On the HEADPHONES: "SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE"
by The Smiths
it was my mum's birthday today. she would have been 74.
this isn't the post i was intending for today, but i'm having difficulty weaving all the various threads together in the broad narrative of criminality in my blood, my family, my relatives. I'm tired now, I've been up since dawn.
so instead heres a riff on the theme of one of my mum's favourite casual criminal past times........
(i'll come back and edit and tidy this post up later or in the morning. this is more like notes for now....)
beginning with an extract from "Why I Love Shoplifting from big corporations"
"Shoplifting forces us to Take Risks and Experience Life First-Hand again."
"Shoplifting is more than a way to survive in the cutthroat competition of the 'free market' and protest corporate injustices. It is also a different kind of orientation to the world and to life."
"The shoplifter makes do with an environment that has been conquered by capitalism and industry, where there is no longer a natural world from which to gather resources and everything has become private property, without accepting it
or the absurd way of life it entails."
"She takes her life into her own hands by applying an ancient method to the problem of modern survival: she lives by urban hunting and gathering. In this way she is able to live much as her distant ancestors did before the world was subjugated by technology, imperialism, and the irrational demands of the "free" market; and she can find the same challenges and rewards in her work, rewards that are lost to the rest of us today."
"For her, the world is as dangerous and as exciting as it was to prehistoric humanity: every day she is in new situations, confronting new risks, living by her wits in a constantly changing environment."
plus Liberating Stuff You Need: A Guide to Political Shoplifting
SHOPDROPPING, REVERSE SHOPLIFTING and DROPLIFTING
effectively this is the opposite of shoplifting. Here the objective is to place personal belongings in an establishment where goods are displayed for sale.
THE DROPLIFT PROJECT
Artists contribute tracks created using found sounds and samples to this compilation CD. The CD's are then droplifted into stores.
an ongoing project in which the artist alters the packaging of canned goods and then shopdrops the items back onto grocery store shelves. The artist replaces the packaging with labels created using their own photographs.
FREE WORDS is a book which belongs to whoever finds it. The books are placed on the shelves of bookstores and libraries
The BLO returned the altered dolls to the toy store shelves, who then resold them to children who had to invent scenarios for Barbies who yelled "Vengeance is mine!" and G.I. Joes who daydreamed "Let's plan our dream wedding!"
The Barbie Disinformation Organization
the group strikes not at the dolls themselves, but at the packaging that envelops and contextualizes them. They print up stickers in a style identical to traditional Mattel packaging and slap them on Barbie products on the shelves
Some people protest against illegal logging by 'ethically shoplifting' goods from stores.
"you must have absolute evidence that the goods were made from unlawfully obtained materials, and you should take them straight to the nearest police station, or a police officer, to turn them in and make a formal complaint, otherwise you can be convicted for shoplifting — sections 1 to 6, Theft Act 1968, and/or section 3, Theft Act 1978 ('making off without paying')."
"in 1993 ANGIE ZELTER started an organisation called CRISP-O which stands for Citizens Recovery of Indigenous Peoples Stolen Property Organisation
which encouraged the "Ethical shop-lifting" of mahogany out of shops and timber-yards and into police stations so that they could be returned to their rightful owners - the Amazonian tribal peoples. She produced a campaigning briefing pack for this work that is still in use."
"its likely that 80 per cent of the mahogany used in furniture has come from reserves. they are devastating the reserves and indigenous people have been shot dead because they tried to stop the invasion"
Plunder for profit (pdf)
The UK and Brazilian mahogany trade
another example of ethical shoplifting....
"Barnes and Noble -the Wal-Mart of bookstores- is hated by most anti-materialists because they tend to come into town and put all the small independent bookstores out of business."
"In Boston, activists launched a covert campaign where they stole hundreds of books from Barnes and Noble and donated them to local schools."
"This campaign was hugely effective in getting books to schools, and Barnes and Noble hardly noticed the difference. In this case, the activists’ goals were simply to get something that the community needed from a corporation that had more than enough resources to spare."