Librotraficantes smuggle books into Tucson, Arizona
After the Arizona Legislature and Governor Jan Brewer passed HB2281, the Tucson Unified School District voted to ban the Mexican American Studies (MAS) program, in a 4-1 vote. The successful MAS program was dissolved and books were removed from classrooms.
March 16, 2012, a caravan of Librotraficantes (book traffickers) came to Tucson, Arizona. These librotraficantes were made up of authors, poets, artists and activists. They smuggled over 1,000 Mexican American Studies books and literature, worth $20,000. Their goal: to stash a caché in the Southwest with underground libraries of the contraband materials.
Tucson Grassroots Campaigns producers were there to document.
“This is only the beginning,” said, Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, “Arizona legislators need to know the whole world is watching. This is just the first chapter in a future book about this Civil Rights Movement that some regime will want to ban some day just as the book CHICANO, about the Mexican American Civil Rights movement of the 60s, is now prohibited. Evidently every 60 years despots try to destroy the American Dream. We did not let them before, and we won’t let them now. Freedom of Speech is at stake for all Americans. We beseech people from all walks of life to unite to defy the Censorship imposed by Arizona’s Draconian laws. Right now, you are deciding what side of history you are on. There is a ban in Tucson. If you enforce the Double Speak that denies there is a ban, you are on the wrong side of history. Let Freedom ring. Phase II of the Librotraficante Movement begins today.” http://librotraficante.com/
Lorna Dee Cervantes