Nearly a month after Free Speech Week at the UC Berkeley campus, right-wing protesters attempted to intrude upon an event held at Revolution Books in Berkeley — the sixth and latest noted incident at the Communist bookstore.
On Oct. 29, seven protesters sought entry into Revolution Books on Durant Ave., but were stopped by patrons who set up a blockade in front of the store.
At the time, the store was hosting a commemoration of the centennial anniversary of the October Revolution, the 1917 Bolshevik uprising that resulted in the formation of the Soviet Union.
“People coming to the event and store volunteers were out in front of our store to welcome people to the event,” Reiko Redmonde, Revolution Books’ manager said. “And to create a calm and determined presence by not letting these people in who are Trump supporters, white supremacists and anti-Communists.”
Revolution Books is a loose network of bookstores with affiliations to the Revolutionary Communist Party. Its Berkeley branch has been a frequent target of right-wing agitation since September, when upwards of 40 protesters pounded on the windows of the bookstore and allegedly harassed bookstore patrons hours after right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopolous’ brief appearance at Sproul Plaza during Free Speech Week.
At least three more incidents at the bookstore followed Free Speech Week, the latest of which took place Oct. 17, when a group of right-wing activists protested in front of the bookstore after it had closed.
Members of the Bay Area literati, including Joyce Carol Oates, Ayelet Waldman and San Francisco Poet Laureate emeritus Alejandro Murguía, voiced their support for Revolution Books in the weeks following these attacks. Berkeley mayor Jesse Arreguin also condemned the attacks on the bookstore.
“The support we’ve had has come from broad sectors and it’s been very encouraging,” Redmonde said. “A lot of people are just astounded at what Trump unleashed, like people who would attack a bookstore. They could learn a lot from reading the books in the store.”