The Anarchists Are Coming! The Anarchists Are Coming!

IMAG0740Samantha Balaban

The Anarchist Book Fair, which last year ended in smashed windows and scuffles with police, is back for a seventh year. And this time it’ll be a two-day extravaganza.

Last night, six members of the collective that organizes the fair met at ABC Beer Co. for a planning session.

Elias, who declined to give his last name, insisted that the book fair doesn’t promote violence. The collective contends that undercover cops incited last year’s incidents.

Elias said he was attending a workshop at the Sixth Street Community Center last April when “out of nowhere the police came and started beating people up. They just like bum-rushed them.”

This year, the National Lawyers Guild will be on hand to help ward off any trouble.

“We’re going to have people observing constantly,” said Chuck Reinhardt, who facilitated the meeting.

This year’s fair will take place April 6 and 7 at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center rather than the usual Judson Memorial Church.

In addition to the workshops that are a staple every year, the collective will also host a film festival on Saturday and an art festival on Sunday. The workshops will be held at ABC No Rio, Bluestockings, the Tenement Museum library and the cultural center, Mr. Reinhardt said.

The lineup for the book vendors and workshops is still to be determined. The collective is accepting applications through its website. The requirements? Anything goes “as long as it applies to the overall spirit of the Anarchist Book Fair,” said Elias.

So why was the planning session at ABC Beer Co.? “There’s just a lot of radical history in the East Village,” said Elias.