Answers to frequently asked questions, updated for 2018.
Is the Book Fair accessible?
Yes. The Vera Project is wheelchair-accessible. The door to the lower level (all tables, some talks, and restrooms) is at the bottom of a ramp. The door to the upper level (where some talks happen) is at street level. A wheelchair elevator connects the two floors. Wheelchair-accessible bathrooms are on the ground level. The bathrooms are full-time gender-neutral.
What about for those with chemical sensitivities?
We ask that attendees be aware of the impact scents and other chemicals have on others, and refrain from wearing products that could compromise the health of other attendees. The book fair will ensure that there is scent-free soap in the bathrooms.
That being said, this is a public event, and we do not have the ability to completely guarantee a chemical-free environment, so we also encourage those with sensitivities to plan accordingly, and to contact us directly with specific concerns both before and during the event.
Is the Book Fair a safer space? What is your safe space policy?
Please read our entire survivor support statement.
In short, we recognize that capitalist civilization is rife with abusive and oppressive dynamics, and that anarchist and other radical spaces all too often recreate these. We are at once too realistic to believe that the book fair is somehow above or apart from these dynamics, and too fanatical to find that reality tolerable. If you are concerned about your physical and emotional safety, especially as regards encountering the perpetrators of past interpersonal abuse or violence, we encourage you to do what you need to maintain your safety. This can include confiding in friends and comrades, asking an individual to leave, or otherwise addressing the situation. The organizers have varied experience with mediation and conflict de-escalation, and as such are not comfortable with being put in the position of playing judge, or jury, or cop. We also don’t want to welcome shitbag abusers to our event, and if said shitbags are present, we would like to know so we can either handle them or at least not be caught off guard when someone else does.
I think someone at the Book Fair might have beef with me. Will you keep me safe from them/ decide who was right following said dispute?
No. We will act to keep the integrity of the Book Fair as an event safe to the greatest extent possible. Anarchy is not a perfect utopian world of peace and harmony, it is a living tension with both mutual aid and conflict. That said, if you punch someone on the premises, you will need to leave. If you call the cops to the book fair, you need to leave. If you are trying to get us, as organizers, to work through some outside political drama, help muddle through the drama with your former house/collective member, expect to get some mostly disinterested responses. Figure out how to coexist. If you can’t do that, take it a couple blocks away to work it out. Mutual combat is totally legal in Washington, so at most you get popped for disturbing the peace.
I’m a bit concerned about being filmed or recorded at an anarchist event. If I show up will I be on a watch list?
The Book Fair asks that, as a condition of entry, people refrain from taking pictures without the express consent of all those captured in such. If you have concerns about photography that you see happening, we encourage you to either talk to the person doing the filming to make sure they are aware of this policy, or to find an organizer to do so. People who insist on continuing to film will be asked to leave. The same holds for audio recordings, although some presenters and panels may record their talks. If you have a definite reason to not be on camera, use your best judgment. If you are concerned that the lizard people are reading your brainwaves using cell phone towers and have written a manifesto about it that you sell along with a complimentary artisanal foil hats, we might be interested in having you table outside in the wingnut section (Truthers, LaRouchies, Avakianators, and Sawantites need not apply or bother showing up).
Is this a kid-friendly event?
Yes. We are endeavoring to provide (limited) childcare. If you have specific needs or questions, or want to be involved in this aspect of the book fair, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just hopped into town from Pocatello/Sacramento/somewhere else and I have my dog/ferret/cat with me. Can I bring her in to the Book Fair?
Pets are not allowed in Vera, although service animals are welcome.
My new bike is really expensive, I’d prefer to bring it in and wheel it around with me while I peruse the anarchy mall. That’s okay, right?
Nope. Lock it up outside. It’ll be there when you get back, or you will be experiencing a moment of the lumpen proletariat righteously expressing their alienation by stealing your fixie. Or at least a moment of real life.