- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2007

NEW YORK — It may be the center of the capitalist universe, but New York still managed to rally hundreds of revolutionaries, students and the plain curious for its first anarchist book fair last weekend.

Although the prospect of barricades on Broadway and violent revolution appear remote, the anarchist movement appears to be attracting a broad spectrum of countercultural followers disillusioned with the state of U.S. politics.

With titles on offer ranging from “Organic Market Gardening” and “Crimethink for Beginners” to the enigmatic “Bicycling Science” and “Animal Rights and Pornography,” Saturday’s book fair reflected diverse manifestos.

Organizers said they were happy to welcome the “anarcho-curious” as well as veteran radicals to the Greenwich Village event in downtown Manhattan.

“New York has not had any type of organized anarchist group or collective citywide group specifically for the purpose of promoting anarchism for a long time,” said James Nova, from the New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists.

“But there are tens of thousands, at least, of anarchists in this area and a lot of them are active in some type of collective,” he said. His own group counts between 60 and 100 members.

Pins, posters and pamphlets at the fair had as much of an anti-war, alternative and environmentalist message as promoting the imminent collapse of the world order.

Part of the aim of being at the fair was to help bring together like-minded groups, to reach out to those unaware of anarchism, and to educate people about anarchist history and philosophy, Mr. Nova said.

“We need to get people to work together and build a movement if we’re ever going to achieve the ultimate goal of social revolution, of defeating capitalism,” he said.

The assumption that organized anarchism is a contradiction in terms was a misunderstanding, Mr. Nova said.

“Everyone has bought into the idea that anarchism and anarchy is chaos instead of order,” he said. “But it isn’t. It is order. … And that’s one of the things we’re trying to correct.”

Book fair organizers said that with a turnout of more than 1,000 people on Saturday, the event could become an annual fixture.

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