Virginia: Venue of Charlottesville Anarchist Bookfair preemptively visited by police

Cops Visit Random Row a Week Before Charlottesville Bookfair
From Cville Anarchism

(Written by an organizer who heard this from the folks at Random Row. This is the individual organizer’s view only and it is not attached to any organization or establishment)

Don’t worry, nothing horrible… the bookfair’s still on :)

On Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 Random Row Books received a visit from the Charlottesville Police Department inquiring about the nature of the folks who’d be here and if we were gonna have security. Now, as an anarchist who’s had a share of experiences and run-ins with “curious” cops, your fellow organizer figured right away that they’re fishing for excuses to get in the way of the bookfair’s success, which is a way-too-common story for US anarchists.

But it turns out they asked that because they thought “anarchist” meant there were gonna be “militant christians” and “white supremacists” present and they were sent by higher-ups to investigate. So either they genuinely think anarchist is equated with that, or they’re looking for an excuse to stick their fingers on our business, or they’ve done their homework and have caught up on the history of fascists and racists crashing on events and marches held by anarchists (usually with the aid of cops)… I’ll let you guess which one you think is likelier because I honestly can’t guess. We still expect them to be hovering around the event space regardless.

Whatever the case, we’re not in trouble. The bookfair is still happening, and it will be awesome. Your fellow organizer will use this story as a chance to remind everyone that cops are not an anarchist’s friend, nor the friend of anyone who’s lived a life of struggle. Yes, the human behind the badge might be a friend theoretically, but as long as there is someone like the police who’s job it is to stand between those who struggle for dignity and those in power who live off of them, we will have conflict whether we ask for it or not. The bookfair is a chance to learn about the history of such conflicts and to discuss how those conflicts play out today in our communities.

Here’s some resources on cops, please read them:

- Anarchist Survival Guide for Understanding Gestapo Swine Interrogation Mind Games http://zinelibrary.info/anarchist-survival-guide-understanding-gestapo-swine-interrogation-mind-games

- If a Cop Tries to Talk to You http://zinelibrary.info/copwatch-if-cop-tries-talk-you-richmond-virginia

- The Police – a poster from Crimethinc. http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2010/07/09/new-poster-the-police/

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