Bookstores, libraries and book fairs targeted by white nationalists: report

Bookstores, libraries and book fairs targeted by white nationalists: report
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White nationalist groups have targeted bookstores and library events in multiple states, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The paper reported that bookstores, including Washington, D.C.'s Politics and Prose and Revolution Books in Berkeley, Calif., have seen protests staged by self-avowed white nationalists. 

One such group interrupted a chat at Politics and Prose on Saturday with author Jonathan M. Metzl, a psychiatrist and director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. Metzi was discussing his new book, “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland.”

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The white nationalists disrupting the event included the co-founder of the American Identity Movement, the Post reported. That group is considered by watchdog organizations that track hate groups to be a rebranded version of white nationalist group Identity Evropa, which focused on recruiting college-age conservatives. Its leaders have denied the two groups are connected.

The group's cofounder, Patrick Casey, said on its website that they protested Metzl's event because his book "fails to discuss the real reasons why leftism has been killing America’s heartland."

The group reportedly chanted “This land is our land” before being booed by attendees at Saturday's event.

Last week, several members of the white nationalist group reportedly showed up to a bookstore in New Orleans where drag queen performers for years have led monthly story hours for kids. Members reportedly disrupted the event before being asked to leave.

The Post reported that Berkeley's Revolution Books has been threatened repeatedly by far-right activists.

According to the paper, the bookstore tangled with far-right demonstrators several times last year, including one run-in with a Sacramento group that flooded the store and harassed people inside. 

About a year ago, Revolution Books endured several run-ins with far-right demonstrators, according to local media reports, including a group from Sacramento that stormed the store and insulted people inside.

“We’re going to burn down your bookstore. You know that, right?” demonstrator Rob Cantrall said in a video taken by bookstore employees.

The store tweeted its support for Politics and Prose on Saturday after reports of the protest and accused the Trump administration of "escalating and legitimizing white supremacy."

"In these times people of conscience and conviction must come to the support of Politics and Prose. And, more, work to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power," the store wrote in a statement.