On Saturday, August 2, Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP) conducted a solidarity action in New York City, riding the 2/3 line, handing out bookmarks, and reading aloud excerpts of Palestinian literature. “We are librarians and archivists who support Palestinian rights and oppose Israel’s bombing and siege of the Gaza Strip,” they explained. “We are here to share with you Palestinian literature in an effort to honor Palestinian life in the face of massacre.” Among the pieces they read during this action was Suheir Hammad’s “What I Will,” which reads, in part, “I will not/ dance to your war/ drum. I will/ not lend my soul nor/ my bones to your war/ drum. I will/ not dance to your/ beating. I know that beat./ It is lifeless…. I/ will not hate for you or/ even hate you. I will/ not kill for you./ Especially/ I will not die/ for you.”
Reaction was mostly positive: some passengers applauded, some posed for pictures with the group, and others engaged in conversation. In all, LAP distributed almost 400 bookmarks.
PDFs of the material used in this action are available for download on the LAP website. Others are welcome to use these materials to stage similar actions in their communities.
Today’s public reading is just one of many actions that LAP members are undertaking in light of Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza. Earlier this week, the group released a statement — co-signed by the Progressive Librarians Guild— opposing the siege on Gaza.
For more photos of the action, click here.