Revolution Books held a press conference at its 2444 Durant Ave. location after a confrontation with self-proclaimed “western chauvinists” who threatened to burn down the bookstore Saturday.
The conference was attended by neighbors and members of Refuse Fascism. The conference began with a video of two individuals — whom Revolution Books declined to name — shouting obscenities and threats to store manager and curator Reiko Redmonde. The incident occured in light of the anniversary of the first pro-Trump rally held in Berkeley.
After the video played, Redmonde said the incident was “reminiscent of Nazi book burnings,” and added that she believed the suspects “targeted the bookstore because (it is) a center of intellectualism.”
According to Redmonde, this incident is the 10th time Revolution Books has been targeted by “alt-right” groups, but volunteer worker Raphael Kadaris said this incident was the first time a real threat was issued.
“We take this seriously. We hope you do too. This shouldn’t be tolerated. What kind of a world are we living in? What are we going to tolerate?” Redmonde said to the attendees at the conference.
Kadaris said in an email that Revolution Books did not notify Berkeley police when the incident occurred, but the police did arrive at the scene.
Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Sarah Roark, a member of the Bay Area Refuse Fascism steering committee, said at the conference that working with the police on the matter would not resolve the issue.
“You can’t collaborate with authorities to help solve the problem when the authorities are part of the problem,” Roark said.
Redmonde also said Revolution Books is a center of communism, which makes it a target for pro-Trump groups, and added that one of the store’s goals is to “get this fascist regime out of power.”
“We’re committed to what Revolution Books is about,” Kadaris said. “(We wanted) to expose what (the suspects) did, and to rally people to support the bookstore … and get involved.”