2017 Workshops

The 11th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017 @ Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, New York City, followed by a city-wide anarchist meeting on Sunday, May 14th at The Base


There is much to talk about this year and we are committed to making the book fair a place where the community can discover and contribute to anarchist perspectives on the spectrum of issues facing our human community today -- not to exclude art, culture, and the struggle for personal expression.


Presentations, panels, workshops, and skill shares will be held during the book fair. Please fill out the form below and email it back to us by March 5th to propose a session. Selections will be announced by April 7th.


All proposals will be considered. Remember, diversity is important to us: we are committed to promoting voices typically underrepresented at mainstream and activist conferences alike whether for reasons of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, income or ability.


We are especially interested in hearing from local people presenting on issues of particular relevance to anarchists and other activists in the NYC area.


In response to feedback from previous years, we are also interested in including more praxis-oriented events, as well as ideological discussion, on topics including but not limited to:

* Anarchist history and theory

* Queer

* Anarchfeminism

* Healthcare

* Radical parenting

* Radical education

* Community gardening

* Alternatives to capitalist economics

* Prisoner support and/or prison abolition

* Housing and gentrification

* Pirate radio and diy media

* Decolonization and anti-imperialism

* Active solidarity

* Racial justice/anti-oppression

* Indigenous sovereignty

* Immigrant justice

* Strategies for pushing forward a radical agenda in mainstream politics

* Ecology

* Animal rights





Please answer all questions. Complete information is needed in order for us to communicate with you and plan the book fair.


1. What kind of event are you proposing?

□ Talk

□ Panel

□ Workshop

□ Skillshare

□ Theater

□ walking tour

□ Other (please specify)

Would you like to do a workshop, panel, presentation in SPANISH?


2. Title and short description of event, including how it fits with the agenda of an anarchist book fair.


3. Name of presenter(s) and brief bio(s), including relationship(s) to the anarchist community.


4. Do you have any equipment needs or other special requests? (please specify)


5. Do you need childcare? Y/N


6. Do you have any preferred time slots? (please specify)


7. Could your event be tailored to appeal to a broader age range and be billed as appropriate for young children or teens? Y/N

If yes, would you be interested in presenting a truncated version of your event in our childcare space?


8. Do you need accommodation in NYC in order to attend the book fair? Y/N


For any other questions related to the 11th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair that are not about proposals, please visit  our website at www.anarchistbookfair.net


and send your email application here:







11am – 12:15pm


Revolutionary Eco-Socialism: Anarchism and Climate Justice  (Garden Room)

How capitalism and the state cause the ecological/environmental crisis that now threatens humanity and the biosphere. The limitations of the recent international agreement on the climate. How anarchism points to an alternate to ecological catastrophe. What writers, including Naomi Klein and others, have been saying and not saying. What kind of movement do we need to achieve climate justice?

Wayne Price is a long-time anarchist activist, writer, and theorist. Has written three books on anarchism, including The Value of Radical Theory: An Anarchist Introduction to Marx's Critique of Political Economy. Wayne writes regularly for www.Anarkismo.net, including essays on ecology and climate justice. He is a member of System Change, Not Climate Change. Responding will be longtime anarchist and labor organizer Christine Karatnytsky.


An Overview of the Squatting Movement in London and Continental Europe (Balcony)


Squatting in Europe is about claiming rent-free housing for the poor and excluded. It is also about opening public common spaces, making room for organizing, cultural work, and communal living. Squatting is a political movement. It is multi-generational with deep roots and significant popular support. Alan W. Moore will present a brief overview of European squatting movements in different major cities, spotlighting some projects. Squatting in residential buildings in London was criminalized in 2012. Janis will offer a brief description of what's changed, and the challenges to the new law. She also takes a look at squatting from the wider perspective of the London housing movement in a time of crisis, and how the new law forced squatters to become more radical and political, working with tenants fighting gentrification.


