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GNOSIS 1/2006
A as in Anarchy in the web channels

articolo redazionale

The Web – a privileged place and instrument of the liberty of expression and communication – has become, as seen (n.3 di Gnosis),the medium most used, in the antagonistic scenario, to circulate news, connect groups which are physically distant one from the other and to launch campaigns of dissension. The world of virtual communication lends itself, in particular, to those who criticize power and hierarchy and, at the same time, the absence of rule, the very hinge on which their faith and representation is attached: the anarchists. “….anarchism is, before anything else, a movement against hierarchy. Why? Because hierarchy is the organizational structure which incarnates authority…..” Brian Morris cited from Max Anger – 1997, page 38. And following: “….the anarchists desire a society based on individual liberty and spontaneous collaboration. In other words, a society which operates from the bottom towards the top, and not imposed by authorities at the top towards the bottom”. (excerpts from “What is Anarchy”? in the correspondent section of the site Counter-Power

The divulgation sites

The anti-authoritarian/anti-elitism ideology combines perfectly with the means that favour the self-managed, horizontal, anonymous communication, which, among other things, is committed to the fight against copyrights, in the name of free software.
“The patent and copyright laws are the means through which the State, which is the greatest of the criminal and tyrannical monopolies, guarantees special and monopolistic privileges to the few at the expense of the many….” (extract from “The criminality of copyright and patent laws” by Benjamin Tucker – section “No Copyright” by Contropotere ( Against power).
These and other citations, such as that which refers to the methodology of the anarchic area, taken from the section Direct Action of the same site (“…. ‘direct action’ simply means: act by yourself without waiting for others to do it for you, because only by acting directly can things change”), serves to explain the essentially divulgation function of Contropotere.

Riproduci- Fotocopia-Diffondi

The home page of the site, within the E.C.N. portal (European Counter Network) is, in fact, designed to represent:
- in the two side-columns, an easy consultation guide of ready-made notions on the basic principles of the theory of anarchy and anarchic areas of operation, (such as terrorism, property, collectivism, direct action, history), on the main questions of interests to the area, (such as imperialism, globalization, vivisection, O.G.M., ecology), lists of connection links and many other items, ( symbols, aphorisms, songs, useful addresses) for those who wish to orient themselves in the anarchist are;
- at the centre, there are some specific spaces of libertarian collectives, as well as access, after registration, to discussion forums, newsletters and telematic post, where the consultation of which leads to dialogue and ‘live’ debate among users.
The divulgation nature of Contropotere is confirmed by what can be read in the appeal of the site, in which a call for cooperation is made to anarchist comrades, to send useful material, free of charge, which could contribute to the building of a library of books (at a no-cost downloading), as well as an archive of photographs, documents, songs etc., In other words, anything that can be used for propaganda through the “new” means of the Network.
One goes from the Contropotere dictionary to the multilingual news bulletin of A – Infos, found at ,an international portal preset for multilingual reading in ( Italian, Castilian, Catalan, German, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Turkish and others).
There are many news options, from those in all languages (Archives, last minute news and those collected during the last two weeks,) to those, divided by language, regarding the last 100 bulletins; the first lines of the last ten, the first lines of the multilingual bulletins of the last 24 hours and so on, to finish with lists divided by language, projects and modality of distribution in the Options, as well as, the possibility of having access to the automatic e-mail centre, FlowCool.
“We have given ourselves a task: to be the scribes of the people”. This can be read in the website presentation. The A-Infos services are supplied by a self-managed international community) composed of “anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist revolutionary activists…. who consider anarchism a social theory and believe that a class-free new social order can be achieved only through revolution”.
In this environment of antagonism, news regarding a vast gamma of contentious situations is diffused; such as, labour, environmental problems, racism, sex discrimination, homophobia, anti-colonialism and anti-nationalism.
A-Infos represents, therefore, a specialized press agency, an instrument of free distribution of information “from and regarding anarchist groups”. It does not offer services ‘from anyone for anyone’, “it is not” – it is specified – “a liberal and open service which spreads whatever we like – it is not Indymedia….”.

resistance is fertile

The international collective, notwithstanding these distinctions of principle, and in consideration of resource limitations, reserves the right and duty of autonomously choosing what to release. In other words, the right to choose the best contributions and co-operators.

