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Denounce the attack on Revolution Books at the Anarchist Book Fair!
by Bay Area Revolution Club ( bayarearevolutionclub [at] gmail.com )
Saturday Mar 14th, 2009 10:50 PM
Denounce the attack on Revolution Books at the Anarchist Book Fair!
Saturday, 3/14:
Two activists from Revolution Books and the Bay Area Revolution Club showed up at the anarchist book fair today eager to get to know some of the revolutionary-minded and anarchist youth that we have been fighting alongside of recently in protests against the Israeli massacre in Gaza and the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant. Although we were hoping to get into some lofty discussions/debates about the future classless society, free of oppression and exploitation, that we all want to see and the important question of how we are going to get there, our main purpose in coming to the book fair this year was to get the word out about the “People’s Tribunal: The Murder of Oscar Grant & the Epidemic of Police Brutality” happening March 22 in Oakland. We also wanted to mix it up with people about a special issue of Revolution newspaper out right now: “A Declaration: For Women’s Liberation and the Emancipation of All of Humanity.” And we wanted to extend our solidarity to the RNC8 and let people know about the excellent new series in Revolution newspaper about their case: http://revcom.us/a/157/RNC_pt1-en.html

Unfortunately this message was censored by the organizers of the anarchist book fair. First we were told we could set up our books and T-shirts in the courtyard (where other non-official vendors had set up). Then several older men came over to us, kicking our materials and destroying one of our DVDs. The main book fair organizer told us we had to leave the courtyard, but that we could set up on the grass. After we’d been hanging out on the grass for less than an hour, someone came up to our table and poured a large bucket of water all over our books, newspapers and flyers, destroying hundreds of dollars worth of literature. Many anarchists who witnessed this expressed shock and outrage. One young woman said, “It’s no different from book burning.” The two activists from Revolution Books then went inside to talk to the main book fair organizer about what had happened and see if he could help us in any way. Instead he told us we had to leave immediately and that we were asking for it.

People, this is not how political differences should be dealt with among people who hate this system and are trying to fight for real change. We are revolutionary communists and we operate on the principle of unity-struggle-unity, which means we want to unite all who can be united around the urgent political battles of the day, struggle with people over our final goals, and (hopefully) come to a higher level of unity through debate and discussion. When anarchists and others show up at our protests and events, we welcome them. We don’t fear differences among people. The back and forth exchange of ideas is part of how we get a better understanding of the world in order to change it.

Censorship and destruction of revolutionary literature cannot be tolerated. Who wins when shit like this happens? The fucking system! The movement needs higher standards. If shit like this is accepted, what else will we accept? The two activists from Revolution Books circulated the following petition at end of the day today at the book fair. If you would like to add your name, please put it in the comments section.

The statement reads:
"Revolution Books, a communist bookstore in Berkeley, was forced to leave the anarchist book fair and told they could set up outside by the organizers. After setting up their table, someone poured a bucket of water on their books, fliers, and newspapers, destroying hundreds of dollars of literature. We denounce this act and call on the organizers of the anarchist book fair to do the same. This sort of attack is repressive and reactionary and is the complete opposite of the culture of discussion, debate, and dissent that we need in order to create a vibrant, liberated society."

Signed (as of 3/14/09):

1) Josh (Prison Literature Project)
2) Oscar
3) Aaron K.
4) Alex (Diablo Valley College SDS)
5) D. (Las Abejas)
6) Andrew Leonard (CCSF Green Corps)
7) Max Kadji (Prison Literature Project)
8) Dumpster Muffin
9) Armando Resendez
10) Ida
11) Daniel
12) Jose Palofox
13) Allen Andre (Anarcho-surrealist poet)
14) Harun Arsalai
15) Joaquin Flores-Gilberg
16) Eric De Souza
17) D. Boone Ashlock
18) Noah Gresham-Lancaster (Berkeley Copwatch)
19) Bryan Reiss (Diablo Valley College SDS, Contra Costa Radical Action)
20) Mickey Huff (Project Censored)
21) Frances Capell (Project Censored)
22) Elliot Van Patten (Project Censored)
23) Elizabeth Sims
24) Padri V. (IWW, Peace and Freedom)
25) Ryan Saari (Artist, NMG)
26) Fly (Killer Banshee Studios)
27) Kriss De Jong (Killer Banshee Studios)
28) Ayr
29) John Durham
30) Alexander Akin
31) Katrina Banez (Berkeley Copwatch)
32) Laura Z. (Berkeley Copwatch)
33) Kelly
34) Zachary Runningwolf