. Active News

18th Sept 2018

We have copied the first issue of the Backwoods journal from the US for European distribution. Described by its editors as “Backwoods has a focus on trying to live according to anti-civilization values here and now, with a suggested praxis of “desertion, autarky, and reinhabitation” – that is, withdrawing from civilization materially and psychically as much as is practical and possible” it is intentionally challenging. If there is enough interest we will publish issue two when it arrives.

Backwoods 1


6th Sept 2018

The Bottled Wasp 2019 ABC benefit diary (image below) is at the printers along with our fourth reprint of Another Dinner is Possible and the first European pressing of Peter Gelderloos’ How Non Violence Protects The State. We have joined up with Detritus Books in the U.S. for this publication, which means in this case we have used their layout and artwork for this new edition and just added our name to it!  Next years Bottled Wasp diary – probably the last – has Anarchists as its theme. We also launch the beginning of a major new collaboration with Dog Section Press starting the Great Anarchists pamphlet series. The first two of these A6 pamphlets is Peter Kropotkin often called the Grandaddy of Anarchism he gets to be Great Anarchist Number 1! Voltairine de Cleyre is the subject of pamphlet number 2 in the series and will be followed by most of the usual suspects later. The short introductory texts are written by Ruth Kinna and the cover art is by Clifford Harper. Finally we have published an academic text titled “The ‘Punk Anarchism’ of Class War and Crimethinc”, which is an A5 pamphlet analysing the differing currents within anarchist punk.

BW 2019

3rd Aug 2018

Currently winging their way across Europe to our Northern warehouse are reprints of several of our titles. These include:  Threads, The Russian Counterrevolution, Eat Like it Matters, Fuck NeoLiberalism and our co-publish with Dog Section Press  Advertising Shits in Your Head. They have all been reprinted at a new printers so expect slightly differing specs and colours. And both Threads and The Russian Counterrevolution have been “corrected”  and slightly altered just to compel all you collectors out there to buy second versions!



Active is moving and changing.

After 28 years of being based in Hackney, London, Active Distribution is moving to Bristol. It will now be run by a co-operative of 4 or 5 comrades. This might lead to all kind of improvements! Active will also now have an “open” office in central Bristol from where one can collect orders.

As of the 15th February 2018 I (Jon) will not be sending out any more orders. As of the 12th of February all mail and deliveries for Active should be sent to Active Distribution, Exchange, 72 – 73 Old Market, Bristol, BS2 0EJ . Active Bristol should be up and running and sending out orders from the weekend o the 24th Feb.

Emails for Active Distribution should be sent to info@activedistribution.org from the 15th onwards, but don’t worry all communication to me (Jon) that relates to Active will be forwarded to the Bristol crew.

I will be trying to agree account balances with all suppliers and customers before handing over but thats rather ambitious. The Active bank accounts and Paypal accounts will continue unchanged. But please note the Bristol crew includes a very competent accounts person so dealing with Active might be a little different from now on.

I started doing an anarchist distribution in 1986 and named it Active in 1989 when I linked up with a record distro and opened a squat bookshop in Hackney, now I’m leaving the UK. I will continue to publish books and pamphlets as Active but not be involved in the running of the distribution.

Thank you for you help and support over the years.



For the last 7 or 8 years we have been talking with Antisect about how to release their next LP. They originally asked if we would be interested and we said yes. It seemed we could do a different style release with lots of comment and politics involved and more interestingly we intended to release it for a “Pay what you want” price. Antisect spent years working on the LP and have now decided to sign to a “proper label” and “reach a wider audience” etc. Heard that before? We wish them luck.

As mentioned below we are slowly divesting ourselves of most of the “punk rock” associations with Active.  (The CD’s are all about to go on sale! ) This included a cull of most of our punk badges a few weeks ago and we are now replacing them with some of the designs we never got around to putting on the website. Check out our 25mm button Badges still home made by Marta and designed – or stolen- by Jon!  (30/12/16)