Janis is a former London squatter of nine years and a member of the Advisory Service for Squatters based in East London, where she worked for eight years. The ASS provides legal and practical advice to squatters and prepares legal defenses for them in court. Janis, who is finishing a law degree, was active on the legal side, ranging from helping prevent people in danger of losing their homes to supporting anarchist-squatted social centers such as the London Queer Social Centre. Alan W. Moore has written on artists’ groups, cultural geography and economy, and social movements. He worked with the artists’ groups Colab and helped start the cultural center ABC No Rio in New York. He runs the “House Magic” information project on self-organized occupied social centers. Alan is the author of Art Gangs: Protest and Counterculture in New York City (Autonomedia, 2011), the co-editor of Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces (JoAAP/Other Forms, 2015), and author of Occupation Culture: Art & Squatting in the City from Below (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2015). He wrote an essay for the forthcoming Radical Gotham: The Anarchist Tradition in New York City, 1880-2012, Tom Goyens, editor. He also collaborates with the Squatting Europe Kollective research group (https://sqek.squat.net/). He lives in Madrid and Milwaukee.


ABCs of Squatting (Gym/Assembly Hall)

This workshop will review the means of occupying and defend vacant property in the New York to create a home and/or social center. It will briefly cover the legal and technical details of plumbing and electrical systems in buildings.


Frank Morales is a legendary New York housing activist and radical Episcopalian priest. Bill Di Paola founded the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, located in New York's legendary C Squat, which preserves the history of occupying spaces, including starting squats and community gardens.



Cointelpro All Over Again: The 2012-2014 FBI Eco-Terrorism Conspiracy Investigation of Burning Books (Tamiment Library)

A two-year federal investigation, from 2012 to 2014, alleged that Buffalo's radical bookstore, Burning Books, was a front for a nine-person eco-terrorist conspiracy led by alleged "mastermind sociopath" Leslie James Pickering. This presentation will detail the surveillance and investigative techniques utilized in the federal probe, drawing from numerous clippings from FBI and other government files on the investigation, and discuss the public and legal strategies employed for successful resistance.

Leslie James Pickering is a co-owner of Burning Books in Buffalo and was spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front Press Office. Theresa Baker-Pickering is a co-owner of Burning Books and was a target of the 2012-14 FBI eco-terrorism conspiracy investigation.

12:30pm - 1:45pm


Keywords for Radicals: Unpacking the Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggles (Garden Room)


In Keywords (1976), Raymond Williams devised a "vocabulary" of culture and society that reflected the vast social transformations marking the post-war period. A new book, Keywords for Radicals (AK Press), asks: What vocabulary might illuminate the social transformations marking our own contested present? How do these words define the imaginary of today's radical left? Join Keywords for Radicals editor AK Thompson and critic Darren Kwong as they explore the meaning and significance of the worlds within our words.


A.K. Thompson teaches social theory at Fordham University in New York. His publications include Black Bloc, White Riot: Anti-Globalization and the Genealogy of Dissent (2010) and Sociology for Changing the World: Social Movements/Social Research (2006). Between 2005 and 2012, he served on the Editorial Committee of Upping The Anti: A Journal of Theory and Action. Darren Kwong is a Doctoral Candidate of Sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His research interests center on the cultural analysis of protest and activism and big data.


Decentralized horizontal social media (Balcony)


This workshop on horizontal social media organizing and movement diffusion focuses on how activist groups can to develop and maintain social media resources that address the following issues: how to avoid media hierarchy, where media makers get disproportionate power within activist groups; methods of local decentralization; tools for anonymized social media diffusion; social media account security; and intercollective social media and action coordination platforms and methods.


The Global Revolution TV collective is a worldwide network of activist journalists born in the squares during the Arab Spring and the subsequent uprising around the world that started in 2011. It focuses on real-time media, mass diffusion of messaging, and contextualization within the unfolding worldwide revolution for equality. From exposing the hypocrisy and oppression of the existing systems to documenting people's uprisings to amplifying the voices of the masses to the global audience, Global Revolution TV engages in revolutionary media: media that's meant to inspire, get people to engage, and enable the audience to understand the perspective of the people in the streets. By presenting every local fight from a global perspective, the collective helps to build unity and mutual solidarity among those fighting for equality around the world.


