"Male lions have a special way of urinating, using a powerful, horizontal jet aimed backwards at some landmark in their territory, so that their personal scent is deposited on it... the [London Zoo] Lion House keepers told me that one of the male lions had developed a particularly devastating refinement... of his urinating technique. When he discovered that the spray created by his jet of liquid hitting one of the cage bars could reach his adoring public, crowded to watch him from the other side, he introduced a special multi-squirt to help pass the boredom of the zoo day. As the front rows of the crowd leapt back screaming after his first dousing of them, others quickly took their place to see what was happening. They then took the full brunt of his second squirt, which he had saved up for them, so that they, too, retreated yelling and cursing. On a good day, he might even catch a third wave, by carefully staggering his ejection of pungent liquid. It was just about the only assault device left to the Lord of the Jungle, in his sadly reduced circumstances, and he made full use of it." - Animal Days, Desmond Morris (Jonathan Cape, 1979), p.118
Outreaching the Clique
The aim of this piece is to share some thoughts and experiences of what it felt like to first come into contact with people involved in Earth First! in one city, through to becoming more directly involved in a local activist group in another city. While it's very much a personal account of the journey of a white, middle-class, university-educated female - from feeling like a conformist 'outsider' to believing in our collective power to achieve radical social change - I also know it's not a unique experience.
The Earth Liberation Front in North America
"They proudly take credit for striking in the night, often torching homes, schools and workplaces. Even now, as the nation struggles back from the vicious attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, they continue to boast of their assaults, recruit others to join them and offer training in how to use arson and elude the authorities. They call themselves the Earth Liberation Front and they take credit for over 30 acts of terrorism over the last six years, inflicting millions of dollars in damage."
- Tom Randall, Director of US National Centre for Public Policy.
The Third World War has already started
This article is about Colombia, but it is also about the logic of capitalism - applied in a specific part of the world. In order to maintain access to energy resources that keep the scandalous luxury of the global minority, the already impoverished majority is being driven to misery and violent death. Those who speak out against this injustice are threatened, kidnapped, tortured, massacred. The energy resources I am talking about are hydroelectricity and, more notably, oil.
Back in Colombia, to build dams, oil wells and pipelines, the legitimate inhabitants are either displaced or killed in order to clear the land before the machinery moves in. The paramilitaries kill them; poisonous fumigation, supposedly for the coca crop, displaces them. The money and resources come from a 'Northern Brother' - the US - via the army and the government. This process is called Plan Colombia: $1.3 billion in US 'anti-drug' aid, sending 70 Black Hawk helicopters to skim the tree line and fumigate illicit coca crops with clouds of chemicals.
'Empire of Death' for the River People
CAP: Market on the Atrato river, department of Chocó, Colombia.
Plan Colombia is not a plan to eradicate narcotraffic at all, but to impose new projects run by American companies (oil, dams, motorways, quarrying) and to eradicate the political opposition from guerrillas and from native resistance.
One of these programs is the ultra-profitable new inter-oceanic Canal: the estimate is that it will make somewhere between $1.3 and $1.8 billion per year. It will link the Atlantic and the Pacific, through North Colombia.
At present, the Panama Canal is the only way to cross between these oceans without going all the way round South America. The Americans controlled the Panama Canal Zone, and managed to get several extensions on handing it back to the Panamanian government before finally returning it in 1999. Despite the control that they have over the government and via the multinationals that operate in the Zone, this is still far too big a loss for American foreign policy. Also, the Canal was built in 1914 and is quite outdated, as it is not big enough for the ship traffic currently using it. The proposal to link both oceans through Colombia is an idea that has been around for a long time, like similar projects in Mexico and Nicaragua [See article on Plan Puebla Panama in this issue.]. It is based on the linking of the rivers close to the Panama isthmus: the Atrató (Chocó and Antioquia) and the Truandó.
The Autonomous Archipelago of Kuna Yala
This interview was conducted with a representative of the Kuna people at the Third People's Global Action (PGA) conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Who are the Kuna?
We are indigenous people living on the Panamanian-Colombian border. A minimal percentage live in Colombia; the greater percentage live in Panama, about 70,000 in total. We have a territory - not land - but territory, physically demarcated, and administered by us, by the Kuna. To explain, we obtained it in 1925, with a struggle. Our people struggled to obtain the territory, and now we have it. There are approximately 360 islands, more or less 50 are inhabited by us. The rest are empty, though some are used for swimming by the people who own them. Some are shared among the families. Our islands are near the Panama Canal and the border, and are officially called the Archipelago de San Blas, but we changed the name to the Kuna Yala Territory. No foreigner, nobody who isn't a Kuna, can own any of the islands.
