Anarchist Images: Posters from the Labadie Collection

anarchist posters: North America

Free the Vancouver 5 Free the Vancouver 5

Offset lithography.
Height: 59.7 cm Width: 45.7 cm.
Canada, 1983.

The poster shown at the left was produced in reaction to the arrest and subsequent treatment of a group of radical anarchists who came to be known as the Vancouver 5. The two women and three men were arrested January 20th, 1983 and charged with acts of sabotage. The charges against them included bombings and arson attacks against power plants and military installations in British Columbia, Canada. The text in this poster contests the circumstantial evidence against the Vancouver 5 and the inconsistencies in the Canadian government’s claims that they were responsible.

Anarchy and Women Anarchy and Women

Photography and silkscreen.
Height: 43.2 cm Width: 30.5 cm.
Canada, c1978.

This poster was an announcement for a lecture titled "The Feminist Impulse" at the University of Toronto. The text on the poster promoting the lecture has been serendipitously superimposed over the cover of a popular women’s magazine. The role of women in anarchism has been significant. In fact, some of the most recognizable anarchists have been women — Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons and Voltairine de Cleyre to name just a few. Anarchist thinking has also had a strong influence in the development of feminist philosophy. Of particular interest to feminists has been the anarchists’ views on power structures and hierarchy.

Build to Break Build to Break

Height: 41.9 cm Width: 29.2 cm.
USA, 1992.

Produced by the D.A.C./Dayton A.Y.F. (Anarchist Youth Federation), this poster was created to promote a midwest anarchist gathering held at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio in May of 1993. The conference was a four day event which included workshops, entertainment, demonstrations, and various other activities. It was well attended by both students from the Antioch community and by anarchists from all parts of the midwest. The slogan of the conference, "Build to Break," imparts the anarchist’s desire to destruct hierarchical sytems of power and societal control and replace them with cooperative non-bureaucratic forms of association.

Don’t Vote Don’t Vote

Height: 35.6 cm Width: 21.6 cm.
USA, 1964.

This poster was produced in 1964 by the New York Committe, Anti-Vote Campaign. The Anti-Vote Campaign was an apolitical group made up of individuals, anarchists, radicals, and libertarians. The message is simple, but poignant: "direct action not politics!" Clearly, the intent of the declaration is to call on individuals to seek out "direct actionist" alternatives to voting in the 1964 elections. The anti-vote movement believed that the political rights and liberties which people enjoy today are the result of individuals’ strengths and actions — not of their governments, independent candidates, or party platforms.

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About This Exhibit

Exhibit Designer: Cameron Trowbridge