June 11 and the Fight Against Toxic Prisons  (Tamiment Library)

An intro to the concept of “prison ecology,” this talk is also a call for a convergence against the Bureau of Prisons (in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere) on June 11 (see details at FightToxicPrisons.org). Communication and solidarity with prisoners has been central to the anarchist movement for over a century, and the movement surrounding June 11 has become an annual international success, manifesting support for ecological, animal liberation, and anarchist prisoners. The project to organize against prisons from an ecological angle opens a door to broadening the anti-prison struggle to include activists from climate justice organizing and classically environmental issues (air and water pollution stemming from prison overpopulation.) This talk will focus on challenges to a new federal prison construction plan in East Kentucky and a plan to convert a state prison in Thomson, Ill., into a new supermax facility, and the possibilities for direct action to increase pressure on the BOP.


Jordan is an organizer with Hudson Valley Earth First!, the Marcellus Shale Earth First! Network, and the EF! Prisoner Support Project. Onion is an editor of the Earth First! Journal and an organizer with Earth First!



2pm - 3:15pm



The Rojava Revolution: Recent Dispatches from Liberated Territories (Gym/Assembly Hall)


The liberated territories of Rojava are a thriving example of new forms of libertarian practice and of people overturning traditional, coercive institutions in favor of direct democracy and the empowerment and enfranchisement of women. A member from Rojava Solidarity NYC and Paul Simons will present the context for and development of the stateless revolution in Rojava. Paul will talk about his experiences there, including crossing international boundaries under false pretenses, attending commune meetings in Kobane, high-velocity detours around ISIS-sympathetic villages, and the camaraderie of the YPG militias. He had full access to the various revolutionary organizations and militias and will discuss their mandates as well as implementation issues associated with realizing a new society. Debbie and Carne will discuss NARA's (North America Rojava Alliance) efforts to secure financial and diplomatic support for the Kurds of Rojava.


Rojava Solidarity NYC is an anarchist organization that aims to spread info and show solidarity with the revolutionary region of Rojava in Kurdistan. Rojava Solidarity NYC has been formed to support the Cantons of Rojava, to publicize this social project and the struggle it is engaged in, and to provide a forum where we can learn from the pragmatic anarchism in this region. It calls on those in the revolutionary left of New York City and beyond to do the same and to support the autonomous territory of Rojava.


Paul Z. Simons is an anarchist theorist, historian, and journalist and the author of several widely read pieces including “Seven Theses on Play,” “Keep Your Powder Dry,” a chapter in Gone to Croatan, and the Afterword to John Zerzan’s Elements of Refusal. Paul also selected and edited an anthology of articles from the NYC magazine Black Eye, released by Ardent Press in September 2015. Pual says: “My proudest moments were participating in the Tompkins Square riot and observing the revolution in Rojava. I have walked on ground where there is no state, on two continents.” Simons lives, works, and writes in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Debbie Bookchin, journalist and author, has written for The AtlanticNew York TimesThe Nation and many other venues. She is the co-editor of The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso), a collection of essays by her father Murray Bookchin. Her Nation article on Rojava can be found at http://bit.ly/1m8aaNQCarne Ross is a former British diplomat who resigned over the Iraq war and now runs a non-profit diplomatic advisory group, Independent Diplomat. He is an author and commentator on international affairs, and recently visited Rojava in preparation of a documentary feature film.





The Mastery of Non-Mastery and Digital Disobedience  (Tamiment Library)


This panel brings together three Columbia University scholars to discuss  the role of digital disobedience in revolutionary movements, including the ongoing Kurdish revolution.


