Monday, August 21, 2006

The Revolution Starts Here.

  • September 1-3 at Queen Alexandra Hall, 10425 University Ave.
  • Free food and childcare provided.
  • Vendors will be accessible the entire event, including during workshops and at meals.

Vendors include:
  • AK Press: A international worker run book publisher and distributor organized around anarchist principles. All decision-making, including which titles they distribute and which ones they publish, is made collectively. Their goal is to make available radical books and other materials, titles that are published by independent presses, not the corporate giants, titles with which you can make a positive change in the world.
  • Turning the Tide: Saskatoon radical bookstore.
  • Haymarket Worker-owned Cooperative: Calgary radical bookstore.
  • Freedom Press: the oldest surviving anarchist publishing house in the English speaking world, based in London England.
  • Spartacus Books: a non-profit, volunteer & collectively run bookstore & resource center based in Vancouver. The store has been successfully run for over 35 years.
  • Industrial Workers of the World: The Edmonton branch of this international worker-run union.
  • ThoughtCrime Ink: Edmonton-based not-for-profit activist T-shirt company.
  • Black Books: Edmonton anarchist/activist literature distributor.
  • More TBA

Bookfair Workshop Schedule

Friday, September 1
Bookfair Open 6pm-10pm

8:30 – 10:00: Feature Film: Bozo Texino

Bozo Texino is an actual person, although most people only know him by the graffiti art he scrawls on boxcars. Stories abound about his background: some claim he is a migrant worker from Texas, while others say he is a conductor on the Sunset Limited. Regardless of his real personage, Bozo Texino is one of scores of artists whose cryptic symbols can be found throughout the nation on its rail cars. Most of this work is rendered in chalk, but can travel thousands of miles before dissolving. Daniel stumbled across these graffiti marks while living near the Santa Fe railroad line in Dallas. Familiar with a now defunct system of chalk marks used by hobos to communicate across long distances, Daniel realized that he had found a new form of art-monikers, caricatures, and poetry scribbled by boxcar jumpers on freight trains and under bridges. He began documenting their artwork, and with the encouragement of a grant from the Film Arts Foundation, decided to turn his work into a full-length documentary.

Saturday, September 2
Bookfair Open 11am-7pm

11:15 -12:00: Eugene Plawiuk: Presentation on Anarchist Governance

12:00 - 12:30: Lunch (vegan and free!)

12:45 - 1:15: Sean Boomer (Black Books): Confessions from Over the Hill - Anarchism as a Way of Life

1:30 - 2:15: Mark of the @: Guerrilla Art – Graffiti Workshop

2:30 - 4:30: Billy Cromb (Food not Bombs): Activism for Everyone: Addressing Accessibility in Activist Work

Discussion/oral presentation about strategies for making activist events and groups more accessible to marginalised people in society, focusing on people in poverty but touching on other intersecting inequalities as well. One thing that I've noticed doing anti-poverty work for the past few years was how much frustration from the people who have most to gain from activism, who often can't make it to meetings or events because of barriers such as price, time, lack of childcare or even physical barriers. This is a huge issue, and breaking down the barriers to access would help everyone involved.

4:30 - 5:30: Edmonton Movie Premier: The Free Voice of Labour – The Jewish Anarchists

The film presents newsreel footage of key figures in the history of American anarchism, among them Sacco and Vanzetti, and Emma Goldman. ("What is your opinion of Italy?" a reporter asks her. "Beautiful country minus Mussolini," she snaps in reply.) And there are contemporary interviews with figures including Mollie Steimer, Emma Goldman's girlhood friend, and the poet Kenneth Rexroth, who reads his Sacco and Vanzetti poem. There is also some discussion of what the film makers take to be anarchism's practical applications, such as food co-ops and town meetings. Karl Hess, formerly a Newsweek writer and speechwriter for Barry Goldwater, discusses his evolution from Republican to anarchist. And the writer and teacher Murray Bookchin gives an exceptionally articulate description of his own ideological development. He explains why he finds anarchism more all-embracing than Marxism, because he believes it addresses "not just classes but hierarchy." Anarchism can be broadly applied, he says, to forms of domination "which may not have any economic meaning at all." A wonderful evocation of the radical political past and what has become of its activists in their old age. It takes it's name from the Yiddish anarchist newspaper, which finally died in 1987 at the age of 87. The film is an oral history, given by those who lived through the era. It's more than merely that, however. It uses clips from old movies, in Yiddish, that dealt with the ugliness of the sweatshop. You hear the Yiddish songs and poems inveighing against oppression and calling for the people to rise up. But the joy in the film lies in the people who belonged to the movement. They have aged gracefully, with their sentiments unchanged, but with their world different in ways they would never have dreamed of years ago. They speak with humor of demostrations, picket lines, battles of long ago. They speak as Jews, but secular Jews whose visions were of an unbossed universality. They are grandmas and grandpas, as sunny and mellow as any others, but their courage, intelligence and social concern still shines in their faces. They were a movement, mostly nonviolent, unlike the caricature anarchist bomb-thrower, but their families have grown into middle-class America. They no longer fight, but they still think."—New York Times

5:30 - 6:00: Dinner (vegan and free!)

