I was very excited to return Acapulco for another anarchist conference. This year I had the family with me. We left Paraguay, thankful to get out after our illegal entrance, and flew to Acapulco, which was an all day affair that was completely exhausting.
I realize, upon looking back over my archives, that I began an article about Anarchapulco 2016 and never published it. I will do that soon, as a follow up to this article. Last year’s conference was life changing for me, giving me major initiative and inspiration for starting Permagora and finishing Portlyn. Now, a year later, I am more or less on schedule for all the plans that I so eagerly started making after getting lit up by last year’s conference.
Anarchapulco was held at a new hotel this year, which looked mighty fancy from the road, but which turned out to be a step down from last year’s venue, in my opinion. Mainly, it was about location. 2016’s conference was at the Grand Hotel Acapulco, on the strip, close to downtown. It was right on the beach, and was walking distance from tons of shops, restaurants, and attractions. Mundo Imperial, this year’s venue, was totally isolated, with major roads around us and no easy walking. There was a shuttle to get to the beach, but it was not the same as being right on the beach. Plus, the food at the restaurants and buffets at the hotel were doubly and triply (varyingly) expensive compared to last year, which really burned us, with five mouths to feed.
But that’s all for complaints. Other than the venue, this year’s event was totally awesome. I loved reconnecting with numerous people I met last year, and I also met some new folks, some of whom I had been in touch with online but had never met in person. The most powerful thing about an event like Anarchapulco is the connections that you make when you attend. Great people from all over the world, all coming together to strategize about how to end the dominance of forceful institutions and envision a free society. We don’t all agree about everything, but there’s a strong consensus about the non aggression principle and the illegitimacy of government.
This year’s line up was great. The first keynote speakers was G. Edward Griffin, author of The Creature From Jekyll Island, one of the first exposés on the Federal Reserve, among many other books. His speech was excellent, and it was great to learn that he is working on a monumental project called the Freedom Force International. I met Mr. Griffin later, and he was very amiable and down to earth, a true gentleman.
Another speaker whom I was delighted to get to hear was Foster Gamble, creator of the Thrive documentary and Thrive movement. He too is working on a world-changing project, an offshoot of the Thrive movement, bringing together great minds to help release hidden technologies in medicine and energy. This is very brave work, given the number of people who have been threatened and even killed in these fields, just for succeeding in creating technology that would set people free. I also had a good conversation with Foster, which I enjoyed very much. He was approachable and polite, and he told me all about his latest project, which is based out of somewhere here in Mexico.
Other great speakers whom I already knew and was looking forward to seeing were Larken Rose, Adam Kokesh, Luke Rudkowski, Roger Ver, and Dayna Martin, Vit Jedlicka, Max Igan, Dan Dicks, Derrick Broze, and Sterlin Luxan. I was also pleased to be introduced to some other leaders of our movement, such as Ian Freeman, Vin Armani, Julia Tourianski, Carlos Morales, Lyn Ulbricht, and Bob Podolsky. There were many more speakers whom I don’t have room to name, and sadly, I didn’t get to see them all. It’s hard at such a conference, because you want to hear all the speakers, but you also want to go around and mingle.
We made a few new friends this year just because of the girls. There were quite a few other families, and thanks to Lisa Freeman, one of the organizers, there was a really awesome kids’ space for the kids to hang out during the conference. Toys, games, and art supplies, all supplied and run by Lisa, who was with child and only days away from her due date. We can’t thank her enough for holding that space that allowed a bunch of our kids to become friends.
Through Eva and Gaia’s friends, we made good friends with several other parents, who were all glad that their kids had someone to hang out with. We made some long term friends, I’m sure, with at least three other families, and our kids were inseparable. We loved that they could just run around together and do their own thing. Not as much as they loved it, though. Kids long to be free, and we owe it to them to create a space in the world where they can be, safely.
It was very exciting for me to finally get to see copies of my book Portlyn, which I had shipped to Acapulco so I could sell them at the event. It turned out pretty nice, though I need to make a few small changes before the next print run. I sold all but four of my copies, and I gave away the rest to people whom I really wanted to read the book.
At the end of the first day of the event, Anarchapulco hosts a show featuring anarchist/revolutionary musicians. I was delighted to get to see another performance by Alais Clay and Kurt David Robinson, both of whom were at last year's event. I also was introduced to a new group, a couple who makes really awesome sounding vocal tracks with an ambient tribal feel to them. Thanks to Nicole Frank and Mike La Vau for bringing something different, something spiritual to the table.
I didn't take nearly as many pictures or videos as I should have during the concert, but that's because I got really into dancing. The girls were all with us, and they got into it too. For me to really want to dance, the music has to call to me. At a concert like this, with all voluntaryist music, I didn't even have to think about it. My soul just rolls to the rhythm.
We actually missed the final performance of the night, Backwordz, because it was getting late and the girls couldn't keep awake. We were glad to have gotten the time we had, though. It was a good night.
