The 12th Annual Montreal Anarchist bookfair

May 24, 2011 at 1:13 am (Uncategorized)

So, here’s my brief report on the Montreal Anarchist bookfair which took place this weekend.

 The bookfair started in 2000 and is the largest radical left/anarchist bookfair in Canada, and one of the largest in North America. It was originally a one-ay affair in a small community centre, it has not expanded into a month of activates with a two-day fair in a much larger venue, which seems smaller every year (Big thank you to Sara who got me a better table!)

 I have tabled every year, first as Red & Black Notes and now as Notes from Underground (but of course, Internationalist Perspective occupies a place of prominence on my table).

NFU/IP is one of three Marxist groups at the fair. The others being the Internationalist Communist Tendency (formerly the IBRP) and a split from it, the Internationalist Communists of Montreal. Others at the fair include the IWW, Common Cause, the Libertarian Communist Organization (both ex-NEFAC, anarcho communists), La Sociale, AK Press, PM Press, 5th Estate, Autonomedia, South End and a whole host of smaller publishers and distributors. I also got to see a few old friends from years gone by and to reintroduce myself to Penelope Rosemont.

 All in all a good cross-section.

The bookfair is an interesting mixture of ideas. While the focus is anarchist, there is room for others;  It’s not uncommon to see Che t-shirts. I mentioned above some Marxists are allowed space, but for a variety of reasons (more historical and local). Anarchists are hostile to Leninists, Trots and party builders in general. (for that matter, so am I) But not necessarily to Marxism. Indeed, what they see as anti-state communism are usually welcome. (so Dauve, Aufheben and others are usually big sellers on my table) IP too, though curiously I sell more English than French copies.  

I had a number of interesting conversations about value theory and also the role of activism.  Maybe next year, I’ll stay for both days. For now, it’s next stop Hamilton in June.

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