Montreal: Putting the Lit Back in Politics Anarchist Bookfair, May 18th, 2002

Le chat neige confidently prowled during the third annual Anarchist Bookfair in Montreal held during the May Victoria Day weekend. Best summarizing the unsubtle sentiment was a T-shirt with a profile of a black cat (an unofficial anarchist mascot) encircled with the slogan “fuck the fucking fuckers.” This poison-pen festival aimed against the free market featured a full complement of Montreal agitators, including the CLAC (Anti-Capitalist Convergence), Bookfair spokesperson Stefan Christoff, and multiple sightings of activist superstar Jaggi Singh. Also representing Montreal was Fish Piss, along with author Sherwin Tjia and Andy Brown’s Conundrum Press empire. Winnipeg’s Arbeiter Ring Press made it down, along with the Bookmobile, AK Press and the Beehive Design Collective from Maine! whose enormous, gorgeous poster about the FTAA was a highlight for many. Last but not least, a strong T-dot contingent, including OCAP activist PJ Lilley, Satan Macnuggit, fuzzy head Patti Kim and artist Five:Seventeen, along with Broken Pencil and ARA Toronto. Politics were debated openly and often amongst customers and vendors, especially within the various panels and workshops. The weekend event launched Friday evening with a Visions of Anarchy panel. Saturday was the bookfair itself and a steady stream of customers wandered two levels of materials. On the main floor, tables shared space with a soup kitchen cafeteria while upstairs, a crowded hallway doubled as display area. Beyond the usual printed matter, numerous other methods of expressing/advertising anarchist leanings were available, including T-shirts, cloth silkscreen patches, buttons, stickers and even black socks with the circle and the A. Sunday featured an exhaustive colonic of Anarchist philosophies, including Queer Activism, which explored the movement’s heterosexism, along with an examination of the cityscape as a medium of resistance, and an investigation of why urban anarchist spaces are so difficult to maintain (e.g. Who’s Emma). As of press time, there were no confirmed reports on how well Monday’s picnic and anarchist soccer game (?!?) proceeded. (Ryan Bigge)

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