(This is a living document and I will edit it and format it as more ideas come to me or we take in suggestions)

I hate social media.
I really do, I think it's an insidious poison that has fragmented our communities.
However, there is no point longing after the days of telephone trees, weekly meetings and mates from Bristol popping into social centre to share a joint and write up something about the ZAD before heading down the pub.

Times have changed and if anarchists are to stay a part of the conversation let alone advocate for revolutionary anarchist communism we can not trap ourselves in the hair shirt of “Sod the neo-liberal social media platforms”, whether we like it or not Mastodon and Kolectiva are echo chambers, amazing resources but they will never have the outreach that YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook have.

This is why, despite a few forgetten passwords, suspensions, internal splits and palatha in general we maintain accounts on all three of these platforms amongst others.

There are lessons we've learned and it's important to share them, so here is Admin R's guide to social media, a working document.

We at the AF feel we have a number of vital roles to perform to met our organisational aims,

We must:

So how does this translate to social media and what about smaller accounts, say for example you've set up a local Anarchist Federation or community network, perhaps you need an output for you're politically motivated crew of graff artists or your socialist reading group?

I think the very first consideration of making a more formal presence on social media if for your crew to decide what your objectives are and what is your scope, remember that you are acting as representation of a specific group and sometimes it's important to take a specific focus and add to the discourse through that lense.

For example as Anarchists, one of the things we often do online is discourse issues in the news, through the lens of Anarchism and international solidarity. If you are a regional group such as the Chepstow Collective of Comrades, you might talk specifically about how changes to the M4 affect Chepstow.

In the Anarchist Federation, this “steering” was developed over a series of formal and informal discussions, not just within the wider federation but within a specific social media working group, overwhelmingly our posts steer towards:

- Sharing news about the AF, what we are doing, how we are doing it, prop etc

- Sharing news and information of interest to Anarchism or about Anarchism, this has a tendancy to be UK centric tho we make conscious efforts to talk about situations going on around the world.

- Sharing knowledge and information about Anarchist organising, “how to” guides, legal advice that kind of thing.

- We have a pretty solid platform for sharing solidarity, whether it's a squat, a save the hippodrome campaign or a national revolution. We deliberately seek out info and act as a platform for sharing it.

- Confronting misinformation, bigotry and other bullshit. This isn't always something people are able or inclined to do but it's something of a responsibility of larger paltforms. This involves stepping into everything from State Department and Homeland Security threads to those of the Conservative party and various factions of bigots. The fear of trolling is a potent weapon which incapacitates rebellious voices and well someones gotta keep an eye on them so it's us alongside several specific focused pages whose entire remit and method is jumping into some TERF shit and calling it out.

- Share historical media, anarchist writings, bits of trivia.

- Encourage discussion and debate, sometimes this is in a formal manner, sometimes this is via a meme or something, the intention is the same... to plant seeds. The more we talk about the various aspects of the revolution, the more capable our community is of revolutionary action.

We DO get sassy on occasion but generally we try to approach this from a calm and collect manner.

- Fun stuff. Pictures, Games, Toys and just general merriment.

One of the considerations we had was deciding on our online personality, a few years ago our social media was just where we posted the odd statement or something. These days we're a little different, on Twitter we have a more formal approach, here is the AF broadcast while on Twitter, to fit the platform, we tend to have a kind of “if the AF was a person” manner and keep things a bit informal, the times admin go into a personal reply they stick a initial on it ( - R / - P etc) but in general it's the AF's collective politics put into character.

This came about to avoid the rather dry and sober tone of the political parties and collectives who have decided to take themselves to serious. The internet is a lonely space and these large monolithic groups seemed – to me- very unwelcoming, so our tone it' light and personable.

If you're making a new group, you might what to consider these things and how can the admin best represent any large body behind them.

So let's take an example and role with it, idk Chepstow Collective of Comrades, what kind of things might you share?

- You own content, telling people what you are doing and how.
- Solidarity posts from other groups which the people of Chepstow might find interesting.
- Commentry on larger issues and how they affect Chepstow (and visa-vera)
- Eductional materials in general, perhaps old articles from Malatesta or new “how to build a social centre” from Radical Roots.
- Perhaps you could hold a discussion about organising a Food Not Bombs?
- Share local memes and in jokes such as the parking at Greggs, add a anarchisty flair.
- Ask questions and develop your theory based on replies and discussions,
- Challenege positions of authority, advocate the social changes we need, not just on your wall but on others. Yeah this means keeping an idea on trends ;p
- Replies to comments, especially the deeper ones. I know some groups don't but if you have the time and capacity, reply and engage.

Social media mind you isn't all about thirsty posts and getting some space on the soap box, it's about building up revolutionary communities. You 'll want to reach out to other similar networks, and establish groups to share news and info, sometimes these groups will already exist, othertimes you'll have to create them.

The AF has a group for the IFA, a more general international solidarity group and we have one with all the decent Anarchist and Anarchist friendly orgs in it. Sometimes these are busy, sometimes quiet, but they are there and they are very useful for having informal lines of communication and sharing solidarity.

Another aspect that is important is accountability, to yourself, your group and your readers. Be open to critisism, maybe even have some formal and informal checks and measures. If you are wrong on something, acknowledge it. In general it's a good idea to take the extra step to ensure that stuff you are sharing it accurate and truthful.

Finally, don't burn yourself out, assign a certain time to deal with social media and stick with it.
It's rarely all that important that you reply RIGHT NOW.
Look after yourself!

Please give us a nudge on social media and ask us anyhting about this and I'll add to this document and bit by bit edit it so it's great.


Let's be clear about this.
Tear gas is a weapon of terror which is used to intimidate and disperse.
It is neither a “none lethal” nor “less lethal” option.

“Lacrimator Agent” as they are prone to call various chemicals which the police use was developed for use in war, it's very invention was to skirt The Hague Conventions of 1899 which restricted “projectiles filled with poison gas”. The Great War saw it's first use to clear trenches of unfortunate working class lads in the wrong uniform and along with an array of horrific weapons it's use in warfare was outlawed by international agreement under the Geneva Gas Protocol of 1925 which prohibits the use of "asphyxiating gas, or any other kind of gas, liquids, substances or similar materials". It currently stands listed as part of the international trade in tools of torture by Amnesty International and yet remains a popular weapon of oppression by the majority of the worlds states.

However no one bothered to outlaw a countries use of such a horrific weapon on their own people and in the following years it became a standard tool of police to maintain order and obedience. It's use as such first rose into the public consciousness when the Israelis used it during the first Intifada and it was discovered that the US had exported $6.5 million worth of tear-gas guns, grenades, launchers, and launching cartridges to Israel. The “less lethal” option took 40 lives during that conflict and left thousands others to suffer illness. More recently we've seen prodigious use on the streets of Hong Kong, Paris and Seattle to the much less documented use by U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) against émigrés more than once a month since the start of the Obama administration.

It's become a favourite of despots as gas has a psychological impact that has long been utilised to control the victims of an attack since day dot. This effect was noticed by Amos Fries of the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service who commented “It is easier for man to maintain morale in the face of bullets than in the presence of invisible gas.” A truth then as it is now a hundred years later as I was entire blocks of Seattle drowning in noxious gas. It's use was not to clear out any violent mob, but to assault peaceful protestors, mostly teenagers. Time and time again in protest footage we see police use tear gas canisters themselves as weapons, launching them directly into peoples bodies and faces. The results, horrific. A study from Iran observed the high rate of Vascular inurioes caused by such reckless brutality from the police “with high rates of associated nerve injury (44%) and amputation (17%)” in the study.

While ostensibly a last option tool to disperse violent mobs it has overwhelmingly become the weapon of choice of law enforcements seeking to harass and stymie any assembly with a mind to protest whether radically or peacefully. It may be banned as a weapon of war but it is seeing plenty of use as a weapon of fear and control.

