DS4A (Auf Zu #1)

Armel Presselin & Stéphane Lempereur, 2 HC-punx from Angers (France) did this zine. I only got to see one issue; although a second one was announced: perhaps there was only this one? #1 had also interviews with ‘Freak Show’ (band from Malaga, Spain) and ‘Nahda’ (gig-collective from, Poitiers, France); columns & reviews. Armel played bass in ‘Parkaj Mental’ (a jazzy punk outfit) and did Palmi/BCT tape-label & distro. I met him a few times at the Vort’n Vis. Stéphane ran Calavera mailorder/distro/label.

In the first half of the 90s I got quite a few publications for Tilt! distro from DS4A (Doesn’t Stand For Anything), a big (anarchist) mailorder/distribution located in Bristol (postal address in the Greenleaf bookshop). I think I got to know them (Dave Carter & Dean) through the Read It/Eat (Sh)It zines (which I distributed after an introduction by C.O.R.’s Tim Bennett or Manic Ears’ Shane Dabinett, who I’d met in the St. Pauls park squat in Bristol)…

[Translation below]

Dave of DS4A answered the questions; he takes care of (amongst other things) a huge distribution for books, zines, tapes, records, clothing, videos and CDs (unfortunately!). But I advise you to get the catalog, it will especially interest those who don’t just listen to music: they got a lot of stuff in English to read! Otherwise Dave also edits a zine: READ IT whose n° 7 is out. (For more details on the zine see reviews). I confess that I was in a hurry when I did this interview and that I regret some questions, others might have been more interesting; a next time perhaps…

Very original question: When did DS4A begin? Who started it? How many people are involved?

DS4A was started by Dean in 1988 in a moderate apartment in front of St. Paul’s [area in the centre around St Paul’s church] in Bristol. Dave arrived shortly after, he did a zine called EAT SHIT; we joined forces! Then Suzy of Active Distro, in London, came to Bristol, she played a big role in DS4A, from the old distro to the monster it is now! Respect to her! Now DS4A is just Dean/Dave but we’re very much connected with Words Of Warning records [label ran by Karl Horton, based in Newport, Wales], co-releasing the LP/CD by ‘Blaggers ITA’, the 12”/CD by ‘Dub War’, the Mind Pollution compilation CD [W.O.W. 1991] and with a new mini-LP/CD/tape by ‘Dub War’ to be expected. This cooperation is very effective and helps to realise the work to be done, in the situation that where we are in…! DS4A has a lot of friends who helped us when we needed them. A great hello to Olly, Andy, Lisa, Martin, Mat, Carl, Bristol Class War, Kirsty and Kelly.

I have the impression that you sometimes make profits by selling items, why? Don’t you think it’s stupid behavior for an anarchist fighting against capitalism?

We never put a penny in our pockets here at DS4A, even though we print 10.000 big catalogs per year, travel across the country to do stalls (where there are no anarchist stalls), pay for pencils, envelopes, tapes and the endless costs of stationery; DS4A must create funds to pay for this. We are both unpaid and don’t have the ability to do all this independently, but DS4A is a unit that is governing itself. The remaining money is used as donations to ABC [Anarchist Black Cross; political prisoners support], Class War [anarchist group and newspaper] and anti-fascist groups. So, not really profits, just enough to be able to run DS4A and that it can keep going. Stupid behavior for anarchists? (Editor’s note: The second part of the question no longer makes much sense after these explanations.) If we were wealthy, spoiled kids, perhaps we would be able to lose money and give things away. We think it’s “stupid behavior” when anarchists have to justify themselves whenever they use money to communicate their politics, rather than staying in a ghetto, stagnating.

I noticed that you sell CDs through DS4A, why don’t you boycott them; they’re enormously polluting, it’s more expensive and Philips/Sony gather the money on each CD sold (they have the patent), these are filthy multinationals involved with – among other things – military equipment. So why? Do you think anarcho-punks really need a perfect sound?