Anthropologist Michael Taussig's article, covering “The Mastery of Non-Mastery" in the context of the Kurdish revolution, has just appeared in the new book To Dare Imagining (AK Press), a collection of essays on the Rojava revolution. He was recently in Rojava doing ethnographic work. Critical theorist Bernard Harcourt has been working on digital resistance and just published Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age (Harvard University Press, 2015). Yesenia Baragan is defending her PhD thesis in History on April 15—one day before the NYC Anarchist Book Fair and on the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the Colombian Choco region. She is also a performance artist and long-standing anarchist. 


Between Terror and Ecstasy: A Critique of Hierarchy through Art  (Balcony)

Art is the fountain of youth in a dead society. Since the rise of social hierarchy, creativity has been a form of resistance and escape. Rage at the First World War gave birth to Dada and Surrealism. Horror at the consumer society translated into Situationism and Pop Art. In the first half of this lecture/workshop, we line up the history of art and anarchist politics. In the second half, we write poetry using some various aesthetic models, placing anarchism in a new light: not just a political movement, but an aesthetic one.

Nicholas Powers is the author of The Ground Below Zero: 9/11 to Burning Man, New Orleans to Darfur, Haiti to Occupy Wall Street (Upset Press). He is a literature professor whose writings have appeared in The Village Voice, Truth-Out, Alternet, and The Indypendent. He's been involved in numerous anarchist-inspired actions and movements, from Bloombergville to Occupy Wall Street to Burning Man.


2pm - 3:30pm


Better Days—A Mental Health Recovery Workshop (Garden Room)

Our community includes many people who mean well yet have lived troubled lives. Until we begin to talk about how to get our needs met, to communicate, to understand, and to learn how to deal with ourselves and others, we remain weak, ineffective, and splintered—which helps no one except the oppressive system and ideologies we oppose. The premise of this workshop is that each person is the expert on themselves, and that self-examination and introspection of one's life experiences, choices, and all that they know about themselves is crucial in figuring out how to live the best, happiest, healthiest, and most satisfying life possible. Craig Lewis, along with co-presenters Ayanna Obando, Lily Fury, and Sherry Craig, will share briefly about their personal lived experiences with mental health and trauma and their journeys toward taking back their lives. We will have a discussion on core concepts of “Better Days,” including the topics “Living Intentionally'” “Visualize the Life You Want,” and “Self-Expertise.” We will use two passages/worksheets from the Better Days workbook (audience participation), more discussion. empowerment, validation, frank and honest discussion, respect.


Sherry Craig is an elegant, kick-ass, open-minded, inquisitive spirit thirsting for knowledge and eager to experience all the wonders the world has to offer, an eclectic political activist, world, traveler, and ambassador to a more harmonious way of living. Ayanna Obando is a recent graduate of St. John's University with a BA in psychology, looking to advance in the mental health field with a growing interest in child psychology. Ayanna played guitar in a punk band for four years. Lily Fury is the pen name of a writer and activist living in NYC. Lily is passionate about writing as a means of catharsis and works doing peer harm reduction in Brooklyn. Craig Lewis is a life-long punk rocker and fierce anti-authoritarian dedicated to subverting all systems of coercion and social control. Craig is the author of Better Days - A Mental Health Recovery Workbook and believes he can help change the world for the better.



3:30pm - 5:30pm


Contemporary Anarchist Filmmaking (Gym/Assembly Hall)


This panel of veteran, New York-based anarchist fimmakers will discuss a range of recent approaches to anarchist cinema. Although documentary is probably the most popular genre among these practitioners, other influences (e.g., avant-garde cinema, the European political features of Gillo Pontecorvo and Francesco Rosi) will also be discussed.


Richard Porton, is the author of Film and the Anarchist Imagination (Verso, 1999). Nick Macdonald directed The Liberal War and many other short films with an anarchist orientation. Nick is also the author of In Search of La Grande Illusion: A Critical Appreciation of Jean Renoir’s Elusive Masterpiece (McFarland, 2013). Amanda Rose Wilder directed Approaching the Elephant, a documentary chronicling the first year of a Free School in New Jersey Pacho Velez was co-director of Bastards of Utopia, a documentary focusing on an anarchist commune in Croatia. Vagabond Beaumont directed Machetero, a feature suggesting links between the anarchist tradition and the Puerto Rican liberation movement.




