Library Juice 3:8 - February 23, 2000


1. Literature, libertines and Lenin's wife
2. Library School Lunacy
3. Filtering thread on PUBLIB
4. Latest on Holland, MI filtering battle
5. The Center for Public Integrity
6. Public Citizen's Campaign Finance Reform and Government Ethics page
7. FAIR's election reports
8. Steve Sovern's story, from Jim Hightower
9. "I WON'T VOTE," by W.E.B. Du Bois
10. Two feet good! Four wheels bad!
11. Library Song

Quote for the week:

"For years, we've been bludgeoned with the cliche "information is power."  But
information isn't power.  After all, who's got the most information in your
neighborhood?  Librarians.  And they're famous for having no power at all.
And who has the most power in your community?  Politicians.  And they're
notorious for being ill-informed."

-From the jacket of the recent book _High Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don't
Belong in the Classroom,_ by Clifford Stoll

Home page of the week: James Quinn


1. Literature, libertines and Lenin's wife

famous people and libraries


2. Library School Lunacy

by Harleigh Kyson

Library school is an academic absurdity. At least ninety per cent of what
it teaches, and ninety per cent of all library literature, is pure,
unadulterated bullshit. Still, though fully aware that getting a library
degree would be as bad as getting a teaching credential, I bought a gas
mask, shovel, and a pair of hip boots and got an MLS anyhow, since it
seemed to be a good union card and meal ticket...


3. Filtering thread on PUBLIB

Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 05:45:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Jamie McCarthy <jamie[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Re: "filters block a great deal of valuable information"

David Burt writes:

> > And of course, it is not just "the 'official' line of the ALA"
> > that filters block a great deal of valuable material.  It is
> > simply a fact, as illustrated by numerous studies and affirmed
> > in a court of law. Regrettably, the facts of this issue have
> > become politicized.
> These statements are factually untrue.

I'm sorry, David, but even you cannot deny that it has been
demonstrated that filters block a great deal of valuable material.
It has been shown, over and over, too many times even for you to
suggest otherwise.

> There are *no*, repeat, *no* studies of the type of filtering used
> in libraries that shows they "block a great deal of valuable
> information".  The only studies that exist even claiming filters
> block "a lot", such as TIFAP study word-blocking filters.

I'm not sure how you can say that in good conscience when you know
that all of the Censorware Project's reports have studied filters that
don't use word blocking, as they would be used in public libraries.
We have found a great deal of valuable material blocked by each of the
products we have studied.

> By far the best proof that this is untrue is the Censorware
> Project's own research.  Your own study of 53 million web accesses
> in Utah found only about 300 web accesses that you claim were
> wrongly blocked. (By my count it's only 64).

The above statement is factually inaccurate, and David, I believe you
are intelligent enough to know it to be so.  I'm not going to respond
to this in detail, because I already did, earlier this week.  Please

As I wrote in that article, the numbers you use above are "comparing
apples to hydrogen."

> You later drastically revised your count to 5,601, but showing
> astonishing similarity to the tactics of filtering companies, you
> have refused to release this new, secret list of allegedly blocked
> sites.

As I'm sure you know, the count was not "revised";  you are just
trying to make it seem so.  We have always offered the complete set
of data that we work from, so that you or anyone else can duplicate
our results -- which you can do from the material we've already
published.  It's all still available on CD-ROM for the cost of the
media.  Open-source activism at its best!

> This fact has not escaped a number of journalists and editorialists:

Yes, of course there are journalists who believe your mistaken ideas
about our project.  But for you to issue false claims, and then quote
people who are quoting you, does not make your point.  Unfortunately
for you, the numbers simply do not support what you say.

> It is also factually untrue that this was "affirmed in a court of
> law", since the judge in Loudoun struck the policy down as
> unconstitutional on its face, and didn't examine the degree of
> overblocking. (Granted, given the judge's sentiment, it is likely
> she would have.)

No comment required.

> Yet in the past you have opposed "tap on the shoulder" policies as
> unconstitutional.

Have I?

> Indeed, the latest legal memo from ALA flatly calls policies like
> Holland's unconstitutional: "libraries should not rely on their
> employees to make content-based judgements about the
> appropriateness of a particular patronÌs Internet use. Such an
> Ïinformal filteringÓ policy invites arbitrary and discriminatory
> enforcement and runs contrary to the libraryÌs mission and the
> First AmendmentÌs guarantees."
> Well Jamie, what's the answer?  Are you urging Holland to continue
> a policy the ALA calls unconstitutional or not?  Well?

