Fifth Estate # 381, Summer-Fall 2009

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Seattle @ Book Fair

Seattle’s first ever anarchist book fair will be held October 17-18.

So, let’s say education is the lifeblood of social change and the written word–books, zines, texts, blogs–the circulatory system spreading that lifeblood around. A little to the hands to keep building, a little to the brain to keep thinking, a little to the digestive tract to keep energy levels up.

Now, suppose there is bad blood in the system–State-dependent Marxism, neo-liberalism, militarism, or worse, blood clots–privately owned international institutions, censorship, genocide, capitalist growth models. What happens?

Social change doesn’t happen, heart attacks, disease, economic downturn, fascism, and so forth.

That four-chambered, fist-sized pump stops pumping. What is needed is healthy blood; autonomy, mutual aid, decentralized power structures, direct action, and in reaching out to the immediate and not-so-immediate community, hopefully new blood, building ever stronger circulatory systems.

We’re hosting a blood transfusion in Seattle, a two-day celebration of anarchist books and their purveyors: sellers, lenders, distributors, readers, writers.

Want to table? Space can be reserved for $50. Want to do a workshop? Propose an idea! Want to organize some other act of deviltry in conjunction with our project? Propose another idea!

Want to learn more? Contact seattleanarchistbookfair @riseup.net

With love and rage,
The impending Seattle Anarchist Bookfair

Prison Writings

I have been circulating anarchist publications for a short time now, but I am a devout radical activist who has been writing columns and editorials for the past seven years for various alternative presses.

To provide you with an example of my views and concerns, you can visit the website Journals From Jail.

My writings are at journalsfromjail.com/radicalactivist. This site was created by an anarchist collective infoshop and by a comrade, Jay Freeman.

It was designed to offer prisoners a chance to voice their concerns, passions, and opinions to the outside world.

For those of you who would like to hear what the captive comrades have to offer, take a few minutes and give us a look.

Chad Bouman
Federal Correction Institution
Oxford, Wis.

Anarchist Conference; Call for Papers

We are pleased to announce the 1st North American Anarchist Studies Network (NAASN) Conference and a call for papers, presentations, and panels. It will be held November 21 and 22 in Hartford, Connecticut at the Charter Oak Cultural Center.

We see this as a space to develop theoretical and empirical work that pays critical attention to anarchism and items of interest to the anarchist milieu. Likewise, we see the creation of this network as a way for North American anarchists who do scholarly work to be able to support each other in our endeavors and create a space for critical dialogue and reflection.

This conference, then, is not only a place for us to discuss our research, dialogue with one another in panels, and educate ourselves through presentations. It is also a place for discussing the development and future course of the NAASN. As well, this conference provides us with a venue for discussing the role of the theoretician and the researcher in the larger project of dismantling capitalism, the state, and domination in all of its forms.

We are calling for papers, panels, and presentations to be given at the founding conference. Creativity in format and presentation is encouraged, as are submissions from people who may not currently have a university affiliation.

As anarchists, we want to disrupt rather than perpetuate the lines drawn between the official academy and the production of knowledge. Papers, panels, and presentations should focus on work on anarchism or topics of interest to the anarchist milieu. We see this as an occasion for dialoguing with one another to learn and grow, and would like to avoid sectarianism, personal attacks, and debating-to-win. If that is your style of discussion, perhaps this conference is not a good fit for you.

Please send proposals and/or abstracts with a brief bio to the conference organizers at anarchiststudies@hotmail.com Please keep descriptions and/or abstracts under 500 words. All proposals and abstracts are due by October 10.

For up-to-date information, please visit: http://naasn.wordpress.com

For a new world, free of institutionalized coercion and control! And, for living and organizing in ways that embody that future as best we can!

–The Organizers for the 1st North American Anarchist Studies Network Conference

The Fourth Annual Montreal International Anarchist Theatre Festival

May 13 and 14 was a resounding success, drawing a broad public of some 600 people over two nights to witness the wonder of New York’s The Living Theatre, a northern Quebec innu giant marionette troupe, and an incredibly energizing 16-member Montreal radical women’s choir. The theatre festival received major media coverage in the three Montreal dailies and was described by one theatre critic as “the little festival that performs miracles.”

The performances were part of Montreal’s Festival of Anarchy, which makes May “Anarchy Month” in Montreal. Events began with a May Day demonstration, and the two-day Montreal Anarchist Bookfair. During the Festival there were book launches, two nights of poetry, films, panel discussions, art exhibits, and picnics. This year, an empty warehouse that will soon be converted to condos in a poor neighborhood that is being gentrified, was occupied with the goal of creating a self-managed space.

The importance of the Anarchist Festival, besides underlining the importance of creativity in our lives, is to draw non-anarchists to anarchist events and to anarchy.

This year’s Festival was dedicated to the memory of Diego Camacho (Jose Pierats) and Franklin Rosemont.