3:30pm - 4:45pm


The Base Presents: The Future of Anarchist Organizing in NYC (Garden Room)


Three years after opening its doors, The Base has become a home to anarchist educational projects, organizing groups, and resources. More importantly, it has provided a foundation for building a revolutionary anarchist movement in New York City. Join us for a talk about new revolutionary paradigms emerging around the world, the conditions in New York, and how our activities might generate the potential to challenge the hegemony of capitalism and state control.


The Base is an anarchist social center in Bushwick, Brooklyn, committed to the dissemination of revolutionary left and anarchist ideas and organizing. The mission of The Base is to spread ideas and practices to the broader populace and provide a place where individuals can learn, grow, and organize outside of traditional activist and educational institutions. We will provide a foundation for fostering ideas and theory, including for people who have only a preliminary background in political thought or have not grappled with political theory at any level. We aim to establish a framework that encourages creative modes of sharing, with the goal of spreading them beyond The Base itself. Our goal is to establish a sociopolitical model in New York where participants can create expansive and creative projects. Lastly, The Base provides a place where people can grapple with, organize, and find solutions to issues that affect their living situation in a constructive environment.


The Suppression of Free Speech Before and During World War I  (Balcony)


Paranoid about the Feds snooping on your business? Their first big campaign against ordinary U.S. citizens got under way in the run up to the First World War and intensified once the war began. Over 2,000 publications were shut down and hundreds of people drew long prison sentences for such seditious crimes as quoting the Declaration of Independence and making suggestions for peace.


The Feds' success in suppressing dissent stilled the rich dialogue between the opposing radical voices and left the Communist Party the only highly organized, highly visible opponent of capitalism in the US for decades.


Based on the research for his new book, An Eye For Others, Dorothy Day, Journalist: 1916-1917, Tom McDonough will take us back to the Greenwich Village of 100 years ago, where the radical press, under tremendous pressure, struggled to tell the truth about militarism and capitalism. Quanda Johnson is a Fulbright Scholar and a Dean's Graduate Scholar at Gallatin. A performer from Broadway to grand opera, she seeks ways to utilize performance to disrupt and consequently alter entrenched, cyclical conversations concerning Blackness and the African Diaspora. Awarded the Fulbright Community Leadership Program Grant, she wrote, edited, and directed Beyond the Veil of the Sorrow Songs, which examined the Underground Railroad related to Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and current Maritime racial issues. An AUDELCO Award nominee for her portrayal of Marian Anderson, she appeared in Broadway's Tony award-winning Ragtime and made her New York City Opera debut in The Mother of Us All with Lauren Flanigan. Her work is dedicated to the memory of the first artist in her life, her mother, Vernetta.


Societal Education, Direct Action, and Working-Class Gains: An Anarchist Perspective  (Tamiment Library)


The presentation is a wake-up call for today’s workers for new radical and more effective strategies modeled on anarchist principles past and present toward greater political and economic equality. In this talk, John Asimakopoulos uses an anarchist theoretical framework to argue that the working class can obtain greater gains through militant direct action modeled on the labor movement of the past. The history of the eight-hour workday is reviewed as a case study in how an important advance was achieved because radical anarchist leaders (not traditional unions and officials) challenged existing legal institutional frameworks through societal education, militant ideology, direct action, and violent resistance against state attacks. Positive change did not occur politically, peacefully, or voluntarily. Oftentimes, the threat or use of violent resistance and even rebellion preceded major concessions for the working class.

