In 2008, queer anarchists gathered in Chicago to plot a disruption of the electoral spectacle and cohere a network out of emergent youth crews in multiple cities. Fifteen years later, the proposals put forward then — criminality, autonomous self-defense, riots, and orgies — are needed more than ever.

The intervening years have been marked by intensification — of crisis, alienation, loss, and struggle. The right wing no longer hides behind euphemisms: they want to exterminate trans and queer people. The left offers only false solutions: vote, donate, assimilate. A decade of representation, symbolic legal victories, social media activism, and mass-market saturation has left us worse off by all metrics. Our fairweather friends won’t save us from the consequences of their strategy of empty visibility. The inescapable conclusion is that we must come together to protect ourselves.

History confirms the queer legacy of building connection in a world that hates us, the legacy of riotous joy—the legacy of bashing back. The attacks will continue on our nightclubs, forests, story hours, and siblings. To hold on, we need spacesunderground if necessaryto re-encounter each other, spaces to remember, build, share, and conspire.

In this spirit, we are ecstatic to announce the return of the Bash Back convergence!

Fifteen years from the original gathering, Chicago will host the 2023 convergence September 8–11. Comrades, old and new, are invited to discuss what’s still vital in the past and what’s needed in the present. In keeping with tradition, the convergence will include presentations, workshops, distros, parties, and other opportunities to make trouble. 

BB 23 FAQs 

Question: Is this still happening?
Answer: Yes! The Bash Back Convergence will occur in Chicago from September 8-11. Venue are confirmed, dozens of workshops are proposed, 30+ vendors are interested in tabling, and we are currently working on developing the programming schedule.
Question: What should I expect?
Answer: Workshops, a book fair, a dance party, a punk show, a game night, a beach cookout, daytime activities for children, a memorial for fallen trans/queer comrades, and plenty of debauchery in between.
Question: What COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place?
Answer: We’re asking people to wear masks for indoor events at the Convergence. Masks, hand sanitizer, and various other harm-reduction supplies and materials will be available. Please note that we will not be streaming any portion of the Convergence.
Question: Is this event going to be accessible?
Answer: The venues are physically accessible. Air conditioning and chairs will be available. Due to the likely crowded nature of the event, we ask you to be mindful of holding space for people using wheelchairs and other mobility devices. We also ask to not wear strong scents (i.e., perfume or cologne) to help keep the event low scent. The main venue will feature a sensory room and we are currently working to secure ASL interpretation. 
If you have any accessibility questions or want to help by offering additional ASL interpretation, please contact [email protected].
Answer: The Convergence will take place in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. The exact location will be provided to those who preregister for the event. More information about preregistration is coming. The venue is accessible by public transportation. There is no on-site parking, but there is free street parking and an hourly private surface lot available nearby.
Question: Will there be childcare?
Answer: Yes, childcare will be provided. If you need childcare, please email us at [email protected] so we can plan accordingly.
Question: How can I contribute?
Answer: Donations are gladly accepted and can be made through:
You can give us a monetary donation through our Fundrazr:
You can also support us by buying a t-shirt or contributing to our Bonfire fundraiser here:
Additionally, if you can contribute supplies (i.e., harm reduction supplies; food; ASL interpretation; free printing, any other ideas), please get in touch with us.
We will install a permanent memorial dedicated to comrades who have passed in the years since the previous Bash Back! convergences. Names featured on the memorial are Duanna, Ravin, Quincy, Rizza, Feral, Simon, Leijia, Tortuguita, and Velvet. If you know any of them and would like to submit some words about them, please email [email protected]
Saturday, September 9, there will be a shrine and memorial service for the fallen. Please bring any pictures, objects, flowers, or mementos you’d like included to the Convergence on that day.
For any other questions or concerns, please email us at [email protected].
Stay tuned for an upcoming sneak peek of workshops!