Workshops

We are excited to have some great workshops and talks at the book fair this year. Here are the descriptions:

The Unquiet Dead: Anarchism, Fascism, Complicity & Heartbreak

Anarchism and fascism are political siblings, and our century-long conflict is of mythical proportions. I will discuss the historic drift towards fascism made by several anarchists who became founding participants in Italian fascism, including Mussolini himself. Next, I will describe the emotional background of fascism at large and its commonalities with some anarchist rhetoric or emotions. I hope to end with a group reflection about how we may best address these feelings in each other and ourselves before we become enemies.

Anarchy as Life / Anarchism as its Embrace

Shawn P. Wilbur, Libertarian Labyrinth

It’s natural to think of anarchism as the necessary, but fundamentally negative work of critique and resistance. We live in a world that presents us with no shortage of fundamentally archic elements, which stand between us and a free, anarchic life. We may have visions of a “positive anarchy,” in the form of some “anarchist society,” but we seem to struggle imagining anarchy itself in positive terms. There is, however, a tendency in the anarchist tradition that has understood anarchy as positive and impersonal, vital and fecund–and that tendency has included figures as well-known as Emma Goldman, Mikhail Bakunin and P.-J. Proudhon. And perhaps there are lessons to be learned from this more unfamiliar aspect of the thought of some very familiar thinkers.

If anarchy can be conceived as intimately connected to notions like life, sex, fecundity, progression, etc., what, in practical terms, would it mean for anarchists to embrace that anarchy? Do existing anarchist practices and the core principles of anarchism reflect an orientation towards that sort of anarchy, or are there tensions in the anarchist milieu between an anarchic emphasis on evolution and movement, and a movement that is forced to try to find a relatively fixed, stable footing in an arguably anarchic social and historical context?

After a brief account of how these concerns arose from my work on the Emma Goldman anthology, Anarchy and the Sex Question, and the preliminary work on the Bakunin Library project, and a short survey of some expressions of the tendency, we’ll dive into a discussion of those practical questions.

Years in Struggle: Infiltrators, Investigators, and Informers
Personal Reflections on Repression

The state is resurrecting past strategies and experimenting with new methods. It is a prudent time to consider what it has looked like when the state goes beyond street violence and court cases to stop resistance.

We will be discussing our personal experiences with undercover cops, home visits, threats, targeted stings, FBI interrogations, guns, prosecutions, and federal prison. Our personal narratives cover our participation in social movements spanning the last 20 years. [Tchkung!, Infernal Noise Brigade, Seattle Anti-Capitalist Convergence, The A Word, among others] We will reflect on the physical and psychological toll of dealing with repression.

History is a weapon. How can past outcomes inform our potential to protect ourselves and those we love? How do we support people under attack while leaving open space for constructive criticism of their choices? How does the state’s propensity to target particular types of people as leaders relate to our own necessary considerations of power dynamics?

Supporting Sex Workers While Smashing Human Trafficking

Violet Left & Laura LeMoon

Sex work is widely known as the oldest profession in the world. But, what about people who don’t choose this life for themselves? In today’s world it’s very important to protect those who have chosen to do any of the various forms of sex work whilst still helping to smash human trafficking. This community conversation is open to anyone 18 years or older and will be guided by Violet Left & Laura LeMoon. For any questions, concerns, or necessary accommodations feel free to email violetleftcollab@gmail.com

Queer Perspectives on German Autonomous Culture

The G20 put the German autonomen in an international spotlight because of the riots in Hamburg. The German left and the autonomen (many people in the general milieu don’t identify with autonomen anymore) is a complicated network of vaguely affiliated groups in the left (that are often fighting with each other) in a complicated time and place where they are being forced to interact and include people outside of their norm; namely POC, refugees, and black Germans. German autonomen culture, while supporting the idea of equality and specifically supporting Jewish people and, problematically, the Jewish state of Israel; historically does not include POC or even many white women, queer, and trans people in their organizing ranks and their solidarity with migrant people and POC is complex, fraught, and usually ends at platitudes and/or practicing charity over mutual aid. Race discussions in Germany are deeply fraught, and only a small amount of people engage with them, though that number has been steadily growing. I propose to shed a little light on the complications of the German scene in general from my own perspective as a working class, non-academic (this is an important distinction in Germany as the academic class is definitely a class, in the Marxist sense, not just something people do for a job and some debt and then move on) transgender US citizen of European and indigenous background. I generally classify my perspective on this as decolonial and feminist.

Freedom Itself…
An anti-state presentation and discussion on free speech and fascism

When anarchists and anti-fascists attempt to deny fascists and other
far-right groups the ability to publicly organize, we are often met with
accusations of denying fascists’ right to free speech. This presentation
will examine what the “right to free speech” actually means, trace
historical examples of free speech as a reactionary tool, and argue for
alternate models for liberation that don’t rely on the state as
protector or give platform to those who wish to see us dead or imprisoned.

Gentrification and Hip Hop

Description coming soon…