Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade
From Notes from the Margins
The Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade (or BAD Brigade) was an individualist Anarchist group based out of Boston, Massachusetts, which was founded in 1986 and continued to meet and publish articles and "broadsides" until the members voted to dissolve the group on February 4, 1999. The group played a major role in continuing the tradition of individualist Anarchism and disseminating the views of 19th century American individualists (such as Benjamin Tucker, Josiah Warren, and Voltairine de Cleyre) during the 1980s and 1990s.
From BAD Press
- After more than 13 years of hard work, the Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade voted to dissolve itself during an extended drinking bout at the Green Street Grill in Cambridge, MA, on Thursday, February 4, 1999. Some participants in the debauchery spent the rest ofthe weekend nursing a hangover. Other members announced their intention to carry on the BAD Brigade’s publishing venture in another state more conducive to their revolutionary goals. The BAD Brigade started out as a small circle of anarchist drinking buddies and theirfriends back in 1986. The founding group included an individualist anarchist and several members of the Black Rose collective from across the metropolitan Boston area. Over the years, the BAD Brigade evolved from a loose network, meeting after the Black Rose anarchist lecture series, into an even looser organization. Their desire to avoid becoming a serious, committed, and humorless organization, coupled with the dissemination of individualist and other heretical ideas, made the BAD Brigade an object of continuous controversy within the anarchist scene. Despite these controversies, the reliable publication of the BAD Broadside series and various pamphlets provided a valuable source of unconventional views among anarchists and activists of many persuasions.
- [...] Members of the BAD Brigade expressed feelings ranging from deep intoxication to profound nausea at the disbanding of the organization. The burning question for members and non-members alike was what would happen to the publishing project, which was respected, or at least tolerated, by many who never supported the organization that produced it. A final statement will be published [You’re reading it now!]. The Drunk by Night Organizing Committee has decided not to create any new publications for at least six months, until we can determine whether or not sufficient support exists for them and whether or not it is a politically appropriate use of our limited resources.
From the Boston Phoenix
- To some, in fact, the lure of anarchism is as much social as it is political. Blaine Atkins, a 45-year-old software engineer from Lynn, recalled his days in the Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade, a now-defunct
group known for its sudsy sessions at local watering holes like the Green Street Grill in Cambridge. Atkins once attended an anarchist clambake. "Probably between 50 and 60 people showed up," he said. "It was a good time."
- Of course, among its partisans, there is no absolute agreement on what anarchism is. Atkins loosely defined it as a "lack of a state, and the lack of hierarchical structure." [...]
- Whatever the case, it's fair to say that
many anarchists feel dicked around by the establishment, be it cops, corporations, or bureaucrats. Some are square pegs who've never felt comfortable in any mainstream political persuasion. Some devotees start out as your basic left-leaning progressives, but turn to anarchism after growing frustrated with the pecking orders and power grabs found in mainstream political movements. "They get turned off," Atkins said.
- 2008: Interview with Joe Peacott, Individualist Anarchist (YouTube)
- BAD Press: Broadsides (BAD Press)
- Contemporary Individualist Anarchism: The Broadsides of the Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade 1988-2000 (Libertarian Alliance, UK)
- BAD Press: Tracts in Individualist Anarchism, the Best of 1986-1999 (Invisible Molotov)