I have tried to live as close to anarchist principles as I possible can in the midst of this capitalist exploitive system, since shortly after I started work in the Clydeside shipbuilding industry. So you could say I have been trying for 61 years and still trying, though it is difficult to keep your feet clean when standing in a pail of shit. I now see myself more as a propagandist rather than an activist. I have a love of Glasgow’s working class history and have written quite a wee bit about it HERE. I also like poetry, read some of mine HERE and have a love of various types of music, some of my favourite books include, The Struggle to be Human, Against the New Authoritatianism, The Coming Insurrection, Rules for Radicals. I am a keen “fair weather”  cyclist and still manage around 3,000 miles a summer season. I also produce a small monthly free newspaper called The Anarchist Critic, have a wee look at it HERE.  

ann arky’s home.


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    18 August 2010

    White Bikes are set free!

    Following the hugely successful Witte Fietsenplan (White Bike Plan) for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2010, NVA has donated the returned bicycles to five local charities who will give them a new life, and set them free once again.

    In April this year NVA re-enacted Witte Fietsenplan, an anarchic free transport programme by the Provos , the Dutch counter culture movement of the 1960’s. NVA referenced their legacy by releasing 50 white bikes across the city that were available for the audience of Glasgow International to use for the duration of the festival. A universal combination lock code for the bikes was made known through the festival publicity material, allowing visitors to travel around the city and between venues.

    Over half of the bikes that were made available have been returned so far, with additional bikes still being spotted and reclaimed. All of the returned bikes have been specially marked with the word ‘VRIJ’, Dutch for ‘free’, and a ‘XXX’ logo, referencing the bikes’ spiritual home of Amsterdam, and distinguishing them from the unreturned ones.

    The five charities that were selected to receive the returned bikes will make them available to a wide and varied audience, from schools and youth groups to asylum seekers and disadvantaged communities. The donation of the bikes provides a real legacy for the project, promoting cycle use across the city and supporting a range of charities doing excellent work.

    NVA are delighted with the number of returned bikes and as Angus Farquhar states “We always knew that we would lose some bikes… Many people thought that they would all go, but the fact is that we have got almost half of them back.”

    Social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Flickr were vital to the success of the project, with bikes being spotted, snapped and recommended across the city. To view the feed go to http://www.twitter.com/NVA or http://www.facebook.com/NVAprojects

    Any outstanding bikes (without the new markings) can be returned to NVA who will pass them on to the selected charities. To report a bike please contact NVA on 0141 332 9911 or email contact@nva.org.uk

    The charities and non-profit organisations that received the bikes are:

    Free Wheel North, which champions the rights of all to outdoor access, especially wheel chair users, special needs cyclists and ‘families on bikes’. Its aim is to raise the profile of cycling as a major form of conveyance, replacing carbon based transport with pedal power, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of Glasgow and encouraging healthier more active lifestyles. http://www.freewheelnorth.org.uk

    Common Wheel, a charity which exists to provide meaningful activity for people with mental illness by recycling and repairing old bicycles. http://www.commonwheel.org.uk

    Glasgow Bike Shed, a Glasgow based Community Social Enterprise run by volunteers that recycles bicycles from a variety of local sources and promotes safe cycling in town. http://www.glasgowbikeshed.org

    Unity in the Community, a charity offering friendly, practical solidarity and mutual aid to all asylum seekers, refugees and sans papiers. http://www.unitycentreglasgow.org

    Glasgow Life Youth Services, which offers opportunities for young people to become more aware of the surrounding greenspace and the impact they can have on it, by providing a variety of activities from recycling, gardening and cycle workshops to walking, nature groups, photography and litter picks. http://www.zestweb.org/opportunity/greenzone/

    In addition, Glasgow Bike Shed will make the bikes they receive available for free rental for Sky Ride Glasgow which takes place this weekend along the banks of the River Clyde. http://www.goskyride.com/location/glasgow/

    For further information and images, please contact Kitty Anderson, Marketing Officer for NVA on: 0141 332 9911 or email kitty@nva.org.uk

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