A leftist bookstore at the University of California San Diego is claiming that an attempted arson was a “political attack on the store’s image and political character.”
The Groundwork Books Collective suffered approximately $500 worth of damage after someone busted a window, knocked over some books and shelves, and lit a bookcase outside the store on fire.
The latter was a result of failing to start a fire inside the store, according to The Guardian.
Groundwork issued a statement saying “This comes in the wake of a series of right-wing and white supremacist activities: banner drops by these organizations, attempted intimidation in critical gender studies and ethnic studies classes, constant flyering not only at UCSD but also at [San Diego State University], and threats of violence made against Revolution Books at UC Berkeley.”
[Groundwork] is home to books regarding social justice for various undermined communities such as the LGBTQ, Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities. Its workers are calling on student leaders of UCSD to stand with the collective to resolve the issue at hand, which they believe to be is lack of support for an organization being targeted for its image as a collective advocating for the causes of such minority groups.
“By this violence they are trying to strike at the heart of the university itself, as a space for direct, open, political polemic and criticism,” the [Groundwork] statement said. “They seek to undermine our confidence and demoralize us. But our resolve and commitment to our political motivations and the student body remains strong. They have not succeeded, and we will make sure they won’t succeed.”
In an email sent to students, UCSD Police mentioned that it has yet to apprehend any potential suspects and are currently investigating the incident.
Yesterday, UC Berkeley’s Daily Californian put up video of the threats made by two individuals against Revolution Books, which included a threat of arson. According to its store manager, Revolution is a “center of communism” with getting the “fascist [Trump] regime out of power” being one of its goals.
However, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego are quite distant from each other; that, combined with the lack of evidence make Groundwork’s allegations nothing but speculation at this point.