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Alexander Berkman Social Club: Anarchism and Sexuality

By AK Press | August 14, 2008

Out of the dusty, desolate, dreary, dark depths of the Bay Area comes a ray of hope, a new ambition, a harbinger of good things: it is the Alexander Berkman Social Club!

The ABSC is a group of anarchists who want to talk about what anarchism is, how anarchists see things, and what anarchy could look like. Named after the editor of San Francisco’s mighty The Blast, they hold continual monthly meetings that are open to all.

Their second event, like the first, was a tremendous success. Held in commodious chambers on a third floor of San Francisco’s 522 Valencia Street, it featured a broad ranging discussion of anarchism and sexuality. Esteemed anarcho-archivist Jessica Moran began the discussion with a fascinating introduction to anarchism and free love in the United States in the late nineteenth century; AK author, Terence Kissack spoke about his excellent new book, Free Comrades: Anarchism and Sexuality in the United States, 1895-1917; and long-time Sanfranarchist, Joey Cain, brought the evening to a close with a thrilling presentation on Edward Carpenter, who was arguably the great grandfather of the modern gay rights movement. There were also delicious snacks and the (now world-famous) ASBC raffle!!

To keep informed about future meetings and see more photos, go to the Alexander Berkman Social Club website. You can also download audio recordings of the first two events at this website.

The next event will occur on Thursday, August 28 and will focus on prisons and prisoners. It will feature Barry Pateman, who will speak about the early days of the Anarchist Black Cross; Isaac Ontiveros from Critical Resistance, who will speak on prison abolition; and music by the ABSC house band, featuring Devin Hoff.

Jessica Moran, speaking on anarchism and free love in the US.

Terrance Kissack talking about his book, Free Comrades.

Joey Cain enlightening us about Edward Carpenter and, in fact, using his foot to make a point!

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