Protests can be uncompromisingly disorganised. This is especially so when is has come together as a peaceful protest and the police have decided to turn it into a riot either by pushing tensions higher or simply by straight up attacking people. The best defence against the use of tear gas in this situation as it is in more conflict prone campaigns is the prepared comrades and autonomous affinity groups who are ready to deal with this specific threat.

One of the indirect defensive tools you have is fire. While not particularly great for the environment burn bins and tires create smoke, and specifically heavy smoke. This acts as a barrier for teargas, meaning that you can block it from going towards the demo/rioters/you name it. If able you will want to ensure that the cops will not use teargas in the first place and the best method here is to to disable their masks.

In Greece, they do this by spraying lines of cops with powdered fire extinguisher, which cloggs up their gas masks and makes them think twice before using it. In Catalan protestors covered the police in paint. This can be used to reduce visibility of gas masks and riot helmet alike and if it's a weapon being used they are less likely to deploy tear gas as it will mean they could be trapped with zero visibility. Effective ways to do this are with water bombs filled with paint solutions, or even water guns or garden spraying equipment. Make sure to use none toxic paint tho, for legal and environmental concerns.

If you are partaking in unrest where you know the police are liable to use chemical agents consider volunteering yourselves to be “gas response”. That is, protestors who are armed with devices to cover tear gas canisters and drown them in water. They is best done in teams of three or four. You'll need someone to hold the container and someone to pour the water with preferably a couple of friends dedicating their energy to locating canisters and spotting police about to fire them. Ideally you want to respond immediately and minimise the spread and the effect on others. You will need respirators or at the very least masks,goggles and good thick gloves. Cannisters can be hot and will burn you.

The basic methodology is to quickly cover the canister and pour water all over it. A popular container is a traffic cone or for the prepared the top half of a plastic milk container. However the former is very water inefficient and the later can be quite fiddly, especially in the heat of the moment. It you have the resources and want to come prepared consider using the Printable “Anti Gas Kettle” as developed by Corgian which solves both issues at the expensive of a sizeable printing project. Download the files here on sketchfab.

Corgian asks that anyone looking to provide some material support do so to FOR THE GWORLS who helps black trans women get reaffrimative surgery as well as help them pay rent.

If you are operating solo you'll was a water battle with a wide opening and put the tear gas cannisters inside preferably using tongs of fire retardant gloves.

Either way you'll want several bottles of water ready to go (preferably with a good source nearby to top up) and a separate water proof bag with water in for collecting empty cannisters.

If you're not able to dowse cannisters you can always remove the immediately threat by returning to sender. Either quickly grab the canisters and chuck them back – not very safe mind and use gloves! Heck if you're sporting go Greek and get in some tennis practice by bringing along a racket or just be give it a good punt like this Palestinian lawyer...


If you are attending an action where you think you are likely to be attacking with chemical agents consider doing some prep the day before. Respirators which cover the eyes are a must, any Charcoal lines filter will do the job Tho ideally you'd have one rated to FFP2 (N95). If you shave your hair, do so the day before to allow micro-cuts to heal. If you have signicant facial hair, consider cutting it down or shaving it o to help your respirator achieve a better seal. There is a reason the army are limited to moustaches and this is it.

Before going out for an event where you expect teargas you should shower, and then do not apply makeup or other greasy stuff to your skin (like moisturisers etc) Teargas binds with grease so it is a fucker if you come to riots well-moisturised and with makeup.
Especially makeup is bad, as people tend to apply it to sensitive areas such as eyes

There are an array of compounds and blends used to the similar effect. the two primary agents are CN (phenacyl chloride or chloroacetophenone) and CS (2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile) tho notable amongst the rest are CR (dibenzoxazepine) and DM (diphenylaminechlorarsine)

Exploding tear gas grenades as well as launched cannisters that are improperly or maliciously red can cause injuries beyond the intended chemical irritation. Patients struck by cannisters may have thermal burns, contusions, bone fractures, lacerations, avulsion, amputations, or concussions. A hit to the torso, neck, or head can kill a protester.

CS is the most commonly used tear gas. Because it is so common, the literature that discusses the effects of different tear gasses typical does so by comparing their effects to CS. CN, also known as mace, is less common as it is more toxic than CS gas. CR is less toxic than CS

but a stronger irritant. CR can be identified by its pale, yellow colour and pepper-like odour. Patients whose skin is contaminated with CR may experience severe pain when wet, either during decontamination with water or due to sweating. DM is also known as adamsite and “green gas" due to its noticeable green colour. DM's effects are similar to that of CS. The onset of symptoms is slower, but the duration of symptoms is longer, sometimes lasting over 12 hours.

CS, CN, CR, and DM are not actually gasses. They are aerosols (a suspension of fine particles in a secondary gas). They are distributed by dissolving them in a solvent, evaporating them through thermal reaction, or turning them into a micro-powder.

Symptoms of exposure to all tear gasses are generally similar. Under low concentrations, tear gas causes a burning sensation in mucous membranes, especially the eyes. Other effects are tearing of the eyes, increase nasal mucus production, and coughing. Moderate concentrations and longer exposure lead to profuse coughing, blepharospasm (involuntary closing of the eyelid), increased salivation, difficulty breathing (dyspnoea), prostration (doubling over), burning and stinging sensations on the skin, disorientation, dizziness, syncope (fainting), headache, tachycardia, and vomiting. Heavy concentrations, especially in enclosed spaces, can lead to death by asphyxiation or pulmonary edema. Patients with pre-existing respiratory disorders such as asthma are more sensitive to tear gas and exposure to even small quantities can be life-threatening.


The following steps should be followed for treating patients exposed to “Riot Control Agents” or RCAs.

Introduce yourself to the patient. The patient may be blinded or disoriented, so will need to clearly introduce yourself before touching and treating them. This is true in general, but doubly so when they are alert but incapacitated. Failure to do so can lead to them striking out at you.

Remove the patient from the RCA. Pepper spray is short range and exposure happens during brief usage, but tear gas often makes air noxious for many minutes. Patients need to be moved away from tear gas before treatment can begin. Attempt to move the patient upwind from clouds of tear gas or burning cannisters. Tear gas is heavier than air, so if possible, move your patient to higher ground. In urban settings, you may be able to enter the foyer or courtyard of an apartment or building where the air is fresher.

Remove contact lenses. If the patient has RCA on their face or eyes, they should remove their contact lenses. Flushing the eyes can push contact lenses up into the eye socket. Ask your patient if they are wearing contact lenses, and if so, direct the patient to remove them before treatment. If the patient cannot open their eyes or is incapable of removing the contacts, you may need to flush their eyes until they can open them to remove the contacts. Some patients will attempt to save their contact lenses and reinsert them after you have decontaminated their eyes. You should advise them against putting the contacts back in and suggest they dispose of them immediately. However, they may have significantly impaired vision without lenses and will not be able to get home or continue participating in the action without their contacts. They may also have financial restrictions and not want to dispose of a new pair of lenses. Whatever the case may be, they may put the contacts in regardless of what you say, so your job is to help minimize recontamination and associated pain. After treatment, assist the patient with cleaning their lenses. Have them wash their hands using the solution from your bottle. Then, have them them rub their contacts together between their finger and thumb as your slowly stream water onto the lenses for at least 30 seconds. This will help remove a majority of the RCA before they put their lenses back in. After they put their lenses back in their eyes, you may need to help them gently flush out residual RCA.

Prevent the patient from touching the effected area. A patient's instinct will be to rub the effected body part, especially the eyes and face, while contaminated and after decontamination. This can make the contamination worse and spread it to other body parts. When RCAs are deployed, no one should touch their eyes at all except to remove contact lenses.

Allow tear and mucus production. If water or saline are not available, natural tear and mucus production will eventually remove the RCA. RCA on the skin breaks down and washes o over time. Even without intervention, patients will recover, albeit much more slowly. Remove contaminated clothing. If the patient is heavily contaminated with pepper spray or tear gas, they may need to remove their clothes to prevent continued irritation. Masks and bandannas need to be removed before decontaminating the face, but other clothing can be removed after.

