The Midwest Peace and Liberty Fest: A Liberating Experience, Part 2
By: Shane Radliff
August 31st, 2016
Here in the Communist State of Illinois, I am completely isolated from other anarchists/voluntaryists. My neighbors want me violently extorted from by way of the mechanism known as taxation, hoodlums think it’s okay to steal shit from my car, and most even think that police extortionists (“bluecoats”) are here to “keep us safe.”
On top of that, I am surrounded by a bunch of Millennials who proclaim socialism as the savior of mankind, even though it has been disproven in theory and in practice.
Fascistbook helps, but my everyday experiences paint a quite disconcerting picture for the future…
That is, until the Midwest Peace and Liberty Fest (MPLF)…
I attended my first MPLF last year. I didn’t know anyone—I exchanged Facistbook messages with Lou Feen and was informed of the event by Kal Molinet. Nonetheless, I had a great time and was warmly welcomed by all that I met.
This year was completely different. I had corresponded with many folks and had also interviewed some that were attending. That, and Danny is a co-host on Liberty Under Attack Radio.
Surprisingly, LUA Radio is much more well-known than it was a year ago. I had a number of people ask about the progress and some that didn’t know my name, but knew I hosted the show. I even got to meet one of our regular listeners, Dave; it was a pleasure to put a face to the name in the FPRN Radio chat. What a delightful guy.
One of the most enjoyable moments happened on Friday night when I got a chance to speak with the anarchist lawyer, Randy England. As someone who has archived court documents for various political prisoners for over a year, it was great to get his perspective on their cases, as well as my efforts in providing judicial transparency.
I also enjoyed a number of the presentations given this year, one of them being by the aforementioned anarchist lawyer, Randy, and his colleague Geoff Prechsot.
It was also incredible to meet and hear Prof CJ’s presentation titled Radical Abolitionism and its Connections to Anarchy. Talk about a ton of great information for the present, provided from a historical perspective.
I was delighted to hear a use of force issue discussed by James Weeks and Jeff Wood—we have our disagreements philosophically on the consistency of “anarchist politicians,” but I give them major props for having the kahunas to discuss such a divisive subject as Freedom Grows Where Cops Get Planted. For that, they have my respect, despite our differences.
One of the most compelling presentations I saw was on the subject of psychedelics. I won’t disclose the names of the panel for reasons of security culture, and I will also only say this for the same reason: I can personally understand why they are so passionate about this subject in regards to its promise for personal and mental development.
I also took the initiative in giving a talk on The Freedom Umbrella of Direct Action. It went quite well in my opinion; I got some stuff sold and had a great conversation with a couple from the area who just found out about the MPLF the week before. They were deeply interested in what I had to say and it was quite humbling to say the least.
On a lighter note, Sunday evening was probably the most hilarious one yet; it was almost a “You had to be there moment,” but I think it can still be appreciated by those that didn’t attend. Joe Allen had the entire bonfire rolling with some of his quotable moments which include, but are not limited to:
- “Fat people are a fire hazard.”
- “Fat people don’t melt steel beams.”
- “Don’t quote me on that thing I didn’t say.”
Looking back at those with no contextual basis, I can understand how they wouldn’t mean much if you weren’t there, but I can promise you, it was an entertaining dialogue.
As anarchists, we are often isolated from those who are like-minded. Days can get tough and the escape is often through Fascistbook and various podcasts. There is a lot of talk about AnCapistan, LibPar, or whatever future society, but there is one major difference between those and the MPLF: the MPLF is the practice of such a future society—no theory, just action.
No one died, no one was hurt, nothing was stolen, and no property was destroyed (unless you count tents being flooded by rain). Like-minded individuals simply enjoyed each other’s company, philosophized if the mood struck, and gave presentations on what was important to them.
The positive feeling that comes from the MPLF is something that lasts the entire year. I can safely say that there is hope for liberty in our lifetime.
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