CAP: A colonist and an Indian opening the rainforest for the Pan-American Highway.
March 21, the day after the war on Iraq started, saw huge protests in San Francisco. It was clearly a long day for the police. Roughly 1,500 of the Police Department's 2,300 officers were on street duty and managed to arrest up to 1,400 people before the day was out. "After 16 hours of fighting communists and anarchists, a Red Bull can help us go another 16 hours," said Sgt. Rene Laprevotte as he bought two cans of the energy drink at a Fifth Street market. "We're here as long as they are." The demonstrators were varied in their tactics. One punk-as-fuck group of demonstrators calling themselves "Pukers for Peace" vomited on the steps of the Federal Building, while the no less bizarre "Crafty Bitches, Knitting for Peace," knitted at Fourth and Market streets. "Today we saw a ratcheting-up from legal protest to absolute anarchy," said Assistant Police Chief Alex Fagan Sr., a 30-year department veteran. "These people were bent on shutting the city down, and we're not going to allow that."
Grassroots Resistance to Neoliberalism in Mesoamerica
In June 2001 a second wave of neoliberal capitalist economic reform hit Central America and Mexico in the form of the Plan Puebla Panamá. The PPP is Mexican president Vicente Fox's pet project; a transportation and industrial development corridor that seeks to integrate the economies of the seven Central American nations - Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panamá - with those of the nine southernmost Mexican states - Puebla, Campeche, Veracruz, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero.
This 102 million km region includes 63.8 million people, and is characterised by extreme poverty of a principally rural, indigenous nature. While the governments of the countries involved claim that the PPP will "elevate the level of human social development" in the region, history shows that this type of top-down 'development' will offer substantial investment opportunities to multinational corporations, at the expense of the further impoverishment and isolation of small farmers and indigenous people who constitute the majority of the region's population.
Indigenous Resistance in Chile
Encompassed by the modern states of Chile and Argentina, in which they form sizeable minorities, the indigenous Mapuche people occupy territory on either side of the southern Andes. They live situated between the frozen wilderness of Patagonia and the scorched deserts of the north, and seem to exist along a continuum stretching between their former way of life and that of the dominant society.
The Landless of Guatemala
"Cabeza Clara, Corazon Solidario, y Puño combative" - "With clear heads, united hearts and a fighting fist". This is the slogan of the Comite Unidad de Campesina (CUC), an organisation which has been fighting for the rights of "peasants, agricultural workers, indigenous and ladinos, poor men and women" in Guatemala since the late 1970s.
The history of Guatemala is the history of a struggle for land. This struggle has entered a new phase in the last year as campesino (peasant) organisations have begun to seize lands which are rightfully theirs according to the 1996 peace accords between the military oligarchy and the guerrilla groups. CUC has been instrumental in the seizure of seven fincas (latifundio, or feudal estates) throughout the various regions of Guatemala, as well as blocking roads and staging demonstrations in the capital. The struggle for land is fierce and the death toll is mounting.
Resistance to Oil in Ecuador
Over the last year, environmentalists and members of the community of Mindo (north-west Ecuador) occupied tree-sit platforms in the Mindo-Nambillo cloud forest, blocking construction of the 300 mile long OCP oil pipeline. This is the first action of its kind in Latin America. It's hard to imagine how bad the conditions have been for the tree-sitters, in the middle of the Amazonian rainy season!
Environmentalist groups have also been pressuring the German province of Westfalia, owner of the Westdeutsche Landesbank, which has invested $900 million in the pipeline and controls 43% of the shares. In Germany, the bank doesn't want to be associated with images of bulldozers running over environmentalists or with heavy-handed evictions. (British readers of Do or Die might be interested to know that Westdeutsche Landesbank is also funding the rebuilding of the national stadium at Wembley...)
The way up to the Guarumos mountain ridge was steep, but we managed to find our way using the hastily drawn map somebody from Action for Life had given us. Part of the rainforest nearest the road had been cleared for grazing, but as we climbed higher the trees closed in around us again. To our left we could hear the sound of a waterfall tumbling down; to the other side lay the oil consortium's access road, a vile scar on the face of the mountain.
Otherwise everything was extremely peaceful, and it certainly didn't cross my mind that within five days I would be banged up in the municipal slammer.
