Free Expression

18 May

Voters in Michigan School Board Election Reject Book Banning

First Amendment activist and bookseller Cammie Mannino, owner of Halfway Down the Stairs Children's Bookshop in downtown Rochester, Michigan, was instrumental in securing the re-election of two incumbent school board candidates. The contentious campaign, which pitted the two incumbents against two newcomers supported by a newly formed conservative political action committee (PAC), ended on May 3 with a record turnout and two-to-one victories over both PAC candidates.

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18 May

Everyone Has an Opinion: Patriot Act Hearings Prompt Many Editorials

When Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and a group of Vermont booksellers and librarians first called attention to Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act in March 2003, criticism of the provision, which eliminated the safeguards for the privacy of bookstore and library records, was hard to come by in the mainstream media.

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12 May

Senate Committee Hears Patriot Act Critics

On Tuesday, May 10, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary (SCJ) continued its oversight hearings on the USA Patriot Act and heard testimony from a number of the act's critics. Among those testifying before the committee were Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Larry Craig (R-ID), sponsors of the Security and Freedom Enhancement Act (SAFE) of 2005.

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11 May

Bill Maher BEA Event Expected to Sell Out

Tickets for this year's BookExpo America Book Industry Foundation Benefit starring comedian Bill Maher may sell out before the June 2 - 5 trade show, according to Tina Jordan, the show's public relations/special events director. This would be a first for BEA's annual Saturday night event, which benefits the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and the Association of American Publishers Get Caught Reading Campaign.

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11 May

South Carolina Internet Statute Struck Down

On Monday, May 9, booksellers and free speech groups, including the Southeast Booksellers Association (SEBA), scored a victory in the battle against Internet censorship when a judge in the U.S. District Court in Charleston, South Carolina, permanently enjoined a statute that would have criminalized any work communicated on the Internet that is accessible in South Carolina and contains a depiction of nudity or sexual conduct considered to be "harmful to minors."

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10 May

Appeals Court Dismisses Lawsuit Filed Against Cheney Task Force

On May 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2004 by a coalition of public interest groups that urged the court to order Vice President Dick Cheney to reveal the names of the people who participated in meetings of an energy task force he appointed in 2001. The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and other organizations had filed an amicus brief proposing a compromise in the case.

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05 May

BEA Spotlight: ABFFE Programming and Special Events

Four Weeks and Counting

This week, BTW shines a spotlight on American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) programming at this year's BookExpo America. BEA will be held from Thursday, June 2, to Sunday, June 5, at New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center.

"Is Someone Reading Over Your Shoulder?"

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05 May

Tri-Partisan Congressional Coalition Forms Patriot Act Caucus

Those who believe conservatives and progressives can't agree on anything should take note of the continuing battle to amend the USA Patriot Act. Over the past two-plus years, politicians of all political persuasions have joined forces in an effort to amend provisions that threaten civil liberties and the right to privacy.

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04 May

ABFFE Revives BEA Tradition With Steelworkers Art

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04 May

Booksellers Report Final Phase of CRP Going Strong

It's likely that Karin Anna of Looking Glass Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, speaks for many independent booksellers when she describes the final phase of the Campaign for Reader Privacy as "very important." With Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act set to expire at the end of the year and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acknowledging at Congressional Judiciary hearings that 215 needs some "clarification," it certainly appea

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04 May

ABFFE Extends Silent Auction Deadline

On Tuesday, May 3, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) announced it was extending by one week the deadline for contributions to its Silent Auction, which will be conducted during BookExpo America (BEA) at New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center in June. The contribution deadline is now Friday, May 13.

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28 Apr

ACLU Testifies at House Patriot Act Hearings

On Thursday, April 28, the House continued its hearings on the USA Patriot Act, as the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security (SCTH) heard testimony from four witnesses regarding Sections 206 and 215. During testimony, proponents of making the provisions permanent, including a representative from the Department of Justice, once again reiterated their willingness to clarify Section 215 to safeguard citizens' civil liberties.

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27 Apr

Rainy Day Weathers Attention Over Spitting Incident

Jane Fonda wasn't the first controversial author that Rainy Day Books has featured at an author event, and she certainly won't be the last, but the Fairway, Kansas, bookstore may be hard pressed to host another event that garners the same amount of media attention.

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26 Apr

ABFFE's Harry Potter T-Shirts Going Fast

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) is quickly running out of its limited edition Harry Potter T-shirts. Only Adult Medium and Small sizes remain.

Booksellers who would like to have the T-shirts for festivities marking the July 16 release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince should order now as supplies are limited.

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20 Apr

Freedom to Read Protection Act Co-Sponsors Now at 117

When Rep. Bernie Sanders reintroduced the Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157), legislation that would remove the threat to the privacy of bookstore and library records created by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, in March, 107 fellow members of Congress were listed as co-sponsors of the bill. Since that time, 10 more members of Congress have added their names to the list of co-sponsors.

The new co-sponsors are:

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The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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