Direct Action

(A)BC’s Mini Guide to Protesting

abc_mini_guide

This is a mini-zine that functions as a pocket-sized guide to protesting. It provides basic information in an easy-to-distribute zine, covering topics such as what to bring (clothing, food, water, etc), what not to bring (drugs, alcohol, piercings, etc), what you will encounter at a larger protest (i.e. affinity groups and other concepts such as “diversity of tactics”), and more. There is also a list of websites for more detailed information on the topics covered. It’s the kind of zine that would be helpful to mass produce in a situation where there were going to be a lot of people newer to large-scale protests in attendance.

10 Steps for Setting Up A Blockade

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This is a more recent (2014?) introduction to the topic of blockades. It begins with an introduction to blockades and a consideration of why one might want to utilize a blockade as a tactic, including a brief look at their recent usage. From there it moves into the practical aspects of creating a blockade, looking at scouting, roles during a blockade, supplies, entry and exit strategies, and more. The zine comes out of the blockades against various oil pipelines in North America and as such it is heavily influenced by those experiences.

An Activist’s Guide to Basic First Aid

An Activist's Guide to Basic First Aid

In this zine, the Black Cross Collective out of Portland provides a basic overview of first aid and health concerns as they relate to militant protests. The zine includes a “protest fashion” section on what to wear and what not to wear to a protest, an overview of medical conditions you may encounter at a protest (and how to help folks), and dealing with pepper spray and tear gas.

Art & Science of Billboard Improvement

art_science_billboard-new

A classic pamphlet by the Billboard Liberation Front, this zine provides an introduction to modifying billboards to change their message (sometimes referred to as “culture jamming” or “subvertising”). It includes a very detailed section on how to do this ranging from ideas for design to discussion on how to climb billboards. The zine also has a history of the Billboard Liberation Front.

Basic Blockading

Basic Blockading

A very detailed zine that provides an excellent introduction to blockading. The zine covers everything from evaluating why you might want to utilize a blockade as a tactic to the nuts-and-bolts of blockading. It provides an overview of common tactics including lockboxes, tripods, u-locks, and more. There is a helpful discussion of how to plan actions covering surveillance of the target, group communication, framing the action, safety considerations, etc. There are also thoughts on dealing with police, media, and employees.

Basic Recon Skills

Basic Recon Skills

This zine gives an introduction to reconnaissance and scouting for planning actions of whatever kind. The zine goes into quite a bit of detail beyond just scouting a target or site of an action and also looks at stealth, tracking and camouflage. You can’t argue with the author(s) assertion that “accurate information is the foundation of successful action planning.”

Blockade, Occupy, Strike Back

blockade-occupy-strike-back

Blockade, Occupy, Strike Back is a zine version of a newspaper that was distributed by anarchists during the student strikes and social conflicts in Montreal during the winter and spring of 2012. The zine is a good primer on street tactics with pieces on forming crews, occupying buildings, security awareness, and tips for participating in militant street protests. This is great for distributing to newer folks and useful for those who have been around a bit longer as well.

Blockades

blockades

This zine is designed to give readers a basic overview of how to do blockades. It covers human blockades, either by linking arms or using tools such as lockboxes and u-locks, as well as non-human blockades. If you are looking for anything beyond an overview of the basics of the tactic, it is recommended that you check out Basic Blockading.

Blocs, Black and Otherwise

Blocs, Black and Otherwise

This zine provides an overview of how to participate in and organize a black bloc. It covers basic tactics and logistics from “what to wear” to “what to do.” The zine compiles two texts by Crimethinc: the original “Blocs, Black and Otherwise” from Recipes for Disaster: An Anarchist Cookbook along with a text titled “Fashion Tips for the Brave” that provides additional ideas and tips for anonymity in within a black bloc.

Bodyhammer: Tactics and Self-Defense for the Modern Protestor

Body Hammer Cover

Bodyhammer is heavily influenced by the White Overalls movements in Europe and their creative use of body armor to neutralize the so-called “less lethal” weapons used by police to stop protests. The zine (it’s really more of a packet than a zine) looks at shield varieties and construction, shield deployment, helmets, body armor, group movement, and shield walls and formations.

Civilian’s Guide to Direct Action

civilians_direct_action

This guide by Crimethinc is a concise introduction to “direct action.” Covering what it is and what it can be used for, the guide focuses on the practical aspects of how to undertake a direct action. It covers a wide range of topics including planning an action, preparation, scouting, media, legal support, and more. It’s essential reading for those new to anarchist direct action.

Note: We don’t sell this, this is in the catalog just because we find it to be useful. We try to keep these in stock and with us when we table.

