“Je Suis Charlie” Social Media Campaign Grows

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Work continues on logistics to help stores acquire copies of Charlie Hebdo

In response to a social media campaign launched on Monday, January 11, by the American Booksellers Association and the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE), booksellers around the country are demonstrating both their solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack and their support for free speech by posting to their social media accounts photos of store staff holding signs bearing the words “Je suis Charlie.” (To download the sign, click here.)

When booksellers post their images — perhaps including visiting authors — they are asked to include the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie and to share their postings with ABA by tagging @ABAbook on Twitter and @AmericanBooksellersAssociation on Facebook.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to support Charlie Hebdo and the victims’ families can do so at the following website: leetchi.com/c/solidaritecharlie.

Stores that have not yet joined the social media campaign are encouraged to do so now. The hope is that the campaign will grow quickly and will help demonstrate that violence and intimidation cannot stifle debate, discussion, and freedom of expression.

The initial printing of the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo — though much larger than typical — has been met with unprecedented demand in France and Europe, and very few copies are currently available for distribution in North America. As plans develop for the magazine to go back to press, ABA is continuing to try to help interested member stores sell copies of the magazine, and members are encouraged to watch for e-mail updates.

Read a related column by Chris Finan, director of the American Booksellers for Free Expression.