David, just because I responded to a post of yours does not give you
the right to harangue me about whatever comes to mind.

I think Holland's current policy is much less restrictive than any
form of blocking software would be.  Therefore, I reject the current
ballot initiative.

Again, I suggest readers interested in the subject should read my
recent debunking of David Burt's mendacity, at:
        Jamie McCarthy

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Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 18:44:17 -0800 (PST)
From: mgolrick[at] (Michael A. Golrick)
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: re: "filters block a great deal of valuable information"

>There are *no*, repeat, *no* studies of the type of filtering used in
>that shows they "block a great deal of valuable information".  The only
>that exist even claiming filters block "a lot", such as TIFAP study word-
>blocking filters.


You are wrong!

My wife is a hospital librarian where they have installed filters. Her
computers are regularly blocked from such sites as "" because of
use of names of body parts.

I hope that if I ever go to a hospital in an emergency, that the body part
a doctor needs information on is not one blocked by the hospital's
filtering software!!!!


Michael A. Golrick         mgolrick[at]
Southern Connecticut Library Council
2911 Dixwell Ave, Suite 201
Hamden CT 06518-3130

voice: 203-288-5757
fax: 203-287-0757

Connecticut Library Association President 1999/2000
Connecticut Chapter Councilor

Check out SCLC's new home page:

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Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 18:50:04 -0800 (PST)
From: Brian Smith <bsmith[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: re: "filters block a great deal of valuable

At 08:27 PM 2/16/00 -0800, David Burt wrote:
>By far the best proof that this is untrue is the Censorware Project's own
>research.  Your own study of 53 million web accesses in Utah found only
>300 web accesses that you claim were wrongly blocked. (By my count it's only

I don't see how Mr. Burt can honestly say that the Censorware Project
report claims that "only about 300 web accesses" were wrongly blocked.  It
should be clear to anyone who reads the original Utah report that the bad
blocks listed are not a complete enumeration of the number of
wrongly-blocked access attempts that were discovered, and that the
Censorware Project didn't even attempt to find every instance of overblocking.

There is also no way that anyone with knowledge of quantitative analysis
methods could read Censorware Project's report and honestly come up with a
figure near Mr. Burt's "only 64 out of 53 million sites were wrongly
blocked."  (The figures which Mr. Burt compares were not subjected to the
same or equivalent manipulations -- a big and very basic no-no.  Also, the
correct basis for comparison is the number of wrongly blocked sites vs.
total sites blocked.)  The fact that Mr. Burt's fabrication has been
repeated in the press means only that the reporters were too lazy or too
stupid to look beyond Mr. Burt's claims.

I find it appalling that a librarian would not only manufacture and repeat
egregiously false information with such zeal, but would even celebrate when
it's spread further by others.

>You later drastically revised your count to 5,601, but showing
>astonishing similarity to the tactics of filtering companies, you have
>to release this new, secret list of allegedly blocked sites.

Let's look past the mischaracterization of Censorware Project's practices
for a moment: Is Mr. Burt saying that he thinks the methods used by the
makers of the products he endorses are unacceptable?

> Indeed, the latest legal memo from ALA flatly calls policies like
> Holland's unconstitutional:
> Are you urging Holland to continue
> a policy the ALA calls unconstitutional or not?  Well?

Um, the legal memo is from the law firm of Jenner & Block, not from ALA.  I
disagree with this bit of J&B's memo, since it assumes "arbitrary and
discriminatory enforcement."  I worked for a major law firm for more than 8
years; I know that lawyers sometimes make mistakes.  (That's why there are
so many of them! <g>)

Brian Smith
Assistant Head of Adult Services
Villa Park (IL) Public Library
. But writing only on my own behalf
"If you didn't want them to think, you shouldn't have
given them library cards." -- _Getting Straight_ (1970)

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Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 05:50:13 -0800 (PST)
From: David Burt <dburt[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Study touted by ALA grossly flawed

Study touted by ALA grossly flawed
For Immediate Release
Friday, February 18, 2000
Contact: David Burt
503 635-7048

A new study currently being touted by the American Library Association
as demonstrating that Internet filters "improperly block 21% of benign
content" has been found to have gross flaws in sampling and methodology.
The sample used in the study was seriously flawed because it attempts
to represent the entire Internet with a non-random sample of 200 sites,
many of which were selected with the apparent intent of triggering
filters.  A much worse flaw in the study is its methodology, because it
tests for blocking of  "sex", "profanity", "nudity", and "violence",
with filters configured by the researcher to block "gambling" and
"alcohol", against a sample of "purposefully selected" gambling and
alcohol sites, which the research then counted as "wrongly blocked".

