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(en) US, Kansasian No Coast Anarchy delegation to the May semi-annual Great Plains Anarchist Network Meeting.

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 7 Jun 2004 11:39:01 +0200 (CEST)

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A caravan of anarchists from Kansas City braved the two hour
trip down a stretch of I-70 that is dominated by billboards, truck
stops and an ever mushrooming collection of adult bookstores,
before arriving in Columbia. Columbia, Missouri was host to the
semi-annual Great Plains Anarchist Network Meeting. The
conference consisted of workshops, great food, and strategy
meetings. In the end, Kansas City volunteered to host the next
conference in November. We are planning to bring nationally
known speakers leading up to the event that are open to the public.

Read Chuck0’s Experience:

I never thought that when I moved back to Kansas City that
I’d be visiting Columbia, Missouri more than my old
stomping grounds of Lawrence, Kansas, but here is was this
weekend in Columbia for the second time in as many weeks. The
purpose of my visit this weekend to mid-Missouri was the
semi-annual Great Plains Anarchist Network conference. A
caravan of anarchists from Kansas City braved the two hour trip
down a stretch of I-70 that is dominated by billboards, truck stops
and an ever mushrooming collection of adult bookstores, before
arriving in Columbia on Friday night. The Columbia folks had
volunteered to hold this meeting of the GPAN network after
Kirksville had hosted it last Fall. Kansas City is hosting the next
conference, which means more work for me that I like to do.
Needless to say, the Columbia anarchists did an excellent job and
everybody seemed to enjoy the weekend.

Saturday was May Day, which means that a bunch of anarchists
from around the Midwest had better be celebrating this anarchist
holiday or their reputation would suffer. Thankfully, the
Columbia organizers had organized a little picnic in the afternoon
in the aptly named “Peace Park” on the grounds of the
University of Missouri campus. Given that I had been enjoying a
liesurely brunch with my hosts, the early afternoon picnic was my
first conference event. The weather was cold, damp and gray all
weekend, which sucked, but the picnic was decent. There was
food, some guy pretending to be Big Bill Haywood, and a group
game called “combat kissing.” I overheard Alex
complaining that the game involved too much “combat”
and not enough kissing.

GPAN set aside Saturday afternoon for a series of workshops.
There were basically two tracks spread over the course of 4
one-hour segments. The workshop on homebirth and prison
support groups looked like they were well-attended. My favorite
workshop was one done by my good comrade Mark from St Louis
in which he discussed all of the community institutions that St.
Louis anarchists were building. Mark is a member of the Black
Bear Bakery collective there which bakes yummy stuff. My friend
Jason did a workshop on some basic of anarchism, which I thin
suffered from the short time set aside for workshops. I missed
Alex’s workshop on radical science. My workshop on
“ageism” came at the end of the afternoon. Lots of people
had left for dinner, but about a dozen people hung around for my
workshop. I hadn’t put much preparation into it, but we
ended up having a very interesting conversation.

Everybody got together for a big collective spaghetti dinner and
then folks set of for various late night events. Most of the folks
went to a punk show, while I went to a theater which was
showing episodes of the BBC comedy “The Office” for
free. Pretty funny show, but I have mixed feelings about whether
there is anything radical about this show or if it is just another
sitcom. Afterwards I hiked to my friend’s house and along
the way encountered some peace activists doing a sleep-in
outside the Army recruiting office.

Sunday was filled up with GPAN meetings which I won’t go
into, but I’ll just note that before lunch we had a huge soccer
game on the grass of a campus quadrangle. The grass was really
slippery which contributed to me taking a spectacular, sloppy spill
after being slide-tackled.

The GPAN conference was a bunch of fun and it was inspiring to
talk to so many anarchists from across the Midwest.

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