Into the 21st centuary


In the last year the international computer network called the internet has become a source for countless articles in the mainstream media. But did you know that anarchists have been using this system for several years now?

Behind all the mumbo-jumbo the net is no more than a cheap method of international communication. It allows collective discussion and the finding and retrieving of information. There are several different ways that anarchists have been using it.

There are discussion lists, like the anarchy-list where anarchists exchange news, argue different points of view and organise events. A mail message sent to this list typically takes less than ten minutes to get distributed to anywhere in the world. This speed allows almost real time discussions and debate to go on between dozens of individuals.

A good example of the potential of electronic mail was seen last year following the EZLN rebellion in Southern Mexico. Within days of this event translations of EZLN documents and first hand accounts of events were being posted to anarchist mailing lists. Discussions took place around the libertarian influenced policies of the EZLN and the background to the rebellion. Within a couple of weeks protests were organised outside Mexican embassies and consulates around the world, including the one we organised in Dublin.

This is also an electronic library of anarchist material which can be accessed by any of the 30 million people currently on the net. It now has some 800 text files including the last four issues of Workers Solidarity and several WSM pamphlets. Because of its Swedish origins it bears the somewhat unfortunate name of Spunk press! It is administered by a collective from 15 different countries including Ireland, Scotland, USA, France, Denmark, Australia and Brazil

If you have access to electronic mail you can subscribe to the anarchy list by sending the message subscribe firstname secondname to anarchy-list-request@cwi.nl. Ask for instructions on accessing Spunk press there.

Originally published in Workers Solidarity 44, 1995