6:00 - 7:00: Ramsey Kanaan (AK Press): TBA

Sunday, September 3
Bookfair Open Noon-5pm

12:00 - 12:30: Lunch (vegan and free!)

12:30 - 1:15: Grant Horwood (Haymarket Books): FBI Crackdown on Radical Environmentalists

In late 2005, the FBI launched a nation-wide campaign called "Operation Backfire". Its goal was to crush the radical earth and animal liberation movements in the United States. Today, fourteen activists face thousands of years of jail time if convicted. This presentation will address the history of Operation Backfire and the need for effective prisoner support. Special emphasis will be given to Darren Thurston, an activist originally from Edmonton currently imprisoned in Oregon.

1:45 - 2:30: Jenika Watson: Compassionate Communication

3:00 - 5:00: Nick Driedger (IWW): Direct Action on the Job

Falling union membership has meant that the traditional venue for improving working conditions is no longer available to about 80% of the workforce. This workshop is designed for workers in industries without the benefit of a collective bargaining agreement to improve their workplaces and build solidarity with co-workers. Based on the IWW’s solidarity unionism model we will investigate how to map and plan successful actions at work, and how to build a fighting workplace group to take on the bosses.

Please check the site often for more updates!

Volunteers Needed!

The Edmonton Anarchist Bookfair collective is seeking volunteers for a number of positions both during, and leading up to, the 2006 bookfair. Past fairs have been successful in a large part due to the generous people who have contributed their time and talent to this event, and this is a great opportunity to meet with your local activist community.

There are lots of positions requiring various levels of skill and time, so if you are interested in helping out, we hope that you find something that appeals to you listed below.

The Kitchen...this is one of the most well received aspects of the bookfair. We take great pride in our ability to provide free vegan food (or by donation to those who can pay) during the event. It is a great time to show off your ability to cook some of your favorite recipes, and to learn some new ones. Fore those who are not so handy wearing a chef hat, there is also lots of collecting and chopping of food (as well as the ever popular dishwasher). There may be some need for preparing food before hand, so if you are not available for the labor day long weekend you could still have the opportunity to help out.

Child Care...this is gives the parent/caretaker an opportunity to freely attend workshops, talk to vendors, and brows the various aspects of the fair with a little more freedom that they may usually be accustomed. It also gives the child a positive feeling towards "these kinds of events" that they sometimes get dragged to. We have a certified childcare worker that will need assistance, so if you think you can take on the challenge it may be a good way to brush up on your coloring skills! (small honorarium provided)

Postering/hand billing...we had between 800-1000 people come through the last bookfair, and would like to get even more this time around. So that means there will be lots of posters that need posting, and lots of hand bills that need handing.

Setup/tear down/cleanup...every table that gets unfolded will eventually need refolding, chairs will need to be unstacked then restacked, floors will need to be swept and bathrooms will need to be cleaned, (I can handle that last are way too soft-core for that)

Production of merchandise...Usually there are hand made products like shoulder bags, or chef hats, there was talk earlier in the year of vests for the door greeters, (insert walmart joke here). There also may be some screen printing done on to t-shirts. Someone who knows how to use a sewing machine, or desires to learn how, would be quite handy at the moment. Any ideas in this department will be greatly appreciated. If you are crafty and know of something that would make cool merch/gifts we would love to hear from you.

Transportation...people may need a ride to or from the airport, the kitchen may need some things picked up and delivered to the hall, that kind of stuff.

Billeting...we will have cool people coming from cool places, many of whom are on a shoe string budget, and thus we attempt to keep their costs to a minimum. If you have some space to share with our sisters and brothers it would be much appreciated. A brief description of the living space may be required, ie. pets present? Space available (couch, bed, floor) ? Vegan/vegetarian/omnivore? How many welcome? Is gender an issue? Anything else we should know?

If there is any other way that you think you can contribute, please contact us, we are always open to new ideas and input from the community, and strive to welcome anyone with an open mind.

Thanks for your support! Please send all responses to