Records are made from oil. The oil-companies are not good anarcho-cooperatives! Anyone distributing records in stores in Italy, Australia, Asia, etc. has links with EMI or EFA; capitalism is the problem; after all, aren’t records and CDs not consumer-products? We think it’s unnecessary to distinguish a company, or a product, or a country; when it’s capitalism. Anyone employing, anyone taking part in a dirty disguised system that benefits first and foremost others. Including your health, the planet (Editor’s note: Why my planet?), your life. Anarcho-punk should leave the ghetto and pass on its ideas to other people; we don’t think it should be ‘underground’. It must be everywhere, on CD, on the radio, on TV, on the front-page of the newspapers and at the base, directly in your face, not hiding in small dark rooms. ‘Making Punk A Threat Again’? (Profane Existence)

You seem to be very much involved in Class War. What do you do for them, do you agree with all their goals? Why are you against the cops, they’re not rich, they don’t make a lot of money? (Do not get me wrong: I can’t stand them, like any sensible person I hate them but you wanted a provocative question so…)

YES. NO COMMENT. Because they’re the army of the rich, their role is to maintain the social order, leaving us in our place – FUCK THAT! (Editor’s note: In any case: good answer.)

Are you involved in other good organisations? (like ABC, ALF,…) Why? How?

We are involved in ABC-groups, anti-fascist groups, squatt-groups. By handing out leaflets, giving money, going to demonstrations, increasing the political profile! ALF [Animal Liberation Front] are middle-class people with no intelligence (irresponsible) following a false trail! (Editor’s note: Oh, I get the impression that they’re not concerned with the struggle for animal-rights, a very disappointing and stupid answer. It’s part of the same struggle and there are obvious links.)

Do you know of anti-fascist organisations in France? Which ones?

The only group we’ve heard of and seen is IWA [International Workers’ Association; international federation of anarcho-syndicalists] in France as well as in a few shops…

(You live in England; I also think this is an important question:) What do you think of the problem in Ireland? Do you agree with the autonomists? With the IRA and its methods (terrorism…)? Why do you think the media wants us to believe that this is a religious conflict when in fact it isn’t really one? Tell me all you can about this problem…

Ireland is far too important to discuss here. Northern-Ireland is a police-state. Go and see for yourself. I’ve never been there. We suggest reading Spirit Of Freedom [book on the war in Ireland (1989)], published by Attack International.

Would you participate in actions that you think are rightful even if you know that they’re risky and you may get imprisoned for it?

NO.

Now one other original and uninteresting question (ah ah). Do you think you will continue for a long time?

YES.

You seem to agree with violent action (even if innocents get killed?). Do you think that violence is the right solution against capitalism, fascism, sexism and all this shit? What do you think of the article in Profane Existence n° 18 on armed punks?

We’re in a society of violence, led by the police, the fascists, anyone who follows society. We’re not into terrorism, elitist actions are not for the people but for the ‘political party program’. Violence has its place and you shouldn’t be afraid to use it. “Elitist terrorists are vanguard by very nature.” (Editor’s note: Sorry we couldn’t translate this sentence, if anyone can, it would be nice to write us!). The article in Profane Existence is a very American article, the US has a gun-culture, everyone has one, the police, the nazis, politicians, madmen, everyone has one! It’s a very different culture than in France and in England; so it is very hard to comment!

Alright. Now you can say anything you want!

First off: thank you for the interview (Editor’s note: I thank you for everything!) You wanted controversial answers and you got them! DS4A would like to thank all those who write to us, all those who sent material, the bands we work with and all our friends. DS4A plans to publish a few books and brochures; we have already re-pressed Last Of The Hippies from the booklet of the Christ album by ‘Crass’, the story of Wally Hope and the Stonehenge Festival. The Read It – Eat shit fanzine hasn’t stopped. Issue #7 (the latest) is now available with ‘Blaggers ITA’, ‘Corpus Vile’, ‘No Means No’, lots of political articles and reviews. Expect a new zine by DS4A / Words Of Warning somewhere in 1994… Our next record is a split with W.O.W.; a new mini-LP by ‘Dub War’. To receive our extensive catalog send an IRC to: DS4A / BOX 8 / Greenleaf bookshop, 82 Colston street, BRISTOL, AVON, BS1 5BB / UK.

INSTRUCT, AGITATE, ORGANISE. Respect!

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