Along with the main event, I also participated in the Change Media University workshop with Luke Rudkowski and Dan Dicks, as well as Adam Kokesh’s homesteading workshop. We also signed up for the Free Your Family Camp, where Dayna Martin taught her unschooling and peaceful parenting methods.
This was particularly helpful for us in many ways. It was good to compare our experiences with other parents who are going through a similar process, and Dayna has been parenting this way for 18 years, so her knowledge is deep. She has developed a very strong practice of respect and tolerance with her children, giving them freedoms that any child would love to have, but that few parents can bring themselves to allow.
More on that in future articles. The second day of the workshop took us on a really nice field trip together around Acapulco, to see the cliff divers, the sorcerer’s market, and to set baby turtles loose on the beach. It was fun getting to see downtown Acapulco and hang out with the other families. Adam Kokesh and his former fiance Macey, who hosted us on the Freedom Ranch last June, joined us on the adventure. It was good to see them in peaceful space. At the personal level, there are always dramas.
When the conference first started, there was a bit of a video introduction, recapping all the in-house drama. Adam and Macey's breakup was mentioned, as was Max Igan's tiff with Ken O'Keefe, Barry Cooper's spat with Jeff Berwick. It was surprising to see Larken Rose's relationship with Amanda Rachwitz referenced, but hey, public life is public life. People be knowing yer business.
I digress. The cliff diving was amazing. The guys climbed a steep cliff and dove from as high as 30 meters into water was that ten or twelve feet deep, we were told. The first guy to do a gainer hit the water just a few feet from the rocks.
The girls enjoyed having some new friends. During this year's Anarchapulco, Lila made her first good friend her age, Rose. Gaia and Eva both became friends with Rose's sister Emelia and another girl named Lana. They also played with Meta and Axiom, Lisa and Nathan Freeman's children. We met many really cool families, and we exchanged information. All of the parents I met were so thankful that there were other families at the conference, which is not, in large part, a family event. Each year it becomes more so, and I look forward to further evolution of the movement.
Overall, we didn’t spend much time on the beach on this trip, mainly because it wasn’t accessible, but also because when we did go, we couldn’t believe how many vendors were walking amongst the shade pavilions hawking their wares. I’m used to this going on, but what we experienced that day was beyond acceptable. Literally, one or two people per minute would walk right up into our space and hold their wares out. Many of them refused to take no for an answer, thus we found ourselves saying “no gracias” four or five times a minute. How can anyone relax on the beach amidst such a bombardment?
But the girls were kind of over the beach, anyway. They enjoyed playing at the pool with their friends, and they often just ran around the hotel grounds on their own, having all sorts of adventures. That day on the beach was only fun for Eva, who got to go jet skiing on the ocean, like she had been wanting to for this entire saga of travel. She had been looking forward to that as if it were to be the highlight. So out we went. The surf was big (8 footers, some of them) and a pair of guys went out ahead of us, after refusing to have a guide pilot them out. The first guy went for it between two big waves, breaking through the curl right as it went vertical. He popped out on the other end and had a few seconds of hang time before he hit the water again. The guy behind him wasn't so lucky. He crashed through the foam of the last wave and gunned it, but he went in a split second later into the wave, and instead of breaking through the top, he went straight up. From all around me where I watched from the beach, I heard oohs and ahs. It was quite a sight. The jet ski flew ten or twelve feet off the water, the guy bailing as it peaked. They crashed back into the waves and were hit with one more before he got back on and blasted out past the break.
For this reason, I was happy to let the guide take Eva and me out. We had a nice ride, going way out, and then over to some cliffs where the rocks were sending massive splashes of spray. Jet skiing is more fun, I think, on a lake, especially one with slot canyons. A bit choppy at high speed out on those big waves.
On the final night of the official conference we went out to a big party being hosted by a couple named Mike and Candice out at their fancy house with a pool overlooking the city. It was a really fun night. I got to talk with so many cool people, many of whom I already knew, many were people I met that night.
At one point a lady all dressed up in fancy show dance clothes got up by the bar next to the pool and started dancing. Laura and Kelsey, another Anarchapulco regular whom I met last year, and who Laura had been getting to know, were invited up to join her. Laura and Kelsey did their best to keep up with the moves the lady was doing, and they actually did a really good job. It was such fun, and Laura loved it. She's a great dancer, but she does not normally get up in front of people in such a way.
The kids enjoyed the party too, though they got tired and wanted to go home sooner than we did. Lila didn't make it much more than an hour or two, and then she was out on the couch. There were lots of people at this party, and it was not a quiet event, but she slept like a log, right through it all. Too funny.
I love Anarchapulco. It isn’t, perhaps, the kind of conference that everyone would enjoy, but for those who are a part of the liberty movement or the alternative media it’s like a mecca of like-minded folks, movers and shakers, and dreamers of a brighter world.
I was really glad that Laura enjoyed herself, meeting many people with whom she connected. The girls probably enjoyed the conference more than any of our other travels thus far this year, simply because there were kids. So thanks Anarchapulco for another great conference, and to Jeff, Nathan, Lisa, and so many others who work hard to make it possible. Looking forward to next year’s event!