Defend the Territory

defend_the_territory

Sub-titled “Tactics and Techniques for Countering Police Assaults on Indigenous Communities,” this zine from Warrior Publications provides a thorough overview of the types of repression that are frequently used against indigenous blockades. The context is largely anti-colonial blockades in the occupied Canada, but the information could be useful elsewhere and in different contexts. The guide includes an introduction to how police operate, chemical agents, less-lethal weaponry, etc. There is also an extensive guide to armored vehicles (including how to counter them with anti-tank ditches!). In addition to the exploration of police equipment, the guide also looks at various tactics for undertaking blockades and implementing them.

Direct Action Survival Guide

Direct Action Survival Guide

A basic introduction to participating in a large-scale direct action protest (although the tips would likely be helpful for smaller scale actions too). Covers affinity groups, staying safe on the streets (crowd dynamics, police, using the buddy system, etc.), basic medical information, chemical weapons (their use/effects and how to mitigate those effects), and jail and court solidarity. If you are going to read just one zine on direct action, this is arguably one of the most important.

Direct Action Tactics

direct action tactics

This zine offers a broad overview of direct action tactics. It begins by explaining the importance of affinity groups and moves into an overview of a broad range of direct action tactics including: pie-ing, squatting, culture jamming, jail solidarity, lock-downs and blockades, sabotage, street reclaiming, guerrilla gardening, and more.

The zine is made of of selections from a book titled We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-capitalism that was edited by Notes from Nowhere. The original book chronicles the anti-capitalist/anti-globalization movement of the late-1990s and early-2000s. Consequently, a lot of the tactics discussed here come out of that context.

Do-It-Yourself Occupation Guide: 2012 Redux

The Do-It-Yourself Occupation Guide

The original version of this zine comes out of the 2009/2010 university occupations in the United States. It was updated in 2012 to include lessons learned from Occupy Oakland. The zine provides an overview of techniques and tactics that can be used to occupy a building. Includes a look at various roles (media, legal support), reconnaissance, barricading, defending occupied spaces, and much more.

Don’t Back Down!

Don't Back Down

Don’t Back Down! Is an an introductory zine on what to expect in mass protest / direct action scenarios. The zine has some basic information on supplies for street protests, affinity groups, consensus, and medical information pertaining to tear gas and pepper spray. However, what really sets this zine apart is its discussion of herbal first aid, tips for diffusing violence (against people, not property), an overview of participating in a riot, emotional aftercare, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Earth First! Wolf Hunt Sabotage Manual

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This comprehensive guide explains the how and why of hunt sabotage aimed at saving wolves. With an increasing number of states (including Michigan) allowing for the hunting of wolves, this zine outlines one response. From the inside: “Hunt sabs are an effective tactic at stopping, inhibiting or drawing attention to the massacre of wildlife. Hunt sabs most often include direct intervention and are meant to disrupt a hunt. Actions can take the form of a blockade comprised of dozens of people at the office where wolf hunting permits are sold, or along roadways where hunters are engaging in hunts. But it also includes powerful propaganda, such as flyering communities before a hunt, or sharing this manual at your local NRA meeting and outside permit offices.”

Elements of A Barricade

elements_of_a_barricade

This zine is a theoretical and historical explanation of both the idea and reality of “the barricade” in social struggles. Tracing the use of barricades in proletarian struggles in the urban areas of revolutionary Europe in the mid-1800s to their present use in urban street conflicts and indigenous blockades, this zine uses the barricade as an entry-point to discuss wide-ranging but related issues such as blockades, sabotage, and modern capitalism. The writing is relatively dense, but it presents some important points and encourages a deeper consideration of the relationship between theory and tactics.

Excited Delirium

Excited Delirium

Billed as “a protestor’s guide to ‘less-lethal’ weaponry,” this zine is an incredibly thorough introduction to commonly used police weapons. The zine provides a detailed look at all different types of weapons including electrical weapons (such as the TASER), chemical weapons (tear gas, pepper spray, and others), projectiles (pepper balls, rubber bullets, bean bags, flash-bang grenades). The zine ends with some suggestions on how to protect yourself from these weapons.

Fight the Man and Get Away Safely

Fight the Man and Get Away Safely!

This zine looks at how to safely survive situations created by police violence and confrontation. It gives practical advice on how to get out of those situations without going to jail or the hospital. The zine focuses on defensive measures and basic police movement.

Good Manners and Affinity Groups

good-manners

An easy-to-print and distribute one page zine introducing anarchist affinity groups and basic street tactics. It includes tips on how to form affinity groups, how to move within demonstrations, basic crowd navigation, security tips, and even suggestions for how affinity groups can be used outside of a demonstration context.

Health and Safety at Militant Actions

Health and Safety at Militant Actions

This zine was produced by an action medical collective called On The Ground. Its goal is to empower—not frighten—people by giving them information about the potential risks and dangers of militant protest. It covers what to wear, staying safe and sensible in an action, what to do in case of injury, and chemical weapons aftercare.

