2013 NYC Anarchist Book Fair

UPDATE (July 3rd, 2013):

It has been almost 3 months since the previous book fair organizers agreed to step back from organizing the book fair so that more diverse representation may do so.  Yet, they have apparently ceased all communication about the subject.  It will remain to be seen what will become of the 2014 event.

UPDATE (April 9th, 2013):

While Thadeaus did not table or attend the event this year due to public opposition, there did not appear to be any safer space provisions at the event.  While the book fair said that it had a safer space policy similar to that of previous years, there was no infrastructure on site to uphold it.  In fact, when members of the fascist group NATA arrived, it was not book fair organizers but other attendees who needed to step in and ensure that they did not enter the venue.

The previously mentioned Safe Space/Mediation and Conflict Resolution workshop, added to the schedule by book fair organizers after outrage was expressed by the community at their lack of safer space infrastructure, was attended by roughly 50 people and only 2 of the men from the book fair organizing group.  The result of this discussion is that the majority of those in attendance asked these men to step down from organizing the book fair in the future so that a more diverse and contingent of organizers may host the event in a manner which is attendant to intra-movement oppression.  The organizers present agreed to engage in an ongoing dialogue in order to assure that this demand is met.

UPDATE (April 3rd, 2013):

Tablers, workshop presenters and potential attendees expressed support in the last few weeks for a safer space policy at the book fair. From what we can tell it is for this reason that the organizers now state that the safer space policy developed by the safer space team in previous years will be in place at this year’s event. They have indicated that Thadeaus will not table or be in attendance at the book fair on either day in accordance with this policy.

In years passed, the safer space policy was upheld by a safer space team comprised of individuals experienced in anti-oppression work and conflict resolution, however, we have yet to hear of any infrastructure that they have to uphold this policy.  The book fair organizers have just announced that they added a discussion on “Safe Space/Mediation and Conflict Resolution” to this weekend’s schedule:

This workshop will focus on self-management, mediation, and group consensus building, as well as ways to build safe spaces within an anti-authoritarian paradigm, without resorting to traditional state remedies such as surveillance, gender/race-marking, third-party therapeutic mediation.  Groups invited to this special workshop are: The New York Peace Institute, Support NY, The Icarus Project, and Transforming Conflict Lab.  We are inviting all Book Fair participants and visitors to this important workshop forum to voice their thoughts and address an issue that has been affecting anarchists across NYC, what is safer space and who and how one should practice this in a pragmatic method benefiting all.  This workshop forum is meant to be a healthy and safe environment ,discussion and dialogue.  The Book Fair’s safer space policy is to be upheld in this space to the highest level otherwise you will be asked to leave immediately.

Posted March 29, 2013:

The NYC anarchist book fair organizers have decided to not honor a safer space policy for the first time in three years. Specifically, not only are they not having any sort of safer space team on site (Support NY has volunteered their time over the last three years for this event), they are allowing Thadeaus a person with a known abuse and informant history to table at the event. When concerned individuals inquired about this, the organizers responded that they are going to have a safer space policy (even with Thadeaus there and no infrastructure or people to handle any issues that arise). It is for this reason, unfortunately, the NYC anarchist book fair will not be a safer space.

We understand that this has come to shock and disappoint many tablers, workshop presenters and people who planned to attend the book fair.  Some tablers have already chosen to withdraw their reservation.  Workshop presenters may request that their workshop be help at ABC No Rio which will be upholding its own safer space policy and where Thadeaus is not welcome.  People who no longer want to participate or attend the event, keep your ears to the ground for possibilities of future events that are responsive to intra-movement oppression.

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