You know all those groovy forest names all the Earth Firsters! are always using? Well, somehow they just don’t seem appropriate for us urban activists. I mean, calling yourself Butterfly or Lichen or Moss or Mushroom when you hardly ever venture beyond the streets that connect your apartment to the subway to work to the cafe to the laundry-mat — where’s the Lichen?
But there are good reasons to use something like forest names. In this time of increased domestic repression of activists — when almost any expression of protest can get you labeled as a terrorist or even an enemy combatant — it might be a good idea to be a bit vague about who you really are. I mean, if you’re planning on going to a million person anti-war march where people may storm the Bay Bridge or the local army base or oil refinery, best not to bring your drivers license ID. And because the government has undercover cops spread out in every crowd, because there are fancy listening devices installed around the city and the video cameras can read your lips, don’t let your friends holler your real name in the heat of the riot.
Here are some good urban names that we thought of that more correctly express the reality of modern urban activism. These are the wonderful things our urban industrial world brings us, just like the forest activists name themselves after the wonderful things provided by the natural world. Feel free to send us your own ideas: Asphalt, Barcode, BART, Biohazard, Boxcutter, Cinder Block, Concrete, Cubicle, Drain, Exhaust, Gas pump, Girder, Gridlock, Gutter, Jackhammer, Latté, Loft, Lugnut, Methle Bromide, Overpass, Parking Lot, Pesticide, Roadkill, Sawzall, Sewerpipe, Shingle, Shopping Mall, Skid, Sludge, Smog, Squalor, Tire, Trashcan, 2X4, Turnstile, Urine, Workstation, ECT.