Monday, June 29, 2009

The following announcement has been making its rounds of the 'anarchonet' in the last few days. It's the announcement of the upcoming (August 15) Providence, Rhode Island anarchist bookfair. No doubt I wish them the best of luck and hope that the event goes well, but still...there are some things that just have to be said. When I was bitching and complaining to one fellow at the end of my day's tabling at our recent bookfair here in Winnipeg about the poor attendance this fellow(an IWW member who had previously been involved with a, platformist organization) replied to my comparison of our event to Montreal and Edmonton (who, I swear begin planning for next year as soon as they get over their hangovers) with the obvious, "but they are organized anarchists".
What is the problem here ? The idea of anarchist bookfairs continues to grow, and they are a great tactic, but far too often all the planning is being done at the last possible moment. A year is the proper timeline for such an event- not a month and a half. The Providence people have started to send out their calls now, and they still don't have their website up and running (they had one for last year). Can we say "cart before the horse" ?
Plainly, if you want the maximum possible effect you have to plan such things long before they happen. You also have to have an idea of what should be done first, second and third, etc..I say all this with the maximum possible sympathy to all anarchist bookfairs, but with the hope that they will think about being as effective as possible. Here's the announcement from the comrades down in Rhode Island.
August 15th 1pm to 1am on
Empire Street, Providence, Rhode Island
The annual Providence Anarchist Bookfaire is back again this year and we want you to come on by and enjoy the events, get some books and participate.

The bookfair is set up during a street festival *Foo Fest* put on by a local art and community center called AS220. This years festival has changed with a 5 dollar cover and a family friendly focus in the afternoon. Bring the kids!

In the evening local bands will be playing as the festival takes a street party atmosphere, come enjoy the music, the books and comradeship.

In the past there have been workshops and interactive presentations on radical and revolutionary topics , please feel free to submit workshop proposals or hit us up to get a table.

We are excited to be putting on the bookfair and hope you are excited to come.

Be on the lookout for more information and fliers to help us promote for more info , questions or suggestions please email Juice at
Thanks and see ya soon !
* Please forward widely*

1 comment:

nola said...

hey molly,

thanks for the advice. i am not organizing this but i am from here.

these have been going on since 2006. but last year 2008 was the first time the outdoor festival that hosts the fair didn't happen (rumor was an issue with the State of course)

anyway the festival organizer i assume asked the folks who did the previous years bookfair if they would still be interested.

hopefully this year's pans out. there will be tons of promotion taken care of by the hosting organization which is a huge non profit downtown alternative community arts organization, so that shouldn't be a problem.

also unlike most years this year the festival is not free admission so most likely vendors will not have to pay for tables.

so this actually is looking like it might be the best case scenario for folks in providence. at least i'm crossing my fingers.

thanks for reposting this though!