The Feminism of the Streets
How did you become politically active and involved in Mujeres Creando?
One death per week, one wounded per day, dozens of reports of tortures, dozens of persecuted unionists, a hundred political prisoners, and the closing of radio stations related to social and union movements. In less than six months, that is the balance of the regime, more atrocious than it has been in Bolivia since the fall of the military dictatorships 20 years ago.
The tone of these days is complemented by the media attacks, which criminalise all social protest, orchestrating the state's imposition of an economic and political system on society. Everything is under the rule of capitalist imperialism, which exerts a rapacious incursion of geopolitical domination, which clashes with the mobilised wrath of the Bolivian proletariat.
The working class, which has been on the ascent since 2000, is progressively fortifying its unity and clarifying its objectives. The push of the working masses has forced union leaders to join the ever more radicalised fight of the class which is freeing itself in Bolivia.
Miners and Maroons in Surinam
Surinam is a little-known country on the north eastern coast of South America, with a population of only 400,000 people, 90 percent of whom live along the coast and in the capital city of Paramaribo. The interior is one of the last great pristine regions of the Amazon, with an area of untouched rainforest the size of England and Wales, and is home to six tribes of ‘Maroons’ and four Amazonian Indian peoples.
Feminist Health, Healing and Herbs
As part of the movement for women's liberation in the second half of the 20th century, women came together to question the way a medical elite has controlled and defined women's health and disease. They looked at the way a male-dominated medical profession - as part of the rise of the patriarchal church and state - was imposed over existing healing traditions in Europe.
Rants about Radical Space
In the last few years, there has been a small wave of new radical social centres in Britain. A number of people involved in Earth First! and the direct action scene have been involved in opening these co-operatively owned and managed spaces. Some of these places are up and running, others are still in the early stages. As is healthy in any movement, there are different views on this subject. Here we present two different pieces, one critical of these social centres and another from someone heavily involved in one of the new projects.
Throughout the Pacific Rim wild nature and wild culture are under attack. Loggers tear down the forests. Mining corporations rip open chasms in the earth. Stateless tribal societies are either exterminated or assimilated. But against the death culture rebellion grows. The victorious eco-insurrection in Bougainville, and the strengthening indigenous resistance in West Papua are just two examples.
The Occupation of Western Sahara
Some commentators have noted that America's reasons for involvement in Iraq may have been less motivated by a desire to eliminate 'weapons of mass destruction' than with ensuring American control over Iraq's oil fields. Meanwhile the pirates of the legendary 'Barbary Coast' today take the form of Morocco and its Western allies plundering resources, including potentially significant oil fields, in the illegally occupied 'backyard' territory of Western Sahara.
Anti-State Uprising in Algeria
An uprising began in Algeria in April, 2001. Riots began after police murdered a high school boy on April 18 in Beni-Douala, an area of Tizi Ouzou in the region of Kabylia about 70 miles east of Algiers. Riots and demonstrations quickly spread to other villages in the region. Rioters attacked police stations and troop detachments with stones, molotov cocktails and burning tyres, and set fire to police vehicles, government offices, and courts. Government attempts to quell the uprising failed.
From the beginning, the rebels showed an unwillingness to negotiate and refused all representation. By the end of April, targets of collective rage broadened to include tax offices, all sorts of government offices and the offices of political parties. Rebels blockaded the main roads and looted government buildings and other property of the rulers. The entire region of Kabylia was in open insurrection. The state sent in its guard dogs to repress the revolt, leading to open conflicts with deaths and injuries on both sides.
Direct Action Sites Still Hanging in There
Although the number of protest sites has been in decline since the late 1990s, the tactic may thankfully be starting to have a renaissance. Despite their possible shortcomings (for example see articles in Do or Die No.8, pp. 155-158), they can attract new people to radical ecological action and can still be highly effective at slowing or halting ecologically destructive developments. This is a brief round up of current sites, though more are planned.
Taking on the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline
The Baku Tbilisi Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is BP's latest project. Running from the Caspian Sea through 8 conflict zones in Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, this 1,000 mile long oil pipeline will bring 1 million barrels of oil a day to Europe and the US for the next 40 years, and will have a devastating impact on the ecology and human rights in the area.
Dominant culture rarely interests itself in evidence other than that which shows willing and enthusiastic complicity from its subjects. Acts of refusal and revolt are effaced from the historical record when they expose the tenuous control of authority. Even when they do appear, presence, motives and behaviour are all mediated through the lens of elite partiality which works to deny that we are capable of generating the ideas and means of our own liberation.