Mr. Hunter's Study
A key statistic currently being touted by the American Library
Association in its opposition to filtering is "filters block one out of
every five sites containing legal, useful information."   The statistic
is cited four separate times in ALA's newest document, "Libraries & the
Internet Toolkit", available at
The source of the statistic is  "Filtering the Future? : Software
Filters, Porn, PICS, and the Internet Content Conundrum" (July, 1999),
the master's thesis of Christopher Hunter, a doctoral student at the
Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania.

The study is reminiscent of the famous Mary Rimm study, "Marketing
Pornography on the Information Superhighway" (1995), in that it makes an
astonishing statistical claim about the Internet that conflicts with
common sense and every-day experience.  Just as regular Internet users
were incredulous of Rimm's claim that "83.5 percent of all computerized
photographs available on the Internet are pornographic", regular users
of filtering software are incredulous of Hunter's claim that filters
"improperly block 21% of benign content".

The 21% figure conflicts with other evidence gathered about the
effectiveness of filters. A study by The Censorware Project of 53
million filtered web accesses in the state of Utah found that "banned
accesses made up less than 1% of overall accesses"
( ).

Further, for the filters tested by Mr. Hunter to block 20% or more of
the entire world wide web would appear to be mathematically impossible.
Hunter reports that the filter Surfwatch contains a "blocked site list
of more than 100,000 URLs", and that the filter CyberPatrol contains
"50,000 plus sites on its blocked list."  Hunter then reports that
Surfwatch "blocking 14...percent of content" and CyberPatrol "blocking
18 percent of content".  Yet with tens of millions of individual web
sites in existence, both CyberPatrol and SurfWatch would need blocklists
of several million, not 50,000 to 100,000 to achieve such results.

Problems with the Sample
Like the Rimm study, Hunter's problems begin with his sample.  While a
sample of 200 sites might be useful in studying a portion of the web,
such as the gambling or pornography sites, 200 sites is far too small to
adequately represent the breadth of the entire world wide web, currently
estimated to be between 800 million and one billion pages.

But a more serious problem with the sample is that it is not random.
Hunter did select 50 random sites using a search engine, but the other
150 sites in his sample were not random.  Further, the filters only
blocked 2.5% of this random sample, yet blocked nearly 10 times that
much in the 150 non-random samples.

Obviously, there are serious problems with the non-random sampling.
Hunter selected 50 more sites by using search terms like "sex", and
"warez", (illegal software) then the other 100 sites by selecting
websites related to safe sex, gambling, alcohol, tobacco, violent games,
and other topics.  These topics are instantly recognizable as likely to
trigger filters, and are not represented in the sample proportionately
to the entire Internet.

Problems with the Methodology
The worst problems with the study are in the methodology.  Hunter
chooses as his yardstick for measuring whether or not content is
"objectionable" vs. "benign" the PICS index for rating web pages  for
"profanity", "violence", "sex", and "nudity".  Hunter then tests with
four filters, CyberPatrol, NetNanny, SurfWatch, and CyberSitter, but
will all blocking categories selected.    This distinction is important
because most of the filters are configured to block "gambling",
"alcohol", "tobacco", and "illegal" (including illegal software.

Hunter configured CyberPatrol to block "illegal", "gambling", and
"Alcohol and tobacco", then reported CyberPatrol's blocking of
"Atlantis-Gambling.Com", "AllSportsCasino.Com", "",
"", and "" as "blocking benign sites",
because they did not contain "profanity", "violence", "sex", and

Similarly, Hunter configured SurfWatch to block "Drugs/Alcohol" and
"Gambling", then reports SurfWatch's blocking of
"Atlantis-Gambling.Com", "AllSportsCasino.Com", "",
"", "", "RJ Reynolds" as "blocking benign
sites", because they did not contain "profanity", "violence", "sex", and

The Hunter study is being portrayed as a study of how well filters
perform under average, typical use.  A close examination reveals this to
be a false representation.  The Hunter study does not test a
representative sample of the entire Internet, and the samples appear to
have been selected to trigger much higher-than-normal error rates. Most
egregiously, the Hunter study uses a methodology that appears designed
to produce much higher rates of improper blocking than would normally be
experienced, leaving readers with a grossly inaccurate portrayal of the
effectiveness of Internet filters.

