Bookfair Collective update on the Banksy fundraiser

This info is based on discussions on Wednesday afternoon between the venue (Hamilton House), Banksy’s associates, and the Bookfair collective.

In order to avoid any dangerously large queues forming within the venue, for example on the stairs, and to ensure that Bookfair participants and visitors are able to freely move around inside the Bookfair area, the Banksy print will be available from the ground floor (also know as level 2) of the venue. It will be sold from within the venue’s reception and shop area. If a queue does form then it will be possible for it stretch down the street, as opposed to on the stairs. Suitable numbers of Banksy’s associates and venue helpers will assist with this. This will allow free access for visitors to the Bookfair who do not wish to join any queue to buy the Banksy print, alternatively buy the print and then come on in to engage with the politics of anarchism – which is what the event is all about after all. If you wish to donate funds to help with legal support & defence work without buying Banksy’s print, you will easily be able to do so within the Bookfair as a number of groups/stalls will be collecting and providing legal info.

As has been stated, a significant proportion of proceeds from the sale of Banksy’s print will go to support local squatting & homeless groups, along with legal support and defence for those facing charges arising from the recent Stokes Croft confrontations between the members of at least 8 police forces and Bristolians. Unsurprisingly this fact has seriously annoyed the local media and police, for whom any sense of even state-sanctioned justice appears to have gone right out of the window. We would remind them that just because the police want to speak to an individual, or even arrest them, does not make them guilty at all. Everyone is entitled to the fullest legal advice and support they can get, even though the ConDem coalition are trying to prevent this through their cuts to legal aid. Your donations to legal support and defence are most welcome, as are ongoing mutual aid and solidarity.

Bookfair events in the reception/shop area will not be affected – that includes 2 workshops at 1 and 2pm, as well as the all-day ongoing exhibition by Adrian Arbib on the Roads Protests of the 1990’s.

act4free_stickThe Bookfair collective put out this statement on Bristol Indymedia on Wednesday:
“For information…firstly contact was only made with the Bookfair Collective on Tuesday by Banksy’s associates. This was in fact made to us via PRSC. Why? Well we are organising a Bookfair, and as individuals we neither seek nor see a need for an individual profile for ourselves – its not about us, its about the ideas innit. So therefore we have not so far run around seeking interviews or a profile in the media.

Discussions are ongoing between ourselves, PRSC, and Banksy’s associates. We believe the majority of proceeds from sales of the Banksy print, at his request (via his associates) will go to support local homeless/squatting groups, and towards legal defence/support for people arrested, remanded, hunted and harassed after the recent confrontations on Stokes Croft caused by the attempts of corporate capitalism and the state to control absolutely peoples’ lives. If this was not the case we would not be involved in any way in this initiative. Once the details are finalised we will say so. We do not believe that PRSC are seeking to make any profit/gain from sales of the print, and are sure that any of the proceeds that go to them will be used to support the local community, and not for any private gain. We are slightly surprised that people may think otherwise?

Associates of Banksy will be present on a stall inside the bookfair, selling the prints. That is the only place they are being sold as far as we know. We ourselves are not selling the prints and have no intention of doing so – do not try to buy a print from us, you are wasting your time. Come along and check out the ideas and practices of anarchism at the Bookfair, and if you wish to support the groups/causes identified above then buy a print (or just make a donation to the other groups present who provide the relevant support).

The Bookfair has no desire at all to receive any proceeds at all from the sales of the prints. We have our own ways of funding the bookfair – a 50p or pound donation from each person who attends the Bookfair, and a good attendance at the After-Party, should cover our remaining costs.

Lastly, thanks to those who attended the Bookfair event at The Cube on Monday. £60 was raised to support people on remand in relation to Stokes Croft. This will be added to the money raised at Occassional cinema’s disrupted event last week, and other collections. People arrested need support amidst the media, political and police witch hunt. We refer people to the outcome of the Ian Tomlinson enquiry, and recall the absolute lies and crap spouted by the media, politicians and police when he first died.”

In Solidarity
Bookfair Collective