It's late July and the hottest day of the year. You're dressed in black and stuck between the samba band and a line of heavily armoured riot police opposite the Houses of Parliament. Your mask keeps slipping off, sweat's trickling down your back and your last mouthful of water has just been used to wash tear gas from the eyes of a friend. Does London always have to be like this? Will you ever be able to escape the noise, the fumes and the overcrowded streets?
The Pygmies of the West African Rainforest
They live in the woods in ramshackle benders poorly constructed from a few sticks. They blow any money they have on cheap rancid alcohol. They seemingly do nothing all day long, eat vile slop cooked up over the campfire and mercilessly scrounge off anyone they can, living in a situation of totally chaotic anarchy. Sound familiar? No, not a description of your average protest site but of a group of people who have been living like that for considerably longer.
This is of course only a superficial first impression of the pygmies of the Congo basin rainforest. Taken collectively, they are the largest group of anarchist gatherer-hunters in the world, and certainly one of the oldest continuous human cultures on earth. For thousands upon thousands of years they have lived harmoniously with the forest, in tune with its ecology as few other people are.
Pond Dipping our Way to the Promised Land
Unless we act to stem the alienation of people from the environment (and illustrate the connections between ecology and our everyday lives) each generation will multiply the problems we face. If we are not to engage in ever more widespread and futile battles against destruction we need to start at the beginning - with the children.
The legacy of domination is that our ecology is under assault. Industry is destroying the diversity of life on Earth at an unprecedented scale. As James Lovelock (author of the Gaia hypothesis) puts it: "It's as if the brain were to decide that it is the most important organ in the body and started mining the liver." That we find ourselves here is due, in part, to dominant culture's general alienation from the ecological communities which support our lives. Alongside the damage that we are causing to other species, this alienation is having a profound psychological effect on ourselves - as a species - enabling us to blindly stumble on, creating further problems. Our psyches have evolved in symbiosis with the environment, as the cultures we have formed further divorce us from it, it is no wonder that we act irrationally. It is a psychological, as well as physical, loss of connection.
Mud, Glorious Mud...
The recent direct action campaign fighting to defend peat bogs from destruction has been going on for about two years now, taking over where others left off and injecting new spirit into the battle. This article is a basic introduction to the ecology and social history of bogs, the recent campaign, as well as an insight into the political machinations that seem to overwhelm so many ecological issues - just one more reason to ignore the lot and hit them where it hurts!
Organising for Attack!
"From a certain point onward, there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached."
- Franz Kafka.
For us anarchists the questions of how to act and how to organise are intimately linked. And it is these two questions, not the question of the desired form of a future society, that provide us with the most useful method for understanding the various forms of anarchism that exist.
Of all the hills in Shropshire's Welsh Marches, the Stiperstones is surely the most enigmatic. This long windswept ridge, topped with strange shattered quartzite rock and craggy tors has an awesome wildness. Through centuries of myth and legend it has held a unique grip on local consciousness, inspiring both love and fear.
Saving Wildlife with Direct Action
The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) was formed in 1963 by members of the League Against Cruel Sports who, according to HSA founder John Prestige, felt that "the League didn't seem to be doing anything." The early HSA was supported by the League. The first sabotage of a hunt was on Boxing Day 1963 on the South Devon Foxhounds at Torquay. Hunt saboteurs blew horns, blockaded roads, sprayed aniseed and tipped meat in front of the hounds.
The sabotage was so successful that the hunt was cancelled. Within weeks, more groups were founded in the Southwest and after the first year there had been about 120 sabotage actions. Hunt sabotage continued to grow until its peak in the 1980s where regional hits could involve hundreds of sabs. Its political profile changed during this development as the radical animal rights movement also grew and sabbing became an attractive activity for up-for-it anarchists. The state began a concerted crackdown in the early 1990s with the Criminal Justice Act which brought in the Aggravated Trespass laws aimed specifically against sabs, ravers and road protestors. Hundreds of arrests were made and over-the-top policing became a regular feature of sabbing.
Solidarity work in Palestine
In September 2000 a new upsurge of Palestinian anger at Israel erupted in the 'Al Aqsa Intifada'. The escalation of resistance and the subsequent increase in overt Israeli military repression pushed the conflict back onto the global front pages. One response to this has been that well over a hundred Brits, many from the direct action scene, have travelled to Palestine to act in solidarity as 'human shields'. This is an interview with a recent returnee. Here we do not aim to give an understanding of the conflict itself, but instead to give some idea of what this inspiring 'on-the-ground' solidarity work has been like, along with some of its problems.
