BAABF Statement of Mutual Responsibility

This statement has been developed by the Bookfair collective to provide information and suggestions for Bookfair goers to make the event a functional space for most people. As anarchism is about collective responsibility, Bookfair participants are responsible for their own conduct and to look out for each other at the Bookfair.

Inevitably, with large, open-access, public events like the Bookfair, there will be people present who are sexist, racist, homophobic, or oppressive in many other ways. Thus, we cannot guarantee a safe space, only ask that you keep this statement in mind, practice security culture, and do your part to make the Bookfair a valuable event for our community.

As the Bookfair organizing collective, we will try to deal with any issues brought to our attention in a calm and open-minded way. We ask that everyone take this same approach and try not to escalate any situation. The Bookfair is an opportunity for meeting each other, learning, and debate, not for pursuing ongoing conflicts. If nothing else, the likely presence of undercover police makes this poor political practice.

If an individual is known to have engaged in oppressive behavior, then it is up to people who know them to put accountability processes in place. If that has not been done, the Bookfair is not the time or place to do so. Organizers and participants cannot and will not act as judge, jury, or police force. However, saying that, we will do our best to deal with situations that arise at the Bookfair. We reserve the right to ask anybody acting in what we consider to be an inappropriate manner to leave the event without warning, or to permanently ban them as a last resort.

The Bookfair collective maintains a spirit of openness towards the different traditions, visions, and practices of anarchism. We also expect there to be non-anarchists and people new to anarchism present. For this reason, we ask that all participants also take an open-minded and welcoming approach, and recognize that thought should be given as to how and where inter-community conflicts or tensions are raised or resolved.

If groups have been accepted to table at the Bookfair, we will not ban any books or publications from their stalls. Bookfair participants are encouraged to read and discuss displayed materials and reach their own conclusions. We trust the organizations we have accepted at the Bookfair and likewise expect them to show respect in the materials they bring to the event and be prepared to explain the inclusion of any publication to any member of the public who may question it.

In compliance with the our agreement with the venue, and for participants’ health and safety, the following must be observed:

  • Dogs and other animals are not permitted (service animals excepted)
  • Smoking anything is permitted only in designated smoking areas
  • No alcohol may be consumed on the premises

If you need assistance during the Bookfair, please come to the welcome table at the entrance to the vendor area.