Damn, this makes me mad. Got word earlier today that Sedition Books, a local co-op bookstore/meeting place/library/clothing exchange (formerly at 4420 Washington) run by a crew of hardworking local activists, burned Monday morning, between 3 and 4AM. HPD's saying the fire was deliberately set, and since the two residents of the co-op were asleep inside at the time with their cars in plain view in the driveway, it also looks a heck of a lot (to my unlawyerly eye) like attempted murder. Somebody not only wanted to burn down what was one of the few resources in this city for left-leaning organizers and activists, but they wanted to burn two people alive while they slept.
To make matters worse, the HPD officers doing the investigating apparently castigated the co-op members -- who'd just narrowly escaped an attempt on their lives and watched their home go up in flames, mind you -- for their "anti-American" views and lectured them on the wonders of capitalism. According to Sedition Books' official statement, the officers told the poor people that because of what they believe in, they were pretty much asking for it. Yay. And a woman who walks around wearing a halter top and high heels shouldn't complain if she gets harrassed or raped, right?
This is sickening on all fronts. I'm honestly not sure which pisses me off more, the arson itself or the cops' reactions to it. What is this, the '50s? Granted, this is Texas, but this is also The Big City -- I guess I expected too much from my fellow Houstonians. If speaking out about what you see as injustice is "anti-American," then fuck, I don't want to be one.
sigh. At any rate, the Sedition Books folks seem to be undeterred, bless 'em. They're trying to restart their little store/space/etc. somewhere else, and would greatly appreciate any donations of cash or "radical" literature (not entirely sure how they define that, actually). Send stuff to: Sedition Collective, c/o The Alarm, P O Box 66362, Houston, TX 77266-7614. You can also do the PayPal thing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep fighting, you guys; there are some of us out here in Helltown, at least, who're with you.
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