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(en) US, New York City's 7th Annual Anarchist Bookfair Was A Success

Date Tue, 16 Apr 2013 10:05:20 +0300


This year, on April 6 and 7th, the 7th Annual New York City Anarchist Bookfair was held at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in the lower east side of Manhattan. ---- This location marked a move away from former venue Judson Memorial church, for scheduling reasons, and a return to the lower east side, a neighborhood well known to organisers and people interested in the vibrant working class culture of New York City. ---- Last year's fair in 2012 was marred by a police attack on persons attending the Afterparty at the 6th Street Community Center, and the enforcement of the Safe Space Policy by an outside group called Support New York, who banned two individuals without notifying the NYC Bookfair Collective. This year, efforts were made to address the aforementioned issues. First, Support New York was asked not to implement the safer space policy, although the Safe Space Policy was continued.

Secondly, the collective sought to be appropriately vigilant as far as the door and security issues goes, but did not seek to exclude any individuals from the fair (An exception was made for fascists. We did exclude one group, the White Supremacist N.A.T.A.). There was a request made to exclude one NYC anarchist for personal reasons, but the request was denied. The person making the request apparently responded by circulating rumors that the fair has been cancelled, and that the collective had invited nazis to attend (!). These rumors were false. There were also rumors that the fair had no "safe space policy ' this year.
In point of fact the safe space policy was articulated on the Anarchist Bookfair website.

Early Saturday morning, before the book fair was to start, the doors to the venue were found to be chained and locked, but not by us or the venue management. This spooked the venue and they threatened to shut down the book fair (a threat they repeated throughout the day.) They also called the NYPD and hired security guards (who the book fair had to pay.) This resulted in security guards checking bags at the entrance. More seriously, it resulted in the venue and its security guards evicting a group of APOC members from the building and not allowing them to return for their scheduled caucus. This action caused considerable contention within the anarchist community and placed the future of the book fair in jeopardy.
Workshops
There were quite a few workshops during the two day fair, including a talk by the comrades of the Anarchy Alliance of Washington D.C. who described their occupation of 2011 and the founding of their libraries there. There were also talks by authors including Wayne Price and Daniel Levine among others. A special workshop on the Safe Space issue was held , in an attempt to have dialog with those who were concerned with the issues of Safe Space however the meeting degenerated into an emotional intimidation seminar by pro- Support NY persons.
In spite of the above, the fair was well-attended on April 6 and the film festival was also lively and well-attended. Films and documentaries shown included "Workers of the World.. Relax" and Documentaries on the ongoing police violence and abuse of citizens in Suffolk County (New York State) .

We look forward to seeing everyone next year.
**Peace, Love, Rage,
M. for the NYC Anarchist Bookfair Collective
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