Free Expression

    Rock Bottom Remainders All-Star Band Reunites to Play BEA

    Move over Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. The latest reunion news in rock ‘n’ roll is that BookExpo America’s house band is returning.

    Michael Moore Joins ABFFE Author Auction

    BEA Free Speech Panel Features Moore, Kingsolver, and Hentoff

    Filmmaker Michael Moore, author of the bestselling Stupid White Men, is joining novelist Barbara Kingsolver and distinguished journalist Nat Hentoff on the BEA panel "'911': Civil Liberties in a Time of Crisis," set for Friday, May 3, from 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 a.m. at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. The panel will examine the state of free speech in the U.S.

    Arizona Court Win May Affect Fate of Similar Bill in Ohio

    On February 19, Arizona U.S. District Judge Alfredo C. Marquez permanently enjoined the Arizona statute criminalizing the intentional transmission over the Internet of materials considered to be "harmful to minors." The court found the statute to be unconstitutional under both the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.

    ABFFE Supports Maryland Bookstore Privacy Bill

    The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) spoke out in favor of the privacy of bookstore customer records in a February 26 hearing before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee. State legislation was introduced earlier this month that would limit the circumstances in which police can seek search warrants or subpoenas for purchase records.

    Vermont Cyber-Censorship Statute Back in Court

    On February 6, 2002, the fight over free speech on the Internet returned to a Brattleboro, Vermont, courtroom, as the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) continued the legal case over the constitutionality of a Vermont statute criminalizing sexual content communicated via the Internet. But the hearing -- held almost a year to the day after ABFFE and a diverse group of civil rights organizations and businesses first filed the complaint -- was more a battle over legal language than free speech.

    The Red Balloon Defends the First Amendment -- and Makes New Customers

    On Thursday, February 8, The Red Balloon Bookshop, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based childrens bookstore, was host to a panel discussion on free expression. The innovative idea grew from an incident last November, when a Red Balloon Bookshop customer wanted to ban a book she had never read. The patron (an educator, in fact) came to store manager, Roxanna Markie, incensed that the bookstore carried the book Little Black Sambo. Based only on the title, the educator assumed the book to be racist. It isnt.

    Biographical Info About Authors in ABFFE Author Auction


    Judy Blume is one of the best loved -- and most frequently censored -- authors. Her novels for both kids and adults have sold over 75 million copies, including Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Superfudge; Blubber; Just As Long as We're Together; Forever; and, most recently, Summer Sisters.

    ABFFE to Mix the Serious and the Sublime at BookExpo America

    The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) will have something to appeal to both the serious and the fun-loving sides of the booksellers who visit New York City in May for BookExpo America. On Friday, May 3, Barbara Kingsolver will participate in an ABFFE panel on the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on civil liberties. And on Saturday night, the Rock Bottom Remainders will rock Greenwich Village in a Book Industry Foundation concert to benefit ABFFE and the Association of American Publishers' Get Caught Reading campaign.

    Booksellers to Bid on Visits With Top NY Authors During BEA

    Booksellers who have dreamed of having a long chat with an award-winning author or illustrator will get to compete for the chance in March during a nationwide auction conducted by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE). Leonard Marcus, Chris Raschka, Robert Sabuda, Jon Scieszka, Peter Sis, and Vera B. Williams are the first confirmed participants in the new ABFFE Author Auction (Click here for biographical info about authors in the ABFFE Author Auction).

    ABFFE Offers New Introductory Memberships

    What do you give the bookseller who has everything?

    Give her a front row seat in the fight for free speech by making her a member of ABFFE -- the bookseller's voice in the fight against censorship. ABFFE is now offering introductory memberships for $15 -- a 70 percent discount on the cost of an individual membership.

    Ban on Sophie's Choice Lifted Following Protest by ABFFE and Others

    A California school district has ordered a high school principal to return William Styron's novel Sophie's Choice to the shelves of the school library. La Mirada High School Principal Andrew Huynh had removed the acclaimed novel after a parent complained that the book contained sexual material that was inappropriate for minors.

    San Francisco Fundraiser for Tattered Cover Draws Big Crowd

    A crowd estimated at between 450 and 550 packed A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books in San Francisco on January 11 to raise funds to help pay the legal fees of Denver's Tattered Cover Book Store, which has challenged a court order requiring it to turn over information about a customer's book purchases. The event raised $10,000 for the bookstore.

    Iowa City Reads The Last Summer of Reason --City's Selection Resonates After Tragedy of 9/11

    Last spring, out of the masses of books energetically offered at BookExpo America 2001, Jim Harris, owner of Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City, Iowa, found himself compelled to pick up and read an advance copy of The Last Summer of Reason by Tahar Djaout (Ruminator), he recently told BTW.

    Tattered Cover's Good Fight

    This editorial was originally published December 12, 2001 in the Rocky Mountain News.

    THE ISSUE: State Supreme Court hears arguments on releasing bookstore records.

    OUR VIEW: They should remain private

    If you value your constitutional right to read what you please without worrying about government snooping, you owe a vote of thanks to the Tattered Cover bookstore for its spirited defense of its customers' privacy.

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