The militant site: Anarcotico

The anarchist information is diffused on the site, with the concrete plan of militancy. Prior to illustrating the contents of this space, which offers a constantly up-dated picture of the initiatives and problems which interest the active supporters of the anarchic struggle, it must be underlined that the site is hosted in the portal-container of Autistics, managed by the A/I collective (, which has recently started the R*ESIST project “for a resistance communication network”.
It concerns a project finalized to implement the electronic communication of the independent and self-managed structures (“to prevent, as much as possible, the risk…. of interruption”) offering free spaces and services (electronic mail, mailing list, chat for dialogue in real time) to those who share the right to and the need for free communication, the right to privacy, anonymity (2) and to those who are in favour of free software and open licences and, obviously, against copyright (from the server Manifesto: “for a start, we want everything”).
The only condition to have access to the server’s facilities which, it is specified, “cannot be devoted to commercial activities (direct or indirect), to the clergy, to institutional political parties”, it is the sharing of the principles of anti-fascism, anti- racism, anti-sexism, and of non-commercialism”.


The collective which manages the server, which has no co-ordinator and takes its decisions in a “transparent and horizontal” manner, through discussions in a mailing list, takes no responsibility for the content of the guest sites, which responsibility falls on their own webmasters, simply ask that they share the Manifesto principles.
To enter ‘Anarcotico’ means to enter into the heart of the anarchic reality in our country. The home page, in fact, is introduced by the Repression section, which offers a flash of the events ‘suffered’ by anarchist militants in the last months (arrests, trials), together with the various initiatives of solidarity (pickets in front of jails, demonstrations, fund raising dinners and concerts, debates, assemblies) organized in their support and announced in real time.
A list of the most recent and important news follows, sub-divided into subject. (For example, anti-fascism, migrants, CPT, Communiqués, Prisoners and Revolts), which concerns also foreign events, and information regarding rendezvous for meetings and planned mobilization, as of the date on which the site is visualized.


The page ends with a ‘Special’ section, contributions on themes of specific interest, among which, for example, one on Informatics Self-defence, a kind of ready-to-use handbook, open to revisions and modifications, aimed at giving juridical and technical information in the case of seizure and/or confiscation of informatics material by Judiciary Police, bearing in mind the “ever-increasing phenomenon of judicial investigations constructed on easily manipulated evidence (tapped conversations, interceptions on computer and internet) which no-one takes the trouble to verify or expose”.
The links to access the News Archive starts from the home page, where the articles published in the previous month are kept, with the record of the number of ‘visits’ to each piece, and to the News subjects, where news items are divided by topic and identified by a symbol.


At this point, the telematic reader, updated on the news and the most recent and important campaigns of interest to the area, can now choose from the ‘more detailed’ sections in the site; Current Events (also including boycott information, with a list of the companies and industries and their Net addresses), Topics, Surveys, Culture, where contributions, book abstracts, reviews, conference speeches on particular problems can be visualized. One might then proceed to ‘navigate’ on the connected web links.
To participate in this “militant” space, to exchange contacts, information, to be published, it is obviously necessary to register, as for any other site, in order to share and, above all, “to produce” the independent telematic news.

The site of deeper research:
Social war

“That the fear change sides!”: with this exhortation ‘the editorial’ of the site opens, in which it is hoped that against the ‘terror’ generated by the expulsion of clandestine immigrants by the State and by the ‘masters’ and against the ‘blackmail of the dependent labour’, a “war of the exploited against the ‘exploiters’ be waged.
The web space is essentially dedicated to a deeper cultural research of the topics of major interest to the anarchic area, offering a showcase of published material, magazines, reviews, leaflets and documents.
In fact, the home page is structured in such a way as to show at ‘first glance’, the book novelties, the most recent editions of magazines, the access links to available texts divided into a ‘topics’ archive, e.g.( struggles, revolts and insurrections, the Geography of control, “We shall never work…..criminals of the world, unit!” etc.,) and then on to links with other sites in Italy and abroad, available in other languages (at the moment English, French and Castilian) and to the catalogues of the major anarchic editorial centres.
The definitions used in this article to identify, in some way, the types of the sites (3) , obviously, do not exhaust the spectrum of the anarchic presence on line and neither do they wish to limit to the ‘classification’ used, the area of propagandist intervention of the subjects, collectives, groups which, in principle, extol the non-organization and the radical refusal of rules.

(1) In line with the practice of self-management, volunteer subscribers are invited, according to their various abilities, translations, legal support, recent hardware etc., (2) To protect these aspects, specific instruments are offered, such as the anonymizer and the anonymous remailer, which permits, respectively, navigation on the web, without leaving trace of own presence and the sending of coded messages. (3) It is noted, besides, that the telematic addresses are subject to change, inasmuch as the sites frequently change the host server.