Help us find a 2015 Venue


Once again, we are beginning the search for the 2015 Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair.

After the 2014 event, we received a lot of feedback about The Crucible as a venue. Vendors and attendees liked that it was accessible by BART, had food vendors, people could hang out outside, and the building had multiple meeting rooms. The main criticisms we heard were that it was noisy, hot, and congested. We will be considering the Crucible again with modifications (scheduling the bookfair on a day when there are no classes/furnaces are off, rearranging the layout, opening the roll-up doors for ventilation, etc).

We will also be opening the search and considering new venues before committing to the Crucible. Could you help us?

Here are the criteria we use to select a venue:

  • Ability to accommodate 100+ tables (6ft x 2.5 ft) for vendors – approximately 6,000+ square feet
  • Indoor
  • Near public transportation
  • Approximately $3000 or less for one day (or max $5500 if it includes chair/tables)
  • 2 to 3 meeting rooms separate from the vendor area (2 meeting rooms with 50 person capacity and one room with 150 person capacity are ideal)
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Is all ages
  • Does not require us to hire off-duty police officers as security
  • Prefer a venue where there is an outdoor area to hang out in that is not the street/sidewalk
  • Prefer to sell/serve our own food and have no requirement to buy food/beverage from the venue
  • Available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on a Saturday in late March 2015 or early April 2015 plus ability to load/unload tables and chairs and set up/break down on Friday evening/Monday morning.
  • Is in San Francisco or Oakland

Following is an annotated list of all of the venues we considered last year. We will be revisiting many of them again as potential locations for 2015. Several of the possible venues did not return our phone calls or emails (3 to 5 attempts each). If you have a personal connection to that venue, or if you have a connection that might help us get a reduced rate at one of the larger venues, please contact us ASAP.

Our goal is to book a venue in August, 2014. If you have information or a lead on a venue, please get in touch with us by July 15, 2014 at

Please note that given the political nature of this event, the committee is not willing to sign any contract with a clause that says the event may be cancelled at any time without notice (this includes City College of San Francisco and any San Francisco Unified School District Facility, as noted below).

* * *

Possible venues for 2015:

Continue reading

Financial Report from the 2014 Bookfair

10151957_517787771670602_196271425_nPrior to 2014, the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair had been organized and sponsored by Bound Together Books in San Francisco, who also provided the insurance for the event and paid the deposit for the venue (to be reimbursed from vendor fees). In the past few years, the Bookfair has either broken even financially or lost some money, which was covered by Bound Together.

For 2014, a new group came together and organized the Bookfair without this financial backing, and starting with no funds from the previous years. To provide the venue deposit, we borrowed $1,000 from one of our members (paid back later from vendor fees) and contracted with an independent broker to provide the insurance. Most venues require a special event insurance certificate covering up to $1 million in damages.

Because of the new venue and new organizing group, we planned conservatively because we didn’t know if vendors would support the new group and the new venue, and didn’t know if we would cover our expenses. This was one of the reasons for changing the event from two days back to one day. As a group, we agreed to cover any deficit, but we also considered scaling back the event even further to save money if we didn’t have a good response from people reserving tables.

We offered tables for $95 to $150 for vendors, and $15 to $35 for organizations distributing literature and not selling. We were pleasantly surprised that many groups paid at the higher end of the scale, which made it possible for us both to cover all of our expenses and provide free/reduced cost tables to some groups and organizations, including many Bay Area groups focusing on gentrification and displacement.

Our main expenses were renting the venue, renting tables and chairs, and printing posters/postcards. All of our expenses are detailed below.

Through some good luck, we ended up with $1500 left after all expenses were paid. We had anticipated spending about $500 on renting A/V equipment, but one of our collective members arranged to have these donated a few days before the event. In addition, we thought we were going to have to pay around $1000 for private security, but ended up providing security with volunteers (though it is likely we will need to pay for private security next year). Also, most of the photocopying of the schedule/program was donated by individuals. Had these things not happened, we would have broken even or lost money.

Everyone who works on the committee is a volunteer, and all speakers/presenters donated their time to make this event happen.

The $1500 remaining from this year will go toward paying the rental deposit on the 2015 venue, so we won’t need to borrow money this year. It is our hope that one day the Bookfair will be in a strong enough financial position to reimburse some travel for speakers.

If you have any questions about the finances for the 2014 Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair, please contact the committee at

In struggle,
Jen A, Matt L, Megan O, Mike E

* * *

2014 Book Fair Financial Statement

Vendor fees: $7197.00
Donation from the Anarchist Café: $246.00
Total Income: $7443.00
Venue Rental: $2500
Table/Chair/Tent rental: $2304.50
Poster Design: $300
Poster/postcard printing: $476
Insurance: $185
Credit card processing fees: $142.01
Misc. (postage, office supplies, some photo copies): $66.50
Total expenses: $5974.01

Difference: $1468.99

The Book Fair is a few days away! Final details & Reminders

Anarchist Book Fair 2014 V3We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in a few days!

