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+4 votes
It just struck me that a lot of my own education about anarchist ACTION has been informal, picked up by following anarchist media reports and the discussions that followed other peoples' actions. Shit like listening to people say "this was really good, because..." or "this would have been way better if..." or "this was stupid". Trying to pick up the legitimate insights as I went along.

The sole exception to this, I think, was reading Recipes For Disaster - which in retrospect might have been skewed a bit toward "fun/interesting anarchist stuff to do", but for the most part seemed to be a pretty comprehensive introductory guide to things that anarchists could do /as individuals/. Back when I first read it, I was totally surprised by how many potential actions were entirely within my reach.

So, /besides/ Recipes For Disaster, are there any relatively accessible, introductory guides to anarchist action?

Note that I don't necessarily mean a "how-to" manual, but rather something that offers both practical instructions (ahem - nothing illegal, of course!) and insight as to the merits and possibilities inherent in the actions suggested.

(Not just a diagram of how to throw a brick through a window, but why one might find it worthwhile to do so!)

1 Answer

+6 votes
+1 for “Recipes For Disaster”!

Aside from my constant recommendation of "Anarchy Works", hopefully you will find this helpful.

You can find all of the following for free online if you know how to look:

1 - *General*
    -“Anarchism In Action: Methods, Tactics, Skills and Ideas”

2 - *Class Struggle Organizing*
    -“Build Your Own Solidarity Network”
    -“An Anarchist Organizing Manual” by Zabalaza Books
    -“A Rebel Worker's Organizing Handbook”

3 - *Collective Decision-making*
    -“On Conflict & Consensus: a Handbook on Formal Consensus Decisionmaking”
    -“Build Those Collectives!”
    -“Collective Process: Overcoming Power”

4 - *Community*
    -“Beyond You and Me: Inspirations and Wisdom for Building Communities”
    -“Copwatch 101”
    -“Alternatives to Police” by Rose City Copwatch

5 - *Direct Action*
    -“Direct Action Survival Guide”
    -“Bodyhammer - Tactics and Self-Defense For the Modern Protester”
    -“A Civilian's Guide to Direct Action”
    -“Voting v. Direct Action”

6 - *DIY & Self-Reliance*
    -“Self Sufficiency Pamphlet: a Common Guide For Living”
    -“DIY Guide #1” by CrimethInc
    -“DIY Guide #II” by CrimethInc
    -“In The Wake - A Collective Manual-in-Progress For Outliving Civilization”
    -“A Steampunk's Guide to the Apocalypse”
    -“Do It Yourself: a Handbook for Changing Our World”

7 - *Economics*
    -“The Really Really Free Market: Instituting the Gift Economy”
    -“Envisioning a Hamlet Economy: Topology of Sustainability and Fulfilled Ontogeny”

8 - *Green*
    -“Gaia's Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture”
    -“ Field Guide”
    -“Eco-Defense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching”
    -“Ozymandias' Sabotage Handbook”

9 - *Individual*
    -“Male Privilege Checklist”
    -“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Napsack”
    -“Social Detox #1 - Resources For Anti-Sexist Men“
    -”Beginners Guide to Responsible Sexuality (for men)”

10 - *Insurrectionist & Open Source Insurgency*
    -“Some Notes on Insurrectionary Anarchism”
    -“Autonomous Workers’ Nuclei: A New Vision for the Post-Industrial Labour Movement”
    -“Total Resistance: Swiss Army Guide to Guerrilla Warfare and Underground Operations”
    -John Robb: “Open Source Warfare Standing Orders”, “The Bazaar's Open Source Platform”, “Open Source Insurgency >> How to Start”, “Stigmergic Learning and Global Guerrillas”, “Global Guerrilla Swarming”
    -Jeff Vail: “Strategy + Tactics”, “Swarming, Open Source Warfare and the Black Block”

11 - *Interpersonal*
    -“Learning Good Consent”
    -“Let's Talk About Consent, Baby”
    -“Taking the First Step: Suggestions to People Called Out for Abusive Behavior”
    -“Men Can Stop Rape”
    -“Men Unlearning Rape”
    -“Supporting a Survivor of sexual Assault”
    -“Support Zine” @ Philly's Pissed dot Net
    -“Anarchist Parenting” @

12 - *Security Culture*
    -“Security Culture: A Handbook For Activists”
    -“If an Agent Knocks”
    -“Anarchist Survival Guide For Understanding Gestapo Swine Interrogation Mind Games”
    -“Without a Trace: A Forensics Manual For You and Me”
    -“Operation Backfire - A Survival Guide for Environmental and Animal Rights Activists”

Main Search Resources: (John Robb's blog) (Jeff Vail's blog)

Tried to limit this as best I could to the more practical stuff. If you have a particular area of focus comment with it and I'll respond.
by (8.9k points)
edited by
Neat! Here's some more useful stuff: has so much useful stuff! Should keep you busy for a long time! Mostly nuts and bolts campaign and process and tech stuff - the stuff that people ignore so often but always needs to be done thoughtfully and better.

I recommend these books for privilege undoing work: Paul Kivel's "Men's Work" and "Uprooting Racism."  Also just look through his site:

I like the New Society Publisher's "Facilitator's Guide to Collective Decision Making" and "Handbook for a Living Revolution" and generally google a lot of facilitation and team building stuff that always proves useful in organizing.

I'd be nowhere without having read The Lost Art of Listening - not an anarchist book but so much easier to do this shit with good listening skills. Also you can develop those skills a lot better by volunteering at a rape crisis hotline, suicide hotline, peer counseling campus organization or dispute resolution organization: you get lots of experience and awesome training that proves useful in your activist work in ways you'd almost never imagine.

Campaign strategy work and more is laid out well in the Ruckus society and Training for Change's websites (, and the book Re:Imagining Change by Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning. Really cool stuff in that one.

"Living In Liberation" by Cristien Storm is a radical self help book for learning to set boundaries which is necessary constantly in life and struggle. It can save some headaches.

Also Radical Urban Sustainability, On Guerilla Gardening, Guerilla Gardening: A Manualfesto and Food Not Lawns are some more anarchist oriented garden/permaculture books.

and watch these three films on youtube to learn more about asserting yourself with the cops in day to day life:

10 Rules for Dealing with the Police,
and These Streets are Watching
Comprehensive as fuck. I'm gonna have to check some of these out, whenever I get a chance.

I might have a follow-up question regarding sources of anarchist theory and practice specifically created by/directed at teenagers and youth and shit.

These are two problems I tend to run into in explaining anarchism to certain people - lack of places to point them that deal with actual questions of "what can I do about this shit?", and a seemingly widespread lack of writing relevant to (or written by) peeps who ain't yet in the world of college or employment.
Thanks for the comment; feel free to add it as a response rather than a comment on mine if you'd like, you have some good stuff there.
Rice Boy,
In my experience the moving forward type stuff depends a lot each individual's priorities of red, green, and identity struggles, as well as strategy. I would ask them about their priorities and investigate accordingly. For example, even though I bring up "Anarchy Works" a lot and really see it as an achievement in anarchist theory, I don't see it as adequately dealing with the ongoing ecological crises, and I focus a lot on that aspect of struggle with people, so it really depends on the specific questions people have.
As far as pre-college/work folks, there exist anarchist critiques and alternatives to factory-model schools and the nuclear family if you want to post that as a separate question for people to respond to.