Well the first question has to be, why did you go out there?
The View from Inside
Imprisonment as a form of punishment can be traced back to Greek times, but until relatively recently long-term incarceration was extremely rare, only flourishing in modern times after transportation to 'the colonies' became unviable (in no small part due to the American Revolution).
Traditionally, those that offended against society were punished publicly, generally in the most brutal way, from the stocks to the gibbet. Public executions, often with attendant torture and/or mutilation, were the norm in this country until the 17th century. Even when they were abolished it was not out of any sense of decency or humanity, but according to the Oxford History of the Prison, because they had "become the occasion of rowdiness and disgust - both because the crowd had begun to identify with the victim, not the executioner, and because the spectacle had become revolting, offending a new sensibility about pain and bodily integrity. Thus, it became desirable to mete out punishment away from the public gaze."
It's simple: we can't really talk about being in struggle together in any way, or being a movement, if we ignore people imprisoned for involvement in the same activity. And we can't afford to either. It makes it a much larger step to take action if you know you'll be forgotten about if you get nicked. Prisoner support is a vital part of becoming a threat to the state and industry.
On these pages you'll find the details of people involved in our movements who have had the misfortune to be caught and incarcerated. It has been compiled in June 2003 and does not claim to be comprehensive. Check out some of the webpages listed in the contacts section if you need any more up to date information. You'll also find some ideas for supporting those inside.
In 1966, the most notorious prisoner in Britain was miraculously sprung from jail. George Blake was a British double-agent serving 42 years for spying for the Soviet Union. At the time this was the longest jail sentence ever imposed by a British court.
For 22 years the truth of his escape remained a secret. Common wisdom held that it must have been a professional operation masterminded by the KGB, the IRA or even the British security services. However in 1988, two radical peace activists revealed that they had rescued Blake from prison and smuggled him out of the country to Eastern Europe.
Xerox Crazy Kids Sniffing Toner In the Office After Closing Time
Definition of a zine: "a small, handmade amateur publication done purely out of passion, rarely making a profit or even breaking even" - Factsheet Five
Another definition: "Zines are publications done for the love of doing them, not to make a profit or a living." - Zine World: A Reader's Guide to the Underground Press
"Doing this zine is good fun for me, and it's my zine so I can do what the fuck I like anyway." - The intro to Sexual Chocolate No. 1
The Battle of Seattle: The New Challenge to Capitalist Globalization
Edited by Eddie Yuen, George Katsiaficas and Daniel Burton Rose
(Soft Skull Press, 2001)
Paperback/394pp/£11.99/ISBN 1 887128 66 2
Do we need more prattle about Seattle? While the British media have taken to writing us off as an extremist clique, in America (at least up to September 11th) there's been a mountain of books all clamouring to explain the significance of Seattle, reveal to its participants why they did it and tell them where they should go from here. Deluged by praise, buried under condemnation, what's the difference? Either way you're buried under words not your own.
A Language Older Than Words
By Derrick Jensen (Souvenir Press, 2000)
Paperback/400pp/£12.99/ISBN 0 285 63624 3
Of all the recent writings to appear from an anti-civilisation perspective, A Language Older Than Words is probably the most compelling. Jensen's personal and lucid style make it very engaging, whilst his well-researched arguments concerning the insidious psychopathology of Western Civilisation are not only persuasive, but leave the reader really feeling the depths to which it has devastated and denied our natural selves.
Direct Action: Memoirs of an Urban Guerrilla
By Ann Hansen (Between the Lines/AK Press, 2002)
Paperback/493pp/No price given/ISBN 1 902593 48 0
This book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in revolutionary anarchist praxis. The author, Ann Hansen, writes of her involvement in the Canadian urban guerrilla group 'Direct Action', evoking an era of daring possibility through superb prose.
The Many-Headed Hydra:
Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic
By Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker (Verso, 2000)
Hardback/433pp/£19/ISBN 1 85984 798 6
"Who are the oppressors but the Nobility and Gentry; and who are oppressed, if not the Yeoman, the Farmer, the Tradesman and the Labourer? ... your slavery is their liberty, your poverty is their prosperity; yea, in brief, your honouring of them, dishonoureth the commonality... Unlord those that are lorded by you."