David Burt
Phone/Fax 503 635-7048
210 S. State Street #7
Lake Oswego, Oregon

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Note from Library Juice:  David Burt misrepresents the Censorware study
when he claims it showed a 1% occurrence of inappropriately blocked sites.
Jamie McCarthy, who participated in the study, takes Burt to task in his
article in Slashdot, saying the Censorware study showed a 20% occurence of
inappropriately blocked sites.  The Slashdot article in question is at

See below for a follow-up.

4. Latest on Holland, MI filtering battle

Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 10:08:12 -0500
From: Chuck0 <chuck[at]>
To: librarians[at]
Subject: Latest on Holland, MI filtering battle

Jamie McCarthy provides Slashdot readers wil an excellent update on the
filtering battle in Holland, MI. BTW, some of the comments on this
article are interesting. I especially like the one that points out that
the pro-filtering camp is comprised of people who want to turn the U.S.
into a theocracy. In other words, Taliban West. These are also the same
people who want to outlaw birth control.

Lightning Crashes, An Old Freedom Dies (Updated)

<< Chuck0 >>
Mid-Atlantic Infoshop:
Alternative Press Review:

Free Leonard Peltier!

"A society is a healthy society only to the degree
that it exhibits anarchistic traits."
        - Jens Bjørneboe

5. The Center for Public Integrity

The Center for Public Integrity is a nonpartisan, nonprofit
organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission is to examine
public service and ethics-related issues. Founded in 1989 by Charles
Lewis, the Center has published 40 studies, reports and books, the
most recent of which is The Buying of the President 2000, second in a
series that The New Yorker called "an essential reference work."

The website provides access to databases linking campaign finance to
legislative action, searchable by candidate.  Also available are back
issues of the Center's newsletter, The Public i.  Current issues are
at the newsletter's website,

The Center for Public Integrity's new book:

           The Buying of the President 2000
           By Charles Lewis and the Center for Public Integrity

           Book Release: January 5th 2000

The authoritative guide to the big-money interests behind this year's
presidential candidates. This year's presidential election is already
one for the record books: the most obscenely expensive race in
history. Some of the leading aspirants have already run tens of
millions of dollars through their political war chests, and Election
Day 2000 could bring the American people their first "$200 Million
President." Why and how has the process of choosing a President moved
from the voting booth to the auction block?

In The Buying of the President 2000, Charles Lewis and the Center for
Public Integrity shine their spotlight on the special (and often
secret) interests that have heavily invested in the politicians who
are seeking the nation's highest office. This incisive and
eye-opening book has been widely acclaimed as the authoritative guide
to special interests that are bankrolling the presidential contenders
-- Democrat, Republican, and Independent, major contender and "dark
horse" alike. Here, and nowhere else, you'll find the answers to
questions like:

Which candidate made a cool $15 million in a sweetheart deal arranged
by his top political patrons?  Who is secretly pushing to abolish the
corporate income tax?  How has one candidate turned his presidential
campaign into a gravy train for himself and members of his family?
How did one candidate become a millionaire with a series of
by-invitation-only investment deals?  Look a bios on all the major
soft money donors to the two major parties over time.  View a
comprehensive list of all-time largest soft money donors to the
Democratic and Republican parties. The Top 50 list includes a short
profile of each donor.

304 pages (January 2000)
Avon Books (Pap Trd); ISBN: 0380795191 ;
Dimensions (in inches): 1.06 x 8.01 x 5.28


6. Public Citizen's Campaign Finance Reform and Government Ethics page

Has reports and factsheets, letters to congress, archived materials and
useful links.

With the decline of investigative reporting, non-profits like the Center
for Public Integrity and Public Citizen are essential sources of
pertinent information.


7. FAIR's election reports

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting keeps tabs on the news media.  No
librarian concerned with the facts should overlook their reporting of
the news behind the news and their diligent separation of truth and lie.


8. Steve Sovern's story, from Jim Hightower

Excerpt from Jim Hightower's new book,
_If God had meant us to vote, He would have given us candidates_
Harper Collins, 2000.  ISBN 0-06-019393-X

...In the politics of 2000, people don't matter.

