Solidarity Statement with Red Ink Community Library on Red Books Day 2022
by 1804 Books·
Last Monday, on February 21, 2022, our friends at Red Ink Community Library in Providence, Rhode Island were attacked by fascists while they were celebrating Red Books Day.
That evening, while the community space was holding an collective reading of the Communist Manifesto, a group of Neo-Nazis surrounded the building, banging on the walls and blocking the entrance. As the reading continued, the attackers shouted anti-communist slurs, tried to provoke a fight, and even assaulted an event host. The message and intention of harm was clear.
Commemorated on the publication day of the Communist Manifesto, Red Books Day emerged as a global response to increasingly violent attacks against leftist writers and bookstores in India. It is a demonstration of solidarity with these essential voices, and the irony of such an attack happening in the United States–on a day intended to be a show of unity against fascist violence–is not lost on us.
As Red Ink seeks to build up community protection against this violence, we point to how this incident underscores the importance of actions such as Red Books Day. The necessity of revolutionary spaces denouncing and organizing against the dangers of promoting radical and rational thought only becomes more apparent. This year, we organized events all across the United States from book distributions, study groups, and collective readings, to screenings and art exhibitions–all in the service of demonstrating the admiration we have for and the inspiration we draw from leftist texts. Incidents such as the one on Monday only reinforce our belief in the work we are doing to change our political culture.
We are bookstores, publishers, and community spaces across North America dedicated to protecting, sharing, and uplifting liberatory literature, and we stand in solidarity with Red Ink and with all those who face the brutal repression of right-wing repressive forces across the world.
1804 Books (New York, NY)
ALL POWER BOOKS (Los Angeles, LA)
Boneshaker Books (Minneapolis, MN)
DuBois-Robeson People’s Center (Philadelphia, PA)
Firestorm Books & Coffee (Asheville, NC)
General Baker Institute (Detroit, MI)
Little Read Books (Denver, CO)
May Day Space (Brooklyn, NY)
Mayday Books (Minneapolis, MN)
Midnight Books (Whittier, CA)
Nox Library (Detroit, MI)
Revolutionary Grounds Books and Coffee (Tucson, AZ)
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria (New York, NY)
If you'd like to add you and your bookstore/community space to the signatures, please email firstname.lastname@example.org