Counter Information newsletter

A complete online archive of Counter Information, which was a newsletter produced by an independent collective, based in central Scotland, including Glasgow, with the aim is to assist in the struggle against all injustice, oppression and exploitation. Published from the 1980s to the early 2000s.

There remains an operational Counter Information website at http://www.counterinfo.org.uk/.

With thanks to Sparrows Nest, Splits & Fusions and Tyneside Anarchist.

Submitted by T La Palli on December 20, 2016

COUNTER INFORMATION

A RICH FIELD

Since the start of the industrial revolution Glasgow has always been rich in its production of independent radical newspapers, bulletins, free-sheets etc. Over the years the various radical groups have plied their wares by selling or handing out these independent publications at street corners, public meeting places and workplaces or where ever. However Counter Information (CI) stands out as probably Scotland’s best agitational paper in the late 20th century. Heavily influenced by Anarchist/Libertarian Socialist ideas on how to organise, resist and report on all manner of resistance, CI achieved a standard and a circulation that probably hasn’t been reached since.

BORN OF CONFLICT

Counter Information (CI) started life during the miners’ dispute of the 1980's to counter the lies and propaganda of mainstream media. We were involved in many aspects of the miners struggle and because we were working with and within mining communities and seen the autonomous nature of the organising at grassroots level, we felt we had to report these happenings to a wider audience. As the miners’ strike came to a conclusion it was decided to continue with the news-sheet. We had built up so many and varied contacts throughout Scotland, Wales and England that we felt we could produce an informative and inspiring source of resistance.

A RADICAL PEDIGREE

C.I. was a collective (some of us had been involved in the past with such projects Paisley Gutter Press, Practical Anarchy, Here and Now, Black Bairn, Glasgow Bookshop Collective and others I canny remember) where everybody had a say in the content of the paper. We had regular meetings in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Grangemouth. These were usually on a rotational basis but the cities were where the actual physical lay-out took place, in the days before computers! The editorial meetings discussed letters, articles, papers, magazines, ideas we had received from around the world. We had contacts in all 5 continents and these took up a large part of the editorial content. We gave priority to those we received as eye-witness accounts or from participants themselves and these became known as “from our correspondent”.

MIDNIGHT OIL EDITORIALS

The editorial meetings are a thing of legend and at times could take up to 8 hours to agree on the content, style, spelling and grammar! A lot of heated argument at times took place but overall the collective stayed focused and cohesive. We had a no alcohol policy during meetings but once the meeting had finished we would head for the pub or crack open some cider to celebrate. Its thirsty work talking for so long! The news-sheet was self financed by the members of the collective and from the many grateful donations made by our supporters in the form of standing orders, cash, cheques or stamps. C.I. tried to come out on a 3 monthly basis and also do “one offs” if need be. We had a print run of 12,000 minimum and this was often added to due to demand. We had contacts in other areas of the world who also printed; photocopied and other wise reproduced the paper as well.

GLOBAL INFLUENCE

Counter Information was also invited to many discussions around the globe most notably in South Korea in 1988 to discuss what the idea of what peace meant. This had been organised by the remnants of the Korean Anarchist movement that had been decimated during Japanese occupation in the 1940’s. And another notable invite was to a Self-Determination event in Govan, Glasgow, where the main speaker was Noam Chomsky. We also attended the Anarchist Bookfair in London annually along with other regular Anarchist periodicals to discuss and formulate national activities.

LAST BUT NOT FINAL COPY

The last ever Counter Information was published in summer 2003 and can be viewed online or at any Radical Independent Bookfair Event, where an archive of past printed C.I. s are available to read. The actual collective members are now getting on with their lives, some are involved in the Industrial Workers of the World, some are active in ACE in Edinburgh, some are involved in global solidarity issues and some are involved in community projects, some (believe it or not) have even stood for the SSP!! The legacy of Counter Information can be seen in newssheets such as Schnews, Indymedia and a host of local Anarchist newssheets from South Wales to Glasgow, covering events and reporting resistance to authority. Long may they continue!

