At the Toronto Anarchist Bookfair 2011

April 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm (Uncategorized)

This year’s Montreal anarchist bookfair is the 12th. Every year it seems to have gotten bigger. After the third year, they needed to move to a bigger location. Last year, the bookfair was held on two days, and attendance remained strong on for both.

The Toronto bookfairs have been a little rockier. Three bookfairs were organized in the mid-2000’s (two of them at the 519 Church Community Centre) and then it just ran out of steam. Then two years ago, they began to be held at the Steelworkers Hall. I missed the first one, but tabled last year. .

However, this year, through no one’s fault but mine, I ended up, tabling not at the Steelworkers Hall, but at the Bahen Centre several blocks north. I somehow missed finding out about it until a few days before the event (thanks Karl!), emailed them and was told, sorry we’re full but you can have space at Bahen, where the workshops are being held (thanks Tammy!)

I was grateful, but wondered if it would be worth it, and the torrential downpour didn’t make things look better.

In the end I was very glad I went. I didn’t really get a sense of how many people showed up, but the bookfair seems better and bigger, at least in terms of its ambition. The main hall, while not full, had new tables and groups, the food looked good, and a series of interesting workshops on mostly familiar topics gave the day a well-organized day flavour.

I had some interesting discussions about voting, about unions, and about various ultra-left traditions. Strangely though, a lot of the conversations involved Crass and the upcoming Steve Ignorant show.

See ya in Montreal.

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