Posts tagged The Gnu’s Room

Save the Gnu’s Room, Save the World

My favorite bookstore in the world, The Gnu’s Room, is on the ropes. Commercial rents near campus are high in Auburn, and until this month it looked like the bookstore would have to close in July. But there is a real chance to save the store now, and to help it not only continue as a used bookstore and event space, but also to expand into a new arts space (in the emerging Arts District in downtown Opelika). A donor has come forward with a new, low-rent location, so Gnu’s Room is trying to raise some money between now and June 15 which would allow them to cover the fixed costs of the move, and so to keep the bookstore in operation. Here’s more from the Kickstarter campaign page:

The Gnu’s Room: a non-profit bookstore and community art space has been the cornerstone of our independent arts community in Auburn, AL.

Due to the difficulties of high urban rent and waning financial support, The Gnu’s Room is struggling to make ends meet and fulfill its mission of promoting literacy and the arts in Southeast Alabama. Our community is heavily marginalized in the predominant culture of today… and those who love books, independent films, and local music have got to come together and show their support!

We are trying to raise the seed money to move The Gnu’s Room into a huge, low-cost warehouse space in the new Arts District of Opelika (supported by the Alabama Arts Council, The Railyard independent venue, and the future Cotton Seed Studios)

But we need help to make this move possible!

Pledges of varying amounts can earn you rewards like free books, tickets to our benefit concert, local artwork, and genuine ivory scrimshaw bookmarks…. Plus the added reward of keeping our artistic community strong and well…

Don’t let our favorite meeting place for all things artistic, inspirational, and happily weird disappear! The Gnu’s Room plays a vital role in serving the area with rare volumes of nearly-forgotten wisdom and creating more arts through their publishing house, Solomon & George Publishers. We want to use the freedom of the Opelika Arts District space to expand community services to include e-publication archiving of these rare works, i.e. the Gnu Library, in-house printing services, art galleries, and a scrap exchange program for resident artists. . . . The biggest challenge facing our organization is pursuing often non-existent arts funding in our state and region. We hope to overcome that difficulty by providing useful services in a retail format. For example: We re-sell donated books in our bookstore. The Scrap Exchange will sort and recycle materials to bring low cost arts-and-crafts, packaging, and garden supplies to our proactive community members. . . . The new location will create not just more opportunities for our mission, but continue our ability to provide a common meeting place for the forum of artistic and creative solutions.

— Kickstarter: Save the Gnu’s Room!

The campaign has until June 15, 2013 to reach their fundraising goal. As of press time, there’s about $2,500 left to go in order to meet it. I just backed the project myself; if you can, please consider backing it with me, and help us save this precious community space, one of the long-time strongest supporters and most open forums for the arts, culture and philosophy in the Auburn-Opelika community.[1]

Also.

  1. [1] The Gnu’s Room has been very supportive of local authors, and among other things they have been very kind and helpful to us for Markets Not Capitalism, which they generously hosted the world’s first book-talk / reading for, back in November 2011, and which they continue to sell on their shelves.

Markets Not Capitalism on tour!

So I’ve mentioned already that I did a book event a while back with Roderick back in Auburn, and that I am going to be in Austin, Texas this weekend to do a couple more book events for Markets Not Capitalism. What I’ve been working on, behind the scenes, but haven’t announced publicly yet is that these are just the first two legs in a seat-of-the-pants sort of book tour that I’ve been working to put together over the next few months. In addition to the events this weekend in Austin, there are also confirmed events in late February in and around Nashua, New Hampshire, and in mid-March in Asheville, North Carolina. As with all these events, I’ll be doing a brief talk, a reading, Q&A and book-signing. (In New Hampshire I’ll also be holding down tables at Liberty Forum and AltExpo with a wide selection of left-libertarian and market anarchist literature.)

Editor and contributor Charles Johnson will be here for a discussion of his new book, Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty (Autonomedia, Nov. 2011).

Individualist anarchists believe in mutual exchange, not economic privilege. They believe in freed markets, not capitalism. They defend a distinctive response to the challenges of global capitalism and social justice: eliminate the political privileges that prop up capitalists. The economic crisis needs fresh new responses, which emphasize the ways in which poverty and economic inequality have resulted from collusion between government and big business, which has enriched a few corporate giants at the expense of the rest of us. Rather than turning back to politics, the authors argue that working people must begin to free themselves of the mistakes of the past, and work together to take back control over their own lives and livelihoods through individual freedom, mutual exchange, human-scale markets and nonviolent grassroots social activism. Books for sale, books signed, discussion to be had, Q&A to follow. Come on down!

