Staffan Jacobson – författare, konstnär och frihetlig socialist i Lund.
#author Prameń via Anarchist Library.
Anarchist and revolutionary must be ready for revolution to happen in every moment, especially now, when social and political protest all around the world are arising more and more often. Moreover, the possibility of global catastrophes and cataclysms is always present, and saving ourselves along with continuing our struggle in that case should always be in our agenda.
To write this article, we adopted the experience of people’s struggle in Ukrainian Maydan, successes and failures of recent anti-governmental protests in Belarus and Russia and analyzed the capacities and repressive tactics of police and intelligence in our country in last years. Though this tips were written first of all for comrades from above-mentioned countries, they may be useful for anarchists in any part of the world.
We live in very troubled times. Well, they can’t be untroubled, taking into account global capitalism and never-relenting class war. It’s just a question of time, when the state system ends because of the social revolution, civil war, foreign intervention or ecological catastrophe. This is why, in an extreme situation, when the common way of life collapses and a single human life has no value, the anarchists and the antiauthoritarians should be ready to stay alive and to save lives of their comrades in order to fight together and live up to their principles.
We won’t overexplain to you, what the purpose of this or that item on our list exactly is; we are sure that you can read between the lines and see the obvious.
Let’s start with the material equipment. What does an anarchist need in order to survive and take action in the revolutionary situation?
1. Self-protection equipment.
a. helmet. A crash-helmet, if possible; an airsoft helmet would do, or, in the worst case, a hard hat like those used by construction workers.
b. gas mask.
c. bulletproof vest (at least Type III armor level)
Optional: knee- and elbow-pads, shin guards, an ammunition vest, a shield (wooden or aluminic).
2. First Aid Kit
To see what you should include, look through this list of essentials:
a. dressings and bandages
b. adhesive bandages in all sizes to cover all types of wounds.
c. alcohol wipes or cotton swabs
d. gauze pads of different sizes
e. dressing Tape
h. safety pins
i. alcohol free cleaning wipes
j. crepe bandages
k. sterile water
l. eye pad
m. digital thermometer
p. mouthpiece for CPR
r. disposable syringes
s. cotton buds
And this list of medicines:
a. basic cough and cold medicine (prescribed)
b. antiseptic solution
e. antiseptic ointments
f. eye wash Saline solution
g. calamine lotion
h. laxative and anti-diarrhea meds
i. sting relief spray or cream
j. anti-nausea meds
k. prescribed medicines for a medical condition
*** 3. Handheld transceiver (walkie-talkie)
You’ll need one that can scan the radio waves. Radio enthusiasts recommend these ones: Yaesu VX-8DR, Yaesu VX-6R, Yaesu VX-7R
*** 4. Camping equipment
b. sleeping pad
c. sleeping bag
d. mess tin
e. tin cup
f. hunting knife
g. hiker’s backpack
5. Equipment for spreading information
When the Internet is down, using a printer and a xerox machine will be almost the only way to spread your ideas.
Optional: video projector, megaphone
6. Immediate Survival Kit
a. non-perishable food stock, such as canned food, freeze-dried products, etc.; and a 3-day potable water reserve. To keep the water drinkable for long, put in a small piece of silicon or silver (a couple of links from a small silver necklace would suffice).
b. flashlight with extra batteries
c. pocket knife
d. storm matches
f. first aid kit
g. spare underwear
Optional: threads, needles, razor-blade, scissors, a small tool kit, candles and so on.
Diesel power generator, fuel reserve, automobile, night vision device, mobile connection jamming device, GPS navigation device, dosimeter. All these things are not cheap, but if you have them, they will definitely pay for themselves in a situation of revolution and/or collapse of urban infrastructure.
Now, let’s switch from technical equipment to skills and abilities that will help us survive and go ahead with our actions.
8. Overall physical condition
In any extreme situation, this factor is of key importance. Physical weakness and absence of stamina leave you defenseless when you’re facing danger, and render the rest of your skills useless. On the other hand, an anarchist doesn’t need to be an athlete – a professional physical training takes too much time. So, what’s the ideal to aspire to? Have a look at the army conscripts’ standards.
It’s obvious that the special forces, such as Russian FSB and Belarusian KGB, are always the tip of the spear when the state suppresses the mass protests and “pacifies” the revolutionaries. Draw your own conclusions.
9. Self-defence technique
The qualities you need: no fear of entering the fight, a good punch, ability to fight two people at a time, at least for a while, knowing how to disengage from a clinch. Of course, not everyone likes martial arts, but to achieve the aforementioned qualities it would suffice to take a two-year course in thai box (or kickbox, wrestling, sambo, krav maga, mixed martial arts, etc.). The skills you develop in two years will stay with you for the rest of your life.
10. Knife technique
In certain situations, a perfect knife technique can be life-saving for you or your comrade. Make it your routine to always have a well-hidden knife on you.
To learn the knife fight you’ll need your own personal knife and two training knifes (wooden or rubber) for your training partner to drill the moves together. The training knifes should copy real combat knifes to the max. You can learn the knife techniques in a specialized sport club or through video lessons – there is a plenty of them on the web.
11. Handling firearms
You need to:
a. hit a body-shaped shooting target with more than 80% accuracy from a handgun (25 meters) and a short rifle or carbine (100 meters). For this, you’ll need to practice on a shooting range.
b. know the mechanics of the basic firearms used by Belarusian repressive forces. For this, study specialized literature on the web.
c. know the operational tactics of military units within a city: moving, assaulting a building, organizing an ambush, retreating, etc.
Just remember that anything related to firearms, such as an airsoft club membership, buying legal hunting weapons etc. can draw the attention of the repressive forces, which can have bad repercussions on the X-Day.
12. Surviving imprisonment
In Belarus, no one is safe from prison, so much the less an anarchist, an antifascist or any social activist. Anyone who is fighting the state must be ready to serve their term, otherwise their morality will be broken down and they will be forced to betray their comrades.
You should read books and articles about prison life, talk to former political prisoners, prepare yourself spiritually and physically and, of course, never forget to support imprisoned anarchists and antifascists: one day you’ll be paid in return for everything you do in life.
13. Ideological schooling
Every one of us should know how to explain the core of anarchism to anyone, even to the most brainwashed philistine. For anarchism, word and intellect were always more important than violent struggle, and if we can’t express our ideas in a clear and competent way, the muscles and weapons won’t help us. You should be able to talk in layman’s terms about every single element of the anarchist theory (egalitarianism, anticonsumerism, antifascism, environmentalism, antisexism etc.) and to give examples of practical implementations of our ideas in history and in our times.
14. Courage and determination
And finally, the main “skill” or “tool” (if we may say so) of a social revolutionary should be courage and determination to overcome any obstacles on the way to our goals. Joining the revolutionary struggle, every one of us must be aware of our own limitations and possibilities. Make a list of things that you are ready to sacrifice: it can be your time, money, family links, freedom or perhaps even your life. Remember that overestimating yourself is much worse than underestimating. In the severe trying hour, overestimating may lead to moral breakdown and treason. Before doing anything, everyone must clearly see why she/he is doing it and what may be the risks.
Let the great revolutionaries of the past be your guides in your self-determination. On the way to their goal they had no pity for anyone including themselves. Many hundreds of them died on gallows and scaffolds, many others perished under oppressors’ bullets, laughing in their killers’ faces. We are strong enough to live up to them. It is our duty to prove that they didn’t sacrifice their lives in vain.