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Revolution Books Calls on Supporters to Defend Shop This Weekend

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Amber Cummings is planning yet another march and protest this Sunday in Berkeley. The notorious local anti-Antifa figure has made her presence known at just about every local left-right skirmish throughout the Bay Area since things really started to heat up in 2015. Although she makes her way to out-of-town events, she is particularly known around these parts, ready with signs in hand to protest anything she deems to be socialist, Marxist, Antifa or leftist of just about any stripe.

This is not a new thing.

She takes a particular interest in targeting one of Berkeley’s cornerstone institutions: Revolution Books.

The independent bookstore has been unapologetically Marxist and revolutionary in spirit — as the name suggests — for more than 30 years. But in the past four years, coinciding with the rise of Donald Trump during the first campaign days, Revolution Books has received more than its fair share of attention, with nearly every alt-right rally, protest, brawl held in Berkeley inevitably turning angrily toward its doors. In rallies past, people wearing helmets, red MAGA hats and flag cosplay fits have turned up in the tiny hallway at the shop’s entrance at 2444 Durant Ave. where windows have been beaten on and threats have been dished out to burn the place down.

Alt-right rally participant wearing a “MAGA like a MOFO” hat argues with counter-protesters feet away from Revolution Books at 2444 Durant Avenue in Berkeley, Calif. in September 2017. Photo by Nik Wojcik.

In her latest attempt to bring the fight to Berkeley, Cummings is planning a “No to Marxism in America” march this Sunday. According to the Facebook event page, she is expecting hundreds of people — maybe — to join her at University of California at Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza for a rally and march to the bookstore.

The post reads in part:

“These terrorists must be protested and I plan to protest them. Revolution Books a communist anti-American store has been harassing my events and even last year came to my event shoving communist books in peoples faces, cussing at them, and attacking them looking for trouble.”

It is no secret that the folks over at Rev Books have no tolerance for the crowds these events tend to bring into the city known as the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. As much as Cummings professes to desire nonviolence and attempts to distance herself from alt-right labels, the events she and her buddies put together attract some seriously violent supporters who are happy to incite fights with locals who are having none of it. Many of the right-wing rallygoers who like to gather at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park (Provo for short) or on the UC Berkeley campus come in from out of town and seem to feel pretty confident that Berkeley police will keep them protected and out of jail.

Revolution Books does not seem to get the same level of protection.

This time around, Rev Books is countering the rally with a huge used book sale spiked with poetry and book readings, hoping to attract supporters who can act as a buffer and learn a little while they’re there.

Just being around will help the bookstore prevent any major damage. Buying a book or making a donation helps them out even more. In a statement, Rev Books said:

“Buy some books! Volunteer for a couple hours. And be there especially on Sunday, starting at 11:30 a.m., to defend and stand with Rev Books when this ‘No to Marxism’ march comes by. Calling all poets, writers, authors: Come do a reading at the bookstore on Sunday!”

Staying true to their revolutionary roots, they added:

“The best way to say ‘fuck you’ to these fascists is to support the bookstore and the movement for revolution that they hate and fear so much!

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.