UPitt Anarchy is Cringe!!

Communique from a UPitt Anarchy affiliate, originally published to UPitt Anarchy on 04.07.23

We exist in a place of contradiction. Obviously, our counter-information site is a propaganda outlet. Who exactly are we propagandizing to, though? By situating ourselves in direct opposition to the institution of schooling in general and the Institution of the University of Pittsburgh in particular, we already alienate a vast majority of students and staff. Obviously, we are aware of this. We would love to sway them, but by no means do we expect to, nor is it our intention to.

UPitt Anarchy is not anything in particular. To call it a club is wholly inaccurate. UPitt Anarchy does not have a list of members, nor does it have a leader. The discussion group has consistent participants; students and community members, both within and outside of the anarchist milieu. Just the same, it has visitors who come once, ask questions, and never return. All of them talking in a circle about their perspectives and whatever that week’s reading is are UPitt Anarchy in that moment. The website is maintained by about ten people, who post submissions that we receive anonymously, as well as advertising whatever events people choose to organize with “UPitt Anarchy” on the flyer. We are also UPitt Anarchy. The stickers and flyers are put up around campus by roughly three dozen people at their own discretion; we print a shitload, and people take them and put them up. There very well could be- and probably are- more, and I genuinely wouldn’t know. Lots of people like putting stickers on things, anarchists and non-anarchists alike. Regardless of how down they actually are with us, when they put a UPitt Anarchy sticker on something, they are UPitt Anarchy. Fifteen or so people (probably more) have the login to the UPitt Anarchy social media pages, and they all post at their own discretion. These groups overlap, but they are distinct. They are our affiliates to various degrees; they are all UPitt Anarchy, but none of them are UPitt Anarchy all of the time.

So, any time an anarchist on campus does anarchy, they’re UPitt Anarchy?

If they choose to be! Pittsburgh has a lot of anarchists. The University itself probably has more than the average large university, but by no means do we have a large presence as a milieu outside of certain academic departments. Active “crews” with a visible presence may be few and far-between, but there are a good number of self-identified anarchists among the student body. Lots of them don’t like UPitt Anarchy! Many of those outside of our milieu, (henceforth referred to as “the uninitiated,”) seem to be under the impression that any visibly anarchist act on campus is UPitt Anarchy by default, which is untrue. However, UPitt Anarchy is loosely organized enough that one of us could do something- creative or destructive- acting as UPitt Anarchy, and none of the rest of us would know. UPitt Anarchy does not claim responsibility for actions in general. I will say on a personal note, however, that I have heard assumptions among the uninitiated that certain visibly anarchist activities were the work of our collective, when I know that to be untrue.

What’s the deal with the reading group?

We host discussion groups at the local infoshop, and anyone is welcome to come. It is not meant to be a space where we proselytize or “recruit.” The discussion is a social event. Most of our discussions are centered around particular readings. These readings are not texts that we abide by dogmatically and seek to teach people. We are not teaching people theory. Most of what we read isn’t really even “theory,” and a fair bit of it is only of vague relevance to anarchy. The point of having a reading is to engage with it, and to discuss. Personally, I don’t like most of the readings. It has actually become a pretty regular occurrence that we will have a reading that no one present at the discussion group actually agrees with the position of. Until recently, our readings were determined by a jar that anyone, in or outside of the group, could add titles of readings to, which were selected at random from a hat.

The discussion group itself functions, more than anything else, as a social space for ideas to be exchanged, with the intent of also getting like-minded people to get to know each other. We aim in part to be a jumping-off point for those interested in living and acting autonomously.

So, what do any of you actually do?

We, as individuals and a loosely-associated collective, act according to our desires. None of our close affiliates are only “being UPitt Anarchy” when we “do anarchy.” Often, we “do anarchy” as UPitt Anarchy in ways that go intentionally unnoticed by others. As a collective situated within the post-left milieu, many of us are habitual criminals in various ways; to live autonomously in this way requires a degree of secrecy. To the uninitiated: most of the time, you won’t know when or how we act. Security culture is of utmost importance, and loose lips sink ships.

Why do you favor chaos and disruption over expressing your worldview civilly in the free marketplace of ideas?

As agents of our own free will, we reject the framing of the question. Our contribution to the discourse comes in the form of chaos and disruption. We seek no peace or civility with people who call for our deaths, or who seek to restrict our autonomy. They are our enemies, and to do so only benefits them. It isn’t that we don’t want to listen. We hear them loud and clear. This is simply how we respond.

Why won’t you talk to the press?

Our actions and our words speak for themselves. The press, by and large, seek to discredit the efforts of anarchists. The construction of the “outside agitator” narrative around anarchist involvement in the George Floyd uprising is evidence enough of this.

When Queer anarchists appeared at the rally for trans rights in front of the Cathedral of Learning on March 24th with a zine spread and a banner reading “These faggots kill fascists,” Pitt News “journalist” Punya Bhasin tweeted, “The Pitt anarchy club just showed up to the trans rights rally with a sign containing a homophobic slur. They passed out pamphlets about ‘surveillance and fascism.’ They were swiftly met with trans rights supporters outnumbering the size of the anarchy club counter protests.” This is an obvious lie, and an attempt to discredit UPitt Anarchy as transphobes using an action carried out by trans anarchists who were not acting as UPitt Anarchy. We don’t need to talk to the press for them to lie about us. It is not in their interest to portray us favorably.

Do you really attempt to be taken seriously?

No! We engage with the theater of politics and public discourse as the clownshows that they are. They are frivolous institutions that are granted undue social legitimacy and we will engage with them frivolously. In some ways, UPitt Anarchy itself is a meme. We take anarchism seriously, but we don’t really take ourselves seriously. We’re called “UPitt Anarchy,” for fuck’s sake!

You can send your report-backs, zine submissions, critiques, graffiti/action photos, demo tapes, hate mail, & memes to


We’ll try to get back to you in a reasonable amount of punk time.

Send reports in email form, as an attachment, or better yet, on an easy to use (and free) Riseup Pad or CryptPad.

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