Charles Johnson (b. 1981) is a market anarchist writer from Auburn, Alabama. He is a member of Occupy Auburn and the Industrial Workers of the World, and a Research Associate at the Molinari Institute. He has published the Rad Geek People’s Daily weblog at radgeek.com since 2001, and is a frequent speaker and columnist on radical responses to the economic crises, stateless social activism, and the philosophy of anarchism.

Here are the dates we’ve got more-or-less confirmed so far:

Interested? I hope I’ll see you somewhere along the road! Come on down to one if you can; invite your friends; spread the word. I’m excited; these events are always a lot of fun, and vital to helping get the word out, and I’d like to do what I can to keep this market anarchist roadshow going as long as can be managed. If you’re interested and able, here’s a couple things that you can do to help keep it running.

  1. Set it up! If you would like to get an event in your neighborhood, and you know a good space to get in touch with, contact me by e-mail or phone! Radical bookstores, infoshops and (A) community centers, and independent community bookstores are usually the best bet, but I’ll show up anywhere I’m invited to talk. I’m especially interested in dates that I might be able to connect with one of the existing appearances — I’m open for any stops along the way from Alabama to New Hampshire during the days before my appearances in Nashua; immediately after the appearance in Nashua, I’m going to be in Chicago, Ill. for other reasons (but if you’re interested in getting an event set up there, I’ll have the time; just let me know!). And I’m happy to add stops to the trip after Asheville in mid-March. (Or anywhere else, after the March 15th appearance.) I’m definitely willing to go just about anywhere east of the Continental Divide; for points West, get in touch with me anyway, as we might be able to hook something up with either me or Gary. Let me know what you think! Hopefully I’ll be adding more details and stops as they come in and get confirmed.

  2. Chip in! If you want to support the progress of the rolling free-market anticapitalist caravan, you can help us out by tossing a few coins into the hat to help cover the costs of transportation and lodging. I’m working on as thin a shoestring as possible, by combining trips, packing a lunch and couch-surfing for crash spaces; with support from y’ALL, I can keep this going a lot longer and make the most of the opportunities to talk about market anarchism and free-market anticapitalism, make connections with local radicals, and put the good word out among our fellow Anarchists.

Here’s the shoestring so far, for reference. (Costs are estimated using AAA’s fuel cost calculator, etc. This budget may be revised as new events are added.) Donations go to the Molinari Institute; any proceeds above reimburseable expenses will go to support left-libertarian scholarship and market anarchist outreach.

Markets Not Capitalism 2012 tour shoestring budget
Cost Description
$290 Austin, Tex. Feb 3-6: Travel expenses. 2 events: Brave New Books and MonkeyWrench Books.
~$0~ Lodging in Austin (crash space secured!)
$210 Nashua, NH. Late Feb. Travel expenses (one way). Multiple events: appearances in and around Liberty Forum and AltExpo 2012, bookstore event(s) TBA.
$50 Lodging en route to Nashua
~$0~ Lodging in Nashua, NH (crash space secured!)
$110 Asheville, NC. March 15. Travel expenses. Firestorm Books in Asheville, NC.
$660 Total costs (estimate as of 3 Feb 2012)

Today Austin, tomorrow the world …

Markets Not Capitalism in the Gnu’s

So I’m happy to say that Markets Not Capitalism is now available for sale on the shelves of my favorite bookstore, The Gnu’s Room, here in Auburn. The Gnu’s Room has also very generously agreed to host a local author reading / discussion / book-signing / market anarchist hootenanny this Wednesday, November 30th. I’ll be there to do a brief talk and a reading; and Roderick Long will be there to do much the same. Books will be sold, books will be signed, discussion to be had, caffeine to be consumed. Come on down! Invite yr friends!

Here’s the schedule:

Markets Not Capitalism Book Talk/Signing

Charles W. Johnson (editor, contributor) & Roderick T. Long (contributor)

Markets Not Capitalism:
Individualist Anarchism Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty

(Eds. Gary Chartier and Charles W. Johnson. Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, November 2011).

Wednesday, 30 November 2011. 7:00pm-8:30pm.
at The Gnu’s Room bookstore/café
414 S. Gay St
Auburn, Alabama 36830

Here’s the event description from The Gnu’s Room:

Co-Editor Charles Johnson and major contributor Roderick Long to the book Markets Not Capitalism (2011) will be at The Gnu’s Room for a discussion of the topics addressed in the book. The economic crisis needs fresh new responses, which emphasize the ways in which poverty and economic inequality have resulted from collusion between government and big business, which has enriched a few corporate giants at the expense of the rest of us. Rather than turning back to politics, the authors argue that working people must begin to free themselves of the mistakes of the past, and work together to take back control over their own lives and livelihoods through individual freedom, mutual exchange, and nonviolent grassroots social activism.