Posts by pfm

Steal Something from Work Day 2014


Happy Steal Something from Work Day! Every April 15, on Tax Day, when the government robs us to pay for the police and bureaucrats who extort us, we observe Steal Something from Work Day. On this day—like every day of the year—millions of workers across the country smuggle whatever we can out of the workplace in a modest attempt to reclaim a little of the time and effort we are forced to sell. It’s a paltry substitute for the freedom we deserve, but pending revolution, we’ll take what we can get.

This year, in honor of all the workers whose stories are never told, we present the testimony of one wage slave who recalls his misspent youth in the stockroom of an upscale clothing store and recounts how he exacted his revenge, ultimately calling into question whether there is anything worth taking from the world of work at all.

More resources for the pilferous toiler:

A Theft or Work?—A grad student brings poststructuralist theory to bear on time theft, why the master’s degrees will never dismantle the master’s house, and how to resist work when it has spread so far beyond the workplace

Out Of Stock: Confessions Of A Grocery Store Guerrilla—A former Whole Foods employee recounts his efforts to run his employer out of business by means of sabotage, graffiti, and insubordination, reinterpreting William Butler Yeats’ line “The falcon cannot hear the falconer” from a bird’s-eye view.

Steal from Work to Create Autonomous Zones—The shocking true story of how a photocopy scam nearly escalated into global revolution.

And there’s more! Steal Something from Work Day videos, corporate media coverage, and even a journal (pdf, 4.3 MB).

What Became of the Boxes

My friends in high school though I was joking. I’d gotten a job at Express, an upscale Armani-Exchange-type clothing store in our suburban Texas shopping mall. How could they allow the sight of me in my duct-taped Chucks and Clockwork Orange hoodie? It made more sense when I explained that I worked in the back, in a stockroom where no one could see me. Occasionally my manager would pop in when the front was slow to tell me about a Rob Zombie concert, but other than that I was left alone with the clothes.

My responsibilities in the backroom were twofold: new stuff comes in, old stuff goes out. I wheeled in the boxes of new clothes delivered daily from the hidden passageways that run behind the stores of any proper indoor shopping mall. If you’ve never been inside, think of it like the modern equivalent of the walkways under the Roman Coliseum where dudes, or tigers, or gods from the machine pop out from trap doors all day to keep the crowds happy. The khakis, and cardigans, and skirts, and chamois got opened, sorted, shelved, and most importantly, security tagged. This made me, essentially, the first line in loss prevention. That was a mistake.

Pretty soon into working there, I figured out that I could steal whatever I wanted by just going for a walk out the back door, down that gloomy hallway, and out the door into the sunlight, to stash merchandise underneath a bush to grab after I got off. It was pretty easy, since the other half of my job was to take the trash and empty boxes out. In fact, looking back on it, it was laughably easy, and it felt nice and vengeful in a workplace where we were all marched out one by one through the security sensor at the end of each night and had our bags checked to boot. I started stealing jeans and coats for my friends who wanted them, but I never took much for myself. Partly because Express Ltd. didn’t really cater to my teenage punk fashion sense, and also because my Mother, who still did all my laundry, also worked there as a second job (which was embarrassing on multiple levels) and would totally bust me if she noticed a sudden influx of expensive pants.

After a while, my friends had their fill, and I didn’t really know enough about eBay to set up some sort of fencing scheme. Stealing from work can be an exciting break from the drudgery, but, in all the jobs I’ve ever worked, it can also be a huge drag. Every time I go to a college dining hall, I walk in the door with big ambitions: “I’m gonna eat for the next two days, and then fill my bag with all the food I can carry!” But half an hour in, when my second plate of pasta hits me and I’m comatose with mediocre nutrition, the very though of bringing all that crap home with me makes me wanna ralph. Work’s the same shit. Even if they’re expensive power tools or building supplies, the thought of bringing the things you’ve been stuck with in a warehouse for 12 hours home with you can be revolting. It’s just hard to get excited about it. You feel a little cheap acting as if the stuff that the company has or makes could somehow compensate for the emotional toll work takes on you.