Attachments

ci bilston glen.pdf (322.52 KB)
ci5.pdf (412.88 KB)
ci6.pdf (489.53 KB)
ci7(2).pdf (323.78 KB)
ci8.pdf (674.32 KB)
ci9.pdf (665.14 KB)
ci10.pdf (665.33 KB)
ci11.pdf (668.19 KB)
ci12.pdf (566.31 KB)
ci14.pdf (650.8 KB)
ci15.pdf (646.62 KB)
ci16.pdf (690.87 KB)
ci17.pdf (546.82 KB)
ci19.pdf (708.94 KB)
ci21.pdf (582.09 KB)
ci22.pdf (689.84 KB)
ci23.pdf (668.62 KB)
ci25.pdf (666.31 KB)
CI38oct1993.pdf (1.06 MB)
ci44.pdf (933.31 KB)
ci45.pdf (829.82 KB)
ci47.pdf (766.79 KB)
ci48.pdf (800.45 KB)
ci50.pdf (784.5 KB)
ci51.pdf (681.44 KB)
ci52.pdf (734.57 KB)
ci53.pdf (705.51 KB)
ci56.pdf (884.91 KB)
ci57.pdf (877.6 KB)
ci58.pdf (815.58 KB)

Comments

Devrim

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on February 25, 2011

including Glasgow

As I remember it was based in Edinburgh.

Devrim

T La Palli

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by T La Palli on February 25, 2011

Thats right Devrim. I have scanned all of them do attached here, but its seems that the pdfs have not attahced properly. Will try again this evening.

knightrose

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by knightrose on February 25, 2011

And it was distributed across the UK. We used to take a small bundle in Manchester.

Steven.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on February 25, 2011

Hi, thanks for posting!

They did attach - however for them to show you need to click the "list" box next to the file after you upload them. I have clicked it for the two that were attached. Please feel free to edit this article to add the rest of the files. Bear in mind that if you don't have them in one go you will need to wait till an editor approves the change before you add more, otherwise they won't all be attached to the same revision.

Steven.

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on February 25, 2011

As an additional bit of information there is a guide on posting articles here:
http://libcom.org/library/notes/content-guidelines/howto-article-submissions

I have also fixed the tags here, because if you enter the tags once in the regions authors box, you don't need to duplicate them again in the tags box. Again, thanks for the submission!

T La Palli

13 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by T La Palli on March 15, 2011

COUNTER INFORMATION.
A RICH FIELD.

Since the start of the industrial revolution Glasgow has always been rich in its production of independent radical newspapers, bulletins, free-sheets etc. Over the years the various radical groups have plied their wares by selling or handing out these independent publications at street corners, public meeting places and workplaces or where ever. However Counter Information (CI) stands out as probably Scotland’s best agitational paper in the late 20th century. Heavily influenced by Anarchist/Libertarian Socialist ideas on how to organise, resist and report on all manner of resistance, (CI) achieved a standard and a circulation that probably hasn’t been reached since.

BORN OF CONFLICT.

Counter Information (CI) started life during the miners’ dispute of the 1980's to counter the lies and propaganda of mainstream media. We were involved in many aspects of the miners struggle and because we were working with and within mining communities and seen the autonomous nature of the organising at grassroots level, we felt we had to report these happenings to a wider audience. As the miners’ strike came to a conclusion it was decided to continue with the news-sheet. We had built up so many and varied contacts throughout Scotland, Wales and England that we felt we could produce an informative and inspiring source of resistance.

A RADICAL PEDIGREE.

C.I. was a collective (some of us had been involved in the past with such projects Paisley Gutter Press, Practical Anarchy, Here and Now, Black Bairn, Glasgow Bookshop Collective and others I canny remember) where everybody had a say in the content of the paper. We had regular meetings in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Grangemouth. These were usually on a rotational basis but the cities were where the actual physical lay-out took place, in the days before computers! The editorial meetings discussed letters, articles, papers, magazines, ideas we had received from around the world. We had contacts in all 5 continents and these took up a large part of the editorial content. We gave priority to those we received as eye-witness accounts or from participants themselves and these became known as “from our correspondent”.

MIDNIGHT OIL EDITORIALS.

The editorial meetings are a thing of legend and at times could take up to 8 hours to agree on the content, style, spelling and grammar! A lot of heated argument at times took place but overall the collective stayed focused and cohesive. We had a no alcohol policy during meetings but once the meeting had finished we would head for the pub or crack open some cider to celebrate. Its thirsty work talking for so long! The news-sheet was self financed by the members of the collective and from the many grateful donations made by our supporters in the form of standing orders, cash, cheques or stamps. C.I. tried to come out on a 3 monthly basis and also do “one offs” if need be. We had a print run of 12,000 minimum and this was often added to due to demand. We had contacts in other areas of the world who also printed; photocopied and other wise reproduced the paper as well.