Decontaminate the body part. If the RCA is CR, attempt to brush and dust o as much RCA as possible. Avoid use of water or other liquids to decontaminate the patient unless they are already wet or sweaty, or the RCA is in their eyes (which are already wet). For other RCAs, flush the body part with large amounts of water. For parts of the body other than the eyes, spraying large amounts of water on the effected body part is sufficient. Specifics techniques for decontaminating the eyes are covered later in this chapter. Because pepper spray is oily, it may be useful to gently dab or wipe the effected area with gauze to remove the bulk of the pepper spray. Vigorously rubbing and scrubbing will exacerbate the pain. During treatment for both pepper spray and tear gas, attempt to prevent run off from spreading the RCA to other parts of the patient's body or your body, especially mucous membranes or open wounds.

Rinse the patient's mouth. Patients should rinse their mouth with water or saline to remove the RCA. Even in the absence of burning or irritating sensations in the mouth, a mouth rinse is encouraged as it helps remove the taste and it helps them feel cleansed.

Allow coughing and sneezing. If your patient is coughing or sneezing, allow them to continue as this is the body's natural response and it will help remove the RCA. Give your patient tissue or gauze, and have them blow their nose.

Use refrigerant spray. For patients who have been contaminated with pepper spray, spray the effected areas with refrigerant spray. Use of refrigerant spray does not have an effect on pain levels beyond the immediate treatment, but it psychologically helps patients feel treated. Spray the effected areas for 3 to 5 seconds. Beware the refrigerant spray with cause a burning sensation on open wounds an mucous membranes. If the patient's face was contaminated, instruct them to close their eyes and mouth and exhale slowly through their nose while your spray them. Consider use of an inhaler. If your patient is asthmatic, remind them to use their inhaler. If you carry a Salbutamol inhaler in your medic kit, consider suggesting they use it to self-medicate.

Consider treating for hypothermia. Patients may remove contaminated clothing, and clothing may be wet from treatment. On cool or breezy days, this can contribute to hypothermia. Consider wrapping the patient in an emergency blanket so they do not have to put back on their contaminated clothes.

Consider other complications. Patients may appear to be generally fine when you begin treatment, but you should still pay attention to their respiratory rate and overall complexion as you treat them. Patients may develop delayed respiratory distress or hyperventilation, or they may go into shock as their adrenaline wears off.

Instruct the patient on how to decontaminate at home. When you discharge the patient, direct them on how to safely decontaminate when they get home. Clothing should be removed before entering their home. Tear gas residue, especially CR, should be vacuumed o clothing and the body before entering the home. If it is available, an ultra-low particulate air (ULPA) or high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum should be used to suck up as much tear gas residue as possible. The patient should throw out the vacuum bag after use to prevent spreading tear gas. Clothing should be washed separately from other items, twice, and with a harsh detergent. If clothing cannot be immediately washed, direct them to put it into a sealed plastic bag until they can wash it. The patient should shower in a well ventilated room using the coldest water possible for at least 20 minutes. Warm water opens pores and may cause additional burning sensations, so patients should shower with the coldest water they can tolerate until the feeling of burning stops. Likewise, scrubbing effected areas should be avoided until burning stops.

For further information download Riot Medicine here.

It's worth adding that several solutions have been developed, some of these such as Viniger or Baby Shampoo solutions are dubious and there is little reason to think they are effective and may act as an irritant themselves. Comrades in Greece however have long used milk of magnesia, specifically Maalox brand but any will do.

Revolutionary action can, quite frankly be quite boring. Hours stood on the picket line or drowning yourself in tea in a occupied cafe, tent, or treehouse with little to do but natter away and try and ensure you're objectives are met. This however is not always the way and when the cops turn violent, the terrier boys ambush you or you manage to head off the fash, things get hairy quick. These moments in the storm, whether intended or forced upon us can be a frenzied blur, for most people an utterly shock to the system that can be overwhelming both physically and mentally. The only way we can ensure success and any degree of safety is in relying on the comrades, whether formally or loosely organised, who, through the providence of experiance and training are able to keep their heads and provide active support roles. Here in the UK for example, we have a very well organised network of Legal Observers from several networks such as the Green and Black Cross and more often than not you'll find the beautiful souls that come to provide on the ground medical support. Battle medics, street medics, riot medics, or whatever you call them are a blessing to be sure. Their particular sets of skills thankfully are not always put to use however should you find yourself in a spot of bother they are are the first line of support, looking after people who have taken a baton to the head, come down with heat stroke or (as was my first introduction to battle medics) taken a tumble from a horse. From Berlin to Melbourne Action medics are a vital part of any protest or direct action.

However unlike our Legal Observer comrades, there is an unfortunate drought of material to help prepare the riot medic for the role. Paper Revolution has decent intro text and a handbook and these texts are about as good as they come, Sure I've seen a fair few other guides and found many of them useful, however there is a tendancy to focus either on the politics or the medicine, and at that usually only a narrow window with a specific set of situations in mind. Which is why I'm especially stoked to have bumped into a new publication on my twitter feed.

“Riot Medicine” is a new 466 page work by Håkan Geijer that gives an well researched, in depth 101 for battle medics of all descriptions. Shared freely from it's website the manual gives a robust guide for practicing insurrectionary medicine. Taking the reader from the methods of organising and situational risk assessments right through to the nitty gritty of first aid, managing shock and dealing with spinal cord injuries. This absolute belter of a book goes way beyond being a mear refined St John's First Aid guide mind. It's specific focus on the issues, thinking and praxis of providing on the ground medical support during riots and revolutionary action is in depth and without florid prose and laconic word smithing, it wastes no time making the point in clear, understandable language that while taking ontechnical points remains accessable and useable. Frankly it's the opinion of the Editor that this is the must have guidebook for riot medics and it a vital download for every activist and organiser regardless other whether they intent to fill the role of medic.

Keep your eyes peeled for a printed edition after lockdown ends however in the meantime here is the introduction text and at the bottom you'll find a link to download a copy - for free and without registration.

Peter Ó Máille

Riot medicine is the practice of medicine in an adversarial environment. It exists outside of formal and State sanctioned medical services. Practitioners of riot medicine go by many names (riot medics, street medics, demonstration medics, action medical), but at the end of the day, their goals are the same. They take to the streets as part of the diverse system of mutual aid that allows individuals to engage in protest. The duties of a riot medic may include handing out water during a peaceful demonstration, providing late-night jail support for arrested comrades, caring for injured protesters and bystanders during a riot, or extracting and providing lifesaving interventions for combatants during an armed uprising.

The lens of riot medicine rather than street medicine was chose to help you focus more on how to provide medical care during demonstrations and physical engagements rather than to inform you on how to run a volunteer clinic or provide care for injuries sustained outside of short lived confrontations. The aim is to provide enough medical and tactical knowledge to enable riot medics to support short mobilizations on the scale of several hours to several days.

If you are an experienced medical professional, this book will guide you on how to safely operate during a protest. However, this book assumes that medicine may not be your primary occupation or field of study. Both the common and more formal medical terms are included as well as a glossary for reference. Foundational medical theory has been provided to give context for various treatments, and as such, not all information in this book needs to be memorized. Some information may seem obvious, but what is obvious to you is not obvious to others. In depth information is provided to help demystify seemingly esoteric practices and address common misconceptions.

