21st Annual Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair

  • Posted on: 18 March 2016
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

21st Annual Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair
Saturday, April 23, 2016, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The New Oakland Metro House, 522 Second Street, Oakland, CA (2 blocks from West Oakland BART) / http://bayareaanarchistbookfair.com/

The Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair is a radical gathering with thousands of people attending and over 60 vendors sharing books, pamphlets, posters, artwork and more. This annual event is free and open to the public, welcoming people interested and engaged in radical politics to connect and learn through book and information tables, workshops, panel discussions, skillshares, films and more. It is an inclusive space to introduce new people to anarchist ideas, foster productive dialogue between various radical and Left political traditions, and create an opportunity to discuss radical politics, philosophy, and social movements.

There will be over 60 vendors and exhibitors, including many established Bay Area groups such as PM Press, AK Press, Bound Together Books, and Arizmendi Bakery, as well as vendors from across the US such as CrimethInc, Left Bank Books, and Melville House. There will be children's programming and activities throughout the day.

The Book Fair features a full day of programming with workshops on topics such as revolutionary mothering, parenting, street art, radical storytelling, gentrification, police violence, and more.

This year’s Book Fair poster was designed by Zeph Fish.

The social media hashtag for the event is #BAABF



I am very excited that my favorite anarchist publisher, Melville House, will be on hand for me to buy things from. Also a shoutout to AK Press and PM Press, my other two favorite anarchist publishers.

I am looking forward to adding this hashtag to all my social media posts.

What a subversive event!!

While we're meaninglessly shitting on things, I shit on you! Next time you have some kind of medical problem, just imagine me rubbing my little hands with glee.

But seriously, the thinly veiled envy with which people from the anews milieu regard those they regard as their competitors says a lot about what you think is important. As a partisan of what you probably deride as strugglismo, my "competitors" are the police and the state, etc., not some fucking bookseller.

Cannot handle sarcasm? This article was about a bookfair. The comment you're responding to was about the bookfair. No need for straw men and ad hominem attacks.

And, how exactly are you competiting with the police? Lol. I pictured challenges to arm wrestling.

Are we not allowed to critique every day life as it is lived, or must we obey someone's definitial hiearchy of 'problems'?

Having provoked a fight, the bully backpedals and cries out that he's being attacked. The reference to "straw men and ad hominem attacks" is de rigueur in such a situation.

And book fairs are your daily life? Really? And someone on anews is forcing you to "obey"? Really really?

I back the previous commenter: when you get ill, let there be hand-rubbing all around. Now tell everyone how I hurt your feelings.

Metro is a good choice for venue but goddamn this looks so boring.

Remember when it was always in SF. Tactically. Oakland is the better choice.

Are there any books, or should I say, are there any volumes or tomes by emile at the bookfair? It would just save me alot of internet time if I could just get the entire collection of emile's essays right there infront of me, and the callous on my scrolling finger may have a chance to heal :(

There's a blog. But, since he might not want his real identity known by all i won't post the link (and you're being sarcastic).

Why not try: nietzsche's "beyond good and evil" and lao tzu's "tao te ching."

I find it interesting that this claims that there will be presentations on police violence and gentrification : two topics that would obviously get more than the scene in the door, and looking at the schedule there isn't any. I don't see anything that speaks to what's happening in the bay area or even North America. There's the standard presentation by John Holloway and the author of Wobbles and Zapatistas, but who cares? Another set of academics. Once again, the bookfair did nothing to engage the bay area beyond a core of aging scensters. I also see more tables from arty hipster bullshit than usual. I appreciate the work that goes into this but fuck.
You know you hit a new low when you make the Bastards conference look more appealing.

I thought the cool thing about the bay area anarchist bookfair was that it has abunch of group conversations? These look like panels? Am I confused and mixing this up with something else?

Actually, you're trolling in the most transparent and self-serving way. Cut that out.

it used to be there was an SF bookfair and an east bay bookfair. then the SF bookfair moved to the east bay (where they could find space for a lower cost) and renamed themselves the bay area bookfair.
the east bay bookfair is the one that emphasizes group discussion

and actual anarchists

" I don't see anything that speaks to what's happening in the bay area or even North America." In the context of San Francisco gentrification, that's the Bay Area bookfair for you, and the Bay Area's Circle-A scene for you as well. This is a subculture, not a phenomena of aggressive resistance and social conflict.

Phenomena is plural; the subject of your sentence is "subculture," so it should be phenomenon (singular).

if i had a rocket launcher...

No need for rocket launchers... people who went to college aren't an actual threat!

