Workshops announced for 2017 Book Fair

Updated: September 12, 2017


We are pleased to announce most of the workshops for the September 16, 2017 Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair. The workshops will take place between 10:00 a.m. and 6:30 pm at several venues in North Oakland.  The schedule of workshop times will be announced by September 1 at the latest.

Our workshop series is now full and we are not accepting new workshop proposals at this time. We encourage interested folks to plan additional events and workshops for the day before/after, or in the evening during the Book Fair. Please send relevant info on any events during the Book Fair weekend to so that we may help publicize them.

This list is subject to change at any time.


  • Rad Families: A Celebration, with Tomas Moniz, Mike Avila, Art Noose, & Dani Burlison. Rad Families are needed now more than ever. Local parents will discuss and share stories that honor the messy, the painful, the playful, the beautiful, the myriad ways we create families and support our community in these times. We are not experts or perfect parents or caregivers. Instead, this workshop will draw in the audience and strive to be honest and vulnerable, sharing our stories and experiences, our failures and regrets. This is a time that we need to remind ourselves that we are not alone, that community can help us get through the difficulties, and in fact, make us better people. This is a celebration, join us!
  • Disability: On Becoming Accomplices & Rejecting Exclusion, with Lauren Riot, Leroy Moore, & Others.An introduction to disability issues as they relate to the left and anarchists/anarchist actions:  a primer on the social model of disability, the intersection of race and disability, disability, race, and police brutality, updates on local community organizing around disability rights, a brief history of Krip Hop Nation– a local Black disabled music project, inclusion/exclusion in leftist politics, actions, events, when anarchists become disabled due to police/state/fascist violence, escalated threats to the disabled population due to the rising popularity of fascism and the Trump administration
  • 100 Years of the Struggle for Sex Workers’ Rights in the Bay Area, hosted by Ivy Anderson with Devon Angus, with representatives from SWOP Bay Area, The Erotic Service Providers Union (ESPU), and the U.S. Prostitute’s Collective (US PROS).On January 25th, 1917 nearly 300 prostitutes marched on the church of anti-vice crusader Rev. Paul Smith to protest the looming evictions that faced sex workers in San Francisco. On January 25th, 2017 this oft forgotten episode of radical history was recreated with a demonstration at the site of the original protest, with sex workers demanding the same rights that went unheard in 1917. Join us in a discussion of sex worker rights, labor struggle, and feminist history as we examine the events of 1917 and look at the state of sex worker rights in the Bay Area today.
  • Knowing the Enemy: Typologies of Fascist and White Nationalist Organizations in the United States, with Rose City Antifa.This workshop will give a broad overview of the typologies of fascist organizing across the United States. The face of fascism has changed rapidly over the past decade in which Rose City Antifa has been actively opposing fascist organizing in Portland, OR.  In the past few decades Fascist organizing has evolved from boneheads, biker gangs, and klansmen to Proud Boys, anti-government militias, various internet communities, and beyond.  The understanding of the language, tactics, and relationships between and among these organizations is vital to organizing successful opposition.  By the end of this workshop you should have a basic framework of fascist typologies with increased focus on the Pacific Northwest.
  • Ohlone History and Indigenous Resistance, with Corrina Gould. Corrina Gould will speak about the history of Ohlone people on this land and the history of American Indian Movement and policies of Indian Extermination.
  • From Palestine to Chowchilla – Women and Resistance to Imprisonment, with Diana Block & Anna Henry. Diana Block and Anna Henry both work with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and were part of  a Prison Solidarity Delegation to Palestine in March 2016, the first delegation from the United States ever to focus on prisoner solidarity. During the delegation they met many former Palestinian women prisoners and talked with women leaders of the movement to support prisoners.  Upon their return they partnered with Palestinian organizations to produce a pamphlet “For the Love of Palestine: Stories of Women, Imprisonment and Resistance” -which includes an article from former political prisoner Laura Whitehorn, also a delegation member.  The workshop will share stories and slides from Palestine, discuss connections to women and imprisonment in the U.S. and explore directions for building solidarity between these struggles.
  • Taking Away the Power of Criminal Charges: Anarchist Approaches to Resisting State Repression, with Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee, Tilted Scales Collective & Others.The state has historically used criminal charges to disrupt and destroy radical political movements and to repress targeted communities (e.g., people of color, poor people, houseless people, queer/trans/gender nonconforming, etc.). Criminal charges are designed to keep communities under control and they are successful in a variety of ways, from putting millions of people behind bars or on probation to targeting prominent radicals to punish them while scaring others away from organizing. In political struggles, criminal charges often disrupt organizing by diverting people’s time, energy, and resources into legal battles and prisoner support. While criminal convictions and jail/prison sentences are an inevitable part of fighting the state, we do not have to allow this tool of state repression to be so destructive.In this panel discussion, the panelists will explore a variety of ways that the state uses criminal charges as a tool of repression and some ways people and communities have already figured out to combat this. They will also share thoughts on what we need to do better or differently to take away the destructive power of criminal charges. For the second half of the workshop, the audience will be invited to participate in a community discussion about the topics raised by the presenters.
  • Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change with Cynthia Kaufman, Juliana “Jewels” Smith, Patrick Reinsborough, William Armeline, & Joshua Kahn Russell.Ideas for Action will be a hands-on workshop with radical activists and organizers to explore the intellectual tools to turn our era of discontent into a plan for action. Exploring a wide range of political traditions—including anarchism, anti-imperialism, postmodernism, feminism, critical race theory, and environmentalism—the panelists will acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of political movements and the ideologies inspired by or generated through them. The panel will incorporate elements from their own activist experiences and work to present plans for direct action and organizing tactics without pretending to offer “the final word” on complex issues. This panel aims to orient a critical understanding of the social world and a glimpse of the excitement and rewards of serious intellectual engagement with radical political ideas. The panel of activists will engage with the audience to confront pressing issues of today—from mass incarceration to climate change, from the new US presidential administration to from #NoDAPL to Black Lives Matter, from the war on terror to the national security state, from rising inequality and the Bay Area housing crisis to a global shortage of care.Panelists include Juliana “Jewels” Smith author of (H)afrocentric Comics, Patrick Reinsborough coauthor of the 2nd edition of Re:imagining Change: How to Use Story-Based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements, and Change the World, Joshua Kahn Russell coeditor of A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice, and facilitated by Cynthia Kaufman, author of Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change.
  • Earth Spirituality in Anarchist Context and Community, with Lasara Firefox Allen. There has been a sense of distance or even “never the two shall meet” regarding spirituality and anarchism. However, the number of anarchist Pagans and Polytheists has been steadily growing in recent years.What is spirituality when it is not being used as an opiate? It can be a source of commitment to values-based action. It can act as a rudder, a ballast, a compass, or a fulcrum. And Paganism specifically can offer ground within which to link the personal, the communitarian, the global, and the environmental.What happens when we enter into relationship with the gods and spiritual forces not as masters and serfs, but as co-conspirators?If you are a Pagan, Polytheist, Heathen, otherwise spiritually oriented anarchist, or are curious about earth spirituality in anarchist context and community, this is a space where you can talk with like-minded folx, spiritualists, Pagans, Witches, and Heathens. In this thoroughly interactive workshop we will come together to talk about rewilding, grounding, urban and rural magicks, community building, collaborating with gods and spirits, and strategies for grounded spiritual resistance and r/evolution.
  • Logistics and Infrastructure in the Age of Trump, with Empire Logistics and Michael W. Wilson, Natalia Kresich, & Kevin Carhart.An workshop addressing Bay Area logistical infrastructures: vulnerabilities, key sites of struggles, and important connections to broader dynamics and solidarity opportunities along the global supply chain. Special focus on understanding and responding to Trump’s proposed infrastructure projects.Empire Logistics maps the global supply chain through research that articulates the infrastructure and ‘externalized costs’—human, economic, social and environmental—of the international flow of things.
  • Surveillance Self Defense: Keeping your Data Safe in the Digital World, with William Budington, Freddy Martinez, & Jen Helsby.In an era when the capabilities of the state stretch into our daily lives, when our everyday interactions are mediated by commodified, centralized digital communications networks, we are becoming increasingly subjected to the effect of surveillance.  This impedes our ability to organize and strategize vis-a-vis powerful state forces, threatens our livelihoods, and subjects us to increasingly effective violent tactics that destroy our communities based on ever-more present algorithms of control.Fortunately, we have tools at our disposal which allow us to keep our communications private, our organizing less susceptible to manipulation, and the data about our lives less ready to be fed into the machinations of domination.  We can protect ourselves if we adopt certain best practices.
  • No Wall They Can Build: Resisting the Border, with CrimethInc. Using CrimethInc.’s new book, No Wall They Can Build: A Guide to Borders and Migration in North America, as a point of departure, we will discuss the criminalization of undocumented families and the internalization of the border—and how these are proceeding under the Trump administration. We’ll conclude with concrete examples of community responses to border militarization in Arizona.The inward expansion of the border over the past decade has been accomplished through a shift from civil to criminal law in regards to undocumented populations, and a careful balance of hard and soft controls enacted by police, military, paramilitaries, nonprofits and civilians. Hard controls include imprisonment, deportation, torture, deprivation, assault, and death; soft controls range from information gathering and reporting to state authorities to psychological operations and ideological warfare. Anti-immigrant legislation has extended the reach of enforcement and resulted in record deportations, and this has only worsen under the new regime.Communities in the Southwest have been dealing with the internalization of the border in several ways: direct aid in the desert, barrio support groups, migra patrol/cop watch, community paralegal clinics, marches, direct action, interfaith organizing and broad community campaigns. It’s past time for anarchists in the US to commit themselves to anti-border work. We have a lot to learn from one another.