Hartford, the state capital of Connecticut was the other city I did from my stay in New Jersey. It was a couple of hours drive up the highway on a cold but sunny spring day. We made the mistake of skipping breakfast before we left New Jersey thinking we'd easily sport somewhere to stop off on the highway but while we passed plenty of places before we started looking as soon as we did start looking there were none to be seen. Eventually we just took a turn off and ended up eating in some burger place.
It would be hard to imagine a tour of the US that didn't include New York City and my visit there was fourth time I'd been in that city in about 8 years. I spent a few days in New York City, which is when I did both the public and private talks, before heading off south to Virginia. And then I spent a couple more days there a couple of weeks later to break the long Greyhound trip from Richmond, Virginia to Syracuse, upstate New York.
My starting point for the 'Building a Popular Anarchism' tour is Boston, I stayed with some of the Boston NEFAC members who have organised the tour for the five or so cities around Boston before heading to New York. As an Irish anarchist arriving in Boston I'm pretty soon drawn into discussion of the history of Irish American racism in the city.
On Wednesday 27 February I headed west from Boston to the Connecticut river valley and the town of Amherst. Just over twenty people attended the meeting in this small town in Food for Thought Books.
By the time we drove up to Portland, Maine for the meeting there it was apparent that the speaking tour was going to be extended beyond the North East. In the original blog for this meeting I noted that "It may well be possible to extend it well beyond the North east." In fact months later I would speak in Portland, Oregan on the west coast, i don't think at the time I was even aware two Portland's existed.
The Boston meeting (the 10th in North America) was in Encuentro 5 in Chinatown on Saturday. The perennial problems of Saturday night meetings emerged, another event on at the same time so the audience was smaller than what the organizers hoped for (I think just over 30 people). A good number of these were part of the North Eastern Anarchist Network.
The Providence, Rhode island talk was held in the D.A.R.E. community centre ( http://www.daretowin.org ) and attended by just under 30 people. Providence is something of a college town and home to Brown, one of the Ivy League universities.
Last night saw the first meeting of the USA section of the speaking tour. It was in the town of Worcester which with a population around 175,000 is the second biggest town in New England, just over an hours drive from Boston.