NEWS FROM THE WIDE WORLD OF ANARCHISM:
Busy,busy,busy little bees those anarchists are. Here's a small selection of the "anarchist news of the week":
Out on the lone prairie where you don't bury Molly (Sorry I couldn't resist it ) the Calgary Anarchist Bookfair will be held at the Old Y Centre on April 27th,28th and 29th. There will be not just publishers present but other vendors (sweatshop free clothing, hula hoops ????, etc.), information tables, workshops and a variety of speakers. There will be a licensed Saturday night "prom" (costume optional). Sounds like fun. For more info go to http://bookfair.haymarket.org . Meanwhile down in Montreal an anarchist art exhibit will be held from May 3rd to May 13th as part of the month long Festival of Anarchy in that city. The exhibit will be at the Esplanade Loft Project at 6750 Esplanade. The Festival of Anarchy will also feature a 'Night of Anarchist Poetry' on May 6th, a lecture by anarchist historian Abel Paz on May 16th, meetings of the Institute of Anarchist Studies, an Anarchist Theatre Festival on May 28th and 29th and, of course, the eigth annual Montreal Anarchist Bookfair on the weekend of May 18th to 20th. This is billed as "the largest anarchist bookfair in North America". To learn more about both the Bookfair and the Festival go to the Bookfair site.
Jumping the bus and heading towards the setting sun we motor into Toronto for the May 1st party and book launch of the Upping the Anti new issue(#4) at the Smiling Buddha, 961 College St, from 8:00 pm on. Upping the Anti is the magazine of the Autonomy and Solidarity group. There will also be a preparatory for the May 5th Day of Action for Status for All, organized by the Toronto branch of No One Is Illegal. If they let you across the border you can also attend the Chicago Anarchist Film Festival from April 27th to April 29th, held as part of the anarchist historical convention Finding Our Roots.
If the USA is not your cup of tea (Or your bottle of rotgut whiskey-Molly ) just head west on #1 to Winnipeg. Local anarchists here will be sponsoring several events as part of the month long Mayworks. On May 16th 'The Apostle of Anarchy' will be held at the Mondragon Cafe (91 Albert St.)celebrating the 100th anniversary of Emma Goldman's first visit to Winnipeg. Winnipeg actress/playwright Sharon Bajer will embody Emma. There will also be presentations by Paul Burrows and Patrick McGuire as well as music by the 1919 Insurrectionary Ochestra and The Magnificent Sevens. On May 19th there will be a music night, cosponsored by the Winnipeg IWW, at the Royal Albert Arms(48 Albert St.) entitled 'Rock for Rights', and the same venue will rock again on May 25th with radical hip hop by Break Bread Crew, Peanuts and Corn and The Hummers. This is also cosponsored by the IWW. You might want to visit Edmonton earlier though as the IWW Panel and Pub Night will be held at The Underdog (10425- 82nd Ave.). This will feature a short film on Starbucks Union organizing, along with a speaker from NYC. On May 4th the Edmonton Anarchist Bookfair Collective will hold a panel discussion on 'The Radical History of Mayday' at the Remedy Cafe (8631- 109th St.). For more details go to their website.
If you have the money for plane fare and if you can master the skill of being in two (or 5) places at once don't forget the upcoming I07 International Syndicalist Conference in Paris(A hell of a lot more pleasant place to be than Winnipeg-Molly ) from April 27th to May 1st. This will likely be the event of 2007 in the anarchist calender as the newly revived and growing anarcho-syndicalist movement flexes it muscles and plans for the struggles ahead. This event is sponsored by the French CNT-Vignoles. The schedule in English can be seen at this site.
Once more if you can be in two places at one time you might want to catch the events around Mayday in Poland. These run from April 28th to may 1st and involve a conference around 'Ideas and Actions:Workers' Resistance for the New Millennium', an action against temporary work and an anarchist Mayday march. These will be sponsored by the Union of Syndicalists, the Anarchist Federation-Praga and the 'Freedom,Equality and Solidarity' group. Further information can be found at http://www.konferencja.bzzz.net .
