Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Arundhati Roy speaks in Chicago. Book banning, no small thing

Arundhati Roy reads from The God of Small Things (M. Klonsky pic)
Listening to author/activist (The God of Small Things) Arundhati Roy last night at Northwestern's Thorne Auditorium was a powerfully provocative experience. As her narrative, on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, wound around and through the global struggle for peace, democracy,  human dignity, Arundhati couldn't avoid mention of the banning by CPS of Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis. She noted how strange it was that in countries that routinely practice torture, it is considered inappropriate to learn or talk about it.

The packed auditorium applauded loudly when Anthony Arnove of event sponsor Haymarket Books, announced that there were copies of Persepolis for sale at the book table, alongside Roy's own Field Notes on Democracy and Walking With the Comrades. Arnove drew a laugh when he offered a discount to Chicago 7th-grade students.

The mayor was tactfully nowhere in sight last night. In fact, Rahm has been conspicuously AWOL from the book-banning battle, leaving his schools boss Byrd-Bennett to defend the indefensible and take the hits, just as he did with her predecessor, J.C. Brizard.

Student at Social Justice H.S. hold Persepolis read-in.
Until yesterday, that is, when Rahm, reportedly told DNAIno.com that he was "looking into" the situation, whatever the hell that means.

Democracy Now!

If you missed Arundhati last night, you can hear her being interviewed on Democracy Now!

Chicago Tonight

If you were at last night's event, you probably missed this interview on Chicago Tonight with Barbara Jones, Exec. Director of the American Library Association, Kristine Mayle from the CTU, and two brilliant, articulate Lane H.S. student  protest organizers.

Stupidest headline award

It goes to the Sun-Times for this one:

Lane students try to stage library sit-in — but can’t pull it off 

It should have read -- CPS tries to ban books at Lane, but can't pull it off. 
Thanks Lane and SOJO students for standing tall.

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