One particularly grueling day, when I was feeling that kind of nausea with the job and the boxes seemed endless, I had a stroke of genius: it would be a lot simpler to combine my two responsibilities into one. Why not just throw out the new boxes of clothes? No sorting, hanging, or tagging, and no smuggling or fencing, either—just garbage, straight to the dumpster. It was exhilarating: all of the fun and none of the baggage. As long as I didn’t throw out too many, it would never be noticed till next year’s inventory, and I (correctly) assumed that I would probably be fired for some other reason by then anyway.

So it became a routine: some time after lunch, I would load up the little dolly, roll it down those hallways, and heave ‘em into the big dumpster never to be seen again. They looked just like empties anyway.

Was this theft? I don’t know. I mean, if I got caught, I would have been charged with that, but it just seemed different when I didn’t keep or even want the stuff. It was my time, my effort, and some sense of control that I was trying to steal back. All that shit was just trash to begin with.

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Episode #21: Communism & Socialism, pt.2


#21: Communism and Socialism, pt.2 – We’re back with the second installment of our exploration of anarchism’s complicated relationship with communism. Ex-worker’s Russia correspondents Misha and Anastasia come to us through the fuzzy airwaves of history, reporting live from the Russian revolution and what the anarchists are up to…. we’ll see how that goes. We’ll also hear some more feedback from everyone’s favorite gubernatorial candidate, anarchist prisoner Sean Swain, as well as extensive coverage of eco- and animal-liberation actions and prisoner rebellions from around the world.

You can download this and all of our previous episodes online. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

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Presenting Rolling Thunder #11!


This one goes to eleven! We are pleased to inaugurate the second series of Rolling Thunder, our anarchist journal of dangerous living, with a new issue full of adventure and analysis. Whether you’re a committed revolutionary looking for the latest strategic reflections from the front lines, or you simply enjoy the gripping tales of suspense and subversion, you can’t get this stuff anywhere else.

The issue opens with an epic account of prisoner resistance from anarchist Sean Swain, who met the dreaded Extraction Team of Mansfield Correctional Institution in open battle and lived to tell. Our central feature, “After the Crest,” analyzes the opportunities and risks in the waning phase of social movements, including case studies of Occupy Oakland and the 2012 student strike in Québec. We also present a narrative direct from the tear gas in Taksim Square, the epicenter of the uprising that rocked Turkey in June 2013.

Another feature tackles gentrification, recounting one neighborhood’s fierce struggle against development from multiple perspectives to pose questions about what we can hope to accomplish in such fights. Elsewhere, in a fascinating interview, a longtime Israeli anarchist reviews the history of anarchism in his region, from the Kibbutzim through punk and the animal rights movement to Anarchists Against the Wall, closing with some straight talk about nonviolence rhetoric in the Palestinian resistance.

In the theory department, we offer devastating critiques of ally politics and of the ideology coded into digital technology. The issue concludes with a discussion of Eternity by the Stars, the book by the notorious insurrectionist jailbird Auguste Blanqui that became so influential on Nietzsche, Borges, and Walter Benjamin. Francophiles and other bookish types will also enjoy some scathing gossip about Victor Hugo and Charles Baudelaire.

All this, plus the regular features, gorgeous artwork, and 16 pages in full color. At 128 pages, this is our thickest issue yet. Order your copy here, or better yet, subscribe, starting with this issue.

This issue of RT boasts a new format, implementing some of the ideas behind our redesign of Recipes for Disaster, as well as production changes lowering costs without sacrificing print quality, towards meeting our goal of making the magazine financially sustainable: we’ve reduced the size to 7″ x 10″ and added more pages, discarded the spot-gloss-on-top-of-matte-lamination treatment on the cover, and switched to a slightly thicker, but also lighter, 100% post-consumer recycled paper stock.

