An article by Crudo about the 2009 Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair, where the Maoist cultlike Revolutionary Communist Party was forced out.
Don't I look like Alec Baldwin in this picture? Hmm...maybe.
I'm back. All I've got to show for it is some chapped lips, a head cold, some embarrassing stories, the tail end of a depression, and a fair amount of petty cash. But, overall it was a good - and interesting time. There wasn't anything inside the bookfair that happened that was super crazy. Someone from Green Anarchy didn't get into a fight with one of the organizers. The organizers didn't confront the Santa Cruz people. AK Press didn't have a huge banner that was a review from Green Anarchy. Etc.
Having said that, I think that the bookfair has reached a new level of poverty for itself. There seems to be less and less tables out there every year that appear to actually be anarchist projects, and beyond that, projects that have anything to do with actually action or revolt. There are tables about sex books, tables with lots of books about general leftist stuff, and tables with patches. There are few tables for groups that are actually engaging in projects and doing things (although there are a few exceptions: Bound Together, AK Press, Little Black Cart, IWW, Fire to the Prisons, and so on...)
Anyway. So, I went to this thing. I tabled, I socialized, I also spoke. Couple things I want to touch on:
First off, as I'm sure many of you out there will hear or read, people from Modesto Anarcho Crew dumped a bucket of water on the RCP's table. This was about 30 minutes after they were kicked out of the bookfair and asked to leave by organizers. They were given about 5 minutes to leave and they did not. They then had their stuff physically picked up and moved for them. The RCP was not asked to come to the event, and did not respect the wishes of the organizers to leave the space. They then set up there stuff on the outside of the bookfair. Let us be clear. They were there to recruit for their political party - we are not apart of the same movement in the least, even if we do find ourselves in the streets with them on occasion.
Yes, people from MAC did dump a bucket of water on their table later in the day. No, it wasn't me. Yes, of course, I support the action fully. You can read something that someone from MAC put up on indybay here. The RCP has responded with a statement denouncing those who "attacked" them, and has the online signatures up of those who are against the action of MAC and those who kicked out the RCP. While I'm never surprised of people acting in this manner, I think some of the comments online (at indybay for sure, but more surprisingly from infoshop.org) are really embarrassing.
People are saying we are "macho" for doing this. I fail to see how macho it is to pour water on someone's shit, funny and silly maybe, but not macho. Anyway, I could go on forever, but here's something that I posted on infoshop that I think says it all for me:
I feel the need to comment on this because I am a member of Modesto Anarcho Crew, but also am someone who watched giddly as my comrades pored a bucket of water on the RCP's table from inside the bookfair's walls (meaning, I didn't participate in the action of soiling thier table directly).
Anyway, couple points. I fail to see how this is macho chest thumping. People pored water on a table, get over it. It was funny and silly and it got them to leave. As Lawarence also pointed out, this whole RCP kick out thing was started when some of the 'older men' straight up picked up the RCP's shit and threw it out of the bookfair. Kudos to them. We didn't do anything violent, unless you think destroying the property of a Stalinist-Maoist Party is sad and it's wrong to rain on their day. What's next, people getting pissed if we put a whoopee cushion under a Green Party members butt? And as other people pointed out, we're not all a group of white guys. We are made up of women and men who range from white, latino, to native american. Don't put us in your boxes because they're not going to fit.
We don't see this as a 'sectretarian' action, because we are not in a sect of the same movement as the RCP. They are the left wing of capital and a (murderous) state in waiting.
I also fail to see how calling ourself a crew is alienating to other people. Realistically at this point, many of us have not interest in trying to justify our actions to a movement that continues to disapoint and alienate us from it. Our homes become foreclosed on and you fix bikes. We lose hours and jobs and you try and get us to read zines about steampunk. We try and articulate our ideas and break out of activism and are called out for 'alienating' people. We take action and are scolded.
It seems that the unwanted children of capital just can't win under anarchism's rules. That's fine, we play by our own.
"the left has labeled us hooligans - we intend to be much worse."
Anyway, yeah. I'm really to the point where I couldn't give a fuck about what 95% of the anarchists out there in the US have to say, what they do, or what they care about.
Next up, Modesto Anarcho was reviewed in Anarchy magazine for being "embarrassing," and "incoherant," which is kind of like Slingshot calling your magazine "insurrectionary" or "militant." Hahaha. Then they get mad that we don't send them stuff to review! Actually we did send them a copy of every issue for a while, but they only just now reviewed it. I'm not mad that they gave us a bad review, I'm more bummed that Aragorn! seemed to drop the ball on his critique of the magazine. The review was really short and I didn't get much out of it. I may also be blowing my own horn here, but I think MA has been an important publication for a while now, and I think you can't dismiss it that quickly. But, then again, they just did.
My thing is NOT in the new Rolling Thunder! Boo! I understand though, and crack Crimethinc agents have assurred me that my thing might come out through their blog, so peep that.
So anyway, in the midst of this, I was also getting ready to speak in front of a crowd. I spoke in the Cafe area, not the main stage area, which some people were saying. I was given 30 minutes, but for some reason only talked for about 12 minutes before someone with a five minute note card came in and told me to shut up. Anyway, not matter. After that we came out for a discussion and that was going kind of good, until the RCP came up and started harassing people with MAC for dumping shit on them. That kind of killed the discussion, but...what are you going to do?
So, hopefully soon the next issue of vengeance will be up. Be sure to check back here soon and often.
Lastily, the audio for my talk is right here.
Originally posted: March 15, 2009 at We Will Have Our Vengeance