Radical librarian Jason Griffey (previously) wants librarians to continue their 21st century leadership in the resistance to surveillance and persecution — a proud record that includes the most effective stands against GW Bush's Patriot Act — by pledging to make libraries safe havens from trumpism and its evils: electronic surveillance; racial and gender-based discrimination; and the assertion that ideology trumps empirical reality.
Neutrality favors the powerful, and further marginalizes the marginalized. In the face of the current political climate, with the use of opinions as bludgeons and disinformation as the weapon of choice for manipulation and intellectual coercion, it is up to those who value fact and believe in the care of those in need to stand up and positively affirm that to do otherwise is evil.
For libraries and librarians, that means:
1. Making the physical space of the library safe for those that need it by publicly stating your stance on the targeting of marginalized communities and then following up with actions and policies that back up those statements
2. Protecting your patrons from targeting and oppression, even in the face of possible governmental pressures, by resisting calls for information about your patrons at every level
3. Making your digital spaces safe for you patrons by limiting the data you collect, eliminating the data that you store, encrypting your communications at all levels and importantly insisting that your vendors do the same
4. Running programs that actively provide support for your at-risk patrons, whatever that looks like in your community
5. By being the voice of reason and compassion when dealing with your city or county government, and by modeling the same by advocating for those at risk
These things are vital and necessary. Especially now.
Stand, Fight, Resist
(Image: jessamyn west, CC-BY)