Because of the exceptionally diverse conditions under which riot medicine is practiced, this book generally avoids making absolute statements about how an individual or group must act. Riot medics may be part of the Black Bloc or may act as seemingly neutral third parties. They may be uncertified or may be practicing physicians. How they choose to act depends on may factors including the nature of the action, the legality of protest, the legality of practicing medicine, and the overall political climate of the region where an action is taking place. This book will provide you with a toolbox that will help you make operational decisions using your own experiences and context specific information. Riot medicine incorporates elements of wilderness medicine and combat medicine, but it is still a distinct practice. Often the riot medic is only equipped with what they can carry in a backpack. What they choose to pack is limited by multiple factors, the major one being that their gear can be confiscated or destroyed during the course of their work. They need to carry provisions to survive the day and personal protective equipment to keep themselves safe enough to do their job. The riot medic needs to take a highly practical approach to medicine knowing that they will not be able to operate under ideal conditions. Hospital-quality diagnostic equipment will not be available, materials may be limited, and care rendered often will only be \good enough" to get a restless comrade back into the fray.

Riot medics comfort traumatized comrades as much as they heal their bodies. Protests and confrontations with fascists and the State can be stressful and even traumatizing. Even in the non ideal environments you will be working in, it is your responsibility to keep calm and help calm those around you. Nervous and stressed out comrades can be liable to make mistakes that lead to more injuries. Reading this book will help enable you to act confidently and therefore help others act confidently, contributing toward successful demonstrations and insurrections.

This book is written from an autonomous, anarchist perspective. However, the information and tactics described within will be useful to all participants in the struggle for liberation. State imposed laws and regulations are a reality, and where it is relevant, it is noted where your

work may intersect with the legal system to highlight what legal risks there may be. This book was written in 2019{20, so as you are reading this, be wary that medical best practices, legal considerations, and all other information may have become out of date.

The act of challenging the State is dangerous, but with some basic knowledge, medics can drastically reduce the repercussions protesters face. The goal is that by reading this book, you will be able to provide care for and support to comrades known and unknown, all in the pursuit of a world free of domination.

Directly download Riot Medicine by clicking here or for addition options including using a PGP Key and other media check out the Riot Medicine website : riotmedicine.net

So you have been called a Transphobe.
Maybe even a TERF! Hot words have been exchanged.

It's easy to get defensive, dig in, camp up and not take any shit from these "woke idiots" on the internet.
Yeah you could do that.

Mind you, you could also have a read and try to understand some of what they are trying to tell you. Here is a reading list of links to help you digest all this new information outside of an angry twitter thread. They range across the scientific and cultural, to news pieces, politicla statements, and informational statistics.

No one can make you read these, no one can force you to develop your understanding of the world around you, only you can take the step to being a person capable of educating themselves and changing their opinion based on new information. I truly hope you are able to do this and begin your journey to better understanding this whole trans thing.

It's worth noting as well that the arguments your transphobic friends and sources present usually utilise are laden with scientific reductionism and pseudo scientific jibberish. This reminds me very much of climate change denialism, these links are often presented as an obvious truth and are used to make you feel like a victim, a defender of the obvious against a self indulgent enemy who is trying to make you change everything you know to be true. The right wing call this "Cultural Marxism", the left wing tend to call it "the PC Brigade" or "IdPol". Tho woefully inaccurate in their usage these terms are often used as a "dog whistle" for horrendous bigotry, racism and misogyny.

Subsequently when you've shared a seemingly righteous link defending women from predatory men or something, someone has got pissed off at you, cussed you out and spewed out all that angry rage which you've been warned about so much.

The thing is, whether wittingly or not, when you share those articles you are finding on Mumsnet or whatnot you are contributing to a hostile environment which very literally kills people. Overwhelming it kills women, and of them, women from the black and minority ethnic communities are over represented.

This series of links is a counter to that, the vast majority are from peer reviewed publications and institutions. If you believe in science, you have to come to terms with the reality that some of the things you have "always known" are false and that our understanding of the world around is ever developing. It is here to provide you with a easily accessable source of information to cleanse that rot from your head. A tool to educate yourself with and hopefully return to being a person who uses their political voice for compassion and solidarity. ■

Peter Ó Maille

- This is a living document and is subject to change and addition, feel free to suggest new links -

- This list is partially based on a version I was sent as a email, I assume it is online and would appreciate a link to it -


American Psychological Association (APA)
Answers to Your Questions About Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression

AP News
Sciences Says: Sex and Gender Aren't the Same

Discover Magazine
Skeletal Studies Show Sex, Like Gender, Exists Along A Spectrum

Disrupting Dinner Parties
Take the Red Pill: The Truth Behind the Biology of Sex

Harvard University
Between the (Gender) Lines: The Science of Transgender Identity

Intersex Society of North America
How common is intersex?

What is Intersex?

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
Suicide and Suicidal Behavior Among Transgender Persons

National Geographic
How Science is Helping Us Understand Gender

Sex Redefined

NY Times
Anatomy Does Not Determine Gender, Experts Say

Scientific American
Beyond XX and XY: The Extraordinary Complexity of Sex Determination

Stop Using Phony Science to Justify Transphobia

The New Science of Sex and Gender

Where Transgender is No Longer a Diagnosis


Trans Girls Belong on Girls' Sports Teams

Challenging Gender Identity: Biologists Say Gender Expands Across A Spectrum, Rather Than Simply Boy And Girl

World Health Organization (WHO)
Gender and Genetics

Genetic Components of Sex and Gender

Medline Plus Encyclopedia


‘Mahu’ demonstrate Hawaii’s shifting attitudes toward LGBT life

Sex And Gender Are Actually The Same Thing (but bear with me…)


Buyu Afrika
The Ashtime of Ethiopia

Culture Trip
A Brief History of Thailand's Transgender Community

Fa'afafines: The Third Gender in Samoa

Life Outside the Binary: Meet Mexico’s Muxe Community Celebrating Genderqueerness

The Guardian
Early men and women were equal, say scientists

In the Philippines they think about gender differently. We could too

Nature and sex redefined – we have never been binary

Indian Country Today
Two Spirits, One Heart, Five Genders

The 8 Genders of the Talmud

Brian Whitaker
Transgender Issues in the Middle East

Mallory Moore
Ground rules for trans/transantagonistic discourse

Oxford English Dictionary
A brief history of singular ‘they’

The New York Times
When Japan Had a Third Gender

Non Binary Wiki
Gender-variant identities worldwide

India’s Third Gender Rises Again

The Singapore LGBT encyclopaedia Wiki
Gender in Bugis society

The Transadvocate
Fact check: study shows transition makes trans people suicidal

The Third Gender in Ancient Egypt



List of of murdered transgender people

Planned Parenthood
Trans Men need abortions too


Organise! Magazine
Transphobia is a Class Issue


You Can't Ask That: Intersex people answer 'What is Intersex?'

ASAP Science
The Science of Being Transgender

Things Not To Say To A Non-Binary Person

Trans 101

Trans 101: Ep 1 - What is Transgender?

Fox and Owl
So, I've got a CERVIX

Trans 101 - The Basics

What Are Pronouns?

My Gendereration
Trans AND: Charlie Martin

Riley J. Dennis
How to talk about trans people

TEDx (Lyndsay Muir)
Tea with Trans: What's on (and off) the menu.

TEDx (Rachel Lucas)
Why You Can Pee Next To Me


Gemma Stone
80–95% of trans women keep their genitals


The Gayley Prophet
What’s wrong with what JKR said? A resource guide for allies and accomplices:

Addressing The Claims In JK Rowling’s Justification For Transphobia, by Katy Montgomerie for Medium

A Letter to J.K. Rowling From A Young Transgender Person Who’s Sick of Her Shit, by Hayden Moon for Junkee

Freedom Means Can Rather Than Should: What the Harper’s Open Letter Gets Wrong, by Gabrielle Bellot for Lit Hub

Twitter thread breaking down the issues in the Harper’s letter, by @spiantado

J.K. Rowling Triples Down on Transphobia, by Claire Lampen for The Cut

JK Rowling’s ‘TERF Wars’ YouTube video by Jammidodger

Transgender hate crimes recorded by police go up 81%




Why Sex Is Not Binary

Here in the Anarchist Federation we sometimes joke that the revolution is 60% admin. Although some of the most beautiful examples of resistance have occurred ad- hoc and “of the moment”, you can sure that for almost every on going campaign, network and social movement there is a wave of meetings and bureaucracy that can be extremely daunting! Whether it’s the Paris Commune or The Free Territory there was no doubt, someone sat up all hours, drinking way too much wine, trying to compile the minutes from the last assembly.