How It Is To Be Fun

how-it-is-to-be-fun

This zine is an introduction to anarchist street tactics, designed to be distributed to new anarchists. It was written in the context of the upsurge of interest in anarchism during Occupy Wall Street and covers what to expect at protests, how to form affinity groups, what to do at a protest, etc. It’s a good accompaniment to older zines on the topic such as Blocs, Black and Otherwise.

How to Organize a Protest March

How To Organize A Protest March

This zine provides a basic outline of how to organize a “protest march.” This is defined as your basic, run-of-the-mill march. Whether or not we like them, anarchists seem to frequently get into positions where they feel compelled to organize such marches. This guide will help you do that with ease–or help make a case against doing it…

Of Martial Traditions & The Art of Rebellion

martial_traditions

This zine by Seaweed is the opening of a conversation about what anarchists can learn from martial (military) traditions. Arguing that if people want to claim space for anarchy and autonomy they must be prepared to fight, Seaweed explores how marital traditions could influence resistance. The essay blends military history dating back to Hannibal and Sun Tzu with lessons drawn from contemporary indigenous land struggles. It’s also important to note that Seaweed doesn’t argue for building militaristic cultures of resistance, but rather is encouraging the creation of a broad effort aimed not only at building a destructive capacity but also an ability to heal from the damage brought by civilization.

Pepperspray, CS, & Other “Less Lethal” Weapons

pepperspray-cs-weapons

This zine is a lengthy exploration of the various “crowd control” weapons that police and other security forces often use in protest situations. The zine includes not only tips for identifying which weapons have been used/are being used, but also outlines proper treatment protocols. There are also suggestions for purchasing gas masks and other protective gear. As always, the information contained within should be used for reference only and ideally accompanied with a street medic training.

Radical Defense

Radical Defense Cover

Radical Defense covers defensive street tactics for those who will be engaging in mass street actions. It covers evacuating wounded people, breaking police holds, unarresting, breaking police lines, and defensive equipment. The zine accompanied a workshop that was given during the anti-globalization era, but much of the information is still relevant.

Resistance in the Street

resistance_in_the_street

Resistance in the Street is subtitled “A Guide to Keeping Safe & Free in Crowd Control Situations.” Known in some circles as an update to the classic “Fight the Man and Get Away Safely” zine, Resistance in the Street focuses on how to keep free from law enforcement while still keeping an offensive posture in the streets. It looks at how to dress, affinity groups, the importance of defense and knowing escape routes, basic police choreography, and the like. While some of the technology has no doubt changed since the early 2000s when this zine was written, much of its advice would still be helpful to those participating in a street conflict.

Riot/Control

riot_control

This zine by Research and Destroy New York City skillfully juxtaposes excerpts from police crowd control manuals with advice from various direct action and rioting tactical manuals published over the years. It has a lot of useful information both about crowd control tactics and rioting. It covers chemical weapons, what to wear, blockading, armor and padding, crowd tactics, barricading, shields, projectiles, and more. It’s one of the most comprehensive guides to this kind of stuff around.

The Radical Cheerbook

Radical Cheerbook

The Radical Cheerbook is a collection of cheers intended to be used by radical cheerleaders at anti-capitalist protests. Radical Cheerleading is a tactic aimed at bringing energy and excitement to what might otherwise be stale and boring protests. An old radical cheerleaders website describes it as “…Protest+Performance. It’s activism with pom poms and middle fingers extended. It’s screaming FUCK CAPITALISM while doing a split.”

The Walls Are Alive!

walls_are_alive

Sub-titled “A How-To Graffiti Guide for those who Scheme and those who Dream,” this guide by Crimethinc offers a basic introduction to doing graffiti. It offers suggestions on planning for doing graffiti, strategy, technique, escape, and more. It also covers how to make stencils and wheatpaste.

Note: We don’t sell this, this is in the catalog just because we find it to be useful. We try to keep these in stock and with us when we table.

Voting vs. Direct Action

Voting vs. Direct Action Cover

This short zine from Crimethinc provides arguments against voting and electoral politics in favor of direct action. It also includes a section titled “12 Myths about Direct Action” that deals with common criticisms of direct action.

Warrior Crowd Control & Riot Manual

warrior_crowd_control

This is a very detailed explanation of crowd control tactics and police behavior in riot situations. It looks at everything from weaponry and armor to formations and arrest procedures. Along with the coverage of police tactics, the zine offers a wealth of knowledge for those participating in militant street confrontations including suggested equipment, tips for acting within crowds, avoiding arrests, and undertaking and planning specific actions. The idea is that by understanding both police and crowd tactics, those engaging in street confrontations can be more effective. In addition to the excellent information, the guide is also well-illustrated with hand-drawn illustrations.

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