Full Stop Affinity have put out a guide on several useful actions anarchists can take, from banner drops, food distributions, graffiti, wheatpasting and more. It’s important to clarify that neither FSA nor us encourage anyone to actually do these things and we are just publishing them for research purposes.
On unrelated news, we remind you that FSA have called for a day of autonomous action against the state next 6th of March.
To change everything, start anywhere. Take action now! Become ungovernable!
You will need: Fabric (around 40CM or bigger), paint (acrylic paint, spray paint, or wall paint works), cable ties and/or rope, a phrase/sentence/slogan, somewhere to put the banner (a window/fence/footpath/somewhere it will be seen), something to weigh the banner down if you would be unable to tie the bottom (milk cartons and water bottles work well)
Making the banner: Paint your phrase/slogan/sentence onto your fabric using spray paint or acrylic or wall paint, you can always sew fabrics together if you do not have one big piece. Fabric from bed sheets and duvet covers can be used or you can easily find some in dumpsters by fabric stores or clothe making factories. Make holes at the sides for rope and/or cable ties. If there will be no place to attach the bottom of the banner to, you will need to weigh it down. Attach milk cartons and/or water bottles to the bottom of the banner with rope. Make sure to put something in the bottles to add weight, water or sand works.
Dropping the banner: If somewhere public, it’s best to wait until late night or early morning when less people are around. Attach the banner to what you’re hanging it off of using cable ties/rope. If you need to weigh the banner down, make sure there’s enough distance from the ground/nearby platforms that the cartons/bottles will not be reachable. Once attached to what you’re hanging it to, walk away. If nobody is around and nobody has seen you, you can take a picture of your banner. If the area is very public/busy, leave the scene and come back another time to take a picture.
Where you can locate the materials: cable ties will be easy to borrow from your local hardware store. Fabric can be obtained from spare bedsheets or skipped from the bins by fabric stores or clothe making factories. Small pots of paint are easy to borrow from decorating stores, or you can usually find spare paint from mutual aid networks. Milk cartons can be found on the streets or saved from when you finish a carton of milk, same with water bottles. Rope can be borrowed from hardware stores, we recommend slipping it into a bag. Spray paint can be borrowed from your local poundland or art stores- if you’re in activist circles, they might have some going spare. If buying materials, make sure you wear a mask and pay in cash and only in cash.
You will need: paint (spray paint will be the easiest but if you don’t have any, acrylic paint or wall paint will work, you will need a paintbrush for this), permanent marker (if going for smaller places/more public places, this will be easier), some places to decorate (the world is your canvas! Anywhere works well for some graffiti, we recommend choosing areas of gentrification)
Getting ready: Put your paints into a rucksack with a spare change of clothes. If using acrylic or wall paint, remember a paintbrush. If going out with a marker, put it in a pocket and you’re ready to go. It’s good to be able to hide the marker on you and/or have somewhere to hide or dump the paint. Change your clothes once far enough away from where you’re staying and change back into them when finished graffing. Do this away from cameras.
Doing the graff: Paint whatever you want onto whatever you’re using as a canvas. Make sure to not get any paint on yourself. In some areas, most people won’t care about what you’re doing, but in posh/gentrified they will care. Be ready to run.
Where you can locate the materials: Small pots of paint are easy to borrow from decorating stores or you can usually find spare paint from mutual aid networks. Spray paint can be borrowed from your local poundland or art stores- if you’re in activist circles, they might have some going spare. Permanent markers can be borrowed from most stores as they’re pocket sized. If buying materials, make sure you wear a mask and pay in cash and only in cash.
You will need: two parts flour (white or whole-grain wheat flour), three parts water, wallpaper paste (instead of wheatpaste), paintbrush, gloves, pot (to hold the wheatpaste in), a mask, some places to decorate!
Getting ready: Mix two parts flower with three parts water. Stir out the lumps and start boiling the mixture. As it thickens, add more water. Continue this for half an hour but change the stove to a low heat and keep stirring. Once this is done, pour your wheatpaste in a pot, paint pots work well. Pack your wheatpaste and paintbrush into a bag and put your gloves on and you’re ready to go! If using wallpaper paste follow the instructions on the packet. When it’s made, pour it into a pot. Pack the wallpaper paste and paintbrush into a bag. Put some gloves on and you’re ready to go.
Doing the wheatpasting: Put your mask on and find some nice spots to decorate. Paint the wheatpaste onto where you want to place your poster. Place your poster onto the paste and be careful to avoid creases. Paint over the sides of the poster with the paste, move on, and repeat!
Where you can locate the materials: Wallpaper paste, paintbrushes and pots can be borrowed from a local poundland or decorating store. Flour can be borrowed from a local supermarket.
You will need: A bag (tote bags work amazingly, but rucksacks and handbags can also do the job), a coat or jacket (make sure it has large enough pockets to put things in), a shop to borrow from (bigger shops tend to be easier)
Getting ready: When using a bag, it’s best to put things in beforehand, like a jumper and a book or two. Make sure to leave ID at home. Empty your pockets so you can fit more in. Make sure your outfit is as inconspicuous as possible, leave your crust gear at home. Remember to bring a mask.
In store borrowing: Put your mask on before you enter the store. If you’re bold enough, maybe greet the security guard as you enter. Find whatever items you’re looking for and discreetly place them into your bag or pocket. Keep an eye out for cameras and make sure to do this away from other people. Sometimes paying for one item can make you seem more inconspicuous. Once you’ve got what you want, you can either go straight out (make it seem like you’re coming from the tills) or go to the self service checkout. A lot of the time, the workers either don’t care or don’t pay attention so you can make it seem like you’re paying for things.
You will need: food (depending on the style of food distribution you will need different types of food), hand sanitiser and masks (for COVID safety), a kitchen to cook the food, a place to distribute the food from (you may need a table), cutlery (recyclable is ideal), plates or bowls (paper plates and bowls work perfectly)
Getting ready: Cook the meal you want to distribute, ideally make sure it’s something that can be eaten hot or cold and vegetarian or vegan. If you want to do a community fridge style food distribution, you will need to set up the fridge/storage space you plan to use. Make sure it’s sheltered from the weather.
If distributing a meal: Set up a table, ideally in a low income area or an area with a high homeless population. Serve the food into bowls/plates with cutlery. Often many people walking past will come up and take a meal. You can also walk around with meals and offer them out to local homeless people. You can put out a message on your local mutual aid network too to let people know about it.
If setting up a community fridge: set up the fridge and/or storage place outside. Ideally weigh it down so it can’t be taken. Put your food items into the fridge. Draw or leave up a sign on the fridge saying and explaining what it is. Try and regularly clean the fridge, for COVID safety and hygiene.
Where you can locate the materials: food can be borrowed or skipped from stores. You can try talk to store owners and see if they’ll give you food that would otherwise be binned. Paper bowls, plates, and cutlery can all be borrowed- if you are in contact with a mutual aid network, they may have some spare. If looking for a fridge/storage place, the streets provide. The fridge doesn’t need to work, just needs to be weather proof. You could also look on Freecycle or other websites for some fridges locally.