Latino activists who have dubbed themselves “librotraficantes,” or “book traffickers,” are planning to smuggle books into Arizona.
The symbolic act is a repudiation of Tucson school authorities’ decision to remove from classrooms seven books written by Latino and Latin American authors, including Paulo Freire’s well-known “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.”
Latino educators and activists nationwide are appalled by the decision.
Tony Díaz, a Houston writer, had the idea of playing with anti-Latino stereotypes like the narco-trafficker and delivering a shipment of “illegal” books to Arizona.
“What’s happening in Arizona has a chilling effect,” says Teresa Gutiérrez, organizer with the New York May 1 Coalition. “These are books that opened my eyes to my own history and culture.”
Gutiérrez and immigrant, student and teacher groups have organized a protest against Tucson’s policies for Saturday at 11 a.m. in front of the New York Public Library.