Following the horrific killings of the staff of Charlie Hebdo and others in Paris, many booksellers have reached out to the American Booksellers Association and the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) asking how they can stand in solidarity with the magazine and its commitment to free speech.
In response, ABA is actively exploring the logistics of obtaining copies of the upcoming issue of Charlie Hebdo for member stores to carry. In the meantime, the association is urging booksellers to join in a social media initiative aimed at channeling and amplifying support for our colleagues in France.
In a January 12 e-mail, ABA CEO Oren Teicher encouraged booksellers to:
First, post via their social media accounts a picture of store staff holding the sign that can be downloaded here, which displays the words “Je suis Charlie.” When the image is posted, include the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie. (See examples of ABA’s images to the right.)
- Second, be on the lookout for a follow-up e-mail from ABA providing information about how to make a contribution (of any amount) to a fund that has been established on behalf of the families of those killed last week in Paris.
For this to spread as quickly and as widely as possible, it’s critical that booksellers encourage their customers and friends to join in by both posting pictures of themselves and making donations.
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.
All booksellers are encouraged to act today.
Je suis Charlie.