Fill out our bookfair feedback form! https://goo.gl/forms/E3S5icG3lNAtv52E2
Read our full statement and reportback from the bookfair at HTown Holds it Down: Security, Defense and Movement at the Houston Anarchist Bookfair.
“In Spain in the 1930s, during the revolution against General Franco’s fascist takeover, a propaganda poster read: “Los libros anarquistas son armas contra el fascismo,” or “Anarchist books are weapons against fascism.” This slogan was proven true again on Sunday, August 24th when around two dozen fascists tried (unsuccessfully) to shut down the 2017 Houston Anarchist Bookfair…Our security team saw them approaching and quickly helped bookfair attendees inside and secured the doors so the fascists could not enter. They shook and kicked the doors to try to get in. They then retreated down the stairs to get their livestreaming footage and social media photos while chanting fascist slogans. They also went around at least part of the building and tried to enter side doors, but we had of course already secured these. Unable to enter the building to attack the people inside and fill the building with smoke, they staged a brief photo op outside, chanting “blood and soil” and “anti-white.” After about 10 minutes on site, the fascists left the area and did not visibly return…
…Ultimately, the bookfair was a phenomenal event that reflected our city, built new connections, and spoke to the political moment we’re in concretely. We’re proud of our security pre-planning and security team, as well as the spontaneous help from the attendees and participants. We did what we came to do, which was organize an above-ground, well-publicized, open, family friendly anarchist bookfair in the south in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey. We deeply appreciate everyone who helped make it such a success-the tablers; workshop presenters; food, set up/clean up, and security volunteers; attendees; and everyone who helped spread the word or donated. Let’s keep building together in this time of incredible upheaval.”
Date: Sunday, September 24, 2017
Time: 9am-6pm! (see Schedule page for further details)
Where: MECA, 1900 Kane St., Houston, TX 77007!
Announcing the 2017 Houston Anarchist Bookfair! On Sunday September 24, 2017, Houston Anarchist Black Cross will host a one-day convergence to network, grow, and celebrate anarchist and anti-authoritarian projects in Texas and the surrounding region. Join us for books, workshops, and discussion to celebrate and expand our southern radical communities of resistance!
If you’d like to volunteer, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little bit about yourself and what aspect you’re interested in helping with.
The event is free, with no registration required. We are committed to making this a safe, welcoming space for all people who are genuinely interested in the Anarchist Bookfair, including gender diverse folks, people with disabilities, parents, children, femmes, women and people of color. If you experience harassment, abuse, assault, or any other kind of violation during the book fair, or if someone who has engaged in such behavior in the past is adversely affecting your participation at the book fair, or if you need support for any other reason, please do reach out to us at email@example.com.
Q: Can I participate if I am not an anarchist?
A: Absolutely! Whether you are a communist or other type of radical looking to network with like-minded people, or simply curious to learn more about anarchism and radical projects going on in Houston and the region, we want to welcome everyone who is genuine in their interest in the bookfair. On the other hand, fascists, cops, trolls, and others who only wish to subvert the purpose of the book fair are most decidedly not welcome.
Q: What is anarchism anyway?
A: We’re sure that every anarchist at the bookfair would offer a different, and at times divergent, definition of anarchism. But here’s one quick definition!
Anarchism is a set of revolutionary political ideas which seek a fundamental transformation of society toward expansive visions of individual and social freedom. Within this is a comprehensive critique and rejection of all forms of hierarchy and structured relationships of domination–including the State, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and hetero-sexism–as well as visions of a free society built on human freedom, equality, solidarity, and mutual aid.
Q: Why a book fair?
A: Anarchists around the world have long organized bookfairs as spaces to gather, share ideas, and network. In the age of e-readers and digital, online organizing, the idea of a bookfair may sound anachronistic. But we believe that much of the power that our political movements have and can build grows out of the relationships we have with one another–as individuals, organizations, and communities. And when it comes to building relationships, there is really no substitute for face to face interaction, sharing space, and learning and working together. We hope to facilitate that with the workshops, presentations, and discussions that are being planned, and the space that we create. There will also certainly be plenty of books, pamphlets, t-shirts, and stickers available! As the late Texas-born anarchist Lucy Parsons said, “Anarchists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence they do not believe in vote begging, nor political campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals.”
Q: Why now?
A: The United States has long been a terrifying landscape for many across the world–a white-supremacist, settler-colonialist, capitalist, hetero-patriarchy. The rise of the Trump regime and the grassroots fascist right has stripped away much of the old window dressing and intensified the myriad attacks on people of color, women, poor people, queer and trans people, Muslims and Jews, migrants, and others. Millions want to begin fighting back or redouble their efforts.
Those who are newer to the resistance might be looking to get plugged in, learn new skills, and sharpen their analysis. Those who have been in the game for a minute might be looking to find new inspiration, new camaraderie, new creativity, and fresh perspective. All of us are looking for ways to move forward together in dark times. Our gatherings are more important now than ever.
Q: Why Houston?
A: Texas, and especially Houston, has a well-earned reputation for being the epicenter of the U.S. petrochemical industry, the locus of reactionary political movements that were laughed at until they came to power, and the home state of several war criminal presidents. Usually thought of as backward or irredeemable rather than hip, radical, or enlightened, the whole region is often overlooked by much of the U.S. left that is concentrated on either coast.
But there is–and always has been–resistance here too: from the Black soldiers at Fort Logan who went to war against the police and Jim Crowe in 1917, to the neighborhood that rebelled in 1977 when the cops who murdered Joe Campos Torres got off with a $1 fine; from hosting the first National Chicana Conference in 1971, to hosting the National Women’s Conference (and the radical feminist protests outside of it!) in 1977; from direct actions against war profiteer Halliburton and logging company Maxxam in 2004-05 to resistance to the Tar Sands blockade against the Keystone XL pipeline a couple years ago; from the 2003 Radical Encuentro Camp to the 2011 Houston Anarchist Bookfair. Resistance in the belly of the beast has always been strong!
True, Houston has never had as large of a radical community as some places, nor as many resources. But we’ve always forged ahead with the utmost spirit, creativity, and tenacity. In this tradition, we are proud to welcome anarchists and other radicals from across the region to the 2017 Houston Anarchist Bookfair!