Using a smaller, taller-proportioned page, we were able to ditch most of the whitespace that had previously been necessary to make the larger pages more palatable and less intimidating. Needing less whitespace allowed us to more efficiently use the new, smaller space we were working with to create a denser but still visually comfortable reading experience. At the same time, the new page size was still large enough to maintain the grandeur of a full-page photo or the dynamism of a blown-out two-page spread.

And the results are in: RT#11 has the same number of words as the longest previous RT (#10 at 66,000 words) and even more photos and illustrations (97 in RT#11 vs 92 RT#10), while also using less paper and weighing 1.6 ounces less, a 15% reduction. That adds up to a 10% reduction in cost per issue while not reducing the amount of content, and though we’ll still be in the red with this issue, we’ll certainly be less in the red. Thank you, and we hope y’all enjoy it.

Eternal Subscription Mailing

All you subscribers should have your copies in hand by now—we hope you enjoyed experiencing the new format without being spoiled by pixely photos on the internet (a rare thing these days). Thanks again for subscribing, y’all make RT possible!

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CrimethInc. Events on Three Continents

1aThis April, CrimethInc. operatives will speak in ten countries on three continents. In Europe, we’ve organized a seven-nation speaking tour to discuss the role of anarchism in the unfolding wave of global revolts and promote the forthcoming German translation of Work from our friends with Black Mosquito. In the Pacific Northwest, contributors to Self as […]

Continue reading at CrimethInc. Far East Blog …

Episode #20: Communism & Socialism, pt.1


#20: Communism and Socialism, pt.1 – Your patience has paid off—we now present to you, dear listeners, the first part of a massive, two-part episode clarifying the age-old question: how are anarchists different from communists and socialists? In the first part, we’ll be covering some basic definitions of communism and socialism, and dive headlong into some heated historical splits between Marx and Bakunin. Spoiler alert: it gets UGLY. This episode includes statements from Jeremy Hammond, Marshall “Eddie” Conway, and some anarchist comrades holding it down in Ukraine, as well as an extensive interview with Anarcho-communist Wayne Price, who’ll share his opinions on how anarchists should be organizing, de-mystify the hyphen in anarcho-communism, and reveal his true feelings about Bob Avakian.

The second part will be coming at ya next week. Until then, you can download this and all of our previous episodes online. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

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Ukraine & the Future of Social Movements


We have heard terrifying stories from the revolution in Ukraine: anarchists participating in anti-government street-fighting behind nationalist banners, anarchist slogans and historical figures appropriated by fascists… a dystopia in which familiar movements and strategies reappear with our enemies at the helm.

This text is a clumsy first attempt to identify the important questions for anarchists elsewhere around the world to discuss in the wake of the events in Ukraine. We present it humbly, acknowledging that our information is limited, hoping that others will correct our errors and improve on our analysis. It has been difficult to maintain contact with comrades in the thick of things; surely it is frustrating to be peppered with ill-informed questions amid the tragedies of civil war.

What is happening in Ukraine and Venezuela appears to be a reactionary counterattack within the space of social movements. This may be a sign of worse things to come—we can imagine a future of rival fascisms, in which the possibility of a struggle for real liberation becomes completely invisible. Here follow our hypotheses and an English-language reading list for those who are still catching up.

Read the analysis.

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CrimethInc. at the 2014 Bay Area Book Fair


We will be tabling at this year’s Bay Area Book Fair on March 22, as we have for over a decade. We will bring the brand new issue of Rolling Thunder and a great deal of other exciting material. One of the authors of our zine Self as Other will be presenting the workshop “Beyond Self-Care: The Subversive Potential of Care”. That evening, Catharsis will be playing a single West Coast reunion show. If you live in the area, we hope to see you at one of these events! Stay tuned for Crimethinc. activities on at least three continents in April.

