Seth Dockstader

Since we began our project of uncovering the history of the anarchist movement in Los Angeles, we have worked under the banner, in some form or fashion, as the Black Rose Historical and Mutual Aid Society. Throughout these years it has been our goal to unearth the lost names of our comrades, rediscover their role in our movement’s history and give remembrance to their sacrifice and dedication. It has been a labor of love since its inception. […] 

Moving forward, the Black Rose Society will be known as the Dockstader Anarchist and Mutual Aid Society. This is in memory of Seth Dockstader. For those who are unaware of Seth, he is not an anarchist from early period of the anarchist movement, but rather a contemporary who was a loyal friend and comrade to many still active today.

Seth was born in San Bernardino County on January 29, 1971. During most of his life he lived and worked with his family at their music camp in Arrowbear. It was this experience that initiated his love for nature and music, something that he would carry with him throughout his life. At some point Seth was introduced to punk and anarchism. He soon found himself living in Long Beach with other anarchists, helping to start one of the first Food Not Bombs in the country. Seth’s commitment to the environment led him to Earth First, advocating direct action on behalf of the planet. It was also during this period he began to perform music under the name “$eth” which he described as “acoustic rage.” […] 

In May of 1995, Seth negotiated the use of his family’s camp to host the Arrowbear Anarchist Conference. Eventually the collaboration of the various communities helped to establish an anarchist bookstore known as (De)Center in Highland Park (located at 6122 ½ Figueroa Street.) Seth was one of those individuals who helped keep the space going for the several years. Seth also helped to establish another anarchist bookstore inside the Luna Sol Café on 6th Street in Los Angeles.

Seth continued to play an important role in the Southern California and Arizona anarchist community until he disappeared on October 22, 2003. Just before his disappearance, a large wildfire, known as the Old Fire, broke out in the San Bernardino Mountains near his family’s music camp. It was later determined that he perished in the fire.

Those of us who knew Seth were heartbroken of his passing. Many of us still carry the burden and weight of his loss. But as time passes and memories fade, we want to ensure that his name is kept alive in our community. It is for this reason we have renamed this project in his honor, ensuring that our community continues to pay tribute to his dedication and love for a better world.

Dockstader Anarchist Mutual Aid Society