By Isaiah Kramer
An anarchist walks into a potluck, a café, a book fair and a sewing contest—sounds like a bad joke, right? It’s not. It’s the event schedule for the city’s revolutionaries’ biggest weekend, the Anarchist Book Fair, which will take place at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park the weekend of April 9-10.
The Anarchist Book Fair is the most visibly active anarchist-organizing event. The event, now in its 16th year, is produced by Bound Together bookstore, and comes just in time to discuss union busting in Wisconsin and bombs in Libya.
Anarchist book fairs are a worldwide occurrence. Name a major city and they have one annually, and if they don’t, the city next to them does.
The best thing about Anarchist events: they’re free.
Food Not Bombs will provide food gratis; free music will likely be played by vagrant-types; and though it may not be polite, there will be great people watching, which doesn’t cost a dime.
More than 50 vendors will fill the cramped hall to sell their wares. The largest stand will be Oakland-based publisher AK press. But anarchist consumerism – an irony – is not all the book fair offers.
There will be 11 discussion panels and 20 speakers as well as work from several artists over the course of the 14-hour working weekend.
Many of the speakers are authors whose books will be available at the fair. Topics discussed in the panels will be on subjects ranging from “living in communes” to “crime in the city.” The artist’s politically-charged posters and artwork will also be for sale.
The buildup to the book fair includes a fair share of activities as well.
Station 40, the Mission anti-authoritarian events collective, will host a Potluck and Anarchist Salon April 6 to “encourage critical yet constructive dialogue and comradely debate concerning the difficult strategic questions that we face as we try to engage in social transformation,” according to their website.
A one-night anarchist cafe at 225 Potrero Ave. will provide food, drinks and entertainment will be at 7 p.m. on April 8, with a $5 to $20 sliding scale “donation.”
On Sunday evening there will be an after party held at 1592 Market St. in the brand new community space “Social Fabric.” The nights activities will include a bike race, a sewing competition and dancing to the sounds of live bands and DJs.
As celebrated anarchist Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution!”