We won’t bail out Dubai

Much sniggering here as the worldwide financial system creaks again. This time it’s Dubai World, essentially a holding company formed by the Dubai government, that is asking for a payment holiday on its debts. In particular its struggling to repay some £3.2billion due in a couple weks, although its total debts are in excess of £50billion. The rub is that if they dont pay up, then their creditors are themselves exposed, and as we now know, banks and financial institutions are constantly lending short term money to each other, so if one fails…you may well get a domino effect.

anti_banker_smallIts amazing innit how we are constantly told that capitalism and free market economics are the only way to keep the world turning. Those with the capital, and their protectors and managers who run the states ie governments, are continually telling us how to run our lives. Yet look at them all – massively in debt, struggling or unable to pay their debts, governments bankrupting themselves in order to keep capitalism afloat – and then expecting us to cough up in the form of taxes, or job cuts, or wage freezes, or cuts in services. It really is time we all told them to get lost, and started running things ourselves.

Well here at the bookfair, we run a tight ship. We dont expose ourselves to debt and we dont spend what we haven’t already raised. And when we do have a surplus, we either use it on future projects or pass it to other groups to use. Obviously our finances aren’t as astronomical as Dubai and the rest, but we sure could teach them a thing or two about financial propriety! Here is a very brief report from the Bristol anarchist bookfair collective on the 2009 Bristol bookfair finances, an example in fact of running things ourselves, along with brief info on some upcoming events.

Bookfair 2009 finances
Bookfair expenses – £910 in total. Main expenses are venue hire, table hire, printing publicity, and admin (postage, copying etc). This is approx £100 more than the 2008 bookfair, due largely to the need to hire in 45 tables. Bookfair collective members also donate small amounts of money for ongoing costs (ie paste for posters, paint for banners etc), as well as large amounts of free time!

Bookfair income – £1328 in total. Main income sources were benefit gigs, door donations at bookfair, stall hire and bookfair after-party.

From the surplus the bookfair collective agreed to make small donations to the following groups: Bristol IWW, Kebele social centre, Bristol No Borders, Bristol ABC, East Bristol Debtors Alliance, G20 defendant, The Cube (web-hosting), Rise Up (email usage). Total £400.00. Which leaves us with roughly the same balance we had before this years activities, around £700.
In addition, and not included in the above figures – Haven Books for Prisoners got £250 from the bookfair after-party split benefit; and Bristol Indymedia took all the proceeds from the Winstanley film night on 7 September.

The bookfair collective retains a balance (cash and bank account) for ongoing events and also as start up or the 2010 bookfair. Thanks to all those who contributed in any way.

Upcoming bookfair collective events:

  • There’s a bookfair meet tonight, Tuesday 1 December, short and informal, to wrap up 2009, confirm a few events for early 2010, and check through our bookfair organisational timeline for 2010 (aiming for mid-September again). Its at kebele social centre.
  • Sunday 10 January 2010 – bookfair collective to host cafe and film night at Kebele social centre. Film will be ‘Lucio Urtubia – anarchist, bankrobber, forger, and above all bricklayer’. Film info here.
  • Tuesday 12 January 2010 – bookfair collective meeting at Kebele, the planning for the 2010 bookfair starts here! Along with regular events over the coming months.
  • February 2010 – joint film night with Bristol Indymedia. Focusing on the peak of the misnamed ‘anti-globalisation’ movement of 10 years ago. Films and discussion, including…where did it go? And why?

The bookfair collective actively seeks new people to get involved, female comrades especially welcome as we are too male dominated at present. Ideally you’ll get involved for the long haul, however we would also be happy to work with individuals/groups on specific one-off projects. Get in touch, come along and find out more/chat to us. Its your bookfair – help us make it happen. Check out the website for past bookfairs and other events we have put on.