Friends, comrades and co-conspirators welcomed the return of the Liverpool Anarchist Book Fair.

This, the 5th fair, was hosted at the Black-E on Great George Street.

Phrases such as ‘The system is causing more problems than it can ever solve’ and ‘none of these prats will save you’  lined the interior of the venue known as the “Black Church“.

The chapel’s name comes from 1960s, when the building was covered with over a hundred years of inner-city smoke and grime. The location’s history, cleverly complemented the nature of the gathering which criticized our society’s negligence.

What was on ?

More than two dozen stalls displayed a mixture of leaflets, booklets, paperbacks, hardbacks and handicrafts from organisations such as Merseyside Animal Rights, Palestine Action, Just Stop Oil, and many more.

Anarchist Book Fair Poster

Keith, 68, from the Angry Workers Collective, said :”It seems quite clear that  over the last 30 or 40 years that the process towards destruction and negativity become much more obvious.

“You see the environmental destruction, you see wars without end all over the world, you see forced mass migrations.

“You see the total ecological degradation and the famines and the floods, on a level that hasn’t been seen in the whole of class history.”


He said that important lessons can be learned from history and the Operaia movements – a wave of libertarian socialism in the 70s Italy.

Keith believes that the current system fails its people and only a social force can challenge that and begin to create a new, better society.

He explained: “It’s the power to produce, that enables us to exist. But it’s also the power which has been stolen by the power of capital, endlessly, generating profits for the minority.”

We need to change the way we relate to each other

Rue, care worker and a member of The Solidarity Federation, who was sitting at one of the stalls, also sees the current government as undermining the working class’s struggles.

However, he thinks the main problem is in the structure of the state itself and in the capitalist economy that it manages.

He said: “I think we need to not just change the government but change the way that we relate to each others as human beings.”

The word anarchy comes from anarchos – Greek for ‘having no ruler’.

One of the stallholders explained, the well known symbol of anarchists with a letter ‘A’ in a circle is often misunderstood, just as the anarchists themselves are.

She said, that what seams to be a circle is actually a letter “O”. Placed together, the symbol stands for “society seeking order in anarchy”.

As rebellious as the event may sound, its principles were actually in line with current trends in activism, that can be observed all around us.

The order sought by “the anarchists” aims to, for instance, stop exploitation of minorities, eliminate discrimination, give people a chance to govern themselves, end wars, save the planet, fight for animal rights and appreciate the working class.


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