Please Support And Be Supported By Your Local Anarchist Book Fair.

There is no real book fair “season” in the anarchist world as individual events all over the globe will span every month of the year but my town will be hosting its own fair next weekend and it seems like a fortuitous time to spread a little love for some alternative press.

What is your mind’s eye conjuring right now?  Black on black on black attired political dissidents accented with pedal bikes, dreadlocks, leather and back patches, spouting anti-government propaganda and discussing how best to destroy the system?  You aren’t entirely wrong but anarchism is a huge umbrella term with no aesthetic reservations under which many many different groups and ideologies dwell.  Or at the very least it could be considered a kind of idealistic commons where many alternative worldviews comfortably overlap and intersect.

If you should choose to visit your local book fair you will be greeted by a sea of tables which offer a wealth of information on a variety of topics including but not limited to political activism (duh), local and global human rights issues, PSA’s around local hate activities, gardening, upcoming direct actions, bicycle repair, LGBT topics, and a sampling of your local activist organizations.  On top of this there are a variety of workshops offered that will serve to broaden perspectives and provide some tools for direct actions, allyship, anti-colonial/imperial frameworks, and environmental issues.  The book fair also presents a kind of political level ground so to speak.  You will encounter left and right libertarians, veganism as religion (being facetious here….kind of), individualists, voluntaryists, syndicalists,  and any number of other self applied political descriptors none of which reign supreme, resulting in a politically neutral (oxymoron’s anyone?) venue which one can explore without feeling pressured.

I would be amiss if I didn’t also mention that musical events are often a crucial component to a great book fair.  In my town we usually have some anarcho folk offerings and a night or two of Crust punk and Grind shows.  Your tastes might not be met but it is always interesting.

The necessary result of events like this are increased local solidarity, stronger extended networks and the generation of unique ideas and approaches to  goals that best emerge through the interaction of individuals and groups with different academic and experiential backgrounds and philosophies.  Please don’t be put off by media portrayals of anarchism and if you are new to community activism or fringe politics be assured that every group out there NEEDS you and will welcome any queries and interests that you may have.  The community is gaining strength and momentum but there is a lot of work to be done so come on out, explore and enjoy.

Image from Montreal book fair page,

Some links to various book fair resources:

Comments and ideas are always welcome.



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