Here’s a testimonial of sorts, demonstrating the proper use of a copy of Fighting for Our Lives. There are 500,000 of them in print, which really isn’t that many when you consider that there are over 26,000 active nuclear warheads worldwide. Please make every single copy count!
In the fall, there was a secret cafe at Station 40. I worked as a server with my housemates, carrying amazing food through a crowded room of friends watching performers in a burlesque show. It was one of those nights where all the familiar faces that you haven’t seen for a while appear, and everyone has an expression like “Why don’t we all hang out like we used to anymore?’’ When things were almost over, I ran into Darci—an old friend I’ve known off and on for almost six years. She’s the kind of friend who’s unpredictable in that way that’s almost always incredibly exciting, but which would probably become frustrating if she were a bigger part of my life. We caught up on where we’d been, what our hopes were, and everything that had gone wrong for us since we last saw each-other. She introduced me to her friends Chelsea and Tracy, and invited me to come back over to the East Bay with them for a party.
So we got on the BART, and I sat down in one of the bike seats with Darci–our bikes resting on our legs–while Chelsea and Tracy sat down in the bike seat on the opposite side of the aisle.
I looked down and noticed a copy of Fighting For Our Lives on our seat. I picked it up and asked “Hey, is this yours?” to the people who had just gotten up and were on their way out. They looked at me, shook their heads, mumbled something, then disappeared out the door. I showed it to Darci, saying “Can you believe that I just found a copy of Fighting For Our Lives on the seat? There are probably more copies of these than people in the world.” She looked over and asked “What is it?”
“Wait, you’ve never seen this?” I replied. She shook her head.
I held it up to Tracy and Chelsea across the aisle, “Have you guys seen this before?”
“Nope” they both responded.
I handed it to Darci, and she opened it to the “Overture” on the first page. She read the first aphorism loudly and enthusiastically to Chelsea and Tracy across the way: “We dropped out of school, got divorced, broke with our families and ourselves and everything we’d known!” She paused, and I jumped in to read the next aphorism aloud: “We quit our jobs, violated our leases, threw all our furniture out on the sidewalk, and hit the road!” We read a few of these back and forth, then realized that we were probably being obnoxious and stopped. I looked up, and noticed that everyone on our half of this very crowded BART car was looking at us in silence. One guy sitting a little ways away broke the silence and spoke up: “Keep reading!”
So Darci and I read the entire overture back and forth. I ended up reading the last bit pretty enthusiastically: “I’m speaking, of course, of anarchists … When we fight, we’re fighting for our lives!” And at that, almost everyone on our half of the BART car suddenly broke out into loud applause. Some people even cheered. Some stood up to clap.
A middle-aged guy walked over and asked “What was that paper you were reading?” “Oh, it’s a CrimethInc. paper called Fighting For Our Lives. Have you heard of CrimethInc.?” “No, I haven’t.” “Well, they have a website - crimethinc.com.” “I need to write that down, I don’t think I’ll remember it,” he said while fruitlessly patting his pockets.
I reached into my pocket, but instead of a pen, all I found was a sharpie marker. I opened it and wrote “C R I M E T H I N C . C O M” across the length of his forearm in big letters. He smiled and thanked me. As he walked away, I saw another guy walk up to him, look at what I’d written on his forearm, take out a pen, and write crimethinc.com on his own hand as well.
Spontaneity always has a way of surprising you by being more effective than calculated planning ever could.