Email: ACAB2017(at)riseup(dot)net

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From May 5-7th, 2017, community members will host Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair, a weekend of free events that will bring visitors from all over the South East & Appalachians to discuss, share, and celebrate anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist ideas. The name, among other things, is a nod to friends in Carrboro who for years organized Another Carrboro Anarchist Bookfair, whose model served as inspiration for Asheville’s first anarchist bookfair.

America offers a frightening landscape for many who call it home. The Trump administration is escalating an ongoing war on civil liberties, reproductive rights, rights to privacy, rights of protesters, indigenous rights and land treaties, religious freedom for non-Christians, environment and environmental health for mostly poor folks, the press and freedom of speech. Not content merely to cut funding for environmental programs and sustainable development, the administration is amping up devastating resource extraction that will have untold consequences. As a so-called law and order president, Trump has shamelessly allocated the bulk of the budget towards an increase in the already unprecedented U.S. military and police spending without even feigning the usual concern of neoliberal politicians for agencies that provide services for those in need. Beyond these assaults perpetrated by
the government, we have seen increasing acts of emboldened vigilantes, with hate crimes on the rise against racial, religious, gender, and sexual minorities across the land. Austerity and fear are the rule of the day as the American Right turns back the clock on the rest of us.

Though some people are just waking up to the fact that the U.S. has not progressed beyond its formative oppressive forces, such as racism, imperialism and misogyny, we, as anarchists, are continuing to shine a light on the way power works on multiple levels to splinter our communities and keep us from thriving. Recently, there has been more room in the mainstream for a critique of the exploitation wreaked by unchecked capitalism, neoliberal policies, inveterate racism, patriarchy and misogyny, queerphobia—but we hope to create spaces for more far-reaching analysis where people can come together to empower themselves.

Anarchists have a vision of community where everyone (neighbors, coworkers, artists, parents, children, friends) can have justice, agency, shelter, enough to eat and more through horizontal and respectful engagement. The authoritarian and frightened vision of the POTUS and his ilk, based of reaction and retraction, is no way forward together. Instead, we propose a world based on sharing, communication, autonomy and solidarity. And those relationships start when we meet eyes and work together. This is the root of inspiration for the bookfair. We are bringing folks together from across the region and the country at large to build stronger networks, to celebrate resistance, to share knowledge and experience with one another–and everyone is invited to join us.

Our plans for the weekend begin on Friday May 5th with a welcoming table at Firestorm Books & Coffee starting at 3pm – stop by to get oriented, pick up a schedule of events, with a map and check out the local anarchist bookstore & community space. Later that evening there will be a discussion by Shon Meckfessel on unarmed insurrection and resistance in the community room. Friday night’s festivities include a Cumbia dance party hosted by DJ Malinalli, coupled with an all-ages punk show just around the corner. The rest of the weekend we’ll be in West Asheville starting from 10am on Saturday, facilitating various radical publishers and activist groups to hawk their wares, and simultaneously hosting space for activists and authors to present on topics close to their hearts and engage attendees in lively discussions.

Among these workshops and presentations will be “The Frontlines are Everywhere: From pipelines to courtrooms to prisons, building strong movement defense,” “Radical Reproductive Care: Gynepunk Practices and the Abortion Doulas of Appalachia,” “Reading Between the Bars: Literacy, Solidarity, and the American Gulag,” “Student Radical Organizing,” “The Border is Everywhere: Militarization and Resistance on the US/Mexican Border” and an evening talk by American Indian activist-scholar Ward Churchill, whose has recently published work on indigenism and challenges to pacifism. Saturday night finishes off with a spicy dance party. Tabling is Saturday only, but the programming will continue into Sunday alongside some Appalachian activities such as an herb walk, a waterfall hike, a film screening, and prisoner letter writing.

We expect this weekend to bring engaging discussions that will build community and hope to make it as accessible as we can to as many folks possible. We are working to provide housing for folks from outside of town, with a request form on our website. As events kick off on Friday, Firestorm will be the place to check in throughout the weekend and get a welcome packet with schedule of events, helpful maps and other information.