Some of our members have put together three short lessons to help survive the burdens and duties of democratic and accountable organising! These are “living” guides which means you can expect them to grow and develop. If you’d like to contribute feel free to shoot your thoughts over to us at [email protected] and we’ll pass them on.


Having meetings is important, unlike what some people think actions don’t “just happen”. They need a lot of organising. Meetings provide a way for us to do this as well as give us space for discussion. They’re also a great chance to see other people and to feel part of a wider network. Meeting face to face also avoids a lot of conflicts that happen over electronic communication as people can see others reaction more clearly and can respond instantly. There are lots of things to consider when setting up a meeting such as the time and place, who can make it? who does it exclude? Who will facilitate? etc.

Setting up the meeting
So your going to hold a meeting, great! You’ll want to work out where the meeting will be held and book it. Something to consider here is who can make it? Do you want to include as many people as possible, or specifically those most able to follow through on certain action points? Think about who you are excluding from the meeting by having it in a particular time and place, are those people from a more marginalised group?

A good way of working out what these requirements are is by having a poll or sending a text out to see what people would like to do. Ideally choose someone to co-ordinate this and be the main point of contact. The easiest thing to do is make sure that the next date is set at the end of the previous meeting. lots of groups meet at the same time and place on a regular schedule, making sure people have it in their diary.

Make sure the space is accessible. This can mean a lot of things, so it’s good to ask people what issues they may face. If most of you have kids it maybe good to have it at each others houses, rotating who does child care. If you live far away from each other somewhere central with good public transport is important. Somewhere free or cheap is important, not just for booking but also the cost of their food and drinks. It may also be important for your group to make sure there is wheelchair access or somewhere not serving alcohol is important. Finally, does the meeting need a lot of privacy? Somewhere quiet? Many a meeting has been spoilt by trying to hold it in a noisy cafe or pub.

Structure: some things to consider
Before the meeting an agenda should be set up; this is a list of things the meeting wants to talk about. The Agenda could be made by an email sent out or just a piece of paper passed around that people can add to. It can include reports back from people with different roles, report backs from other meetings and events. The agenda should include a section for “matters arising”; these are the action points from the last meeting, chasing people to make sure that they happened. It should also include things you want to talk about during the meeting and upcoming events.

At the start of a meeting, particularly If there is a lot of people who don’t know each other present then a go round of names and pronouns (he/she/they etc.) and any other thing that maybe relevant is pretty common. Some groups may do a member welfare round to see how everyone is doing and if the group can help with anything and also to announce their level of capacity for taking on new things. A facilitator and a minute taker should be appointed before the meeting starts, It is good to share these duties rather than them always landing on the same persons shoulders.

Sometimes it is useful to set allotted time slots to each point to be discussed and a meeting end time. If the meeting is going to be long you may want to include breaks and food. Try to keep on topic and leave drinking Alcohol till after the meeting!


The idea of facilitation is to ensure that no one controls the meeting and to ensure that everyone gets to share their thoughts and ideas. It is also the facilitators job to ensure that the meeting keeps to the time scheduled for it and does not run off topic. They need to help pin point proposals and make sure there are people to carry them out.

Taking stack
This just means taking note of who is next in order to speak, creating a “stack” of the those who want to chip in. Make it clear at the start of the meeting that people must put their hands up so that you know they want to talk. If a lot of people want to speak then it is useful to write it down on a piece of paper and cross them out after they have spoken. If someone hasn’t spoken yet, then their name goes to the top of the list. Remember to add yourself onto the list and not be left out. If people jump the stack you may want to cut them off and remind them to wait their turn.

Sometimes people have a direct answer to something that someone has asked, they may ask the facilitator, or put both hands up to show that they have a response. In big meetings it can be useful to split the role between two people, so that one person takes stack and another does the rest of the facilitation. If you notice some people haven’t spoken yet then you can jump the queue and ask if anyone who hasn’t spoken yet would like to speak.

Keeping Time and on Topic
Quite often people like to go off topic or like to talk about something in depth, or repeat what others may already have said. To make sure not too much of this happens, as facilitator, you can jump the stack order and remind people to stay on topic, what that topic is and how much time you have left.

If people seem interested in another topic which has come up you can suggest scheduling it for another time in the meeting or another day. It is OK for discussion to go off topic a bit as it brings new ideas and makes it feel more relaxed, this enables less confident people to talk too!.» It can be useful for the facilitator to set a time allowance at the start of the topic and ask someone to introduce it.

A lot of the time this time keeping is quite ad-hoc and “loose” this is OK but try not to stray too much least you end up talking about one thing for the entire meeting. Don’t be afraid to be a bit mercenary and keep things moving!

Proposals and action points
The facilitator can also help to find things within the conversation that can turn talk into actions. this could be anything from someone looking something up, organsing an event, contacting someone or a group, arranging travel etc. The facilitator can ask the group if someone is willing to take on the idea as an action point or to produce a proposal. This can help make sure that something actually happens. If no one is able to do it then it could be noted as an idea to come back to at a later time.

Don’t Panic
Facilitating a group can seem quite scary, but don’t worry. If you’re new to it then let people know and they can help you and be supportive. If you don’t want to facilitate any more during a meeting then let people know and someone else can take over. It is important to keep up facilitating meetings in order to let new people and for those who are less likely to be heard have a space to speak, so don’t give up on it! Also worth remembering that as facilitator, you aren’t in charge of the meeting and it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure the meeting runs smoothly. Share the load!


Taking minutes in meetings is important. It archives what was discussed and allows others who couldn’t attend to know what was happening. It is there to help people remember what they were action pointed to do, and can help people be able to construct arguments outside of the meeting from what was discussed during it. The main things that need to be written down are the key discussion points, action points and who was there. When you take minutes it can mean that it is easier for you to be left out of conversation as your busy writing down what everyone else has to say. Try to let the facilitator know when you want to speak, It can also be difficult to keep up with the conversation, so feel free to tell everyone to stop for a bit until you are ready so that you can catch up.

Action points
These are what someone has said they would take on. This can be contacting someone, organising an event, writing a proposal etc. It is important that Action Points are clear in the minutes and who has said they would do them. Some useful ways of doing this are writing them on a separate line by themselves, writing AP next to them with the person’s name, and writing them in bold. Some people put them at the end of the minutes so that people can skip to the end to find what they said they would do.

It’s good practice for people who have been Action Pointed to do something write it down themselves as they are more likely to remember it and and it’s a good precaution incase it gets left out on the minutes by accident.

Discussion points
To get the basic points of what people say can be difficult. People like to ramble, especially as they try to formulate what they are saying. Different minute takers go about capturing the main points of a discussion in different ways. You may want to write down everything that was said during a meeting and then edit it later, or wait until someone finishes talking and write the main bits down. These are often written up as bullet points or short paragraphs. If you do not understand what someone said you can ask them to repeat their main points, feel free to speak out of turn for this! People may also ask the minute taker to write down a point that they want added and to repeat something from earlier.

Post Script
It is the minute takers responsibility to get the minutes out as quickly as possible. The group should arrange before the end of the meeting how the notes should be sent out, e.g. they could be put up on a forum or sent by email. Make sure that everyone will have access to the minutes. It is important to make the minutes not too long and try to keep them nice and clear, otherwise people won’t read them.

It can be better to write minutes onto a laptop or computer as it is easier to edit. Some people write minutes directly into an email or onto the forum so they can send to minutes out at the end of the meeting. It can also be good to write the minutes onto an editable document such as Etherpad so that others can add in bits that were left out. If you are worried about taking minutes it can be easier to write down everything then ask someone else to help you to edit, this way you can learn what is important and what is not.

