I love bookstores. On more than one occasion I have said, by way of introduction, “My name is devorah and I am a bookaholic.” I love independent bookstores that have core values and intriguing book offerings. Bookstores, independent bookstores are a bastion of free speech, free thinking. That is why I found myself outraged at the recent attacks on Revolution Books. This was direct result of Milo Yiannopoulos’ efforts to have a week of Alt-Right speeches and actions on the UN Berkeley campus.
At the end of September in two separate attacks on Sunday and Monday, September 24th and 25th, about forty MAGA supporters, in this case all white men desperate in their attempts to eliminate intelligent discourse and thoughtful strategies which make the world a better place for all of us stormed Revolution Books. While proclaiming fears of “white genocide, ” and wrapping themselves the Milo-provided false sheepskin of being purveyors of free speech, they went to Revolution Books on Telegraph in Berkeley threatening to not only shut it down but to rape and kill bookstore staff. As Reiko Redmonde, manager of Revolution Books, said,
“With fascist thugs stepping up their assaults on the street from Charlottesville to right at our doors, all given backing and encouragement by the fascist Trump/Pence Regime now in the White House who are themselves terrorizing Muslims, immigrants, the people of North Korea and more, the mission of Revolution Books is more important than ever.”
Little note was taken of this assault in the mainstream press. The press was talking about UC Berkeley and why this movement needed to be welcomed on the campus because all ideas deserve air and light. Just as one cannot yell fire in a crowded theater it seems to me that one cannot simply advocate for violence and hate and be welcomed. It is important that we know about it and push back.
Revolution Books is a bookstore committed to presenting a wide range of literature and diverse body of authors who in political theory, economic analysis, history, poetry, fiction and children’s book conceive of pathways to a better world. They were able to fend off these attacks but others will come. And this bookstore is not the only one which will come under attack if we don’t stand up and say no to fascist attacks now.
On Saturday, October 14 – 7-9PM they are having a benefit for the store at 2444 DURANT AVE. (@ Telegraph Ave.) Berkeley CA. Authors will be reading and speaking and there will be more details about the struggle. For some film clips of one of the invasions visit their site. But better than that visit the store or support them in these other ways-
Revolution Book is calling on you to:
**Come into the store, hang out, study, browse, buy books, or volunteer in the store.
**Mention RB on social media like twitter. Like & review RB on Facebook (we are getting spammed by alt-right reviews) or review Revolution Books on Yelp
**Recommend books, help plan events, and bring revolutionary literature to the people
**Contribute to Revolution Books or become a sustainer at revolutionbooks.org.
**Email statements of support to: email@example.com
It is not enough to value free speech. We all need to find and create ways to keep open pathways to free speech and lift alternatives to mass media which provide different ideas and possibilities. Support Revolution Books, they support you.