This copy machine kills fascists
DIY anarchist/queer/feminist ’zine distro sets up shop in the 530
About three dozen photocopied, self-published magazines (’zines) cover the table that serves as 530 DIY’s mobile headquarters. Among the varied titles and tracts on feminist, queer and anarchist theory is an amazing array of “how to” manuals providing instructions for everything from constructing a tin-can banjo (“Singing Garbage and Hardware”) to destroying bridges (the unsubtly titled “How to Destroy Bridges”). “Of course there’s a lot of bad things that could be done with that information,” admitted Daniel Sacco, founder and driving force behind the anarchist book distro, “but there’s also a lot of good things that can be accomplished with it. Coming from an anarchist perspective, I think information should be available regardless.”
Sacco, 20, struck out from his hometown of Ventura at 17 and spent some time traveling across the country. By the time he landed at a cattle ranch in Orland two and a half years ago, he’d acquired a collection of several hundred ’zines. Moved by the desire to share the wealth of information and looking for like-minded individuals in Chico, he found a full-size copy machine on Freecycle.org and started 530 DIY. Sacco and roommate Josh Vanzetti (both are using pseudonyms due to the nature of the materials they distribute) set the table up outside shows at Monstros Pizza and other venues and distribute the material, free of charge. Donations are accepted, and Sacco said the money often goes straight to keeping the aging, second-hand machine running.
“It’s broken down a few times,” Sacco said. “The last time, I ended up distributing my own book collection until we got enough donations to fix it. It was painful to part with some of that stuff, but worth it to keep it going.”
Sacco said he’d been involved in similar projects in Ventura and Santa Barbara, such as Café Anarchista, when he and friends would distribute fair-trade organic coffee and anti-Starbucks literature outside of the coffee chain. “We’d all be sitting around and say, ‘Hey we’re all bored, let’s make some wheatpaste and posters, or let’s make a ’zine.’ We’d get active and involved instead of doing something shitty like play video games.”
Sacco hoped to establish a similar group of friends locally, but it’s been hard going: “I really wanted to start with the distro and keep doing more, get a mailing list going and book shows, basically get a group of people together and come up with some cool ideas. I meet a lot of people who say they’d like to be involved but it doesn’t happen for some reason or another. I’ve also checked out the [Chico] Peace and Justice Center, but they seem more interested in liberal politics, not radical politics.”
Vanzetti is also Sacco’s bandmate in Tip Makhno, which takes its name from Nestor Makhno, an anarchist leader who fought the Bolsheviks and eventually became a cab driver. Sacco said his politics and some of the titles he carries sometimes spark interesting conversations.
“I set up the table in the plaza while Food Not Bombs was giving away food last Saturday,” he said. “I got into a long debate with some pacifist, one of those guys who give out free hugs.”
Sacco said Monstros is his preferred spot to set up the table. “I tried doing it at a metal show at Origami [Recording Lounge] a few weeks ago, but those people just weren’t having it and pretty much ignored us. I do best at Monstros and at punk shows in general. I think the punk scene in Chico is pretty far removed from politics, but at least there’s still that underlying subversive factor.”
Sacco hopes to carry more local ’zines in the future (“If people give me a copy, I’m happy to make copies and distribute them,” he said) and plans to do one of his own someday. “I write a lot of poetry and lyrics and have started to do some before, but never finished. I like writing, but also have a big problem with procrastination.”