Steve Sovern found that out a few years ago when he ran for Congress
from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  A Democrat, he was a promising candidate
with a terrific group of volunteers and an enthusiastic base of
support.  The party brought him to Washington for a two-day
candidate's workshop put on by the Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee.  Steve says he was excited to be among some seventy other
grade-A Democratic candidates attending this how-to-win workshop: "I
looked forward to returning to Cedar Rapids filled with ideas,
ideals, and inspiration."  He came to the meeting all bright-eyed and
bushy-tailed with his notepad and tape recorder, ready to absorb all
the wisdom the party could offer.

"Understand how the game is played," offered a big-time media
consultant as the workshop opened.  "Game?" thought Steve, as it
quietly dawned on him that this might not be about ideals and
issues.  "Money drives this town," intoned a DCCC staffer, followed
by another consultant who informed the budding members of Congress:
"You have to sell yourself to Washington first," by which he meant
the lobbyists who control the PAC funds.  Rep. Peter Hoagland, then a
lawmaker from Nebraska, came in to assure the group that "raising
campaign money from Washington PAC's is much easier than from
individuals because it's a business relationship."  Steve's eyes
squinted as he thought, "Business relationship?"  The DCCC staffer
clarified the point, in case any of the seventy innocents didn't get
it: "These people are paid to give you money.  You have to *do*
certain things, but they *want* to give you money."

What if you don't want to take their filthy lucre, which Steve did
not?  Congressman Hoagland: "Some of you may be under pressure to
repudiate PACs.  I strongly suggest you not take the hook.  Restrain
yourself, don't let zeal for reform influence you."  Hmmm, thought
Steve: "Let lobbyists' money influence you, but not zeal for reform?"

To put theory into practice, day two of the workshop began with a
"mating dance" brunch.  The DCCC invited a flock of PAC directors to
eat croissants and look over the seventy congressional prospects, who
in turn were expected to preen, strut, and do whatever it takes to
mate monetarily with the PACs.  Steve reports that the candidates
wore blue name tags, while the PACs sported red ones.  Rep. Beryl
Anthony of Arkansas led the dance, informing the candidates that the
assembled PAC directors were their friends, that PACs represent
"little people."  Steve says, "I saw the Phillips Petroleum PAC
representative smile with approval.  I wondered if he was the
representative of the 'little people' to whom Anthony referred."  The
congressman then urged the PAC reps to visit with each of the
candidates while they were in town, because he was sure the money
interests would find matches among the lawmakers-to-be that will
"make your board of directors proud of you."

Left out of the equation, said Steve, "were the people I sought to
represent."  Instead, all the instruction was on raising money and
hiring Washington consultants to run their congressional campaigns.
"You can't hire local people - forget it!" bellowed a PAC director.
Congressman Hoagland underscored the point: "[You] must hire
world-class people and not local people.  That's why you have to
raise a lot of money."

Don't even mess with volunteers, the eager candidates were told by a
PAC director: "They can't do polling, radio, direct mail, or TV."
Steve was stunned: "At the moment he spoke, my campaign had scores of
volunteers who still believed in a government 'of the people,' phoning
neighbors to talk about the campaign and issues that concerned them.
Other volunteers were stuffing and stamping envelopes for a
direct-mail response to those concerns."

At this point, he had absorbed all the cynical, manipulative,
money-driven experise he could stand, so he rose to his feet and told
them so, pointing out that what they were telling the candidates is
exactly what people hate about politics, that this approach is a
dangerous turnoff to turnout, and that it ought to be Democrats who
lead the crusade to end the kind of politics they were being coached
at this workshop to use.  Steve says, "There was an uncomfortable
silence after my comments."  Then a PAC director said: "Well, I guess
we don't have to wrry about contributing to *that* campaign."  There
was a spattering of nervous laughter, then the workshop proceeded as
though nothing had happened.

Sure enough, the PACs did not contribute.  Steve says he was even cut
from the DCCC mailing list after the workshop, no longer sent any
issue papers or legislative updates.  Instead, the Washington money,
expertise, and even DCCC staff went to another Democrat who had
already lost twice in this congressional district but was willing to
"play the game."  With his Washington lobbyists' PAC money, the
two-time loser was able to overwhelm Steve in the primary, then
proceeded to lose for a third time to the Republican in the fall.