- Ranter Laurence Clarkson, 1647 (p. 81)
The Many-Headed Hydra is a long awaited (almost 20 years in the making) tour-de-force of radical history from below. Avoiding the usual categories that constrain history within the limits of the nation state, the authors take an internationalist approach in order to study the way people have fought against these categories and have tried to escape from and resist states by moving across borders and organising across races.
You may have heard of John Zerzan - to some he is one of the great thinkers of our time, to others he is an idiot who writes untruths about pre-history in order to put forward his theories of a 'Future Primitive'. To the United States media he is 'the leader of the Eugene Anarchists'. So what's all the fuss about?
In the midst of fighting all the battles against civilisation's advance, we also struggle with trying to comprehend the 'nature of the beast.' The anti-civilisation perspective has developed an ever more coherent and acute awareness, and is beginning to find its way into the thinking and actions of an increasing number of people.
Bloody Hell: The Price Soldiers Pay
By Dan Hallock (Plough Publishing House, 1999)
Paperback/368pp/£5.50/ISBN 0 87486 969 2
Published by radical Christians the Bruderhof Foundation, and with an introduction by the British 1982 Falklands War veteran Simon Weston, this little book is a collection of first hand experiences of war told by men and women from the armed forces of various countries.
Taking a broad look at the whole spectrum of brutal wars (and so called 'low intensity conflicts') that the world experienced up until the end of the last century this book mainly comprises highly personal stories from people involved in both World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars (which is often referred to as the American War in this book) as well as covering the 1991 Gulf War in Kuwait and Iraq. These are interspersed with other pieces from people actively involved in peace and anti-militarism struggles, and commentary is given throughout by the editor and retired US serviceman Dan Hallock.
Fed up with facts? Had it up to here with theory? Here's a whole bunch of made-up stuff that's a whole lot realer than most non-fiction. So, all you armchair anarchists, sit back and put your feet up and enjoy the vicarious pleasure of readin' about wrenchin' with our very own patented monkeywrench ratings system.
A Friend of the Earth, by TC Boyle
(Bloomsbury, 2000) ISBN 0-7475-5346-7
This is a great book. Set in the California of 2025, it is the story of Ty Tierwater, a former mad dog militant of the (very thinly disguised!) "Earth Forever!" movement, now tending a bedraggled 'ark' of endangered species assembled by his fabulously wealthy and somewhat eccentric rock star employer. Ty muses on his chequered past on "the unravelling edge of the disaffected fringe", his bewitching EF! organiser ex-wife, and the extinction of his daughter in 2001 after an iconic three year tree-sit (she's infinitely cooler than the dappy Julia Butterfly, by the way.)
Here is a listing of some of the books, pamphlets and bits of propaganda that have caught our eyes and piqued our interest over the last year or so. Due to space we have focused mainly on stuff published by eco-radicals, anarchists, or similar relations and fellow troublemakers. We've generally only covered one-off productions - leaving listings for regular zines and newspapers in the contacts section at the end of this issue. Where possible we have also included details like author, publisher, format, price, ISBN and order details to help you track down a copy of anything that takes your fancy. Happy reading!
Beware: We Never Sleep, We Never Forget!
by Anonymous (Self published, 2000)
A4 paperback/135pp/US$5.00/No ISBN
This is an impressively hefty and radical magazine about economic sabotage to the state and corporate mega-machine. The (wisely) anonymous authors ask us to consider it a philosophical companion and expanded supplement to the classic Ecodefense. This publication is really well done, with excellent tips on all sorts of actions, including those that, as they say, "are not restricted by the limiting and anthropocentric taboo of violence." Also stuffed full of good graphics, poetry, bits of radical criticism and writing, book recommendations and security tips. Kinda reminds me of Live Wild or Die! years ago. I particularly liked 'A Firearms Primer for Anarchists and Punks' and the hilarious 'Cars versus Penguins' spoof advert. For your copy send $10 (including postage - and using a false name and very secure address) to: Graybill, POB 51011, Eugene, OR 97405, USA.
Well, here you have it again, our much loved and loathed letters pages. And increasingly populated by loonies it seems. Oh well, we had many laughs on the long and lonely cathode ray filled nights in our dank dungeon office. As this is the last issue of Do or Die, do not send any letters expecting publication, although we still welcome your comments on this issue. Write to a prisoner - not us!
I Feel a Smile Coming on...
Re-pressed is a non-profit, green anarchist orientated book distribution and publishing project. We offer a selection of books, zines and pamphlets focusing on a critique of the totality that is civilisation. This is a small selection of our stock. For a catalogue please send an stamped addressed envelope.
145 Cardigan Road