diy manifesto


I got this from Pioneers Press a while back. I don’t know if it’s still in their catalogue. I’m thinking about putting it up in our bookstore, even though there really isn’t a spare wall to hang it. In doing this, I acknowledge it’ll likely be snuck away by some one at some point during the summer. Our town, having lakes on both the northern and southern ends, framed east and west by rolling vineyards, fills up with all sorts of sneaky sun seeking scoundrels. It felt good to take the time to type it out and mull the sentiment around in my head:

‘Our foreign policy is a fetid glop of belligerent macho and corporate opportunism. Our economic policy is an open giveaway to the same smooth talking carpetbaggers who looted our lands, stripped our industrial legacy, and abandoned our kids. And nothing more than “discretionary” White House policy is left to protect us from a full on police state.

Well then, so be it.

We are walking out. We can sew our own clothes, grow our own food, teach our own kids, make our own music, and even build our own supercomputers however and whenever we feel like it.

Between us we know bike repair and cooking and programming and writing and singing and particle physics and we’re teaching it to each other.

We are building alternatives to all of your plastic crap. Every last bit.

Consider the reworked clothes and piercings and purple hair. You’ve gotten so used to seeing it all, you’ve forgotten that it ever means anything.

It does. It means Screw Your Norms And Your Assumptions. I Do As I Choose.

It was “social misfits” like us who invented modern computers, media, cuisine, and a hell of a lot more and we’ve figured out that we don’t have to play your game.

And now we’re spreading the word.

Greens fuel cars with used grease and construction workers run their tools with solar panels. Yuppie lawyers are moving into intentional communities while suburban housewives buy organic food. People are starting to get it.

So go ahead. Build your Maginot line of  shitty jobs, inflated gas prices, controlled schools and mass media. Throw America in that briar patch.

Where can we live? In strawbale houses and abandoned buildings and big group houses in neighborhoods you don’t even see.

What can we eat? Stuff we grow on rooftops, in backyards, in planters, made of milk crates lined with one dollar shower curtains and wherever else we see wasted space. Along with, of course, stuff from our food coops and your dumpsters.

What can we wear? Your castoffs, stuff we swap among us, stuff we sew and cut down and spiff up and rework a hundred different ways.

How can we spread our knowledge? With skill shares and zines and open source software and music and websites and stuff like this poster. We’re homeschooling our kids and doing teach-ins and creating copyleft educational materials and buying used textbooks for ten cent on the dollar.

What can we do for money? We get by with less, barter between us, sell what we can make, and sell our services to the folks we respect.

How can we get around? By bikes everywhere, by mass transit when we can, with biodiesel care where we must. With skateboards and scooters and plain ol’ walkin’. Long distance? Ride shares, Green Tortoise, and converted panel vans.

What do we do for fun? Music and parties and bands with our friends in them and art and feasts that we’ve made and sex, drugs, and rock and roll we’ve had all along. And no television at all.

And we will live happy and laugh last.’

-Rustin H. Wright, 2006



  1. I love it! Thanks for posting, and good on ya taking the time to write it out in the spirit. AND thank you for introducing me to Pioneers Press!!

    • lysette said:

      Maud ❤ Pioneers Press is truly the best! I love the line this ends on. It makes me feel strong and hopeful xo

    • lysette said:

      😉 I had a similar reaction to seeing The Green Tortoise on the list. When I was hitch hiking around New Zealand I met some girls that wanted to abandon ship on the GT cause they said it was just a piss up bus and they were curious about my hitch hiking alone, so I was left with this bad impression of it but I looked into it when I typed this out and seems like those girls had an anomaly, it appears to be an affordable, positive and safe way to travel in a group if, unlike me, a person doesn’t want to travel solo…. Is that Boris on the carpet of The Stanley Hotel?!

      • I’d never heard of Green Tortoise before. I guess it depends what sort of rascals you end up on it with. I remember it being pretty stressful when I arrived in Munich on my own a few years ago, until I realised that everyone in the whole of Germany seems to speak perfect English…

        Boris is actually sitting on special Overlook fabric that Heather bought to make me a Shining cushion. She’s been sidetracked recently by making all of the bridesmaids dresses for our wedding, and next she’s making her own dress, so I don’t expect it to be ready anytime soon!

        I’d love to visit The Stanley though, they used to run a horror film festival there, I wonder if they still do?

  2. cookeasyvegan said:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing.

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