Fighting for the right to read, think, and speak freely
Latinos from California to Texas are fighting back. They formed Librotraficante (book trafficker) and established underground libraries that stock the banned books. The effort, called "operation wetbook," is up and running in Tucson, Albuquerque, San Antonio, and Houston. Novelist and entrepreneur Tony Diaz, founder of Librotraficante summed up the resistance to Arizona's latest attack on Latinos:
Arizona decided to rewrite history, we decided to make more " by
banning, by prohibiting Latino studies [the Arizona legislature] created
what they feared the most. We're not the sleeping giant. We're the
working giant and reporting for work right now and from now on." Tony Diaz, Novelist
Writing off this nascent Latino mobilization would be a major mistake for the craven class of racist right wingers and their patrons. In 2006, Congress tried to pass some blatantly anti-Latino legislation. The Latino community responded with millions in the streets and crushed the effort in record time.
Ultimately, knowledge is power. Reading, talking, sharing thoughts, and debate provide the path to knowledge. Who would stand in the way? Who would stop such an effort?
As Michael Sedano said on day five of his travels for Libro Traficantes:
"Los Libro Traficantes,
acting as a living, flesh-and-blood prosthesis for the United States
cultural mind, liberated the banned books by leaving a trail of banned
book libraries in their wake as they caravanned from Houston to San
Antonio to El Paso to Mesilla to Albuquerque to Tucson." Michael Sedano, On the Road for Banned Books, March 17
This article may be reproduced with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.
Donations of banned books welcomed at Underground Libraries
On the Road for Banned Books, Michael Sedano: March 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 20
"No MAS!": Inside the Dismantling of Tucson's Mexican American Studies Program (Part I) and (Part II)
Graduate of Tucson program speaks out - Erin Cain-Hodge