By Gabriel San Roman
Orange County is widely known as a cesspool of conservatism. Its contributions to national politics are notorious: Birchers, anti-immigrant hysteria and, worst of all, Richard Nixon! So what better place to host an anarchist bookfair?
The idea to do just that started last fall when a group of folks dedicated to baptizing OC with the first ever event of its kind here started organizing.
This reactionary county of ours presented some problems early on. Venues seemed uncomfortable with the political nature of our proposed family friendly event despite our best pitch.
And then there were the spots that opened up due to rampaging gentrification. The bookfair wasn’t a good fit for obvious reasons.
But we persisted, organized and found a natural home at El Centro Cultural de Mexico, a community space in Santa Ana that’s been the hub of OC’s resistance for the past 20 years.
And now, as a collective, we are ready to introduce ourselves by way of our statement of principles:
We are a horizontally organized collective that came together to organize Orange County’s first ever anarchist bookfair. Ours is an intersectional anarchism opposing all structures of oppression. We are feminist, queer, gender non-conforming, indigenous, anti-capitalist people of color. The collective actively creates another world within the very navel of this otherwise rotting orange. We subvert popular assumptions of conservative Orange County by unabashedly and daringly imagining a radical alternative. We work to create safer spaces for critical engagement, reflection and accountability without the presence of the state and those who mouth its oppressive tongue. We celebrate the local history of resistance upon this stolen land. We take inspiration from Indigenous peoples fighting the terror of Junipero Serra, the jailhouse cry of Modesta Avila, the Citrus Strike of 1932 and the spirit of Santa Ana’s Black and brown youth protesting police violence in 1969. The collective wants to end all “isms” and phobias that perpetuate oppression in creating a new reality where many realities exist together.
In the spirit of total resistance,
The OC Anarchist Bookfair Collective
We have a date, location and time: May 16th, 2015, at El Centro Cultural de Mexico, 313 N. Birch St. Santa Ana, 92701, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Our event will offer workshops, panels, speakers, a really, really free market, music, food and vendors all in the name of sparking a renewed radical imagination in OC.
The Orange County Anarchist Bookfair will be free to the people. We do have a GoFundMe page for all those who wish to donate in that effort:
See you there…in the spirit of total resistance, of course!