Anarchy in the O.C: The Well Read Anarchist Goes Shopping





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Tired of the surveillance state? Mass incarceration? Police murders? Endless wars? Islamophobia and ethnocentrism? The anarchists might have the answer for you in one of their books.

The Orange County Anarchist Book Fair Collective (OCABFC) is hosting a book fair on May 16 at the Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana, California. According to Jessica Conte, member of the OCABFC, this would be a chance for an available and very vibrant radical activist community in Orange County to share ideas, network, and strengthen ties between activist communities.

The word anarchy has lately been used purposely or mistakenly in dictionaries as a word interchangeable with the word chaos and disorder. The word comes from ancient Greek word anarchia which is a combination of ( not, without) a( ruler or leader). The word in reality offers a form of direct democracy and discredits the archaic notion of the divine right of kings. “it’s a critique of state power and capital….every hierarchy has to be recognized in order to be legitimate. If it’s illegitimate then it gets dismantled.” said Gabriel SanRoman, member of the OCABFC.

“We want to get more people involved” said Conte. ” I think what an anarchist book fair does is, it offers ideas to people and it offers a place to discuss those ideas, and maybe think about their own political involvement and their activism, whether they are activist or not.” According to Conte, she is an active member of the labor movement as a labor organizer and also works in the student movement.” I do a lot of other work, and I know a lot of other anarchist who are doing similar work or maybe in different areas. So we pulled together and said it’s time for an anarchist book fair” Conte explained.

According to San Roman, the OCABFC has less than a month to go to build the event. Once the organization releases the program schedule and the community sees the type workshops and vendors set to participate, they expect to generate more interest and added public turnout. “We had humble expectations, but I think it’s safe to say during the event and after the event, we will be left with the idea that we exceeded our expectations and that this is something that can grow year by year”.

Some of the scheduled speakers at the book fair include author Dr. Antonia Darder who is an internationally recognized scholar, artist, poet, activist, and public intellectual. Scott Crow, who is an anarchist author, speaker, activist, political organizer, educator and political strategist, will also be speaking at the event. Both author’s books will be available for purchase at the fair among many others.

“We have been meeting for months, and we definitely want to see what can happen above and beyond the book fair. But the book fair is the first step along the road” said San Roman, who then added ” Where we go from here is anybody’s guess, but the possibilities are endless…we definitely want to make this a yearly event. There is an opportunity for folks to learn about an ideal that is necessary for our times. I think there is a lot of misconceptions about what anarchy means and what role it’s played historically.”

It is San Roman’s personal philosophy that the state capitalist system is reaching a point of exhaustion as an economic system, and that the great recession in the United States, along with the crisis of capitalism in Europe, and continued colonial legacies of the tri-continental are clearly manifestation of the phenomenon.

The Anarchist book fair will be an all day event, starting at 10 a.m to 6 p.m with music from 7 p.m to 10 p.m.

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