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Virtual Gonzo Zine Library, Winter 2020: Surviving Dark Times

Posted in Creative Commons, and Zines

Welcome back to the Virtual Gonzo Zine Library.

The VGZL is a zine reading list and miniature zine distro. From time to time, I curate some of my favorite zines — zines that I think everyone should be reading, including myself.

Previously: VGZL, Spring 2020 Edition 

This is the Winter 2020 edition of the VGZL. These are the main selections from this edition of my reading list. I’ve selected a few bonus zines as well as some other resources to consider, too. 

The zines here are free to download, print, and share (but please reach out to the authors to get permission to reuse in other ways). Where possible, the zines below are available in both a reading version, for screen reading, and a printing version, if you want to make them into actual folded zines at home. Each printer’s settings are a bit different for this, but typically you want to print on both sides, and flip on the short edge.

Virtual Gonzo Zine Library, Winter 2020 Edition

Support the VGZL

Assembling this reading list takes time. If you’d like to support my work producing the Virtual Gonzo Zine Library as well as writing new zines, please consider joining my Patreon. Donate $10 or more and you’ll get zines in the mail from me.

Table of Contents: Virtual Gonzo Zine Library, Winter 2020 Edition

40 Ways to Fight Fascists

Like the title says, this zine collects 40 concrete tactics or actions which can be used against fascists, nazis, white nationalists, TERFs, far right grifters, and so on. It’s an expansion of an original essay by Spencer Sunshine, with help from PopMob PDX. 

“These actions — the majority of which are available to people of all backgrounds, identities and skill levels — will help to contain Far Right organizing, and prevent or mediate the damage it inflicts on our communities.” 

Download 40 Ways To Fight Fascists:

Check out more at https://spencersunshine.com/fortyways/ and Visit Popular Mobilization at https://popmobpdx.com/

Affinity Groups: Essential Building Blocks of Anarchist Organization

Crimethinc’s guide to forming Affinity Groups is the simplest one I’ve found. Regardless of whether you identify as an anarchist, this basic guide helps you team up with your friends to build power and organize. Organize anything from a blockade to mutual aid for your hungry neighbors. 

“An affinity group is a circle of friends who understand themselves as an autonomous political force.”

Download Affinity Groups:

Read the zine online or find more from Crimethinc at https://crimethinc.com/ 

Lessons Learned: Mutual Aid Disaster Relief

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief continues the legacy of community based responses to disasters that began under Hurricane Katrina, and continued in response to Hurricane Sandy. This 24 page zine collects some of the wisdom they’ve gathered from their efforts to help communities … and to empower communities to help themselves. 

“One of our secret missions is to dispel the illusion of powerlessness people feel. To give people glimpses that Power is fragile. Give people experiences of altering reality. To show people that the only thing that keeps those in power in that position is the illusion of our powerlessness. A moment of freedom and connection can undo a lifetime of social conditioning and scatter seeds in a thousand directions.”

Download Lessons Learned:

Find more resources at https://mutualaiddisasterrelief.org/ and donate at https://mutualaiddisasterrelief.org/donate/ 

Signal Fails

Like many organizers, I advocate the use of Signal and use it myself in my daily life. Even though it’s been a great boon to activists and movements of all kinds, Signal definitely has its limitations. Far too often, group chats set up to support a group or a specific event can become an unwieldy mess, or even spark drama or leave participants less safe. 

“Signal Fails” calls out some of these failings and offers some best practices … I don’t think we should throw away Signal, but knowledge is power and these ideas apply to almost any encrypted communication.

Download Signal Fails:

Contact the author of “Signal Fails” at signalfails@riseup.net

Bonus Zines

“Blocing Up” is a brief zine about how and why to form a black bloc, a useful but often misunderstood tactic. It’s by @headingnorther, a “friendly neighborhood antifascist” from Portland. 

Download Blocing Up:

“Excited Delirium” is a guide to police anti-riot technology, with a focus on “less lethal” weaponry. This zine covers everything from pepper spray to sound weapons and beyond. It’s overkill for many, but great if you really want a deep dive into the arsenals available to law enforcement. I don’t know who wrote it, but I found it in the Sherwood Forest Zine Library

Download Excited Delirium: 

More Resources

In no particular order, some other cool shit:

  • Chinese Protest Recipes by @thegodofcookery, get a free pdf from this page. A zine of Chinese recipes in support of Black lives. If you like this, the author requests donations to Color of Change and Black Women In Motion.
  • Skills For Revolutionary Survival, a multi-part, ongoing series of guides from Indigenous Anarchist Federation. For example, check out part 5 on “Communications Equipment for Rebels.”
  • Uprising, a new podcast from a bunch of talented Portland reporters, including Robert Evans of Behind the Bastards. Uprising documents the historic protests in that city that took place over this past year. Find it on the usual podcast places.
  • A Paradise Built In Hell by Rebecca Solnit. This 2010 book looks at how people respond to times of crisis and emergency: by altruism and community building, rather than panic. Thanks to Robert Evans for recommending.  
Creative Commons License
Virtual Gonzo Zine Library, Winter 2020: Surviving Dark Times by Kit O’Connell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://kitoconnell.com/virtual-gonzo-zine-library-winter-2020/.

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