The second annual Boston Anarchist Bookfair was held at Simmons College this past weekend, from November 9 through the 11.
The Bookfair opened with a concert on Friday night at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA). With anti-fascist and anarcho-queer banners up on the walls and banisters, and the Lucy Parsons Center and IWW tabling with anarchist literature, the college was transformed into a radical political space. Starting around 8pm and ending close to 1AM, a total of eight musicians performed, as well as a political puppet show – the Anarchist Puppet Cabaret.
The genres were varied – acoustic, folk, hip-hop, punk, jazz, cover, and any combination of these imaginable. Among the audience were students, artists, educators, activists, musicians, and a couple parents with their children. The show was successful, with more than 100 in attendance throughout the night, and a great prelude to the Bookfair, held just a few blocks away from SMFA at Simmons College.
In the two days that followed, roughly 600 people gathered at Simmons College to participate in workshops. Some were hands-on and practical—such as tactics to stay safe during a direct action—and others were more theoretical and thought-provoking—like an analysis of the intersections of race and class in both hip-hop and punk music. Radical, alternative presses from all over the country were in attendance, including AK Press from Oakland, California, Fifth Estate from Detroit, Michigan, and Sublevarte from Mexico City, Mexico.
What many attendees found most remarkable was the high turn out for the event. Presenters were pleasantly surprised by the high attendance rate. “I wasn’t expecting so many people,” said Oona Klemser, who lead a workshop on lockpicking. “Boston actually has a community. It’s great.”
More information on the 2012 Boston Anarchist Bookfair and the show, including the full line-up, can be found on their website: bostonanarchistbookfair.org
(Photos: Chase Carter)