GLOBAL INFLUENCE.

Counter Information was also invited to many discussions around the globe most notably in South Korea in 1988 to discuss what the idea of what peace meant. This had been organised by the remnants of the Korean Anarchist movement that had been decimated during Japanese occupation in the 1940’s. And another notable invite was to a Self-Determination event in Govan, Glasgow, where the main speaker was Noam Chomsky. We also attended the Anarchist Bookfair in London annually along with other regular Anarchist periodicals to discuss and formulate national activities.

LAST BUT NOT FINAL COPY.

The last ever Counter Information was published in summer 2003 and can be viewed online or at any Radical Independent Bookfair Event, where an archive of past printed C.I. s are available to read. The actual collective members are now getting on with their lives, some are involved in the Industrial Workers of the World, some are active in ACE in Edinburgh, some are involved in global solidarity issues and some are involved in community projects, some (believe it or not) have even stood for the SSP!! The legacy of Counter Information can be seen in newssheets such as Schnews, Indymedia and a host of local Anarchist newssheets from South Wales to Glasgow, covering events and reporting resistance to authority. Long may they continue!

Rory Reid

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rory Reid on December 20, 2016

Edited the issue numbers to include years and arranged them in chronological order.

Steven.

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on December 21, 2016

RobberBurns88

Edited the issue numbers to include years and arranged them in chronological order.

that's fantastic cheers!

Rory Reid

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rory Reid on December 22, 2016

I'm aware there's still some missing will add others at a later date.

Cheers!

bambule

6 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bambule on December 7, 2017

the SPARROWS NEST recently uploaded nearly all issues of counter information on their page: http://thesparrowsnest.org.uk/index.php/14-news-and-events/143-counter-information-almost-complete

Fozzie

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on January 31, 2021

Inspired by Splits and Fusions' post on CI today I have tidied this up quite a bit and added more issues from there and Sparrows Nest.

Oh and found #38 at Spirit of Revolt along with supplements to 17 and 22 which I have also added.

We are now missing issues 13 + 26. They don't seem to be online anywhere at the moment, but Sparrows Nest have hard copies according to their catalogue.

Fozzie

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on January 31, 2021

On a more personal note it was always great to find a new copy of Counter Information in various radical bookshops around London from the late 1980s onwards when I started visiting them as a teenager. Not least because it was free.

But also because it was straight to the point and easily digestable - so you could leave it around the flat or hand it to mates or include it in the post if you were writing to someone.

Steven.

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on February 1, 2021

Great stuff!

tyneside anarchist

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by tyneside anarchist on February 2, 2021

we have missing 13 + 26, can scan when get time..over weekend
dont kbnow how to insert here ?

Fozzie

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 2, 2021

Ah great stuff, thanks! If you message me on here we can work something out am I sure.

syndicalist

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by syndicalist on February 3, 2021

We used to get this via mail. Some good stuff, some .....

BTW, this actually just went on line the last day or so:

"More Notes From The Swamp…

We previously looked at the New Ultra-Left Review / Intercom project from the early 1980s. Thanks to Mark for sending us this 12 page supplement to NU-LR which takes the form of correspondence between the Wildcat group and various respondents to the pilot issue.

As previously noted, the idea behind Intercom was that editorial and publication duties would rotate between various groups. The initial plan was for the first couple of issues to be produced by the Careless Talk Collective, then Wildcat, then Subversive Graffiti but, as we will see, this did not quite pan out…"

https://splitsandfusions.wordpress.com/2021/01/30/more-notes-from-the-swamp/?fbclid=IwAR0OIQyg9rdc9ojcEirC3_nx7-qDtSPxldCjYSydiiGNnZWdRLBPqEzYA7Q

tyneside anarchist

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by tyneside anarchist on February 7, 2021

https://tynesideanarchistarchive.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/ci-13-supplement.pdf

https://tynesideanarchistarchive.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/ci-26.pdf

2 missing issues

13 includes supplement

26 is an a3 affair

Fozzie

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 7, 2021

Thanks so much for those - I have now added them here. :)

Much appreciated.

Steven.

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on February 8, 2021

Great stuff, all

Fozzie

3 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Fozzie on February 16, 2021

Added the alternative version of issue 7 and a further supplement courtesy of Splits and Fusions.

Have now marked this as complete, as it surely must be now?