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Anarchist Call for Support from Mindsetbreaker Press & Distro (Philippines)

MINDSETBREAKER PRESS AND DISTRIBUTION
Email: mindsetbreakerpress@riseup.net
Address: 157 Ilaya E.Mendoza St. Buting Pasig City, Philippines 1600

INTRODUCTION

We are an underground anarchist publishing and distribution entity based in the Philippines.

We believe that every issue that affect our lives are interconnected ; be it social or ecological catastrophes we have seen today, small scale or large, society or individual. It does not come from us but manifests through domineering hierarchical structures and centralized order; maintained by the state and religion, morality; the spectre of capitalism aimed towards greed and profit and was organized founded and carried out from the ashes of ruthless terror and bloodshed many centuries had passed by that we blindly inherited today.

We believe no borders and willfully continue fighting against it until it’s destruction alongside with sexism, homophobia, racism and other forms of oppression that was created and needs to be challenged. This might come outside our inner conventional wants and desires that we are dealing with everyday to cope up with our ability to interact within society or the question on how we are brought to; by combating such convention inside ourselves.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Mindsetbreaker Press operationally started in early 2010 as an individual project that focuses mainly on translating anarchist literatures (English text) into local languages that will be more applicable and relevant to the rather complex scenario of political, social and economic currents of the Philippines. As time goes on, the press eventually grew in number (its members) after establishing personal collaboration with some friends involved in the anarchist social network and activism. However, the project is open to new people who are interested to take part or extend their support beneficial to the project (lay outing, editing, writing, graphic design, artworks,logistics, financial donations etc). The press is now run by four people specifically working on publishing and distribution campaign besides other existing projects being carried out by members.

Current members of the project were involved in different projects before and presently, individually and collectively. Some run social centre or infoshops, make zine and alternative publications, organizing issue-base radical events and shows, protest and demonstrations, leafleting for campaigns, opening free shop and free food on the streets, forums, networking and hosting informational sites, working with communities (farmers, fisher folks and indigenous people) fight capitalist and state development intrusion (Mining, Freeport, Agribusiness, etc.). These actions had been carried out independent from state intervention, businesses, mainstream media, NGO’s and religious institutions.

The project is ongoing. Activities ranges from translation work, literature tablings to community events like local food not bombs, gigs, workshops and discussion groups in various universities. Much of these actions were run by independent people and numerous friends we have personal connections, linking up diversity of ideas and activities in the hope to be embrace by lots of people who are interested or new to such alternative existence.

PUBLISHING AND DISTRIBUTION

Translating anarchist literatures; transmitting it into local language (initially Tagalog as more people could understand this version); publishing and circulating the final product in paper form to many people as possible are the main initiative of the press; as a campaign project.

We particularly choose the material to be translated (these are mostly mailed from people in the global north) after we review and read through the whole content; how relevant and significant the literature to the local situation as well to our organizing.

While we state the term organizing, we have seen reality base on our own actual perspective and understanding. Thus, we struggle to live our lives in conflict with the ruling order that suppresses our will and motion to be free. We do not tend to organize other people’s lives or propagate on how to bring about certain struggles to live by; as we believe everything is unpredictable and cannot be measured by someone else. On the other hand, in some part it is disheartening for us. We value real connection aimed about life and autonomy; not to rule.

TAKING A GLIMPSE ON THE PHILIPPINE POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE

Since the country was colonized by western interests; for example 300 years of Spanish occupation, Japan invasion for a while and later American influence, arguably, it might be simple enough to understand as to why the archipelago had ultimately endure such complication that result indifferences of perspectives, priorities and interests among its own population. Moreover, it is a very poor country chained in debt; persuaded within the mockery of mere survival. Poverty rate, famine and corruption are visibly high. Likewise, conservatism and religious influence (i.e. Catholicism) is not so new. So does everyday repression by the state (Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police) is rampant targeting petty crimes, outcasts and insurgents in the guise like; covering terrorism images on the media or straightforwardly branding innocent people to be involved in an armed-party guerilla groups (Maoist-left) to justify legal murder. In general, some may have seen it as an unprecedented effect due to economic constraints being pushed around and realistically being felt everyday that leads to further injustice and abuse unbearable.

ANARCHIST ACTIVISM IN THE PHILIPPINES

There are various individuals and collectives involved in different activities and projects in the Philippines such as info shops and social center, alternative press and distribution, solidarity actions with communities engaged on social and ecological struggles, alternative workshops, book and zine clubs, forums, street protest, free food distribution, graffiti, film and art events, gigs, mobile library and free shops, regional and international networking and so on. Actions of such groups are being organize through non-hierarchical and non-statist values and thus believes on the primacy of direct actions to resolve problems; unfaithful to any form of ideological and authoritarian framework to bring about change.

AIMS AND GOALS

The aim of the project is to provide radical ideas on the streets and universities particularly counter- informational and alternative awareness that we feel rich in diversity and open for arguments/discourse whilst give coherence to the practical situation of the locality and time. This comes in paper form through republishing the works of various radical authors we choose to and later hand it out to people in massive amount.

Furthermore, the main important goal of the project besides re-publishing the works of various authors; is to support local anarchist writers (individual and collective) who are struggling to circulate their works to different sectors in society;(i.e. students, farmers, indigenous people, fisher folks, vendors, workers (employed or unemployed), squatters, women and men, gays, lesbian,, youth, etc); not limited only to subculture and scenes. Other than that, we pick up few titles written by local comrades we knew and one local writer is currently involved on the project.
We hope to establish venues and deepen our understanding about anarchist ideas; hopes, dreams and its practicality not remote only to several people, individual and groups but different sectors of society currently struggling everyday living. This includes us, ourselves not above anyone else.