And now on to matters too substantive for Mister Grumpy's limited skill set. Mister Grumpy: tell us why your subculture has contributed absolutely nothing to resist today's galloping gentrification of San Francisco and Oakland. The current phase of tech-fueled gentrification and accompanying mass displacement has been rampaging for a solid five years -- and the Bay Area's anarchist subculture has been wholly absent here. These supposed enemies of the social order have offered absolutely no credible real world response. Judging from the turnout at the Bay Area Book Fair and related events we can assume that there are at least several hundred people who call themselves anarchists in the San Francisco Bay Area -- and nothing has happened here.

Why is that?

Take all the space you need to produce a persuasive response.

are a scourge. save the cities! there is literally NOTHING anarchist about saving a city or fighting gentrification(which is a giant system problem, not a local one). It sometimes feels like 99% of self identifying anarchists are just liberal reformists with massive guilt complexes.

I'm not Mr Grumpy, and I have no dog in this fight except that I prefer to see intelligent arguments with proper etiquette... but I have to say, who the fuck are you, asshole? You want to pick a fight, here's one:

--Why should we agree with your premises? You offer no arguments or evidence whatsoever.
--I can think of things anarchists have done to oppose gentrification in the Bay. So your "nothing has happened" is a lie, or else you haven't bothered to research it.
--Obviously, gentrification (especially of THE PLACE GOOGLE, ETC. ARE LOCATED) is a massive global phenomenon that is not easy to halt, even with a lot of effort
--You can't prove a counter-factual: if it weren't for anarchist efforts in the Bay, who knows whether gentrification would be worse?
--Why do we owe you an answer? You certainly aren't making your demand in good faith.
--You say "here," so I presume you are in the Bay yourself, doing nothing whatsoever, or else by your own logic I would have heard about it, no? You worthless sack of shit!

If you are Kevin Keating, I hope a piano falls on you and you DIE DIE DIE, and the sooner the better for everyone's sake! If you're not, change your ways quick before you end up a miserable failure like him!

That is a horrible thing to hope for and just an fyi, shortly before I got back on here, a piano did fall on me. Though I jumped out of the way and didn't die, it did make me question what it is that I've been doing and it only reconfirmed that I've been right all this time. Not many stood up to the system in the way I have and not many have followed me in my footsteps, but I must say, no, insist that people understand a real revolutionary politic that isn't tied to the do nothingisms of the Bay Area anarchist scene.

Check out http://infoshop.org/LoveandTreason for more information on how I was a one man revolutionary project and how my project helped to generate some of the most conflictual revolutionary projectualities that was founded on generating action and attack, not wallow in irrelevance surrounded by an echo chamber of sycophants at a bookfair that only moves further into the Ivory Tower and further away from burning it to the ground.

In some ways I'm sorry that the collective has deleted KK's posts. They are emblematic of his incapacity to engage in actual good faith discussion with anyone but himself. He is constitutionally unable to understand that he is a known quantity to local anarchists and anti-party radicals, none of whom will have anything to do with his poisonous presence. He ridicules anarchists because they aren't Marxists and he wonders why he has no allies among anarchists.

And just because I know he'll be reading this, let me make this clear: Nobody owes you an explanation for why they aren't fighting against gentrification in the manner you chose back in the 90s. You failed then, so why would you think the same tactics and strategies would work better now? Aside from the suicidal full-frontal attack, there are other, more anonymous ways to slow down the process of continual dislocation of poor and working class people. They just don't turn up on your radar -- which is a good thing because if you knew about them, you'd want to be part of it, and then your poisonous personality would destroy anything positive being done. Nobody owes you a goddam thing.

I'm still replying to a comment that knocked my attempts to get the attention of this very important bookfair (to the world of marginalized, scene driven anarchists, that is):

No, what's sad is that I've been going on about these issues for about two decades and yet this is the most typical response, as if what I was saying isn't in a context. Perhaps I haven't been too clear with my words, so maybe you should look into the history of my actions? Now look at what the rest of the Bay has. You see a difference? They continually reproduce their scene of counter cultural small business people, small thieves, nerds and wannabe academics. I stepped outside the normal mode of operation and challenged the practices of North American anarchists with campaigns that have yet to be repeated. Given the shoe string budget and the small numbers, I'd say I was more than effective and definitely effective enough for others to use me as an example. Take strides forward, anarchists, and this bookfair is not that. It is a backslapping contest for people to yet again make themselves feel good for talking hard, but never changing from the typical. You should be so lucky to have a critic like me around because your echo chamber leaves you trapped but feeling comfortable. As an anarchist, you shouldn't feel comfortable, the unease of action that might actually do something should leave you with a joyful anxiety, fearful of getting caught but thrill to have acted and the need to act again is eating away at your every urge. Give priority in the participation in rebellion, be proud to shape it outside the accepted realms of the possible, reimagine action as an experiment and break the possible with what was once impossible.

