The ALL Double Feature: SFL NYC and the 2014 Boston (A) Bookfair!

Well, I mean, I didn’t forget per se’…I just…okay, you know the drill, let’s just get right into it!

The last hurrah!

The NYC conference went well. My friend, Allen was there once more to lend me a hand and helped chip in for people who didn’t have a buck on them or for someone whose conversation he particularly appreciated. So doubleplus thanks to Allen for that stuff!

I also had some interesting conversations with both anarcho-capitalists and minarchists. Allen especially had a long and drawn-out conversation with a minarchist that seemed to end in agreeing to disagree. The minarchist’s main problem seemed to be about “stability” and whether anarchism could have it and state’s couldn’t. I tried to impress upon him that states have never historically been very stable (especially when starting out). I think it also depends on what counts as “stable”.

Now, I can’t very well say that the massive amount of privacy violations, police brutality, taxation, war and corporate power over the market is “stability” the minarchist would want or defend. But the nature of the state to my mind means eventually realizing that the state is going to want these things eventually anyways. That way it can more easily enforce its will on the populace and make them easier to subjugate before them.

The NYC conference was also notable for being the conference that I saw the least amount of presentations. I only saw the presentation on Uber and one of the editors of Reason who was…super mixed. They to be fairly un-nuanced on the legalization of weed, the accumulation of wealth into small hands (surprise!) and those who are currently rich in general.

One of the coolest things was hanging out with a friend of mine named Micheal who was kind enough to walk back with me to one of the buildings when I forgot my luggage bag with the pamphlets in it! Wish we had gotten a chance to hang out more man but it was great while it lasted. 

Thanks again to my host, Juliana for the place to crash and being such an awesome host while I stayed there.

NYC was somewhere between Philly and Boston in terms of the money we made. The reaction seemed overall fairly neutral-positive. Some people looked at the table and stared blankly before moving on but that was the most negative thing we got.

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The Boston Anarchist Bookfair went super well overall. ALL/C4SS made around $25 on the first day and hanging out and tabling with Devin was a bunch of fun. On the second day my original partner in crime, Avery, once against joined me for tabling. It was actually kind of poetic how we both ended up tabling together in Boston at the last conference just as we did in the first conference. Well, except the first one was in Cambridge…but close enough!

One of the people from Mutualismo.org just came by, bought a Markets not Capitalism and a few other pamphlets on mutualism which kept me excited for quite a while.

I picked up Demotivational Training from Little Black Cart for free in return for doing a book review of it and also bought Egoism from them. Wish I could’ve bought a lot more but my wallet was crying for mercy by the time the book fair was finished. 

In other news my Abolishwork.com talk went pretty well. Around 10-15 people attended maybe and everyone seemed to dig it. They had good questions and were well engaged and overall it just seemed like the book fair more generally was a great experience.

One talk that particularly stood out to me was a discussion about the Black Bloc which had a lot of cool chatter about strategy and tactics. I’ve weighed in on the Black Bloc before (crtl + f “Black Bloc”) and my opinions largely haven’t changed. But it was good to get so many different perspectives on the matter. Especially people from other countries dispelling the notion that it was all romantic and awesome as a tactic over there.

I also think that their voices were heard and largely respected and that there was, in general, just a good culture of respect. There was this one guy who had the sort of typical, “yeah but what about the respect of the media?” and someone made an excellent point that that’s asking the wrong question or framing it wrong. The media will paint us however they want to paint us, with or without our consent. That’s what they’ve always done and they’re not going to stop just because we don’t don black masks and upset the social order.

Another way of looking at it is that even when peaceful civil-disobedience is noted and its cause is highlighted (I don’t have any data on how often this happens) it’s more of a benign, “oh, look at those funny protesters, now back to sports!” but with a Black Bloc, the media knows to take it a bit more seriously. Even if it’s a bad sort of serious, at least the Bloc ensures some attention-getting.

Then again, attention-getting isn’t everything and it certainly shouldn’t be our only value if we want to have a more just goal.

So this is a tricky subject and in the end I think I’m much more in favor of the Bloc as a defensive tactic, i.e. de-arresting, a show of solidarity, defending unarmed protesters against the cops, etc. etc.

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To end off, I’d just like to than everyone who made the Autumn of Anarchy possible:

Allen for helping me table

Avery for helping me table

Charles for helping with the pamphlets on ALL of the fronts

De for being my first host and giving me a place to stay for a day or two

Devin for helping me table

James for helping the pamphlet deal with Charles work out

Juliana for the awesome housing

Paula for being a wonderful host

Patrick for being an awesome organizer for the B(A)B and letting me help out

I am sure I’ve missed some people and thanks to those as well!

Until Liberty Forum/AltExpo in early March…

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