Over 30 stalls, 10 speakers, international and inter-state guests, afterparty, vegan food, professional childcare and more at the Sydney Anarchist Bookfair.
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Sydney Anarchist Bookfair

10am-5pm, Sat 22 March, Addison Road Community Centre

In 2 weeks time, Sydney will have its first-ever Anarchist Bookfair. The lineup of stalls and speakers is looking fantastic, with visitors from around Australia and the world. Plus there'll be a great afterparty with a mixed bill of folk, bluegrass and punk at the Red Rattler.

Anarchist bookfairs started 30 years ago in London, and have since proliferated in over 50 cities worldwide. Why have they become so popular? Why do many more people go to anarchist bookfairs than conferences or meetings? Jay Kerr, one of the bookfair organisers, discusses these questions and more in a recently published short article, Anarchist Christmas comes to Australia.

Entry to the bookfair is free (although donations are welcome!). The bookfair is a safer space, the venue is accessible, and free certified childcare will be available. It's being organised by Black Rose Library and Social Centre, Jura Books and other Sydney anarchists. If you're interested in helping out, volunteers are still needed on the day and to poster in the lead-up. If you can help, send an email to But most importantly, come along on the day! And tell your friends (you could forward this email to them) and bring them too. All are welcome.

More than 30 stalls:

More than 10 talks:

Global fire - the impact of revolutionary anarchism

Michael Schmidt (South Africa)

Far from eschewing the exercise of power, anarchists have actively decentralised power into the hands of the people, to create a 'counter-power' enlivened by working class counter-culture. Micahel Schmidt, anarchist theorist, author of Black Flame and radical historian based in South Africa, will focus this discussion on anarchist-run cities through history.
Michael will speak about Spain during the Cantonalist Revolt of 1873-1874, Guangzhou in China over 1921-1923, the two-million-strong Shinmin free zone in Manchuria of 1929-1931, the free zone in Nicaragua in 1927-1933, the Iranian Revolution of 1978, and the the better-known territorial control exercised by anarchists in parts of Mexico, Ukraine, and Spain.

Revolution, civil war and women’s fight for freedom in 1930s Spain

Barry Pateman (USA), Judith Keene and Micaela Pattison

1930s Spain was witness to one of the most powerful anarchist movements the world has yet seen. In many cities and rural areas, the majority of people were part of this movement. They built a real social revolution at the same time as they mounted a heroic war against fascism, in the face of terrible odds. At this panel discussion, three respected historians will explore the struggle in 1930s Spain and its continued relevance today: Barry Pateman, anarchist historian and founding member of the Kate Sharpley Library, will outline the key features of the anarchist movement and the social revolution of 1936-1939. Judith Keene, Associate Professor in History at the University of Sydney, will discuss women combatants during the civil war and the ongoing struggle in Spain today over the way the war is remembered. Micaela Pattison, PhD candidate in History at the University of Sydney, will explore ideas about biological difference, sexuality and maternity in the anarchist milieu in the lead-up to the civil war. Followed by questions and discussion.

Indigenous Peoples' struggle

Ray Jackson

Ray Jackson of the Indigenous Social Justice Association will speak about the extreme oppression that Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples continue to face at the hands of the Australian State - particularly in the form of police brutality and jails. He will also discuss the ongoing struggle for land rights and self-determination.

Learning the lessons from the Sydney Uni strike

Last year a series of strikes saw Sydney University workers and students take action around the immediate conditions of their working and studying lives, while raising questions about what it means to work or study at a university. Come and hear the perspective of students, workers and supporters involved in the struggle. Speakers active in the struggle will discuss organising within and outside of mainstream unions, the importance of creativity and innovative approaches to struggle, lessons learnt, and the situation at Sydney Uni currently.

The 200th anniversary of the birth of 'Bakunin the Destroyer'

 Sid Parissi

Sid will give an introduction to the life and ideas of Mikhail Bakunin. The presentation will explore the significance of Bakunin's ideas, actions, life and loves, for revolutionaries today. 'The constructive urge is the greatest urge of humankind.'

Leard State Forest: How we can stand up to big coal

Leard State Forest is the largest remnant of bushland left on the Liverpool plains. It is home to over 400 native species , sacred indigenous sites and surrounded by fertile farmland. Whitehaven Coal and Idemitsu seek to expand their existing coal operations leading to further environmental and social destruction. Currently, there is a continuous community blockade to stop the mine construction.

Anarcho-Syndicalism and Collapse

Doing It Ourselves (Melbourne)

Melbourne-based anarchist group Doing It Ourselves will give an introduction to three major challenges which will affect all our lives – the various environmental crises, peaking energy and resources, and financial collapse. This will be followed by a critical analysis of the ramifications these challenges have on anarcho-syndicalism, suggestions for workable strategies and discussion.

The War on Drugs and the campaign to legalise cannabis

Stuart Highway and Brooke Bell

Stuart Highway, veteran campaigner from Darwin's Network Against Prohibition, will speak about the 'war on drugs' and it's devastating effects on everyday people. Brooke Bell will talk about the campaign to legalise cannabis.

Radical Wellness Workshop for a Radical Earth

Edible Garden Project & Collective Experiment

Edible Garden Project & Collective Experiment, based in Western Sydney, will hold an introduction to a workshop being designed to ensure health and wellness of activists in the struggle for justice against oppression. It’s based on three simple principles – care for self, care for earth, care for each other. Bring a cushion and join us for something a little different. A brief discussion with some agreed-upon actions on how to bring wellness to our communities will follow.

And more talks, workshops and music...

There are other talks and workshops being planned, including a grassroots feminist discussion on the invisibility of women's unwaged work, yoga, wom*n's self-defence classes, radical comedy and more. There will also be music by Ecopella, Paul Spencer, Riff Raff Radical Marching Band and poetry and much more. For the full timetable, check the Sydney Anarchist Bookfair website closer to the day.

Kids space

The bookfair will be providing free childcare run by a professional childcare worker and two childcare-certified volunteers. The kids space will have toys, games and an afternoon craft workshop. You can leave kids aged 3-12 while your browse books or go to a talk. Children under 3 cannot be left in the kids space, but baby change facilities will be available for parents to use. 

Afterparty at the Red Rattler

Capping off the day will be a party at local co-op venue, the Red Rattler, with a mixed bill of folk & bluegrass, and rippin' punk rock! What better way to end the day? Doors open at 8pm. Entry $5. Lineup:
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Street address: 440 Parramatta Rd, Petersham, 2049.
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Jura's current opening hours
Thursday 10am - 7pm
Friday 2 - 7pm
Saturday 12 -5pm (Closed on the 22nd for the Sydney Anarchist Bookfair)
Sunday 12 - 5pm

If you're making a special trip to visit us, it's a good idea to call beforehand to double-check that we're open. As we're all volunteers, occasionally we can't open as planned.

Jura is a non-profit, volunteer-run, anarchist collective. We welcome like-minded people to get involved and use our space. There are 1,327 people subscribed to this newsletter. Jura runs on solar power.

Jura Books is on the land of the Wangal people of the Eora Nation. The Jura Collective acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Land and pays our respect to Elders past and present. We support the ongoing struggle of Aboriginal people for land rights, self-determination, and justice.

Accessibility: The lower level of Jura (the bookshop area) is accessible to people using a wheelchair. However the library is up a steep flight of stairs. We can move most meetings and events downstairs upon request.

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