If the meeting has sensitive material then maybe leave out the names, sometimes leaving a initial or similar. Given the fact that we live in the age of government tracking via facial recognition and far right doxxing we highly recommend that if you share documents publicly them you removed everyone's name and if you share a photo remove the faces! Yes, even if your group is a nice and friendly one, security culture is a vital aspect to organising in a manner which is safe for everyone.

Finally, have fun and brew up some trouble! ■


This article is a call to action to protect and defend the trans community.

There is no space for neutrality.

We strongly suggest you listen to G.L.O.S.S. when reading this article.

[This article is lifted directly from the original zine format which you can download below.]

, otherwise known as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, are people who refuse to accept transgender identities, and who violently oppress trans people, especially trans women.

Many TERFs will claim they believe in trans rights and that trans people should be protected from violence. However, they incorrectly believe that people's biology (e.g. genitals and chromosomes) determine their gender and whether they experience sexism and gender -based violence. Their ideology results in them refusing to accept trans women as women and discriminating against them by excluding them from spaces cis women can go to.

Anyone who supports or promotes these ideas – whether it’s attending events in person, sharing online, or any number of other questionable methods – is, in our view, a TERF.

Transphobia: hatred of trans people (although in this zine we try to use more precise words e.g. trans hostile, or trans derogatory).
Trans misogyny: form of sexism aimed particularly at trans women and trans feminine people.
Dead naming :referring to someone by a former name they no longer use.
Mis-gendering: using the wrong pronouns.
Cis: people who aren’t trans/ are assigned the appropriate gender at birth.

come in many shapes and sizes. Here are a few groups on the scene at the moment.

A Women's Place
They Say:
“violence against women & sex discrimination still exist. Women need reserved places, separate spaces and distinct services”
Deny that trans women are women, question trans existence, and encourage trans misogyny.

Transgender Trend
They Say: “We are a group of parents based in the UK, who are concerned about the current trend to diagnose “gender non-conforming children” as transgender.”
But: Encourage parents to disbelieve and dismiss their trans children's identities; intensifying gender dysphoria.

Feminist Current
They Say: “We provide a unique perspective on male violence against women”
But: Intentionally mis-gender and dead name trans women and deny the existence of trans people.

We Need To Talk About Sex
They Say: “We discuss the Gender Recognition Act and its impact on the rights of women and children”
But: Target and harass trans women, deny that trans women are women and, mis-gender and dead trans women on purpose.

Mayday for Women
They Say: “Mayday are a collective of women who have come together to: Oppose the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004, Stand up for women's rights and defend women's freedom of speech”
But: Campaign against self-identification from trans people, promote ideas that being transgender is idealogical brainwashing and intentionally mis-gender trans women.

Fair Play for Women and Girls
They Say: “We are a group of ordinary women who are concerned that in the rush to reform transgender laws that women's voices will not be listed to”
But: Promote lies about the trans community, campaign for trans women to go to male prisons and erase trans identities.

Lesbian Rights Alliance
They Say: “[We] defend lesbian rights to have same sex relationships and defend lesbian and women only space and stop the erasure of lesbians”
But: Intentionally mis-gender trans women, promote ideas that trans men are “sick”, and blame trans people for the oppression of lesbians.

TERFs may be a fringe group, but they tap into the trans-hostile and trans misogynistic views held by many, across the political spectrum. They are not the first hate group to hide under the guise of left wing struggle. We’ve seen it with right wing nationalists and racists working their way into the animal rights movement. Like Gays Against Sharia, TERFs weaponize victim status to demonize and encourage hatred. These are not views that can be “discussed” or “debated”. They even attend anarchist events to campaign for more repressive state laws (can anybody see the irony there?)

They rely on a mixture of clever wording and a hope that the majority don't really understand what they are talking about. They are hiding under a thin disguise what is nothing more than hate speech. They aim to isolate and exclude trans people. They erase trans identities and fuel already high levels of violence against trans women.

This violence is predominantly targeted at trans women from working class backgrounds because TERFs campaign to exclude trans women from women's prisons and refuges which disproportionately affects trans women on the bread line. We all know prisons aren't full of rich people, and the rich rarely find themselves without a roof over their head. And given the institutional racism that both lands disproportionate numbers of people of colour in prison and excludes them from accessing services, it’s safe to assume that trans women of colour are particularly affected by the words and actions of TERFs.

For these reasons and more, we don’t see the struggle against TERFs as a struggle soley for trans women, or even the trans community as a whole. It’s also a part of the class struggle, the feminist struggle, the anti-racist struggle, the prison abolitionist struggle and a struggle for anyone who doesn’t want their group to be co-opted by right wing hate dweebs.

We must no platform and resist TERFs. This can be done in many ways, such as:

Organize demos when TERFs arrange to speak: sometimes their events are held in secret, and it may be necessary to buy a ticket. There are pros and cons to this; but if you decide to, use a fake name and email. Remember to cover your face at demos like this – TERFs will try to film you and then target you. Try to get Legal Observers on hand too, for when the pesky cops show up.

Proactive myth busting: hold events, talk to people, share stuff written by trans writers on social media, or whatever works for you!

Calling Out TERFs: when you hear TERFy stuff, or see it on social media. If people won’t engage, exclude them from your groups.

Support Trans prisoners: show solidarity with trans people incarcerated by the state by writing to people inside (check out Bent Bars project) or raising money to support their legal cases and other needs (Empty Cages Collective can give you pointers there).

It is most important to offer one another support as we organize. TERFs try to pick out individuals, they try to isolate us from one another. But this will not succeed if we prioritize caring for one another.

When talking about this situation, we feel it is crucial to consider the levels of violence and oppression the TERFs are campaigning to be inflicted by the state and other elements of society on trans women.

They are campaigning for a world where trans women are refused appropriate refuge from abusive partners and dangerous situations, knowing full well the disproportionate levels of violence aimed at trans women. They seek to maintain a system in which women are sent to male prisons -a place we have lost far too many trans sisters in thelast 2 years alone. And this is just what they are openly campaigning for, without mentioning the obvious trans-hostile undertones and side agendas that they are less public about.

When opposing TERFs, protestors have experienced intense levels of trans-derogatory verbal abuse and physical violence. Whilst we are in no way telling people they should be violent, nor that it is the only effective tactic, we think it would be counter-productive and insensitive to condemn violence used in the fight against trans-hate given the real life dangers trans people face. For some this is an ideological, philosophical or academic fight but for people like us it’s a fight to exist -so don't be so quick to judge the methods used by some of our allies and comrades.

“But SCIENCE!!!!” TERFs say that chromosomes are an absolute indicator of gender and that science thus “proves” that trans people can’t exist. BUT the reality of biology is much more complicated, “Biologists have never been under the illusion that genes and chromosomes are all there is to the biology of sex.” (Sarah Richardson, Sex Itself)

Trans as a new/ modern idea.”TERFs claim that being trans was “invented” in the early 20thcentury by a patriarchal medical system. BUT in fact trans people have been known in many different cultures around the world and throughout history.

Trans women are socialized as men.”TERFs say trans women are raised as male making them violent, patriarchal aggressors BUT many undergo social transition as young as 5, and/or have lived as women longer than they have as men. Even those who do come out later don’t experience growing up in the same way as cis men and are usually more critical of the way they were raised.

Trans people are obsessed with conforming to gender stereotypes,”according to TERFs. BUT its not realistic for trans people to dress how they would ideally like –some elements of gender conforming are necessary for safety and well being. Despite the risks many trans people still resist gender stereotypes and thus aren’t recognized as trans, making it easier for TERFs to gloss over this fact.

You’ll grow out of it/regret it.” Saying these sorts of things does not have the effect of saving people from surgery, it just delays or even stops trans people from accessing the services they need. Whats more, there are many different ways of being trans not all of which involve the same amount of surgery, or necessarily any surgery at all. (SPOILER ALERT: if you’re ever tempted to ask a trans person whether they’ve thought about this –YES THEY HAVE).

