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The Downtown LA Anarchist Cafe (Was A Bust!)

by Anonymous Wednesday, Mar. 03, 2010 at 5:46 PM

The Downtown LA Anarchist Cafe (Was A Bust!)

Where is the horse and the rider?
Where is the horn that was blowing?
It has passed like rain on the mountain,
Like wind in the meadow.
The days have gone in the west,
Behind the hills,
Into shadow...
How did it come to this?

-Theoden of the Rohirim

To be honest, I didn't want to write this. I was hoping someone else would step up and tell it like it is. But I don't think that's gonna happen. I even thought about blocking the event out of my head - maybe we'd all forget about it, forget it ever happened. But I can't do that, I have to get this off my chest - set the record straight.

Here we go:

This past Sunday, February 28th 2010, there was an Anarchist Cafe hosted at the Smell in Downtown LA. The event was scheduled to be admission, from 1 to 8 PM with workshops, activites, vendors, poetry, and music. I believe the event was organized primarily by one person, Anarcho Paparazzi.

I arrived early during the first scheduled activity - the Hatha Yoga Class. Without a mat and uninterested in Yoga, I wandered about checking out all the vendors. PM Press was there, Revolutionary Autonomous Communities, Mass Media Distro, Arte de la Tierra, Action for Animals, Scorpion Collective, Ediciones Bizarras, Vegancitas and the vegan catering service Vegan Goodies were all present. As I browsed the vendors, I noticed some were tabling in almost complete darkness. The majority of the vendors, though having access to light, were only dimly lit.

Unable to find anything to do and without an area to congregate because of the unusual small spacing of the Smell, I wandered around until I ran into some friends. We caught up and traded stories, strategies and news about the war in progress as time flew by without any announcements of activities or workshops starting or ending. Due to the awkward arrangement of the venue and no communal interactive discussions or activities, most people tended to stick to their own friends or acquaintances.

To be frank, the event continued on in this manner until about 5 PM, when I decided to leave.

After the Hatha Yoga Class there was ANOTHER Yoga Class, this time a Prenatal Kundalini one. I did not attend, I wasn't interested. Then after that there was an hour long Vegan Nutrition Class followed by a speaker on Vegan Bodybuilding and Exercise. I didn't attend either, because I wasn't interested in either. I came to the event to find other LA anarchists, see old friends, and discuss topics pertaining to anarchism (which is broad and can relate to many issues), not pertaining necessarily to health or dietary choices. Then there was an Anarchist Dating Game (did not attend) and then a study group and meeting, leading to perhaps the only slightly interesting discussion of the event, led by Anarcha-LA on planning an action around the March 20th 7th year anniversary of the War in Iraq. While I was still present in the area as this was going on, I was already on my way out saying goodbye to friends and getting ready to take off.

After I left the Guerrilla Queenz played, then there was a round of poetry, then Subsistencia played, another round of poetry, then In Lak Ech, another round of poetry, Aztlan Underground, and then one last round of poems.


Okay....I tried to keep that as objective as possible without throwing in any overt personal biases but that was HELLA hard and I know they still crept in. I also completely acknowledge this isn't a good report given that I didn't attend ANY of the scheduled workshops and activities. Trust me, it would be way more descriptive if I did.

Anyway, shit, where to start?
I want my back. The Anarchist Cafe's I used to go to at Windchime House were fucking dope and FREE, even though, yeah I'll admit it -  they ended up a little subcultural because of the attendees but shit man at least they were NON-vegan POTLUCKS and had FREE FOOD. Everything here was for sale the moment you walked in and paid your billz.

The only thing enjoyable about this event was catching up with old friends, hanging out with them during and after the event and...that's about it. Fuck, only ONE 30 minute discussion on anarchist feminism and I don't think that even happened. I think they ended up just having the meeting to plan the March 20th action.

I really hope the PM Press guy made some dough that night during the show because it DID NOT look good when I walked by during the day. The fool came all the way out from Oakland to table. At least he got a spot near the light, some other vendors weren't so lucky. Homies looking all sad in the dark, no one touching their shirts or books for sale. That shit was depressing.

Also, what's with all the vegan and yoga workshops? And the anarchist dating game? Seriously, I almost wasn't going to go when I found out about that but I was sadly optimistic. Reminds me of what someone said I think about anarchist events in the Pacific Northwest(?) "VEGAN BIKE BIKE VEGAN VEGAN". How subcultural can we get? How 'bout we have some discussions about why there's NO anarchist movement in the Los Angeles Area and why friends stop being friends because they aren't VEGAN like he or she is? I'm glad this site exists cause people need to get their shit called out on. FUCK. At least there's the bookfairs, that shit's dope and at least folks from Windchime House are still putting on monthly anarchist events where they live. I guess that's "some" movement. I haven't been to their new events yet, but I'mma check out the Sierra Madre Anarchist Picnic on March 13th. Fuck the SF Bookfair. (Also proud of the UC Irvine kids throwing down last week. Dopeee)

Anyway, I'm getting way off track. The Downtown LA Anarchist Cafe = anarchist (as in vegan, trendy, hipster) identity for SALE. Epic Fail.

Please post this LA Anarchist Weekly,

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