On 23rd May 2009 Cardiff had its first anarchist bookfair in Cathays Community Centre. Gagged! newsletter and South Wales Anarchist blog readers and anarchist comrades and friends were invited to come along!
The call-out was published and included the following:
“There’s lots going on with a complete programme of talks and workshops that we encourage people to attend. However, many of the more important conversations happen away from these spaces; in the main hall, across stall tables or even in the pub down the road. We hope that connections (or re-connections) made between activists here will produce lots of new projects or give added impetus to existing ones.
Bookfairs stand as the anarchist movement’s shop window and a main gathering space. This will be the first chance in many years to gauge the interest and popularity of the anarchist ideal in South Wales. Whatever the outcome of the day, it will represent a new chapter of anarchist activity in these parts. We hope you’ll be part of that.”
Timetable for 2009 bookfair
10.00 – Radical Newsletters.
A skill share on running a local radical newsletter like Gagged!
11.00 – Who are South Wales Anarchists?
Your hosts for the day give you their take on anarchism, how it works in practice here in South Wales and how to get involved.
12.00 – Cardiff Anarchist Black Cross
A workshop on why we should abolish prisons given by this new local group in conjunction with Communities of Resistance.
13.00 – Let ‘em all in! – The politics of No Borders
No Borders South Wales will examine the human impact of migration control and will highlight the relevance of the No Borders position in terms of community solidarity, opposing social control and the payback of imperialism.
14.00 – PPS-UK present a vision for a participatory society
What kind of institutions do we need for a more participatory society? This workshop goes beyond rhetoric to put forward concrete suggestions for more participatory institutions.
15.00 – Towards a Popular Education Network for Wales.
If you’re on the giving or receiving end of the education system, come and share your experiences and see how revolutionary ideas can move forward in the classroom and beyond. Featuring members of the Trapese Collective and others.
16.00 – Anarchism and Ireland.
On the 25th anniversary of the Workers’ Solidarity Movement, two members give a short history of anarchism in Ireland and an overview of the movement today.
10.00 – How to get a computer for free and stay secret.
Does exactly what it says on the tin!
11.00 – London Coalition Against Poverty.
LCAP brings together activists, advice workers and campaigning groups in order to tackle the causes and effects of poverty, merging advice work, direct action and libertarian organising. Come and hear about their “Direct Action Casework” approach.
12.00 – Industrial Workers of the World.
The IWW is a union unlike any other. It is grassroots, democratic and militant, seeking to organise ALL workers in ALL industries in ALL countries. Now it’s setting up in Wales.
13.00 – Smash EDO.
Bob Nicholls gives the lowdown on the campaign against the Brighton-based arms manufacturer, whose “arms decommissioners” recently caused a quarter of a million pounds worth of damage to the EDO factory. Followed by an anti-militarism discussion.
14.00 – Revolutionary Anarchism
A talk by anarchist documenter Nick Heath.
15.00 – Fuck Greece – fight here!
Reports from the frontline of the recent uprising in Greece and what it means for people here.
16.00 – FITwatch.
The Forward Intelligence Team (FIT) are cops who film and harass protesters at demos and actions. FITwatch are activists who turn the tables on them.
17.00 – Open Mic – Speakers corner.
Weather permitting this will be outside, otherwise it’ll be in the main hall. All anarchists welcome to spew forth!
The main hall featured stalls from a whole host of groups and collectives selling books, magazines, DVDs, pamphlets, CDs, T-shirts and lots more! –
AK Press – Anarchist publishers & distro
Anarchist Federation – Anarcho-communist organisation
Autonomedia – radical publishers
Bath Activist Network – coalition of progressive activists in Bath
Bristol Anarchist Black Cross – Prisoner solidarity group
Bristol Antifa – militant anti-fascism
Class War – infamous anarchist groupCommunities of Resistance – Campaign against Prisons
Fitwatch – confronting the police who harass protesters
Haven Books – Books to Prisoners
Industrial Workers of the World – Syndicalist Trade Union
Kebele Social Centre – Bristol’s Radical Social Centre Last Hours – Punk Rock and radical culture magazine
London Coalition Against Poverty – direct action casework in the fight for rights
Mute Magazine – magazine exploring culture and politics after the net
Natterjack Press – radical book publishing and distribution collective
No Borders South Wales – Radical migration activists
Project for A Participatory Society UK – network committed to progressive social change
Schnews – direct action newsletter
South Wales Anarchists – your hosts for the day
South Wales Hunt Saboteurs – direct action against bloodsports
Swansea Palestine Solidarity – Support for Palestinians –
Undercurrents – non-profit company covering the counterculture
Voices of Resistance from Occupied London – anarchist publication covering the antagonistic social movement
Workers’ Solidarity Movement – Anarchist organisation from Ireland
After the talking, the party!
19.00 – Post-Bookfair Party!
There was an evening of entertainment and music just down the road in Cathays Liberal Club (3 minues walk from the bookfair venue) with Spanner (Anarcho ska-punk), KilnAboy (Anarcho folk-punk), Tracey Curtis (Anarcho singer-songwriter) and Mab Jones (Anarcho poet). Entry was five pounds with the cash going to paying for the bookfair!
Train: Trains to Cathays train station leave platform 6 of Cardiff Central Train station on a regular basis. Cathays train station is only three minutes walk from the community centre, if you are coming from Cardiff central, cross the railway bridge and turn left towards the Woodville pub, and turn right onto Cathays Terrace.
Bus: to get to Cathays Community Centre from Cardiff city centre, take either number 35 or 36 buses, for “Gabalfa”, from the central bus station and ask ‘drive’ to drop you on Cathays Terrace. The journey takes approximately 13 minutes on a Saturday, and should cost you £1.50 single.