We – publishers, editors, authors, translators as well as a vast array of various professionals within the publishing industry, from sales to foreign rights, from marketing to social media – are taking a stand to confront the encroaching tendencies of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and sexism which have slowly been making their way onto the shelves of bookstores in Germany as well as throughout Europe.
We urge our colleagues in the book industry – be they in small, independent publishing houses, mid-size companies or in multi-national conglomerates – to join us in calling out the increasingly virulent voices who strive to stifle diversity and cloud the public discourse around tolerance and democracy.
From October 10-14, 2018, at the book industry’s largest trade fair, in Frankfurt am Main, many of these forces will again be vying for the attention of the media, of colleagues, of book enthusiasts, as well as school-age children and policymakers alike, presenting their noxious rhetoric of hate in the form of Freedom of Speech.
To this we say no. Against this we raise our voices.
This grassroots initiative was formed in the fall of 2017 and organized a wide range of discussions and political activities during the Spring Book Fair in Leipzig 2018.
Together we will unite with others within our profession to proclaim that diversity in our thoughts, tolerance in our actions, in the languages we speak, the countries from which we hail, that the ideals of enlightenment, the very foundation of a United Europe – all these concepts of inclusion should be evident not only in our personal, but in our professional lives as well.
Complacency is not an option.
Using the hashtag [#publishersagainstracism and #verlagegegenrechts] many of us will be active while at the Frankfurt Book Fair, seeking dialog and engaging inquisitive visitors, discerning readers as well as critically thinking colleagues in discussion, in an effort to draw more attention to the danger of fascist titles and authors to our democratic institutions as well as the vibrant industry we are a part of.
Please join us in our fight. Go to: verlagegegenrechts.com to stay abreast of our activities. And forward this Call to Action to other colleagues in the book industry.