Speaking of Poland, some anarchafeminist comrades from the Union of Syndicalists have launched a campaign against "permatemps" and Hewlett Packard. In Poland the use of "temporary employees" is particularly high, and employers have become very skilled at evading the laws regarding temporary employment (see the reference above). The Union of Syndicalists along with the anarchafeminist group Fundacja Mama has launched a petition campaign against Hewlett Packard over the case of one woman who was unjustly fired after being absent from work due to a miscarriage. As a temp worker she was not covered by Polish labour law, and medical emergencies don't qualify as "just cause" for being absent from work. The Polish comrades are gathering information for further actions against Hewlitt Packard on other cases. To more about this campaign or to help out see the above news item. To follow the actions of the Polish syndicalists in English go to the Workers' Initiative site.
Speaking of solidarity the revived Students for a Democratic Society in the USA have run into a couple of problems recently. The permit for a Mideast convention at the University of William and Mary was revoked on April 20th by University administrators. It's a little to late to send messages of protest as the conference was scheduled to begin on the 20th, but messages of disapproval can still be sent. See the above site for further details. Meanwhile out Ohio way two SDS students were arrested at a Dayton, Ohio military recruitment center protest and The Movement for a Democratic Society (veterans of the old SDS) is attempting to raise bail money for them. Go to the above link for details.
On the publications front the April 2007 edition of the Industrial Worker, the monthly newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the World is now available in a downloadable pdf format at the IWW website. There is also a publicity campaign to ask the publishing outfit, Random House, to reprint the works of American anarchist author Paul Goodman as an "Essential Paul Goodman". This being sponsored by the people who are making a documentary film about Goodman. What they are asking is that you write Judy Sternlight Jsternlight@Randomhouse.com expressing your agreement with the following letter by Marcus Raskin of the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC:
"Dear Ms Sternlight,
There is a tradition of greatness in American thought and letters which must be kept alive. It revolves around a moral impulse, a personal commitment to creativity and freedom, a vast knowledge of the past and present. And a strong nose for bullshit.
Paul Goodman was part of that tradition and in fact he was crucial in keeping it alive during his immensely productive life. Jason Epstein, his editor and publisher understood that impulse and was, as you know, his champion at your house. No doubt there will come a time when this 'American Master' will receive his due. But that is only part of the story. This present, say the 21st century, is in desperate need of insight and thought from those who struggled and led lives of nobility and brilliance. This, Ms Sternlight, is a dark time and Goodman in his work and life kept a candle lit which helped one generation find itself whether in letters, education,politics and gender freedom.
Goodman was a colleague of mine, dedicated a book to me and made his voice heard among many in the establishment and of course among students. There is no doubt that his voice and his straightforward writing would resonate with a new generation of young. This I know first hand as a professor at George Washington University, the cofounder of the Institute for Policy Studies, author and editor of some 20 books-two from Random House.
Further, there is an entire generation of people from the sixties who are in teaching positions at universities and schools who grew up escaping absurd lives because of his work. The republication of Paul's books makes enormous commercial sense besides being a literary necessity.
Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC
Then there's another downloadable pdf available from the Anarchist Federation of Britain. It's their latest issue (#93) of their bulletin 'Resistanace', and it has articles on the evictions at Ungdomshutet in Denmark, Copwatch articles, stories on KFC workers organizing in Paris and New Zealand, identity checks, unofficial industrial actions, identity cards, tax money used for arms purchases and much more. Go to the site about to view or download. Finally, there's an interesting new project called 'The Josiah Warren Project' which aims to organize and publish the works of the American individualist anarchist Josiah Warren. Go to Crispin Sartwell's website for more info and to view the wealth of other resources available there.
As a last word for the further future a collection of American anarchist groups are planning a continental gathering of anarchists at the upcoming US Social Forum to be held in Atlanta, Georgia from June 27th to July 1st. The sponsors are not from the "anarcho-crazy" wing of our movement. If your group is interested please contact these people at http://nymaa.org/USSFcontact .