Who is "El Librotraficante"?
Well, "Librotraficante" means "book smuggler" in Spanish and that's the name Tony Diaz has given himself. He has been quoted as saying, "When Arizona tried to erase our history, we decided to make more" and he's doing just that, leading the way with a caravan of now contraband or "wetbooks" as he calls them after Tucson's School District suspended it's Mexican American studies program and banned the books used in it's classes.
The caravan will be rolling through Tucson, AZ today. Check out the times and places you can catch him.
Tucson, Arizona Friday, March 16
12:30 PM: Gallup, NM Bordering Crossing Ritual
3 PM: Press Conference: John Valenzuela Youth Center 1550 S. 6th Ave., South Tucson, AZ 85713
7 PM: Latino Caucus 2016 Reception.
Other States Arrive All Day Long. (We will post updates.)
Sat. March 17: Studio ONE 197 E TOOLE AVE, TUCSON AZ 85701-1210. Student Breakfast: rsvp firstname.lastname@example.org
10 am - Noon: Latino Cultural Caucus: School Board Elections-2 seats open in November. We will win them. Studio ONE
1 pm - 4 pm: Ultimate Lit Teach-In for 100 students and 100 teachers RSVP email@example.com
All Day: Libros Libres Taco Truck: We will distribute copies of the banned books throughout the city from a Taco Truck.
7 PM: Literary Showcase: (Flyer) Mind Altering Prose: The University of Arizona, Social Science Bldng Room 100. 1145 E South Campus, Tucson, AZ 85721
With such authors as Ana Castillo, Luis Rodriguez, Rudolfo Anaya and Luis Alberto Urrea on the "Banned Book List"(Check out the complete list here), Tony knew something had to be done.
The "Librotraficante" has also set up a few Underground Libraries
They're listed below
Houston - Multicultural Education and Counseling Through The Arts (MECA)
1900 Kane Street, Houston, TX 77007
Alice Valdez, Founder/Director
San Antonio - Southwest Workers Union
1414 E. Commerce, San Antonio, TX 78205
Genaro Rendon, Director
Albuquerque - Los Jardines Institute
Want to follow the Librotraficante. Here's the map
803 La Vega Dr. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105
Sofia Martinez, Program Coordinator
Tucson - John Valenzuela Youth Cneter
1550 S 6th Ave. South Tucson AZ 85713
Gloria Hamelitz, Director
All this information and a lot more including how you can donate to this cause can be found on the Librotraficante website.
Also check out the story "Books Without Borders" in today's issue of the New York Times
"Our literature and our history must never be at the mercy of political whim ever again." - Tony Diaz "El Librotraficante"