A bookfair is not just a bookfair when the North American anarchist space and the discussion around it is centered on it. When all I see is the continued repeating of the same, no real attempts to break from the norm but instead a doubling down on it, it is time for a change. Since you haven't heard me the many, many times before when I stressed this issue, instead going on about your ways, always getting derailed from what is important to focus on marginal issues that only feedback into the scene or are absorbed by the general left, you'd think you might give some time to actually consider what I'm saying instead of acting defensive about what I'm saying, yet again?

I thought both your critique and KK are quite fair, even though posts signed by KK here sound like parody. The bookfair that I know in North America (i.e. Montreal's and the Bay's) are equally the same melting pots of complacent, useless false-radical counterculture that pretends everything anarchism (now the cool new shit is nihilism, even though none of these people actually know what that means, for nihilism isn't something anyone can honestly be and go about), where anarchism in this part of the world badly needs aANYTHING BUT book fairs and podcasts. Like, say... stuff in real-life that helps connecting with people, if not living with others.

If you ask most anarchists from Europe or Latin America to come up with an idea for a praxis, they'll tell you about things like squatting, "vacantplatz" villages, happenings and parties on the public place, blockade camps, organized lootings of supermarkets and other stores, autonomous homesteads and farms open to travellers. That's beyond the sabotage and rioting we know much better (and maybe the F'n'B style events still being done in some places, when not recuperated by the nonprofit sector).

Who the fuck cares about any of these things among this anarchoid scene in the Bay these days? Not even Free Breakfast for Children?

Look, I'll say this in as nice of a way as I can. There are real world events going on and anarchists aren't floating outside of this, yet they behave as if they are. There is never a shortage of calls for action or discussion on what action means in this world, yet the conclusions never hit the mark, always shooting rings outside the bullseye. I may mention gentrification and it is a very important, hot button issue, that anarchists could seriously engage and go beyond repeating left activist nonsense or aiming for the low branches. But it could be any number of problems. The calls for action and attempting to generate the numbers to a call must resonate with the context of what is going on. While small clandestine actions will raise morale, other, more open actions, ones that people can participate in actively really can get people moving.

Calls for mass refusal while direct actions done in solidarity with this call of refusal combine rather well once we stop micro-analyzing how decentered revolt occurs. The Muni Social Strike is a good example of a call for specific mass action that required active refusal, an active refusal that hit the vein of the times and was shared among the general exploited. If this were backed up with the kinds of actions like I had in Mission Yuppie Eradictation and wasn't undermined by other forces like GH, a real propaganda of the deed would've blended with a real refusal by masses of people. Sure it might not of resulted in driving the situation into one of full unrest, but to know street artists, vandals and saboteurs are in solidarity with your own active refusal, all targeted against an entity that is shared on a massive level, things could've broke out much further if people could truly of gotten the implications of how to *be* situationists while surpassing them in engaging in the creation of situations that aren't a bunch of college kid art projects gone wild.

If you are looking for inheritors of American situationist praxis, there are all these veins of irrelevance from Adbusters to Crimethinc to Hakin Bey to Bob Black to AJODA and so on, it is clear none have made any great strides to actually strike at real veins of discontent. This failure isn't just among the so called post-situationist, the American communist ultra left has fallen into the same irrelevance as platformist and syndicalist groups. All these attempts have been targeting the early stages of the liberal demographic, which move into professional and managerial positions, if not straight up small business ownership. There own interests, so short sighted, can't see that if all this were taken from you, then you would be proletarian in a more traditional sense and then perhaps the lines could be more clearly drawn.

It is not my intention to persuade the entire bookfair away from being the next edgy generation of liberals and has been nobody ultra anarchist geezers, but to instead encourage a more surgical approach among anarchists that might finally take what I'm saying seriously and actually target the unsafe areas of life where real shit is on the line and people might just be encouraged to see anarchists working beside them in refusal. The continued gentrification as an example. Sure, anarchists may not of felt the whole attack on yuppie culture as hitting the vein of struggle, instead seeing the developers as the real culprit, but it isn't what people used to colonialist land grabs, seeing these people as just as complicit in the role of land theft from communities that had developed strong roots where they were located. Because of the weak resistance people with a colonial mindset have, all land is just of use and utility and people can be moved in and out based on economic rather than social connection. It is when we see our class interest that we might be able to see moving into a slum to make it better is really moving into someone else's area and attempting to force them out.

The idea of a scab is tied to the idea of the petite bourgeois, the middle class, the police, they allow themselves to be seen as just trying to make ends meet as anyone else in society, but they cross lines more often than not towards supporting the latest intervention by powerful capitalists, which makes these people functional executive agents of the capitalist class, complicant with its interests and enforcers of their values in the land grabs of today we call gentrification. If anarchists today are to be relevant, they need to see things with more complexity, attempt to struggle in their own neighborhoods to be able to stick around rather than move into other people's and make their struggle not just with development, but with a confused class of anarchists that misdirect blame and justify pacification on issues that need more than half measures.

