Do Or Die #1-10 (1993-2003, Brighton, England.)
A few years ago a friend asked me if I had a complete set of Do or Die, the British Earth First! publication that inspired and incited eco-warriors throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. At one time I did have them, but they had long since been stolen by a Joint Terrorism Task Force.
After a brief discussion, we decided that Do or Die was too important to fade into obscurity. We began tracking down each issue, and decided that while we were at it we ought to archive some other publications as well. That effort is how this web site began, and now, thanks to 56a infoshop of South London and Tim @ NEDS Northampton, we can finally share the very rare issue #2. This completes our collection, and our original mission as well.
When read as a set, Do or Die is a chronicle of people from across the globe counter-striking capitalism, ecocide, and the state. Each issue is better than the last, but more importantly, each page is a spark licking at the fuse of the bomb that is your heart. Once lit, you’ll know that these pages are not mere history, but a reminder that we can explode onto the world stage like the fighters before us have. Do or die, now is the time to rise.
Do Or Die #5 (1995, Brighton, England)
The story of Earth First! in the United States is well documented and frequently repeated, and someday it will certainly make it’s way to digital distribution here on Conflict Gypsy. (Scanning those hundreds of copies of EF! Journal is going to put our volunteers into early graves if we are not careful, so don’t expect to see a full set anytime soon!) Until that time it is our pleasure to delve into the history of Earth First! elsewhere in the world, starting in England and the other places still under colonial rule known as the “United Kingdom.”
Beginning in 1991 there was an explosion in activism across the pond. Wilderness, urban environmental, anti-road, alternative transportation, animal liberation, anarchist, squatters rights, and other specialized, single issue activist realms began to coalesce into an exciting new mass. The origins of this widespread movement had broad roots. Some trace its beginnings to the poll tax riots, others say it was government crack downs on raves, squats, and social centers. Where ever it came from, it grew within a few short years into a spectacular and inspiring mess for the status quo!
From encampments protecting wild areas, to sabotage, to street protests that took over whole city centers, the UK suddenly seemed alive with resistance. While never reaching a size that threatened the powers that be, these outbursts of love and aggression were never the less refreshing to those of us in the United States longing for a similar explosion in revolutionary zeal. Suddenly, Do Or Die became the must read publication that no-one could quite seem to get their hands on!
Professionally bound and book sized, each issue of DoD contained news, research and analysis about the exploits of radical activists worldwide. Conflict Gypsy will be posting a full set of these journal format prizes as they become available to us. The earliest issue in our collection, #5, contains lengthy articles on the live export protests that eventually ended with the death of Jill Phipps, the NO M65 campaign, and virtually everything else worth noticing in Europe in 1995. If you have earlier editions of DoD, please contact us at conflictgypsy (at) gmail (dot) com
Live Wild or Die # 1-3 (Published in various locations along the west coast of the United States, 1989-1990s?)
Edited by rotating teams of anarchists and espousing an anti-civilization perspective a decade before the rise of Eugene’s primitivists, Live Wild or Die was the most radical environmental journal of its time, and perhaps, of all time. Featuring articles with names like “The Eco-Fucker hit list,” which “wise use” guru Ron Arnold later erroneously claimed to have inspired Ted Kaczynski’s choice of targets, LWOD presented an uncompromising vision of a future without industrialism and domestication brought about by train hopping tree spikers, nomadic punk hunt saboteurs, and feral warriors. It was exciting, naive, inspiring, and sometimes a little bit stupid. Still, flipping through it’s over-sized, busily decorated pages you can not help but feel the optimistic spirit of that era. Earth First!ers and animal liberators, monkey wrenchers and black clad messengers run wild across the pulp, heralding a revolution to free the world of exploitation, drudgery, brutality and boredom. Cries for the destruction of corporate property vie for attention alongside snarky comic strips, screeds against new age pseudo resistance, and now un-distributable diagrams for building incendiary devices. The authors believed in their hearts that something better was on the horizon if they could fight hard enough to get there. That deep and passionate longing for utopia is all but dead nowadays, washed away by delusions of “Hope” and “Change” at the ballot box and a green consumerism that only takes us deeper into the pit of shallow lives and dying eco-systems. But somewhere out there I am betting that there are a few young people who pine for a planet that is joyous and just, and I hope they smile, conspiratorially, when they see what the generation who made LWOD was planning.