Berkeley Revolution Books Faces Threats and Attacks

Statements From Writers and Others for Revolution Books, Berkeley



Join those signing this statement:

As fascists once again threaten Revolution Books in Berkeley, while our government expands its war on truth, knowledge, and science...

As fascism here and around the world endangers the lives and futures of millions of people...

We who write to connect humanity and inspire empathy, to provoke critical thought and debate, to record the richness and diversity of human experience and transform it, to bring a better world into being through the beauty and power of language...

We stand unequivocally with Revolution Books against repeated assaults that conjure up a legacy of Nazi book burnings.

We call on everyone with a poetic spirit and hunger for justice to defend this radical and necessary bookstore.

We pledge to resist the horror of a fascist America. Our hearts are with Revolution Books.

Chaitali Sen, author; Sarah Roark, graphic novelist; Moazzam Sheikh, writer and librarian; Anis Shivani, writer; Soniah Kamal, author; Dena Afrasiabi, writer and editor; Rinku Sen, writer; Devi S. Laskar, author; Anita Felicelli, author; Shamala Gallagher, writer; Harriet Harmon; Amin Ahmad, writer; Mehnaaz Momen, writer; Gina Apostol, author; Sharbari Zohra Ahmed, author and screenwriter; Mira Jacob, author; Monique Truong, author; Nekitha X, writer and poet; Jonathan Metzl, author and professor; Nayomi Munaweera, writer; Idee Kwak, composer, author, speaker; Laurie Filipelli, author; Hasanthika Sirisena, writer; Natalia Sylvester, author; David I. Orenstein, professor; Marty Goodman, former board member, Transport Workers Local 100 (NY Transit Workers); Saba Waheed, writer; Frances de Pontes Peebles, author; Purvi Shah, poet; Shikha Malaviya, writer and publisher; Sikivu Hutchinson, author; Abe Louise Young, writer and editor; Steven Felicelli, writer; Anya Groner, writer; José Skinner, author; Gary Pak, writer and cultural worker; Nina McConigley, writer; Jack Kaulfus, writer; Ire’ne Lara Silva, writer; Idra Novey, author; Stacy Elko, artist and writer; Shobha Rao, writer; Shujaat Mirza, poet and art curator; Clare Beams, writer

Immigrant woman activist:

As an immigrant woman activist in the Bay Area, I am in solidarity with Revolution Books. I strongly reject these nationalist supremacist hate groups that are trying to take away this space that represents a space for revolutionary ideas leading to a world without borders, a world where a woman's decisions about her body and her life are respected, where LGBTQ communities have full rights to express themselves and be validated, where the environment can be taken care of and respected—and for this to happen capitalism has to be overthrown. These fascist groups reject these ideas and are taking actions to attack Revolution Books, which is why as a community, we should defend Revolution Books from these attacks and be in solidarity.

Rickey Vincent, KPFA radio host and author of Party Music:

Revolution Books is a Bay Area treasure and an essential source for voices of change in our corrupted new-Fascist society today. Revolution Books deserves to be protected and celebrated now more than ever!

Joyce Carol Oates:

Freedom of expression—freedom of the press—freedom of public libraries & publically accessible bookstores: all are crucial to our American democracy. Everyone who cares about the future of our country should unite to defend these essential freedoms & to protest any threat to these including “marches” against bookstores like Revolution Books in Berkeley by self-styled “patriots.”

Ken Kozick, Sheafe Street Books, Portsmouth, NH:

The staff here at this independent bookstore in Portsmouth, NH want it to be known that we support Revolution Books and all bookstores in the never ending effort to keep all information available to the reading public. Humankind is mirrored by its bookstores. Don’t let the brownshirts get you down!


Gary Bono, for International Publishers

We at International strongly stand in solidarity with you against this assault on the people’s right of free thought and expression. We do this also in remembrance that our founder, Alexander Trachtenberg, years ago went to prison to defend that right against those that wanted to take it away then as you stand against those who want to take it away now.

David I. Orenstein, Professor

Burning books and bookstores is the first act in destroying the exchange of ideas, the free press, freedom of thought and freedom of speech. No one person, group, entity or government should be allowed to take away this fundamental human right.

Dewey Crumpler, muralist, SF:

I want to extend my support for the on going great work of this bookstore and all independent bookstores against the right wing deniers of human liberty. Revolution Books has always stood for freedom through Knowledge and the right of all peoples.

Marisa J. Fuentes, Associate Professor, History and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University—New Brunswick:

I’m writing in support of Revolution Books—Berkeley who faces attacks from fascist groups with a protest this Sunday and assaults in the recent past. This bookstore is a space of freedom, free speech and community building. It serves as one of the few remaining independent bookstores across the country and serves academic and public communities by fostering public education, dialog and revolutionary change. I was honored to give a book talk in the store a few years ago with colleagues, friends and family. It is a vital space to think collectively about radical change against a system structured by inequity, gun violence and white supremacy. I stand in solidarity with Revolution Books against white supremacist attacks and fascist threats. 

Carolyn Greer and Liz Koch, Co-Producers, Brooklyn Book Festival:

To our friends at the Revolution Bookstore,

Bookstores hold the words and ideas of a diversity of minds and concepts. It is imperative in a democracy that book stores should be allowed to freely, curate their stores and sell books of their choice to their patrons. The Brooklyn Book Festival stands in solidarity with Revolution Books—be it in their NYC store or Berkeley one—and indeed for all bookstores—for their right to present authors and make books of their choice available for the public.

P.E. Moskowitz, author of The Case Against Free Speech:

D. L. Lang, Vallejo Poet Laureate:

I 100% fully support Revolution Books in their efforts to make the world a better place for all people, to educate the public at large, and to lift up a variety of voices in the community.

Having recently had the honor of reading there with fellow poets laureate on the topic of social justice, it was a warm, welcoming space with a wide variety of books and passionate speakers who expose the public to new ideas for the sake of progress and gaining true knowledge about the past.

It is a true shame that this bookstore is under attack and has been threatened by those who would seek to destroy fundamental human rights that should be guaranteed to all. By this note, I stand in solidarity with all the brave souls across political lines who are against fascism and hatred.

As Heinrich Heine said, “Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn people.”

Berkeley must do all it can to protect this gem of a place, and the volunteers who run it.

Bolerium Books, SF:

A fascist group is claiming that it plans to attack a Berkeley bookstore, Revolution Books, this weekend. Obviously we stand against all would-be book burners. Here’s our statement of solidarity:

Facebook/Bolerium Books

Shobha Rao, author:

There is no room for equivocation. Revolution, as an act of the human mind and in the name of human freedom, is under attack. Revolution books is radical, necessary, and here to stay

Games of Berkeley:

On a serious note, one of our neighbors—Revolution Books—is concerned about potentially being targeted with threats, vandalism, or worse by members of tomorrow’s so-called “No To Marxism March.” The route is likely to include their store at 2444 Durant, which will hold a press conference at 11:30 am, and have speakers and readers the entire day. If you’re in the area and so inclined, please drop by and show your support.

Also, be aware that there is a planned protest at Sproul Plaza Sunday at noon, and a planned counter-protest at People’s Park at the same time.

Lucia Grillo, actress, filmmaker:

This is really distressing, a serious threat to all that we, those who are against Trump’s hateful agenda, stand up for.  Please STAND WITH AND DEFEND REVOLUTIONS. And get with Refuse Fascism who have been out every day fighting to end this regime—for all!


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