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+1 vote
I've found some great zines, magazines, journals, books, documentaries, and other media(s) about Anarchism/Anarchy by visiting and being apart of infoshops (or similar spaces...radical lending libraries, alternative social spaces.) I have met some great people in these type of spaces.

I've also had some very negative experiences visiting and/or being involved in infoshops and the like (mostly the "being involved" part in my experience.)

How do other Anarchists view infoshops (including similar spaces) ?
by (8.2k points)
As Lawrence puts in his answer below, I framed this question in a binary way (either infoshops are beneficial or detrimental, nothing in between.)

Imagine if I put the question better and asked about the different nuances that Anarchists may experience visiting or being involved in infoshops (or similar spaces.)....not so much black or white questions and answers.
there are two arguments against infoshops, afaict. well, kind of one argument with two threads.
the argument is that it is bad to be tied down to a space - a) takes resources and stability and ties us to the landlord (paying rent/taxes, being responsible to non-anarchists, etc). b) becomes a social drain (the successful infoshop i know of - very long lasting) is a magnet for bullshit social services and charity cases.

i love my local infoshop. so there you go.

1 Answer

+3 votes
Best answer
Not sure how to answer a binary option. There are various possibilities depending on the location and the primary demographic attracted to each space. Each space should be appraised on its own. Each one may be beneficial, neutral, detrimental, and a combination of all or none depending on when you show up, if you're part of the organizational clique that runs the space, if you're a visitor with no connection to anyone there and are not wearing the right kind of uniform (or have some other non-standard visual presentation), or if you're looking to get something that you believe is owed to you. Every factor (plus a million I have overlooked) plays into your experience and the experience of others.

Without having visited more than half a dozen, I'm glad they exist. Abstractly, any time radicals can set up (and maintain) a physical location that's regularly available for gathering and meeting, it's a good thing. And like most self-organized projects, what you get out of it will depend on what you put into it.
by (570 points)
I messed up that question with such a binary focus (either beneficial or detrimental and nothing in between.)