Few of the local titles cover history and politics about the Philippines base on contemporary anarchist perspectives.

By distributing large amount of anarchist literature on the streets and universities on regular basis is seen as first time in history in the Philippines since obtaining money for print-out is sometimes difficult.

Anti-authoritarian ideas never reaches many people of different sectors who are working hard everyday .Basic needs like food on the table are oftentimes the utmost concern for everyone. The present economy will never be useful only usher death and destruction. Every valuable resource that provides life is plundered; monopolized by capital through trade agreements.

We felt that our attempt in bringing alternative and counter informational literatures on the streets and universities is crucial leading to self-awakening and critical thinking among the dispossessed masses. Moreover, we are out to subvert the face of underlying politics that we have seen and felt as anti-human and profit motive.

CURRENT ACTIVITIES AND CAMPAIGN IN GENERAL

First of all, we are currently working on republishing the entire pdf; What is Anarchist Communism? By Alexander Berkman. We wanted to reformat the pdf into a magazine to save printing costs and paper. Means that the text will ultimately become smaller (due to compression) but still readable to the eye (maybe A4 size, 9.5point). The entire pdf is about 270 pages and will costs lots of money for printing.

After republishing the English version of Alexander Berkman’s What is Anarchist Communism, Our plan is to circulate the paper to several universities throughout Manila, Philippines. These are 4 different universities such as Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), University of the Philippines (UP) and other progressive schools like Ateneo de Manila and Technological University of the Philippines (TUP). PUP and UP are quiet better known for many years as to having authoritarian leftist concentration; organizing to manufacture students into blind submission and authoritarian ideology (Marxist and Maoist). This is always dangerous and absurd aiming to overthrow the existing state to grab power in the guise of proletarian management, sovereignty and nationalism to rule people.

“The National Democratic Front (NDF) became the most influential bloc within the Philippine left during the Marcos years. It was directly influenced by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), reinforced by its growing armed group (The New People’s Army) that was able to form battalions in many strategic regions in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The radicalism displayed by the organizations initiated by the CPP attracted many sectors, primarily the youth”- Gasera Journal

We tend to hand out 1000 copies of published material each university in the hope for students to self-organize themselves and take action against all forms of authority; most especially freshman youth and secondary years were authoritarian left organizers masked in disguised in order to capture their mind. We also hear that there are some organizers enrolled there not by studying but organizing students into such ideological lines.

In addition, we’ve begun translating the Alexander Berkman entire pdf into Tagalog. This is the usual language in the archipelago where many people could able to understand or speak to. The tagalog version of Berkman’s are intended for people who are not comfortable with English most especially large sectors of society mostly the poor and marginalize class. We start translation chapter by chapter; piece by piece of Berkman’s. We are planning to publish every chapter in tabloid/newspaper format and disseminate the paper through out school libraries, literature tablings during community events and food not bombs actions, news stands in train stations and other public access and busy streets. We need 500copies per
chapter.

Somehow, due to our limited time this will cost a 15 month period translating all the Berkman chapters (1-31) but at the same time we wanted to circulate it chapter by chapter until everything will be finished. Currently, two people in the project do translation work. We are thinking about inviting other comrades if they are free and open to do so. After translation is done, we aim to publish it into a book format and distribute. That’s our entire plan for the Berkman literature.

Next, besides re-publishing foreign literatures, we are very motivated to produce our own local materials and support local writers’ base on personal consent before carrying out their works under our project, as an underground anarchist publishing and distribution entity. There are 7 titles finally approved after meeting with people and local writers we knew, one is actually now a member of the project and is a regular voluntary writer.

The few titles being approved includes Gasera Journal (collection of local anarchist writings about history and politics in the Philippines), Indokumentado #1 (autonomous ideas, experiences, activism and movement in the archipelago) Anarki: Akin ang buhay ko, Sosyal si Simo at si Sima (anarcho-syndicalist perspective), Archipelagic Confederation : Alternative political structure beyond representation and state politics, Punkista zine (punk subculture and political) and Mindsetbreaker zine (documentation of different social and ecological struggles, campaigns and actions in the Philippines). These are all critical and informational titles available locally that have theoretical basis meanwhile some are connected closer to certain political issues. These, we need 1000 copies per title out of 7 titles we carry.

Other than that, we will do info tour in different schools along with the titles we carry as the main topic aim to open up discussions and discourses.

Some titles we might intend to sell to those who can only afford to buy (like in few universities or event spaces) but mainly for the poor people we gave it for free. We as well wanted to sell some of the titles to assure our publishing and distribution keeps going and supports other radical projects locally. This in the course of time will give self sustenance in the future to run our projects alive and always operational.

FINANCIAL SOLIDARITY NEEDED (in whatever amount you could donate)

As a publishing and distribution entity, we mobilize and publicize literatures through organizing forums and discourses about every topic we carry like history, politics, and anarchism etc. initially aimed at schools. Creating awareness events and literature tabling.

We want the project to become long term as possible that will be more specific on publishing and distribution campaign. There is other related stuff we want to work on besides publishing the entire Berkman book like doing info tour in different universities along with the literature we carry as main topic to discuss about, most especially local writings; essays and articles. Besides, we want to encourage local writers to keep doing what they are doing, even most people sometimes entrapped with the bitterness of time available due to economic conditions.

As an underground press, we are here to openly reach different people and stand our ground not only limited to subculture and scenes. And ultimately become a worthwhile initiative to keep projects running and contribute services to other people, so they can start one; themselves. This might reflect not only limited to ideas but action and building solidarity.

Yours in trouble,

Mindsetbreaker Press and Distribution

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012 at 7:01 pm and is filed under Autonomy.