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Anarcho-punk and resistance in everyday life

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Punk and anarchism have frequently been linked within the popular imagination. Many of the original punks employed the circle-A symbol for its shock value, but for many bands and individuals who followed, anarchism came to mean more than a symbolic affectation. Inspired by bands such as Crass, an anarcho-punk culture evolved that connected punk’s do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos with anarchism’s perpetual struggle against hierarchies. Today, anarcho-punk continues to be vibrant across the globe, though often outside of the mainstream gaze. Drawing upon extensive global research, this article explores the ways in which anarcho-punk offers its adherents opportunities for political resistance within their daily lives. The article begins with a brief summary of the development of anarcho-punk, then explores how various anarcho-punks conceive of ‘anarchism’. The article contends that anarcho-punks are currently important in reviving and sustaining anarchism as a political way of being. The article then examines some of the ways in which anarcho-punks practice anarchism and resistance in their everyday lives, focusing on squats, youth houses, touring bands, and DIY record labels and distros. The article concludes with a critical examination of the potential of anarcho-punk for a sustained project of political resistance.

Keywords: Anarcho-punk; DIY culture; anarchism; distribution; record labels; squats; youth houses

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/punk.1.2.201_1

Affiliations: Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Publication date: August 24, 2012

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  • Punk & Post-Punk is a journal for academics, artists, journalists and the wider cultural industries. Placing punk and its progeny at the heart of inter-disciplinary investigation, it is the first forum of its kind to explore this rich and influential topic in both historical and critical theoretical terms.
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