As temperatures fall sharply and the number of unhoused people swells throughout the United States, anarchists are forming a decentralized network that builds and distributes tent-safe, alcohol-based heaters to those without shelter.
“The project wasn’t something new, it was developed over the years, in many different forms,” wrote members of HeaterBloc, a Portland-based collective that released the open-source guide for building heaters, in a message to Motherboard. “It starts off with an idea, then that idea is built upon. It evolves, it spreads, it takes on a life of its own. This year, we were just fortunate enough to settle on a safe and cost efficient design.”
….The instructional guide has been translated into several languages, and groups that build and distribute the DIY heaters have popped up in rural areas and major cities across the US, including in Pittsburg, Philadelphia, New York City, San Diego, Atlanta, Tacoma, Kansas City, Dallas, Kalamazoo, Elm Fork, Texas, and Spokane, Washington. Some groups are beginning to explore adapting the design for use in refugee camps, in areas that have experienced severe power outages such as Texas, and for the increasing number of people in the US who cannot afford utilities.