Filed under: Anarchist Movement, Announcement, Event, Southeast
The weekend of June 22-24 marks the second year that Asheville community members host the Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair, a series of free workshops, panels, talks, vendors, parties and concerts, to promote community building and resource sharing in regional networks of anti-authoritarian organizers.
From June 22-24, our city will once again be the location for a meeting of people working to promote anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, decolonial ideas and organizing. Last year’s bookfair was a huge success, bringing in hundreds of people from the Southeast, Appalachians, and around the world. We expect another amazing confluence of people with an exciting lineup of events, a roster of independent booksellers and organizations, concerts and dance parties. Events will take place at a series of locations across town.
Last year we came together in the aftermath of Trump’s rise to power and in light of a series of actions that heightened state repression and tightened authoritarian control over the most vulnerable people’s lives. Since then, things have only gotten worse: Nazis marching in the streets and murdering those working to stop their violence, the police aiding them and perpetrating their own continuing forms of violence against people for sitting in their cars or crossing the street, and the forms of state repression putting many of those who fight for the freedom of all under the threat of decades in prison. Asheville has been a site of terror, with recent ICE raids keeping community members shut in their houses and breaking up families, and police violence continuing to make the streets unsafe for those going about their days peacefully. On top of that, we see here, and across the country, municipal, state, and federal government prioritizing business interests to the detriment of people trying to survive on a daily basis. A local housing vacancy rate of 1%, a decrease in affordable long-term and stable housing opportunities due to short term rentals like AirBnB and the lack of will at a city and county level to build homes and a realistic public transportation infrastructure, has exacerbated the difficulty of living here for the backbone workers of the economy. Breweries, boutique hotels, and fancy restaurants catering to tourists make it impossible for working class people to live.
The bookfair will serve as a space for people to come together to strategize for means of survival in the onslaught of repression, environmental catastrophe, and racist, misogynistic, and homo/transphobic violence. Anarchists have long articulated visions for another possible world, based not on hierarchy, but instead on mutual aid and collective liberation. We fight every day to make a world where people look after each other, where people have access to food, shelter, means of care, and all necessities of survival, where we live through cooperation not exploitation. As we gather, the programming of our events will not only address means of resistance, but also ways to organize our lives now towards the aims of freedom for everyone. While so many of us have to live under threat of violence, we recognize the importance of creating spaces for us to celebrate the work that we do and to share our understanding of the events taking place worldwide in a setting of care and support.
In our programming for this year, we have emphasized regional resistance, including presentations from strippers striking against police raids, anti-racist organizers in rural areas, resisting the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the toppling of the confederate statues in Durham, groups working on mental health support and community accountability, and alternatives to calling police for community self-defense and justice. We have also focused on decentering whiteness in anarchism, as the media representations often portray anarchism as an insular, exclusive project dominated by white men. William Anderson, co-author of As Black as Resistance, will deliver a keynote talk called “Black in Anarchy” (Saturday June 23 8pm), addressing the anarchism of blackness and current practice in black liberation and anarchist movements. We will also feature a talk by members of Charlotte Uprising, organizers countering the police murder of two young black men in Charlotte and currently facing forms of state repression. This talk will interrogate forms of violence, highlight community self-defense, and discuss models of transformative justice and the dangers of involving police in community conflict.
Check out the website for the full schedule and list of vendors.