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(en) Britain, London, Alt. Media, Anarchist Bookfair 2006

Date Tue, 24 Oct 2006 09:25:24 +0200

It is that time of year again, autumn in the air, leaves falling off
the trees, must be the Anarchist Bookfair. Travelling on public transport
into and around London these days is a pain in the neck due to engineering
works, and getting to the Anarchist Bookfair was no exception.
The Anarchist Bookfair used to be held at the Camden Centre, but it
outgrew this venue and moved to the London University Student Union.
By common consent this venue was a disaster. Last year it was held at
the Resource Centre on Holloway Road, just up from Holloway Road Tube
Station, and that is where it was held again this year.
Outside in the street, Veggies were selling their excellent food. I
arrived late and by the time I got there all that was left was some very
scrummy looking cakes and cups of tea.

I sometimes wonder is the Bookfair worth attending, overcrowded,
90% of what is on offer is crap, but then you find something worth
having, meet old friends and new, and you are glad you went.

Notes from the Borderland were peddling their usual disinformation,
fairy tales for the gullible, fiction masquerading as fact. Maybe it is
good therapy. This year they were running a smear campaign against
critics of 911. To any casual observer, it easy to see that a number of
questions have yet to be answered as to what really happened on that
fateful day, but what's a few facts when they get in the way of a good
smear campaign. I guess it makes a change from running a smear
campaign against David Shayler and Annie Machon.


But enough of the negative.

Indymedia had a good selection of DVDs. I was spoilt for choice. I
decided to go back later. A big mistake, I ended up with nothing as
they packed up early.


SchMOVIES, DVD Collection 2005, off the SchNEWS stall, was
worth having. As was the 17 minute DVD The Case for Solidarity off
the No Sweat stall.


The Case for Solidarity complements the cartoon booklet about
worker solidarity at a third world sweatshop. There is though a
serious problem with the No Sweat DVD, it don't play, and it don't
get more serious than that! Copying the DVD did not solve the
problem. I found if you force it to play chapter 1, it plays.

Kate Evans, a few years back produced an excellent cartoon booklet
on global warming. This she has revamped and updated, and I was
pleased to find it on sale on the Rising Tide stall. Early November
Kate is publishing as a book. If it is half as good as the booklet, then
it is well worth having.


We have just experienced the warmest September on record, and a
few days ago, we passed the longest extended summer on record.
On my way to the Bookfair I passed a demo in Covent Garden
against an Institution in the pay of the big carbon producers who are
still claiming that Global Warming and Climate Instability is a myth!

From a personal perspective on the weather. I have been to the
Bookfair in the past wearing a thick heavy coat. All I was wearing on
Saturday was a light jacket, and most of the day I was in a
short-sleeved shirt carrying my jacket. And this at the end of

I had hoped to find Zapatista Coffee, this excellent Aribica coffee is
grown by the Zapatistas in Chiapas. I first came across it at the
London Social Forum housing and land rights conference held a
couple of weeks ago. I was pleased to say I found it. I am not a great
fan of coffee, I prefer good tea, but I don't mind good coffee, and this
is very good coffee. And it is fair trade and organic.


Zapatista Coffee is roasted in Germany by Cafe Libertad and
distributed in the UK by Active Distribution. If your local fair trade
shop lacks this coffee, ask them why, suggest they get it, you won't
be disappointed.


I had an interesting chat with Corporate Watch on the government's
Pathfinder programme, and a similar conversation with a guy from
Liverpool on the SchNEWS stall.


Copies of The Generation Game by Mike Lane were freely
distributed. Anyone who recieved a copy of this DVD please arrange
public showing and feel free to run off copies and pass them around

I was disappointed that Undercurrents lacked a stall, or if they did, it
was well hidden and I failed to find it.


Two years ago Indymedia arranged an excellent party. If there was
anything happening this year, it was a well kept secret.


Last year the Bookfair ended in a full blown riot. This year the police
kept a very low profile.


The local Wetherspoons, the origins of last year's riot, had ugly
bouncers on the door. It was made clear people from the Bookfair
were not welcome.

Days before the Bookfair, the official website went down due to


Like last year, there seemed to be too few bookstalls. There needs to
be more radical groups with stalls. The absence of Undercurrents
has been noted, but where are the Colombian, Bolivian, Palestinian
solidarity groups, and many other groups I can think of?

The Anarchist Bookfair is not just stalls, there are also lots of
meetings taking place. I looked in on one, but it was standing room
only, so I did not bother.

I was hoping to go to the talk by John Pilger but he was rushed to
hospital and could not attend. I am sure we all wish him a speedy
recovery. We need more journalists of the calibre of John Pilger who
are prepared to stand up and tell the truth.

The usual hanging around whilst people make up their mind what
they want to do, then off for a meal with a few friends.

Next weekend, Saturday 28 October 2006, there will be a big
demonstration against property developer St Modwen. St Modwen,
the developer from hell, has a well deserved reputation for trashing
town centres, destroying local communities, driving local retailers
out of business. Farnborough town centre has been trashed, local
businesses destroyed. St Modwen now wish to destroy Queen's
Market at Upton Park in East London, one of the few surviving
traditional East End markets, now a thriving multi-ethnic market.
Procession starts from Plashet Park at 11am, to Queen's Market via
Green Street. Nearest Tube Stations: Upton Park or East Ham.


Anarchist Bookfair 2004


Anarchist Bookfair 2005


Keith Parkins
- Homepage: http://www.anarchistbookfair.org/
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