Who Hates Revolution Books?

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


We received the following from the staff of Revolution Books in New York City.


On New Year's Eve, as demonstrators against police murder were gathering in Union Square, a man entered Revolution Books, ripped the "Danger, Police in Area" poster out of our front window, tried to tear it in half, then ran off. An hour later, someone dumped our outdoor book table into the gutter.

Revolution Books window.Revolution Books' front window. The image was created in 1999 by the nationally known artist Dread Scott.

Next, the store began receiving threatening phone calls and emails with messages like: "Hope you go out of business. Better yet? When your business or your home is robbed, I truly hope the officers of the 13th Precinct take their sweet time responding, if at all." Since then, there have been phony "reviews" of RB posted on Yelp: "You people should be ashamed of yourselves, Disgusting ... the images of police. When ur stupid store gets robbed at gunpoint don't call 911" and "RATS! RATS! RATS! This place is horrible. While there, the owner was shouting all kinds of racial slurs to a customer. Then I saw a huge rat running around inside the store..."

Some of these people have NYPD emblems on their Facebook pages and some of the callers actually identify themselves as cops. At one of these sites, cops, ex-cops, and wannabe cops let their racism, reaction and violent mentality all hang out. This is one of the places where a picture of the Revolution Books front window was posted, eliciting comments like: "If I'm in the neighborhood I'm gonna throw a rock," "If someone smashes the window steals the sign, who they gonna call?" and "Where are the phucking drone strikes when you need one the most."

These threats are continuing and Revolution Books takes them seriously. In a time when the country has been convulsed by righteous outrage against abuse and outright murder by the police of unarmed people, usually young Black or Latino men, police organizations, right-wing talk show hosts and the tabloids are retaliating with their furious "pro-police" campaign. This is the dangerous context in which Revolution Books is being targeted.

Poet Saul Williams at Revolution Books on December 5, 2014.

Poet Saul Williams at Revolution Books on December 5, 2014.

Our bookstore has opened its door to forums in support of the movement to halt police violence; this is the place to get posters and Revolution newspaper, and in early December, we hosted a stunning evening of music, poetry and art called "Ferguson Is Everywhere!" featuring major poets, performers and visual artists.

Revolution Books is not going to back off one inch in support of the movement to end police murder and brutality.

Dread Scott's powerful art work remains in our window.

We call on all the friends of Revolution Books, our neighbors, and everyone who is outraged by the epidemic of police murder and brutality to support the bookstore in standing up against these attacks.

Spread the word, tweet, tell friends, come hang out at the bookstore.
Respond to their garbage posted on Yelp.
Send us a short statement in support of Revolution Books (revbooksnyc@yahoo.com)
Shop at Revolution Books.
Post a good review of Revolution Books on Yelp.
Become a sustainer or send your contribution to Revolution Books.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Revolution Books needs your support.
Contribute now, when it really counts!

Revolution Books / Libros RevoluciĆ³n
revbooksnyc@yahoo.com | www.revolutionbooksnyc.org
146 W. 26th Street, between 6th and 7th Ave.
New York, NY 10001

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