Author leads caravan to “smuggle” removed books into Arizona
Using a word meant to turn the infamous narco-trafficking phrase on its head, Latino activists calling themselves the librotraficantes (book traffickers) are marching their caravan of books through Texas and New Mexico to Arizona in protest of the discontinuation of the Mexican-American Studies course in Tucson and the subsequent removal of certain books.
Tony Diaz, of the Nuestra Palabra non-profit and the librotraficante mastermind, says while the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) maintains the books are not banned, the removal of the books from classrooms constitutes an attack on the history of Mexican-Americans in the United States.
“Arizona has made our people illegal and now they want to make our culture illegal by enforcing a law that prohibits courses in the United States of America,” he says. “I don’t think people understand. Those anti-immigrant laws spread. If we allow this to stand, I have no doubt it will come down on other ethnic studies courses across the country. This is an effort to eliminate us from the history books.”
The caravan kickoff event is Monday, March 12 at 10 a.m. in Houston, Texas. There will be a press conference at the Casa Ramirez Folk Art Gallery where Diaz says a priest will bless the caravan before its departure and Aztec dancers will see them off.
The caravan will make stops in San Antonio and El Paso in Texas and Mesilla and Albuquerque in Nex Mexico before reaching Tuscon, Arizona.
Read the full story at NBC Latino