Half a hundred bookshops declare war on war

The campaign ‘More books: it’s war!’, supported by bookshops and publishers, will be demilitarising thought and defends the right “to criticism, dissidence and rigorous, truthful and independent information”.

Fifty bookshops, publishers and book agents have launched the campaign More books: it’s war! with which they take a stand against the escalation of war unleashed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February 2022.

The projects involved in the campaign explain that their purpose is to transform their “pain and impotence” into action, in order to “be a responsible part of a cultural change that contributes to the elimination of the causes that provoke wars and the eradication of violence, and its commodification, as a form of relationship between people and peoples”.

The campaign will develop actions in the form of activities, round tables, talks, conferences, book tours against the culture of war and for the elimination of all armed conflicts. “We commit ourselves to share activities and disseminate all those books that can help demilitarise our thinking to encourage us to desert barbarism”, reads the manifesto, which also points to the cultural responsibility of these bookshops at a time like the present: “To open lines of flight to unlearn war and defend the right to criticism, to dissidence and to rigorous, truthful and independent information”.

In its manifesto, More Books: It’s War! makes three concrete demands: support for desertion and conscientious objection in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus; a halt to the shipment of arms to Ukraine and that Spanish military spending allocated to the Ukrainian conflict be directed to independent organisations working on the ground, attending to the victims of this and other wars; And finally, the promotion of European policies of negotiation, conciliation and coexistence between the opposing populations, as well as the reconstruction of Ukraine to be carried out with the European military budget, at no cost to Ukrainian society or business for Western multinationals.

“We do not want to live in their trenches, nor do we want to support the national patriotism or imperialist supremacism of one side or the other. We will not be complicit in their carnage and devastation. We refuse any form of collaboration with this injustice and declare ourselves bookshops, publishers and bookshops insubmissive to war and social militarisation”.

For the undersigned bookshops and publishers, the discourse of sending arms to Ukraine and winning the war “by means of an impossible victory, scorning measures of dialogue and negotiation and those of us who defend them, prioritises the criminal enrichment of a minority and plays with the fate and survival of the Ukrainian population”.

More Books: It’s War! features the graphic image developed by artist Emma Gascó and the website libroscontralaguerra.org.

Redacción Madrid