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WELCH, Diana. "Anarchist Soccer Rules"

Monday 12 June 2006, by ps

Let’s get one thing straight about anarchism: Though there is little
doubt that those who call themselves anarchists want to drastically
change the way the world is run, they’re not a bunch of black-clad
nihilists plotting their way toward chaos. At the most basic, anarchism
(derived from the Greek "without ruler") is the belief that an
anti-authoritarian society based on mutual aid and self-governance is
not only preferable to what we’ve got now, but also a viable
alternative. Not surprisingly, the folks in charge of "what we’ve got
now" don’t exactly cotton to that idea, and anarchism has long been
given a bad rap. Recently, local groups associated with anarchism got a
scare when it was revealed to a UT law class that Food Not Bombs and
Austin Indymedia – two examples of everyday folks creating parallel
structures outside of state-sponsored society – were considered worthy
of inclusion the FBI’s Central Texas "Terrorist Watch List."

(Immediately following the incident, spokespeople for the FBI, both
local and national, claimed they weren’t aware of any such list, though
UT student Elizabeth Waggoner wrote a detailed recounting of Special
Agent Charles Rasner’s presentation to her class on … Austin

With that sort of heat, one wouldn’t necessarily expect local
anarchists to gather in public parks thrice weekly for a friendly game
of soccer. But, in an attempt to bridge the gap between alternative and
mainstream social groups, gather they do. According to a 33-year-old
anarcho-athlete named Simon, the Sunday games at the Rosewood
Recreation Center are best for newcomers to attend, regularly
attracting anywhere from 45 to 70 folks of varying ages, genders,
ethnicities, and skill levels. "Everyone compliments everyone else,
even if it’s someone on the opposing team who has made a great play,"
Simon says of the anarchist model of competitive sportsmanship. "And,
it’s not like people are running around with the ball in their hands.
On the field, there are rules. Just no rulers."

It is from this weekly phenomenon of people playing friendlylike that
Austin’s anarchist soccer team, the Texas Anti-Border(s) Patrol,

Play anarchist soccer Sundays, 1-4pm, Rosewood Rec Center, 1182 N.
Pleasant Valley Rd., Austin, TEXAS (USA)

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