9. "I WON'T VOTE," by W.E.B. Du Bois

October 20, 1956

On October 20, 1956, W. E. B. Du Bois delivers this eloquent indictment
of US politics while explaining to Nation readers why he won't vote in
the upcoming Presidential election. Du Bois condemns both Democrats and
Republicans for their indifferent positions on the influence of corporate
wealth, racial inequality, arms proliferation and unaffordable health care.


Two feet good !
4 wheels bad !
Some Radical transport websites


During the last decade a very strong movement has come
into being to promote good, clean, & environmentaly sound
transport. This has spawned a very large number of
campaigning, or specialist organisations. Hand in hand with
these organisations there has grown many grassroots
organisations, like 'Reclaim the Streets'. which have taken
direct action to save our cities, and subsequently our
world, from the ecocide that results from the use of the
internal combustion engine.

This briefing is intended to look at some of the websites that
reflect these movements, & which can help in building the
movement towards ecologically sound transportation for
us all.

the  purpose of this briefing is also to give some ideas about
the kinds of alternative transport that is available, & the
work that radical bodies are doing within this field.

I have included some websites which list Pedestrian
liberationist actions to save the streets ( our environment ).
I have  not included any 'official' public transport websites,
be they for the tube ( metro), overground ( railways ), or
buses. They can surely do their own P.R. work.

N.B. Rather than give my own description of the
organisations listed,  I have included their own texts.
For clarification   -   these texts are in quote marks .

These various  websites I have listed are for action & in
order to safeguard our future.

Share & enjoy !


Historical Note.

The movement towards better public transport,
pedestrianisation,  & improved bike routes is nothing new.
Unfortunately much of the history of this movement is just
not so widely known, or has been lost from the achieves.
There is clearly a lot of work that should be done upon this
subject, but for now I'll give just two examples:


Edinburgh Liberation Front.

ELF campaigned for the pedestrianisation of one of the
cities streets, circa 1970. Their actions included such
things as painting double yellow lines, (which indicate a no
parking area ) along the side of the street. At one point 4
ELFs ( as they were known ) had 17 separate charges
against them. E.G. for  'stealing' parking bollards, etc. Over
a decade later the street they had concentrated their
efforts upon became pedestrianised.

The Elfs also worked upon the issue of housing within the
Scottish capital. As part of this campaign they  conducted
tourist walks around the city slums.



This was a body that was active in Oslo, Norway, during the
early 1980s. Not only did they undertake direct action to
promote safer streets, bikeways, & public transport, they
also produced a wealth of materials too. This material
include bike maps, a journal ' Bytrafikken' ( Town traffic ), &
some excellent pamphlets too. PÂl Jensen who founded
Trafiikkasjone,  used to sell these items from a stall within
the town centre, together with a pro-cycle badge in
Chinese. When asked why in Chinese, I was told that it was
because as more people speak Chinese than any other
language within the world....then blah, blah, blah. This was
at a spot almost directly outside of the Norwegian
parliament - A great marketing ploy !

PÂl Jensen also wrote a pamphlet entitled ' Den Hollige Bil'
( the holly car ), which likened the attitude of motorists to
their vehicles, as being almost parallel to the practice of a


The websites

Pedestrian Association

The pedestrian Association was active during the 1920s, and
has been campaigning for the rights of pedestrians since
then. While perhaps not the most radical of  organisation, it
is one that has done & continues to do some very important

The website gives a brief history of the organisation,
membership details, & its current campaigns. It also has a
list of the organisations publications,  leaflets, & other
campaigning materials - many of which are for free !


car busters

This is the webpage of the: 
' movement of activists is fighting car culture in Europeís cities, a
growing movement making itself heard louder and louder across national
boundaries and language barriers.'

Carbusters puts out some very excellent information that is of use to both
pedestrian liberationists, & town planners too. 

The Carbusters network has also organised a number of conferences for

What is nice about this webpage is that it is multilingual, with information
in English, French, German, Spanish, & Esperanto. It is also intended that
this webpage will also soon be available in Russian, Swedish, & Dutch. 

Carbusters also produce a wonderful periodical, which it is impossible to
overpraise !

For more info:

Carbusters, 44 Rue Burdeau,  69001 Lyon, France.

Email :   carbusters[at]


London Cycling Campaign [ LCC ]

LCC has been engaged in the active promotion of bike
transport for over a quarter of  a century.
To quote the organisations mission statement:
' The London Cycling Campaign exists to increase cycling in Greater
London for the benefit of individuals, local communities and the wider
environment by:

- promoting cycling

- improving conditions for cycling

- raising the profile of cycling '

The website contains links & information about Local
( London ) & national cycling groups & organisations,
periodicals, cycletouring, plus  all the other practical
information that any cyclist might ever require.

