Full Stop Affinity’s How To for the Fluffy Anarchist Basics (part 2)

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 can find the first part of the guide here.

Dumpster diving

You will need: A bag, gloves, another person

How to dumpster dive (skip): Travel around the area, looking for bins. Usually the bins with food in will be locked away. Climb over the fence and check our their bins. Make sure the wear gloves, bins aren’t particularly pleasant. It’s easier to have someone stand on the other side of the fence and pass things through, usually. Check the packaging on the food. Food with broken packaging can potentially make you ill. Stores don’t usually like people dumpster diving so be discreet and leave the bins in the same place you found them. Leave the site and travel back.

Clothing distribution

You will need: Clothes, Clothing rails, clothing hangers, lock, chain, a place to put things!

Free shop method: First you need a building, ideally a squat you can use. Clean up the space and set up the clothing rails. Hang the clothes on the rails then open the door! Be cautious when you have the door open. If you’re unlucky cops or the landlord could walk straight in.

Pop up rails: Using a lock and chain attach a clothing rail to a pole. Try to make sure it’s protected from the weather. Then set up the clothes on it. Leave a small “free shop” sign and walk away.

Where you can locate the materials: Clothes can easily be found through talking to your local community. Lots of people have clothes to donate. At once the clothing distribution is set up more people will donate. Clothing rails can be found on places like Freecycle. Locks and chains can be “borrowed” from your local hardware store.

Fare dodging

Getting ready: Make sure you’re wearing a mask. Wear inconspicuous clothing and make sure you’re able to run if needed. Hide ID.

Bumping barriers: Push through the disabled barriers using your shoulder and go to the platform. If their are people on the barriers make sure to walk to the platform or out the station quickly. Rarely they will follow you, if that’s the case then run. If you get caught by a ticket inspector we’ve heard that maybe using an alternative name, age, and address could be beneficial since it apparently makes it a lot harder for them to make further steps.

Ad hacking

What you’ll need: any appropriate keys used for your local ad spaces (for example, keys such as the H60 hex key, T30 torx key, 13mm T handle socket wrench, and/or 4 way utility key), a change of clothes, non-descript clothes or hi-vis (depending on the story you intend to tell), possibly a toolkit (depending on the story you intend to tell), a face mask, any art/posters etc. you want to put up in place of the ad (you can always leave an ad space blank instead), possibly spray paint (if you want to spray over the ad or spray the area the ad was in)

Where to get the materials: keys can be borrowed from any hardware store. If you already have a toolkit, your kit may have the needed keys. If you’re in activist circles, they might have some. High vis jackets/vests can be borrowed from hardware stores. If you’re in activist circles, they might have some. Face masks can be borrowed from most stores, though we don’t doubt you have one. Toolkits can be borrowed from hardware stores, although it can be difficult- activist circles may have one. Spray paint can be borrowed from art stores, though activist circles may have some. If buying any materials, use cash and cash only. Art/posters/etc. can be made by yourself/others or gotten from activist groups such as Autonomous Design Group! Bring tape if you bring artwork/posters as well.

Getting ready: Check the area you want to carry the action out on a few days before you do it; check for where cameras are located, check how many cops could be there, check how many buildings surround your targeted ad/ads, check for a place to retreat to in case of unwanted attention. You can also check the locks of the ad spaces you want to target (this can be done at night or during the day while wearing a high-vis under the guise of an ‘inspection’. This can help you figure out what keys you will need). Leave ID at home. Prepare a story to tell to any industry workers who might approach you (eg. you’re a sub contractor for a rogue outdoor media firm (this is if you wore a high-vis), you’re an art student who’s putting up a temporary installation, etc.), remain calm if you get approached. If an interaction gets intense, you can always walk away. If police get involved, which is unlikely, follow Green And Black Cross and security culture guidelines; “no comment.” For more guidance, visit GBC’s website: http://greenandblackcross.org/guides/laws/6-criminal-damage-theft/. If you wore a high-vis and intent to use the sub contractor story or a similar story, you can store your tools in a toolkit among other tools to make you more believable. Otherwise, keep your tools in a pocket if possible to make access easier and to make your action quicker. Bigger tools can be stored in a bag. Store spray paint in a bag. Store posters/artwork in a bag. Store tape in a bag.

Doing the ad hack: This will depend on the type of ad you want to hack; a bus stop ad or lollipop ad.

For a lollipop ad: use the appropriate key to open the lock on the side of the ad space shell (usually found at the bottom left or bottom right of the shell). Insert the key and rotate it 90 degrees clockwise (push against the bottom of the case if it’s hard to turn). Gently push on the frame to unlock the catch and allow the cover to open (if hacking at night, you can turn the ad light off by flicking the switch inside the panel down). The cover may have two pistons that open when the catch is released, just keep a hold of the bottom of the screen and let it rise slowly. Roll up the poster that’s inside the ad from the bottom up. If you have art/posters that you want to put in the ad space, slide the art/poster to the top of the panel and push it into the clip that runs across the top of the inside of the ad space (prefolding a 1cm edge on your art/posters may make this part easier; a sturdy card the size/build of a bank or travel card can also help with this part). Roll your poster/artwork down if needed/if you had it rolled up. If needed, you can tape your artwork/poster into position at the top of the light box. Use both hands on the bottom of the cover to push down the cover of the ad space back into the frame of the ad space to re-engage the catches and close the door. Walk away. If you want to photograph your ad hack, you can do it immediately after or come back at another time to photograph it. Remember to never photograph faces and remove all metadata.

For a bus stop ad: some bus stop ads have shit locks so if you can’t open one, move onto another ad space. Use the appropriate key to open the lock on the side of the ad space shell. Turn the key 180 degrees clockwise; if it doesn’t open the first time, you can retry, it might take a few tries as some bus stop ad locks are shit. When you’ve opened the side panel, slide a finger into the bottom of the casting and slide the metal cover up to reveal the next keyhole. You can turn off the ad space light by flicking the switch inside the ad space down. Insert the appropriate key in the second keyhole while holding the metal cover up. Turn the key 90 degrees anti-clockwise to release the catches. The cover may have two pistons that open up when the catches are released; keep hold of the bottom screen and let it slowly rise. Roll up the ad inside from the bottom up. If you have any artwork/posters, you can slide your art/poster into the top of the panel and push it into the clip that runs across the top (prefolding a 1cm edge on your art/posters may make this part easier; a sturdy card the size/build of a bank or travel card can also help with this part). Roll your poster/artwork down if needed/if you had it rolled up. If needed, you can tape your artwork/poster into position at the top of the light box. Use both hands on the bottom of the cover to push down the cover of the ad space back into the frame of the ad space to re-engage the catches and close the door. Walk away. If you want to photograph your ad hack, you can do it immediately after or come back at another time to photograph it. Remember to never photograph faces and remove all metadata.

Full Stop Affinity’s How To for the Fluffy Anarchist Basics (part 1)

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!

Banner drops

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.

Graffiti

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.

Wheatpasting

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.

“Borrowing”

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.

Food distribution

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.