Anarchy Info-Boxes in Olympia
The idea for an anarchy infobox came when people wanted to learn about anarchy 24 hours a day in Olympia. Keeping the local zine library open all night seemed impractical. People also don't have access to the internet at all times and can't access websites like
zinelibrary.net. Having an old newspaper box in the backyard helped put this idea into action.
go to http://cascadia.olympiaworkers.net/anarchy-info-boxes-olympia
to see pictures
"All materials are free. Feel free to take, borrow and leave print information. Enjoy."
The story of the anarchy infobox
The idea for an anarchy infobox came when people wanted to learn about anarchy 24 hours a day in Olympia. Keeping the local zine library open all night seemed impractical. People also don't have access to the internet at all times and can't access websites like zinelibrary.net. Having an old newspaper box in the backyard helped put this idea into action.
People painted the old newspaper box and installed a new plexiglass window. A new shelf was made for the zines to sit on inside the infobox. People also put zine subject dividers and book holders to make the info in the infobox more accessible.
The zine infobox made its debut at 4th and Washington streets in downtown Olympia in front of a coffee shop, across the corner from the Industrial Worker (the paper of the IWW) newspaper box.
A couple of days later someone threw all the zines in the street. Realizing this is often how zines get distributed publicly in authoritarian societies, we were surprised people were redistributing revolutionary writing to others in downtown.
Most of the zines and subject dividers got picked up. The infobox was restocked with more revolutionary writings.
While the infobox was being restocked, the manager of the coffeeshop came out to interrogate who owned the box and what was it doing there. She said she
was going to cut the lock on the box and remove the infobox herself.
I thought the coffeeshop manager was going to take direct action on the anarchy infobox and cut the lock herself. She ended up calling the city to have the infobox and the Industrial Worker Newspaper box impounded.
Apparently the city stole private property by removing the box, destroyed property by cutting the lock, and censored an infobox full of ideas they didn't agree with. This was all expected.
Hierarchies are intolerant to critique, particularly living examples of people doing it themselves without hierarchy. Having a free speech zone inside a little box on main street can be intolerable to the town's hierarchy.
In the mean time, another infobox was made in front of US Bank at a big intersection in downtown Olympia. This info box was a red "Work at Home" brochure box with a full sheet sticker over it saying "24 hour information" with a circle a.
Someone from the IWW asked the city about the missing newspaper boxes. The IWW informed the city bureaucracy that the IWW has a long history of free speech fights and this was about to be another one. The city handed over the newspaper boxes saying they thought the two newspaper boxes looked like other stolen newspaper boxes.
Now two anarchist infoboxes exist in downtown Olympia. They are often under-stocked. The sticker on one of the boxes keeps getting ripped off. People are grabbing the zines faster than we can print them on our laser printer.
No hierarchy can tolerate good ideas that don’t involve them. The struggle to express ideas and learn freely continues. We will report news about the infobox as it develops.