John Asimakopoulos is a public intellectual working with various anarchist groups, scholars, and activists through the educational non-profit Transformative Studies Institute (transformativestudies.org). He is Full Professor of Sociology at City University of New York and director of the Transformative Studies Institute (TSI), an educational think tank. He has taught sociology, political science, and economics to working-class students for over 20 years. His research focuses on social movements, critical theory, and international political economy. John is the author of Social Structures of Direct Democracy (Haymarket Books), The Accumulation of Freedom (AK Press), and Revolt! (TSI Press), and is the editor of Theory in Action, an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal focusing on scholar-activism.



5pm - 6:15pm


Death to Bourgeois Society: The Propagandists of the Deed (Garden Room)

Perhaps no period has so marked, so deformed, or so defined the anarchist movement as the three years in France from 1892 to 1894, the years known as the Age of Attentats, dominated by the Propagandists of the Deed. “Death to Bourgeois Society” tells the story of four young anarchists who were guillotined in France in the 1890s. They were motivated by noble ideals whose realization they attempted to hasten with bombs and assassinations. In a time of cynicism and political decay, they represented a purity lacking in society; their actions after being captured, their forthrightness, and their defiance up to the guillotine only added to their luster. Taken from his new book, Mitch Abidor's talk draws on key first-person narratives, from Ravachol’s forbidden speech and his account of his life to Henry’s questioning at his trial and his programmatic letter to the director of the prison in which he was held, to Vaillant’s confrontation with the investigators immediately after tossing his bomb, to Caserio’s description of the assassination and his defense at his trial. Abidor will introduce the material, providing a detailed context for the stories, and discuss the significance of the text for today.

Mitchell Abidor is the principal French translator for the Marxists Internet Archive and has published several collections of his translations. He is currently working on translations of further unpublished works by Victor Serge and Daniel Guérin. He is editor of Voices of the Paris Commune and Anarchists Never Surrender: Essays, Polemics, and Correspondence on Anarchism, 1908–1938, by Victor Serge.

Anarchy in Prose: Revolution, Love, and Violence in Anarchist Literature from the Caribbean  (Balcony)


This talk explores how anarchists in the Caribbean Basin a century ago used fiction and poetry to challenge the state, capitalism, religion, and US imperialism. More than literature as a critique, anarchist fiction portrayed a revolutionary view of the future New Dawn that readers could imagine and to which they could strive.


Kirk Shaffer is professor of Latin American Studies at Penn State University—Berks College. He is the author of several works on Caribbean anarchist history, including Anarchism and Countercultural Politics in Early Twentieth-Century Cuba and Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico, 1897-1923, as well as co-editor of In Defiance of Boundaries: Anarchism in Latin American History.



6:30pm - 7:45pm


Anarchy in the Caribbean: A Historical Overview of Anarchism in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic (Gym/Assembly Hall)

This panel will focus on the development of early anarchist ideas and practices in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic as they relate to the rising labor movements in each island and to transnational networks of radicals at the time. It consists of two talks: Jorell Meléndez-Badillo will present on “Seeds of Revolution: Anarchism and Revolutionary Politics in Early Twentieth-Century Puerto Rico,” and Mariel Acosta on “Anarchism and State Repression during the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries in the Dominican Republic”.

Mariel M. Acosta was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She has written articles and translations on Latin American (anarcho)punk scenes for Maximum RocknRoll and plays the bass in a Latino punk band. Her research interests include issues in (socio)linguistics and anarchism. Her recent master's thesis focused on the different gender-neutral morphemes used in contemporary Spanish-language anarchist 'zines and journals from Latin America. Her current research project focuses on the history of anti-authoritarian and anarchist thought in the Dominican Republic. Jorell Meléndez-Badillo is the author of Voces libertarias: Orígenes del anarquismo en Puerto Rico (Secret Sailor Books, 2013; Fundación Anselmo Lorenzo-CNT, 2014 (Editorial Akelarre/CEISO, 2015), and co-editor, with Nathan Jun, of Without Borders or Limits: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Anarchist Studies (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013). He has published book chapters as well as journal and newspaper articles on the topic of anarchism, labor, and radical politics in Puerto Rico. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut.