Bristol anarchist bookfair – short report and a thank you

Bristol anarchist bookfair – short report and a thank you
(NB: more photos of city centre banners here)

city centre mural
city centre mural

Bristol’s anarchist bookfair on 13 September at the Island was a vibrant, colourful affair that was absolutely rammed with people for much of the day.

The sun kept shining and people kept coming to this explicitly anarchist event. We estimate over 500 people visited, in addition to the stallholders, meeting organisers, cafe crew and bookfair organisers. A varied bunch they were too, as the city centre location appears to have attracted a numner of interested visitors from outside the usual circles.

Meetings/workshops and films were well attended, much chating occurred at stalls, vast amounts of info, ideas and literature were were exchanged, and the vegan cafe did a roaring trade. Anarchist and other banners adorned the venue walls inside and out, and a number of banners were also hung in the city centre. Large numbers of the CoMutiny free paper ‘Evening Pest’ were handed out to passersby and elsewhere in the city centre, as the bookfair also launched the week of CoMutiny events.

some of the banners in the main hall
some of the banners in the main hall

Some of Avon & Somerset’s uniformed police turned up too on a number of occassions, but were firmly (and reasonably politely) refused admission on the grounds that state agents really aren’t welcome at an explicitly anti-state and anti-capitalist event. They were advised that if they returned off duty, out of uniform, and with a genuine interest in anarchist ideas they may be more welcome.

Donations at the door of the bookfair, plus stallholders fees, proceeds from the after-party and previous benefits have more than covered the costs of putting on the bookfair (around £900 costs). The surplus will be held over for future events.

The bookfair collective would like to warmly thank all those who attended; all the stallholders and meeting organisers; Bristol Indymedia for co-working and publicity; Kebele kafe for great food; Nick, kebele sound collective & friends for the after-party; and the Island for use of the venue with a special hug & kiss for Eammon for being such a great venue facilitator on the day. We welcome feedback from anyone who came to the event, along with ideas for next year and what venue would be good to use (as the Island will have gone). We also welcome any anarchists who would like to get involved with the bookfair collective and help plan next years event along with regular events over the coming year!

If you were enthused by the bookfair then why not engage in the Bristol CoMutiny events happening all this week in Bristol? Bristol’s radical groups also welcome new participants – you can find lists of them on the bookfair and CoMutiny websites.

It’s time for change…let’s get free!

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