A few really important things to remember:

See you on Saturday!

Food Vendors at the Book Fair

We are excited to support some great local businesses by providing food vendors at the Book Fair venue.

arizmendiArizmendi Lakeshore a worker cooperative and part of the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives will provide pastries and coffee starting at 10 a.m. They will be inside near the Welcome table.

We will also have a few savory food vendors starting around 11 a.m. in the parking lot. This year, we will be featuring:

Also, here is a map of local restaurants from Google.

Seeking Carnival Games & Games of Chance


This year as part of our nod to the “fair” theme, we’ll be hosting several carnival games and games of chance! Aside from having fun at the Book Fair, we want to provide a fun way for groups and organizations to raise funds.

Have a silly, creative, insightful or satirical game idea? Want to offer tarot readings? Want to create a dunking booth, wheel of fortune, or ball-toss game? (Remember the “Throw a Shoe at Bush” carny game that appeared in Justin Herman Plaza in 2009? Photo below provided by LisaRuth Elliott)

We’d love to have you!  If you or anyone is interested in coordinating a booth, please get in touch! Although space would be free to you, we only have a limited number of booths available. Also, the event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, and we would ask you to commit to being there during those hours.

You can contact the book fair committee at bayareabookfair at

Please pass this invitation along!

throw-a-shoe at bush jan 2009

Programming information now available!

IMG_2623We’ve started to update the confirmed workshops and speakers for the book fair, and we will continue to add to these pages as we hear back from session presenters.

Check it:

Complete 2014 info:

Session Descriptions:

Speaker Bios:

2014 Call for Session Proposals

19th Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair, March 22, 2014

Call for Session Proposals:

The Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair is an annual event that brings together people interested and engaged in radical movements to connect, learn and discuss through book and information tables, workshops, panel discussions, skillshares, films and more!  We seek to create an inclusive space to introduce new folks to anarchism, foster a productive dialogue between various political traditions as well as anarchists from different milieus, and create an opportunity to dissect our movements’ strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and tactics.

We are currently seeking workshop proposals for the 19th Annual Book Fair to be held March 22, 2014 at The Crucible in West Oakland. This year, we are making changes to the format and programing, including putting out a call for session proposals.

Here’s how you can help us make this year’s Book Fair dynamic and engaging:

  • Forward this call to a group that’s doing work that inspires you, especially if they’ve never come to the Book Fair.
  • Submit a proposal for a workshop topic that has never before appeared at the Book Fair.
  • Create a strategy to get a crowded room full of people talking about how to create the structures needed to dismantle capitalism.
  • Organize an event (ex. a talk, a panel, a skillshare, a music show) throughout the week preceding the Book Fair, and let us know about it!  We will use the Book Fair’s website to promote what’s happening across the Bay Area.

What Are the Sessions?

The Book Fair provides an open forum for discussion among anarchists and individuals/groups who work with anarchists. Workshops will be generally facilitated by one person or a panel of people, and scheduled in blocks of 60-90 minutes. We encourage active hands-on participation, creativity, and enough time and space for questions, answers, and discussion.

We are looking for workshop proposals that:

  • Are aimed at people who are curious about, or new to anarchist ideas and radical practices.
  • Delve into a topic in depth intended for people who are already involved in the anarchist tradition or radical activism.
  • Address broad, philosophical questions in our movements and allow a constructive critique of our actions.
  • Encourage dialogue between anarchists and other political tendencies, groups, or movements
  • Explore the inner-workings of radical movements by highlighting stories or lessons learned.
  • Share specific skills for better organizing and better living.
  • Encourage and enable participants to make connections with each other.
  • Tackle and propose strategies to struggles occurring in our local communities like gentrification and police violence.
  • Connect anarchism and radical activism to current movements like environmental destruction, workers’ struggles, and immigration.

These parameters provide a starting point for developing a session, but please feel free to get creative and propose something outside of these categories.

How Do I Submit My Proposal?

To propose a session for the Book Fair, please submit the form on website by December 15, 2013. We will finalize the program and confirm sessions in mid-January.

Go directly to the proposal form here:

What Else is Happening Besides the Book Fair?

In addition to the Book Fair, a variety of diverse anarchist themed events will occur at different venues throughout the Bay Area the week preceding and the weekend during the Book Fair. You can propose any type of event or activity; the only limitation is your imagination! These events will be organized autonomously from the Book Fair (think of the Anarchist Café, often held the Friday evening before the Book Fair, or the BASTARD conference, normally held on Sunday), and as such, venues are the responsibility of the event organizer—though the Book Fair organizers are happy to help with suggestions.

The Book Fair organizers are committed to helping promote autonomous events to the best of our ability through the event website and Facebook page.