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(en) Canada, Media: Montreal Anarchist Bookfair - "Anarchists have cute babies, too."

Date Sun, 30 May 2010 15:26:47 +0300

And you might be surprised to find out they can be quite polite and well-organized, given that some vitriolic (and masked) anarchist protesters smash windows to score points while TV cameras roll. ---- The 11th annual Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, held at a community centre in Little Burgundy, was a hotbed of political discussion yesterday, as tattooed parents with nose rings and their toddlers in tow bought books and attended "cop watch" workshops. ---- "It's a place for anarchists from different places to share," said P. V., 28, of Sherbrooke. Anarchists, he explained, are best defined as people who champion economic democracy starting at the grassroots level. "And we believe in a type of extreme liberalism where people are able to express themselves any way they want."

J., 24, brought his 3-year-old daughter R. to the fair. "Of course I'm going to come here," said the man, who would not give his last name. "I'm not going to go to Chapters to find radical books." http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/3089081.bin

A. P. sat under a sign reading "Space Invaders Against Racism" and manned a kiosk displaying zines, or self-published magazines, for sale in the modest price range of $2 to $9.

P. and others at the fair harshly criticized the $930 million in public funds that the federal government plans to spend on security at the Group of Eight industrialized nations leaders' summit June 25 and 26 in Huntsville, Ont. and a meeting for 20 leaders June 26 and 27 in Toronto.

The huge security effort includes 10,000 police officers, private guards and soldiers. In part, their jobs will be to keep protesters - many of them self-styled anarchists - at bay. P., 28, said the expense is a waste.

"It's oppressive, really," P. said. "That's not going to help anyone. It's totally an excuse to cut into social programs that do help people."

R. S., a bookseller from British Columbia, said anarchism promotes individual self-determination and mutual aid. That is not what the G8 and G20 meetings accomplish, he said. "I don't even think these meetings should exist," S., 65, said.

His kiosk mate Andrea Langlois added: "Why is a broken window at a Gap store or an RBC bank outlet or The Bay worth more than the lives of people dying in Iraq or Afghanistan?"

Jaggi Singh, 29, a book fair organizer who will be protesting against the summits, dismissed the meetings as places "where rich men and women defend their interests against other rich men and women."

News about the massive security at the summit, far greater in terms of cost than previous summits, is "psychological warfare" meant to deter protesters. It won't work, he said.

"We do have a permit to protest," added Singh. "It's called the Charter of Rights."

The 2010 Montreal Anarchist Bookfair continues today, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the C.E.D.A. community centre, 2515 Delisle St. Admission is free. Details at www.anarchistbookfair.ca
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