Changing the gender recognition act will harm cis women.”TERFs have been rallying around the claim that changes to the Gender Recognition Act will put women at risk as it will allow men to enter women-only spaces. This is false. Several countries, including Ireland, Norway and Denmark, have already passed laws to allow trans people to determine their own legal gender with great success.

In any case, trans women are already using women’s toilets in the UK. They are also already accessing services via women’s refuges. This is because the Equalities Act 2010 recognises “gender reassignment”as a protected characteristic, and protects against trans people from being discriminated against when using facilities appropriate to their gender identity. Changes to the Gender Recognition Act will make no difference. ■

This zine/article was written by Sister Not Cister UK, An organisation who are angry with the recent rise of anti-trans feminism and organise workshops and media to help educate people on the issues around transphobia.

You can visit their Facebook account by
clicking here.
You can visit their website by
clicking here.

You can download the zine in print format below:-


If you have any trans or gender non-conforming friends, you may have already heard about binding.
But what is it and how do you do it safely?

Binding, put simply, is the act of compressing your chest with material to achieve a flatter form, with the intention of appearing more androgynous or masculine. It is generally associated with assigned female at birth (AFAB) individuals who have a masculine or androgynous gender expression as their chest can often get in the way of their gender presentation and cause a lot of dysphoria. Binding can be an exploration or a step on the way to the more permenent option of getting top surgery for transmasculine people, or a way for genderfluid and gender non conforming individuals to be able to adequately express themselves in the moment, regardless of any wish to change their bodies permenently.

The choice to bind is a personal one, based on individual comfort and circumstances and it's necessary to add that some people choose to use other methods to hide their chest (or not). Of course if a trans or non binary person chooses not to bind they are still 100% valid and it doesn't necessarily correlate that they will have less dysphoria about their chest either.If someone is unable to bind but still wishes to present a more neutral or masculine figure, they might choose to layer clothing or wear garmets like sports bras to give them a flatter form without so much discomfort. Patterned shirts are also good at camoflaging lumps and bumps!

Either way if you choose to bind, make sure to find the right binder for you and keep to the safety guidelines outlined in the comic below which was made by Maxwell Hunter for Transleeds.

Maxwell Hunter is an artist and writer from Leeds who works in a wide range of styles from realistic portraits to children's book illustrations. A former student of Wakefield college Max studied video game design with an interest in story development, animation and concept art. Max draws a lot of inspiration from areas he is passionate about such as lucid dreaming, mental health and LGBT+ related topics. He has been featured in several places such as Buzzfeed and Huffington Post and was awarded FTM Magazines Artist of the Year in 2015 and 2016.

Check out Maxwell's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for more wonderful art.

TransLeeds is a support and advocacy group for transgender identifying people in Leeds and the surrounding area, as well as their families and friends. We aim to provide practical help with all stages and aspects of transition. check out their Facebook and Twitter pages for an array of resources and socials.

Have fun and stay safe! ■


If you are taking action, you need to secure your comms. It's that simple. There are a few options for this depending on needs, tech skills and how much time you have to secure your Viddyjam thread, meme shares and most importantly your action planning. For most folk the app that balances our security for user-bility, is Signal. The reasons for this are, well as the developers over at Open Whisper Systems stated in response to the Australian state's 'Assistance and Access' bill:

By design, Signal does not have a record of your contacts, social graph, conversation list, location, user avatar, user profile name, group memberships, group titles, or group avatars. The end-to-end encrypted contents of every message and voice/video call are protected by keys that are entirely inaccessible to us.

The bill is an Aus variant on the UK's 'Snooper's Charter', intended to give the state more power over our communications. It demands that organisations like Open Whisper Systems hand over all the data they hold on an individual at the state's request. Think of all the data Fedbook Facebook or Google could hand over. Think of your email provider. Think of your Internet Service Provider.

Unfortunately for the state, if you're using Signal, your messages are safe - Open Whisper Systems have no data to hand over. If you're not already using it, below we explain how to get started.

It's available from the Apple Store, the Play Store, or direct from their website (Android users only) and is a pretty small download so it won't rinse your credit. The first thing to happen on boot up is that it'll ask for your phone number. This is the only data they will ever hold on you.Your friends can message you on this number once they've installed Signal too.

It's that simple. You're good to go.

Although Signal uses telephone numbers as contacts, encrypted calls and messages actually use your data connection; therefore you will need internet access (either over wifi, 4G or the brain melting 5G) on your mobile to use it.

If you have used WhatsApp, iMessager or Facebook Messenger before, or even old school SMS texts, then Signal will feel very familiar to you. Your friends who have already installed the app will appear in Signal's contact list. You can write messages to them, send them pictures, ring them, make a group with them... everything you are used to doing now, but without compromising your privacy and security.

A great feature of Signal we recommend using is 'disappearing messages'. This is something Whatsapp etc don't have. You can use this feature to set all messages to self-destruct after a day, a week, a month etc, so if you or your friend's phone ever falls into the wrong person's hands they won't have your entire conversation history - just messages from the last week or so.

If you're still not convinced, Wired explains all the tech behind Signal here: (www.wired.com/story/ditch-all-those-other-messaging-apps-heres-why-you-should-use-signal-again)

For a more detailed, step by step guide to installing and using Signal read the Electronic Freedom Frontier's how-tos here: (www.ssd.eff.org/en/module/how-use-signal-ios)

Now remember, if you might be of interest to state actor, assume they can read your shit. Nothing digital is secure forever. Even if GCHQ or Skum Corp. can't access your data today, encryptions are not “future proof” and just like every other app do not assume it is a a magic bullet and using it will protect you in a court of law against anything that may be incriminating if you are of interest to a state actor.

Aspects of incriminating communications are mainly:

WHO: If it's enough to prove you have been communicating with another party to implicate you does a state prosecutor need to know what your messages said? No. They may use traffic timing analysis and/or meta data analysis to prove people have been talking. For example, let's say a government agency decides to put everyone who has googled 'Kropotkin' on a watch list and monitor their internet connections. Now lets say a bunch of those people are in a Signal group chat and somebody sends a message to the group at 2am. At 2am a blip of data is going to travel down all of to all their home internet connections from Signal's servers, they can record this blip and other blips like it to work out who is talking to each other, then they only need to compromise one device or person to implicate your ass. It's not like they have to do this by hand either -- they'll use AI.

WHAT: Don't place too much faith in end-to-end encryption (E2EE) apps to hide your shit from prying eyes if you are of interest to a state actor. Take instant messages for example; sure they are encrypted in transit, but how do they get into transit? You type them with your sinful fingers first. So what attack vectors may exist?

Also, if you don't have deleting messages and they can get your device password/unlock code you're fucked. Maybe you're logged into Signal on your PC and you don't have full disk encryption - forensics could probably crack your password with a biscuit in one hand. Maybe a spook shoulder-surfs you on public transport and gets your smartphone unlock code. Maybe you get nicked while eating a pasty and left a nice smudge on the screen of your phone where your unlock code was swiped. You get the idea.

Saying all that, it's impossible to deny the utility of secure messengers, 90% of the time the stuff your getting up to wont warrant investing into accessing your device, so make use of Signal for working groups, planing Squats and tactical comms out and about.

We should mention that there are indeed a few other options available, each with their positives and negatives. Telegram for instance is prettier and more accessible, it's most people's gateway into secure comms and hell if it's good enough for ISIS and the IRA, you're XR group are probably ok, on the other end of the Scale would be RIOT, which the Anarchist Federation are experimenting with for short form workshopping and group chats, it's a little harder to break into but functions better for the purpose. ■

For a great comparison chart use : securemessagingapps.com
Download Signal here:

There is something deeply magical about social centres, for that matter any space utilised primarily for the community without any underhand purpose. In this capitalist society we are so used to our social space being a soulless void that only cares while you can pay.