Catharsis at la Miroiterie squat in Paris, 2013

The Ex-Worker #19: Anarchists In Revolt


#19: Anarchists In Revolt, From Bosnia to Peru – Our discussion of communism will have to wait… because post-socialist Bosnia is erupting in rebellion! In this episode, we share two interviews with anarchists from the Balkans reflecting on the current uprisings, along with recent updates and a Bosnian hip hop artist’s protest anthem. An Ex-Worker travels to Lima, Peru and sends back a report on a recent anarchist book and propaganda fair, including a group shout-out from a workshop about the podcast, live interviews and musical recordings. Listeners critique our treatment of market anarchism, an eco-defense prisoner explains police tactics, and news on state repression, prisoner strikes, and anti-extraction struggles round out our exploration of resistance to authority around the globe.

We’ll be back in two weeks with the episode we promised on what communists and socialists do (or don’t) have in common with anarchists. Until then, you can download this and all of our previous episodes online. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

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Rolling Thunder #11 Shipping Soon


We are elated to announce that in just a couple short weeks we’ll be shipping out Rolling Thunder #11 to subscribers—we received the unbound, printed samples last week (pictured above) and they were absolutely perfect. Issue #11 begins what we consider to be the second series of Rolling Thunder and we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the small improvements we’ve made.

Rolling Thunder subscribers: If you have moved, now is the time to send us your new address, if you haven’t already; shoot an email to with your new address and we’ll take care of it. Also, if you are a subscriber and didn’t get our new issue notification email two weeks ago, it means either your email service marked it as spam, or the email address we have on record for you is no longer valid—if the later is the case, drop us a line and lets us know your preferred contact email. Our most sincere thanks for subscribing, it’s what makes Rolling Thunder possible.

If you are NOT a Rolling Thunder subscriber: Now is a great time to subscribe—you’ll be sent the new issue the second it’s available (and weeks before it’s available to non-subscribers), and it’ll save you a ton of money (see below) compared to buying the issues one at a time. Subscriptions are essential to Rolling Thunder’s continued survival; if you believe Rolling Thunder to be a project worth supporting, please subscribe.

Subscription Cost Per Issue vs. Single Issue Cost:

  • In the US, to order a single issue costs $11.37 ($8 + $3.37 Media Mail Shipping), versus subscribing which costs just $25 total for four issues ($6.25 per issue).
  • Outside the US, to order a single issue costs $32 ($8 + $24 Global Priority Mail), versus subscribing which costs just $35 total for four issues ($8.75 per issue).
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The Ex-Worker #18: Anarcho-Capitalism


Anarchism ain’t what it used to be … if you search iTunes or Youtube these days, you’ll find defenders of capitalism and private property claiming the A word more than ever. In our 18th installment of the Ex-Worker, our twice monthly podcast, we kick off a two episode series discussing what anarchism isn’t, as Clara and Alanis step in to debunk anarcho-capitalism. Surveying the range of libertarian ideologies in the US, we assess the similarities and differences between these opponents of the state and anti-capitalist anarchists, while clarifying how their free market fantasies fall short of a genuinely anarchist vision of freedom. Our critiques of private property and the free market conclude with a hilarious interview with an anarchist graphic designer about their misadventures laying out a book on “market anarchism.” We also hear from recently released grand jury resister Jerry Koch about the insight he’s gained into the importance of prisoner solidarity to anarchist struggle, while his lawyer explains how grand juries are used as tools of political repression and how we can resist them. Listeners offer corrections, suggestions, and updates on prisoner struggles, while plenty of news updates and announcements round out our longest episode yet!

You can download this and all of our previous episodes online. You can also subscribe in iTunes here or just add the feed URL to your podcast player of choice. Rate us on iTunes and let us know what you think, or send us an email to You can also call us 24 hours a day at 202–59-NOWRK, that is, 202–596–6975.

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