Saturday, August 18, 2012

"...shouldn’t a library director have a little spine?"

G. Tod Slone is about to become one of the most famous authors of all time.  

Thank you, Russell Streur, owner of http://thecamelsaloon.blogspot.com/, for passing along the following message and for alerting us to this case.


Dear Saloonatics:

Word reaches the Camel that the Saloon’s good friend, G. Tod Slone,has been banned—for life!—from his local library in Barnstable, Massachusetts, by Lucy Loomis, the director of the Sturgis Library.

The banishment comes after Slone publicly criticized Loomis and the library for declining to place a copy of The American Dissident in circulation.  The journal, edited by Slone, deliberately and vociferously challenges American literary and academic elites and their individual protectors to confront the hypocrisy of their hegemony over cultural values in today’s society.  

The refusal of the library to find space on the shelves for the Dissident, and Slone’s response to the decision on free speech grounds, caught the attention of the local newspaper, which published an article sympathetic to Slone’s side of the dispute in the spring of 2011, linked here.

The quarrel apparently simmered in Loomis’ mind for more than a year, until June of 2012.  Then, seeing Slone in the library one Tuesday afternoon, Loomis without warning summoned the local gendarmes to give him the bum’s rush.  Slone’s eviction was performed together with a No Trespassing for Life order conjured out of thin air by Loomis.  The reasons stated by Loomis for the banishment: Slone made ‘inappropriate comments and made her feel uncomfortable.’

No witnesses, no evidence, no facts, no due process, no right of appeal, just the opinion of Loomis, and poof, no more library for you, Mister Slone.  That’s the cost of free speech at Loomis’ library, and how fast an individual’s civil rights gets revoked on her premises. 

The Saloon is happy today to publish Slone’s description of the entire episode, linked here.

The Camel Saloon is dedicated to the right to self-expression, especially in the context of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in full:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Please join me in protesting and condemning this affront to liberty by emailing the library at sturgislibrary@comcast.net to demand Slone’s full right to the benefits of the library.

The Saloon will be happy to publish all messages in support of Slone.  Correspondents wishing to publicly state his or her opposition to Slone’s banishment may simply copy the Saloon on any missive sent to the library.

Thank you,

Russell Streur
Barkeeper
The Camel Saloon
http://thecamelsaloon.blogspot.com/
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