An example would be calls for general rent strikes in the area being gentrified, calls to picket and blockade small businesses in the area that cater to these people, a constant outside presence by the local population (a general BBQ, if you will) to show solidarity by existing in the space of public viewing. Show support to local friendly businesses to this struggle, establish subsistence exchanges outside those provided by the state for those active in making these things happen, travel to the HQ of realtors and developers to demonstrate the strength of the community in opposing their class aggression. Keep the BBQs going on late and call for a general blackout, refusing to power homes for blocks while everyone is outside enjoying each other's companies.

If/when the police show up, encourage solidarity and refuse arrest nor a return to order. This is what I'm calling "Occupy my own front yard" approach to gentrification.

sounds like fun, let's do it!!!
just, where on the urban grid is the anarchists' own neighborhood supposed to be?

While some of these things you are saying sounds nice, you are basically trying to be a the jump starting germ to the terrain that you want when in actuality it is the other way around. These kind of things happened more often in the late 60s, but the late 60s came about because of more more subtle less grandiose forms of practice over time.

It was due to things like insular discussion groups by anarchists and other radicals after ww2 who were simply trying to figure out how the terrain had changed. Anarchists are about to go through a similar post 1945 transformation within the next 10-15 years. The old models of 1968 simply do not work anymore, for this reason the insular discussion that you are seeing via podcasts and other things is quite welcome and will lead to a new orientation of anarchy for the greater 21st century. That is after all how the 1968 strand of anarchism came about. From small corners.

Also quit with this base/surface separation of realities. There is no REAL or RELEVANT world. Anarchism at its affecting peak is inseparable from the small insular discussions that get things going. What do you think Paul Goodman and Ken Rexroth were doing before anarchism hit it big again in 1968? In these kind of times we need new Goodmans and Rexroths more then ever. You will not find them trying to jump start a revolution based on constituted forms of struggle.

Nothing I said had anything to do with 1968 and what I do had nothing to do with 1968. You think things, which is nice, but they aren't true things. The spooks you so fear act as more of a guiding force than what your philosophy grants recognition and your failure to understand basic reality beyond subjective observation makes it impossible to communicate my opinion with yours. What I will say to others is that the spirit of revolt can cry at any time and there is no need for any enlightenment. There is no need for any build up to become rebellious. What I am talking about is defibrillating the heart of revolt and get a fucking pulse. The desire to destroy exists within every heart, the desire to be unchained in every dream. I don't hit the right resonance, that is fine, but that is what being an anarchist is and what talking about anarchy isn't. Testing through propaganda and expressing power as propaganda by deed. By combining methods, in a context, through campaign efforts, through several months of regular effort focused on a point of struggle that calls for mass action, backed by small actions leading up to the call point, an explosive situation can be brought forth.

What needs to exist are real issues of class conflict, where the social order is exploiting people in some way. Look at the infrastructure of capitalism. In large urban areas, public transportation is definitely an area of aggravation for much of the population, so rate hikes, route changes and other things can affect how people live their daily life. Looking for something people share and can have a shared experience in, a shared experience in not liking the rate hike. The third one in two years? Really?

Look at family welfare institutions. Another institution where people just assume they are doing good in a bunch of dysfunctional families' lives. It forces the children to register and be indoctrinated into the system. Given the heavy religious secondary support options, many families are opt to register as Christian to gain additional support. It forces schooling. It enforces family divisions. But actual refusal of this institution is often unthinkable as they may take your children. Or is it? These are the things anarchists should be pondering instead of coffee house, bookfair, college library, schoolhouse bullshit. We already know people don't like being controlled and you think by taking an extreme micro and extreme macro view of things there is nothing else? What if I told you that I am not separate from the waves of time passing and I move with it as does everything else. The swaying of channels, the flux and flow, they can't be contained. To you, one may get caught up in the sea of time and become something other than an basement dwelling shut in, but what if I already was and thus we are two different creations, you a couch and I a boat? This is me, in history, being pulled in to a context because of who I am and what drives me. If you don't feel this drive, then I hope you enjoy your status as last man. Wallflowers in life can speak as if they may, some day, become rebellion. Some of us are already here and we see the sea and want to ride the tide.

"If you are looking for inheritors of American situationist praxis, there are all these veins of irrelevance from Adbusters to Crimethinc to Hakin Bey to Bob Black to AJODA and so on, it is clear none have made any great strides to actually strike at real veins of discontent."

They never bothered to try.

Clearly that's not what Kevin Keating has been about.

In the aggressively depoliticized United States, you can give yourself mad props as a supposed danger to the social order just by holding a few scary ideas, and then never acting on them.

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