So this is vaguely random, but today as I sat at Red Emma’s, the worker-owned coffeeshop/bookstore in Baltimore, I was thinking about anarchist projects. We’re used to the idea of the “infoshop”, which is more or less to say anarchist bookstore (although it has implications of meeting space as well). In some cities we’re spoiled enough to have anarchist cafe’s as well, so those of us who like to spend money on prepared food and coffee and other such non-essentials have a good place to do so. There are a handful of bike shops (Baltimore just got one). Then there are a few anarchist free stores… these are my favorite of all of these, though of course they are the hardest to maintain. But to focus on the moment on anarchist businesses… why mostly bookstores? (I’d rather not get into the pros and cons of anarchist business in general at the moment)
Maybe it’s been done, but I’d love to see a craft/hardware store run by and for DIY folks. Bookstores (and I love bookstores, don’t get me wrong) offer mostly the exposure to theory, but what if we had a place that offered an exposure to craft? Homebrewing supplies, fabric and thread (kevlar is cheaper in bulk, by the way), metalworking tools… available from a worker-owned place. Hell, if it’s a downtown kind of location, you could also do consignment selling of crafts, offering local artisans another outlet to earn a living. Let’s re-invent the infoshop.
Now, I’m just throwing this out there. I don’t see myself really working on it. I would just go there a lot if it existed. If anyone knows about projects like this already in existence, please let me know!