I was impressed by last years book fair, and this year I was not disapointed.. There seemed to be at least as many people in attendance as previously, but I was pleased to see a broader cross section of the population than before. Although still largely "Euro" there was a significant contribution fromn First Nations people and I saw some Latino youth and other people of colour were present.The age range seemed broader too, not overwhelmingly young students, not that there would be anything wrong with that, but the movement has to expand into other sectors of the population to become a significant force. A fair number of babies too. Good going! Had a fine time talking and networking with folks from Victoria, Montreal, San Francisco, and Edmonton. The workshops seemed well attended – at least those in the morning-early afternoon. I only got to attend one of these, since I was tabling most of the time. This was about actualizing radical projects and was hosted by the amazing and brilliant surrealist poet, zinster, clown, and performance artist Paula Belina from Montreal. Sadly, I had to leave early, but found her workshop inspiring. The place I was going in such a hurry was the Camas Books Dinner, to help support this anarchist book shop and infocenter. About 70 people sat outside on trestle tables, chatting, listening to a guitar-mandolin-accordian duo by two very talented and beautiful young women. The food was great too, and had amusing names such as "Federated Commune Salad" While sitting there, surrounded by people of all ages and origins, it came to me that a line had been crossed. The scene was much like what I found in European anarchist circles – a sense of community, and though relatively few in number, grown beyond being a tiny, inward-looking sect, into something that has put down roots. Later at Camas Books the Anniversary Show of music and spoken word was held, but I could not stay for long, now feeling the length of the day.
I should point out that the events I describe were not the only ones occurring. A whole week of film, discussions and music preceded the Book Fair. (See www.victoriaanarchistbookfair.ca/ ) I salute the volunteers who put in so much effort and looked rather tired by Sunday afternoon!