The International Bicycle Fund

To quote the text upon the website:
'The International Bicycle Fund is a non-governmental, nonprofit
organization, promoting sustainable transport and international
understanding. Major areas of activity are non-motorized urban planning,
economic development, bike safety education, responsible travel and cycle
tourism, and cross-cultural, educational, bicycle programs.'

This website also contains a very useful list of cycling
organisations throughout the world.


Reclaim the streets

Reclaim the Streets ( RtS) is a network of individuals that
are engaged upon direct action to ( you guessed it ), Reclaim
the Streets. RTS specialises in street parties, & has engaged
upon a number of wonderfully imaginative actions since its
first street party in Camden ( North London ) during 1995.

The RTS website contains images ( photos & flyers ) of these
street parties & demonstrations.
There is a DIY guide to organising  street parties, which
contains a lot of very useful  information for activists. This
includes instructions about how one might construct
Scaffold tripods, which are used to hold people who are engaged upon
closing down carriageways.

This is perhaps one of the best websites that I know about in
terms of Graphic design. For this alone it is worth a long

There is link to the Adbusters Website

Another organisation that is doing some very worth while
work !


Earth First !

Earth First ! [ EF! } is perhaps one of the best known of the
ecological direct action movements. It has a very good
track record in regards to campaigning against the road
building programme, and other ecologically unsound

The  Earth First ! website not only has a lot of news &
information about the actions of the EF! Federation, but
news of other campaigning bodies too. 

The website also contains a very long list of EF! groups        
( both local & International ), plus other ecological
campaigning groups & organisations.

One might question some of the activities that EF! is engaged
upon, but the website can be very useful to anyone engaged
upon ecological campaigning .



This is the website version of the Brighton Based weekly
newsheet, which is famed for its coverage of radical

As Schnews covers many stories about anti-road building
actions.  A must for all pedestrian activists to read !


The Ramblers Association.

The ramblers Association traces its history back to the
development of walking clubs in the 1920s, & the mass trespass
on Kinder Scout in the Peak District during 1932.  The present R.A. was
formed in 1935.

' The Ramblers' Association is an environmental organisation campaigning to
walking, open up public footpaths, protect the countryside and secure the
freedom to roam
on mountains, moors, heaths, downs and common land in England and Wales.'

This website not only gives one details about the R.A., its
work &  aims, but all that one should know about its ' Freedom
to roam campaign' too.

The R.A. also produces a large number of publications, including many
guides that cover England, Scotland, & Wales.

Alliance for a Paving Moratorium

I first came upon this organisation through its publication:

Auto-free Times,

which is one of the best pedestrian liberationist periodicals
that is about.

To quote the website:
' Launched in 1990, the nonprofit Alliance for a Paving Moratorium
is a diverse and rapidly growing movement of grassroots community
groups, individuals and businesses. Our common goal: to halt the
tremendous environmental, social and economic damage caused by
endless road building. Decaying inner cities, foul air and water,
global warming and war over oil are all byproducts of our
growth-at-any-cost economy. A paving moratorium would limit the
spread of population, redirect investment from suburbs to inner
cities, and revitalize our economy. Funds would be freed for mass
transportation and to maintain existing roads. The Alliance assists
road fighters all over the world, and publishes Road Fighters' Alerts
and the quarterly Auto-Free Times magazine. '

This website not only gives information about the organisation & its work, but
some useful 'factsheet' arguments.

Links on this website include:
The Earth First! Journal
National Bicycle Greenway in Action
Third Battle of Newbury - Direct-action group fighting Newbury bypass


Follow up

This briefing is only intended to be an introduction to some
of the groups & organisations that are working upon
radical transport alternatives.

Other bodies include :

Transport 2000

Friends of the Earth 

critical mass

Road Alert !

etc, etc.

Now it's up to you to do the rest ..........!!!!!!


........& a book that's worth reading too.

Schneider, Kenneth R


An analysis of Tyranny
A Proposal for Rebellion
A Plan for Reconstruction

Schocker Books - New York - 1972

isbn  0-8052-0357-5

This is still one of best books on radical transport that I
know of !

Martyn Lowe

February 2000

Please feel free to copy, publish, & copy this on.



11. Library Song

Words and music


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