Social Centres change all that. They are the hubs of their communities and the gathering points for rebels and revoltutionaries. These bastions of liberty provide an inestimable service to the people who use them. They should be supported at every turn, utilised and enjoyed,

Some these venues are also resources centres, art houses, cafes and even cinemas, with their voluteers and staff using their labour to build and maintain vital centers of culture for their communities. others act as critical points of protest and mutual aid, truly existing at coalface in the ongoing conflict with the capitalist state.

Many of these centres liase through the Social Centres Network (SCN) who aim to provide a portal to the world of social networks and aligned spaces as they inevitable ebb and flow. The SCN helps to keep the members and organisers linked in and communicating, in turn helping to keep these spaces alive and thriving.

Together with The Anarchist Party and Punx UK we are developing a global Anarchist Initiatives Database to help foster new links and build a stronger international culture of resistance. The first stage or this is developing the technology using British datasets, namely building a map of Social Centres.

For the purpose of testing we have kept a very strict definition of what a “Social Centre” is tho we have included the SCN database and venues with a specific Social Center remi. If we’ve missed one out, please add it via the website below.

Very shortly we shall be adding community cafes, solidarity centres, protest sites, co-ops etc until we have a full and robust map of our revolutionary community. ■

To see the WIP map for social spaces check out:-

For the sake of this article I’m going to guess you’re like most Anarchists in the UK... disconnected from any ongoing community of resistance and struck griping about the every declining state of affairs, unable to enact any change on your Billy Todd. You might live in a small town or major city, but the reality is that most of us engaged in the politics of revolutionary compassion are isolated from persistent networks and let’s face it the ones we are in can be a major emotional investment at times. So you find yourself waiting for the revolutionary momentum to kick in, set to idle.

There are a few reasons for this state of affairs really, for a start half of us are busy trying to survive capitalism and can only occasionally pop our heads up for the odd action or book fair. T he revolution seems likesuch a distant concept that many people just try and live the best life however they can, fair play like. Heck you’d have to be half mad to try and get something going, it’s a lot of work, usually for little result. There isn’t any point lying about it or trying to build some romantic vision for you. It’s graft.

Whether it’s a cheery A-B march or ongoing campaigns against parasitic skum, it’s incredibly draining, especially if you have work to be getting on with. It can however be the most rewarding thing you ever do and for every headache, you got to think about the positive changes you’ve worked towards, especially if your crew is results driven.

The first thing you’ve got to remind yourself is that you don’t need to wait for some larger group to come into town recruiting, not the IWW, AFed or anyone else, especially not liberal outfits looking to increase their donor base selling rebellious vibes at the price of a newspaper. The revolution can only come about through the people empowering themselves, working from the grass root, it’s you and yours that will make your home town less shitty.

Obviously every word of this advice needs crafting to your aims and intentions. Starting an alternative father and baby group isn’t going to be to same as mounting resistance against a coming fascist parade, the immediacy of a response to a police murder demands a different tact to founding an Anarchist reading group, so bare in mind these are generalisations. The first of which is:

* Get Out There And Talk To People. You probably have some pretty strong ideas of what needs to happen around your ends which is grand, but talking to people about setting up something, planting seeds and taking on ideas should always be your first step. You are not an island and you should aim for a new group to be the spiritual property of the collective, founded on your shared ideas from the word go. So get prodding, get talking, get asking folk what they reckon your ends need. Whether you do this on social media or down the pub, hearing people out about what they think about starting up a crew is almost always going to light a fire under peoples asses. They’ve been waiting for something to kick off too.

* If You Build It, They Will Come. It’s a cheesy adage sure, it’s also true. Pick a day, pick a place and let folk know you’re holding a meeting. If this is with your mates have it at your gaff, otherwise somewhere accessible and relativity quiet. The back room of a friendly pub or cafe are the usual spots. These spaces will keep it informal and be easy for people to step in. Obviously context is king but I’d advise against diving into bureaucracy and formality, keep it light hearted and convivial. If you get three people come along. You have a collective. It’s starts there.

* So What Are You After? It’s the big question and your first task as a collective, what are your aims here? Long term and short.

You have to be honest with yourselves. Do what Mary Kondo would do and ask what sparks joy. This is true of any collective, whether you are looking to found a social network, focus a group on a specific issue or create a more general rebel alliance give yourselves some guiding aims. These will be your North Star in the coming struggles, you points of unity and solidarity. Your short term aims will be the corner stone of your...

* Call to Arms. Let’s stop the hunt! Let’s start a food not bombs! let’s run a charity gig! The ideas will pour out, a bit of debate and temperature checking later and – for the sake of the argument – you’ve decided to squat the ol’cop shop and make a free shop. Noice. Now you have a call to arms, your new collective should share out some responsibilities and tasks appropriate to everyone’s capacity and inclination. There is no shame in not being able or willing to take on a role of course but the wider you can diffuse this the less pressure there will be on individuals and the greater the sense of communal ownership!

* The Work Begins. This is where most projects stumble. That’s ok, it happens, just start from the top like. Presuming your crew is full of drive tho you’ll want to build a regular schedule of events. Individuals/working groups should try to get in the habit of reporting back to the group, even if thats just a note to the shared thread saying “Got the drill/ we’veprinted the Section 6’s.” Keep each other in the loop and perhaps more importantly consolidate these growing friendships. Too many activists treat organising like a job, some noble duty they have taken on... lighten up, share jokes, go to gigs, have a laugh. The best comrades are friends, always.

* Educate, Agitate and Communicate! Learn all you can about the action you’re taking. In this case Squatting law, how to enter buildings, defending them and such, not just you but everyone. Share leadership and responsibility. This is vital not only as a philosophical position in Anarchism but also on a tactical level, having a single person be the go to for issues that arise is always going to cause hassle. Now is also the time to step up your presence, make it public, start putting up info sharing related material, provide a point for people to contact you and get involved. Start contacting other groups local and otherwise. Maybe the local SolFed have a few squatters who’d love to be involved maybe Class War want to donate some gear. Your collective is not an island and you are part of a vast ever changing network of mutual aid and solidarity, this is true whether you are “fluffy” or “spiky”, just know your audience. SQUASH the Squatters campaign group are going to love to hear from us, Local Sabs are probably just going to show love and wish our free shop well. Align yourselves with established comrades, accept their support and advice, work hard to develop bonds and trust.

* DO IT. Whether it’s cracking a squat or marching on the town hall, taking action is an amazing feeling. Work with your team and support each other, help out new faces or people who have turned up just for the action. You’ll want to have some media to share to help get the word out but you never need as many leaflets as you thought you did. Honestly a nice big placard and someone brave on a megaphone will be more effective at a demonstration that 300 handouts.

* We did it, Hurray. Now What. once you’ve got something under your belt it becomes real, folk should start to take it more seriously, they’re excited and keen. Keep that energy up! Have an “after action” gathering to discuss and celebrate what happened, share information with the world, thank you comrades and start to look to your next goals. Keeping a regular set of events is critical at this point as is being constantly open to development.

* Make it formal, make it look good. Start meeting up regular, discussing things and taking actions , remember to report back and share it on social media etc. It’s about here that you’ll want to make sure that you have a set of collective aims and principles - by whatever name - If you haven’t got them already. It truly helps to have a written down mutually agreed upon sense of direction. Generating this is almost always a chore but stick it through an make it happen.There will be questions to resolve, from cleaning duties to whether or not you are a dry space. Almost universally here is best to have deference to traditionally oppressed minorities, thats pretty important to progressive organisation. Develop and agree upon processes of internal democracy and problem solving. Remember you are comrades and always act in good faith but it’s good to plan for hiccups. The most vital thing from here on is to keep active and be a presense in your community.

If you are looking to establish a group or campaign contact the Anarchist Federation and let us see what we can do to support you.

We’ll also be expanding this short primer on the website here with in-depth examinations and guides to different models of organising. If you have specific questions or would like us to cover something in particular send us an email. ■