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(en) Canada, Edmonton, Media, ANARCHISTS GET ORGANIZED

Date Sun, 29 Jul 2007 10:35:20 +0300

To the uninitiated, those green to the goings-on of Edmonton’s annual Anarchist Bookfair, the idea of having a fundraiser for what sounds like a weekend of capitalistic exchange is, well, odd. Little do they know ... Anticipating this year’s weekend of black-flag-waving, the folks who put on the late-October event are putting up a silent auction in Remedy Café this Saturday evening. ---- “It’s important for the bookfair to raise money because we’re bringing in more tablers from out of town, and we’re bringing in Ward Churchill from the United States,” explains Sean Boomer, one of numerous organizers responsible for both events. The money raised will go to the increased costs of providing travel subsidies. (Ward Churchill, if the name doesn’t ring a bell, is a high-profile and controversial political dissident and academic working at the University of Colorado at Boulder.)

And the stuff itself?

“There will be a piece of artwork donated ... that was not auctioned off last year that people should have an eye out for,” Boomer says. “It’s a portrait of Che Guevara painted on black velvet.”
If this might clash with your living room décor, Boomer notes that much of the auctioned goods has a broad appeal.
“I know we’ve obtained a number of gift certificates to the Movie Studio, and there will be some jewelry donated.” He expects that there will be books like The Selected Writings of John Reed, published by Edmonton’s own Black Cat Press and a set of books by Paul Avrich (“a noted anarchist historian,” says Boomer). Last year, local musician Maria Dunn donated material, as did anarchist collective ThoughtCrime.Inc.
And Boomer is hoping this year’s silent auction will also be a resounding success.
“The event raised a large amount for the bookfair,” he admits.

Contrary to what you may have expected, it wasn’t just anarchists in attendance last year. “A lot of folks came who knew of the bookfair [and] had volunteered at the bookfair, but a lot of people interested in art came, too,” Boomer said. “They were enticed by the possibility of picking up high quality art or jewellery, sold at a lower price than normal.”
Barring the allure of material goods, there are more magnanimous reasons to head down to Remedy early this Saturday night.

“It’s an opportunity for people to read and collect information on the political philosophy of anarchism,” Boomer said. “[Anarchism has been] sidelined in the major media but continues to play a role in helping us to understand ... the future we want to create for our world.”
The Anarchist Bookfair Silent Auction runs from 7 pm to 8 pm this Saturday at Remedy Café on 109th Street. Arrive early to see the merchandise. V
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