London Anarchist Bookfair 2012

The 2012 London Anarchist Bookfair took place on October 27th at Queen Mary, University of London but I have been too busy to blog about it – until now. I went to London on the Friday evening where I met up with some fellow members of Bicycology who were also in town for the Bookfair. We ate at Indian Veg on Chapel Market and then cycled to Torriano Meeting House in Kentish Town where we had been offered crash space. In the morning we cycled to Kings Cross to pick up another Bicycologist and then rode together along the Regent’s Canal towpath to Mile End, arriving at Queen Mary before noon.

The first thing I did was find a friendly stall where I could dump my rucksack. My impression is that it was slightly better attended this year than last, but then it is always pretty packed. One of the main reasons I go to the Bookfair is to keep in touch with people I wouldn’t otherwise see and as usual it was difficult to stick to a plan because I kept bumping into people I knew. Eventually I found time to sit down and look at the program and decided to see Michael Albert talk about the International Organization for a Participatory Society or IOPS, of which he is a founding member. I had seen Michael speak before when he introduced Noam Chomsky (another IOPS supporter) at last year’s Rebellious Media Conference and he struck me as someone worth paying attention to. He did a good job of explaining how IOPS came about and how the structure is designed to avoid the pitfalls common to so many other organisations. It all seemed very well thought out and has a number of high profile supporters (John Pilger for example) but has received surprisingly little attention, not just from mainstream media (which is to be expected) but also from “left” media. Still, IOPS already has over 2,745 members in nearly 100 countries and it was only founded in January this year. I won’t try to explain it any further, if you want to know more then check out the website.

After that I didn’t go to any other meetings but spent my time checking out stalls and chatting to people I knew. I stayed till the end then cycled in the rain to Highgate for a birthday party where I eventually crashed out on the sofa, making it two nights away from home, a fairly unusual occurrence for me these days. It was well worth going and I will almost certainly go again next year.

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