Banned Books Week 2016
Boise, Idaho — Banned Books Week is an effort the national book community has organized since 1982 to draw attention to the problem of censorship in schools, bookstores, and libraries. The week celebrates so-deemed “harmful” books and raises awareness about how dangerous it is for our country to ban books in the first place. The ACLU of Idaho is bringing attention to this issue through a mobile banned books sale Saturday, September 24th and Sunday, September 25th from 10 am-4 pm. The mobile banned books sale will be carried out by volunteers on their bikes in different neighborhoods in Boise. Some of the places they will visit include: Hyde Park, Roosevelt Market, downtown Boise.
Print and visual media have been censored many times to the detriment of our democracy – too often because the powerful feared that their comfortable status quo was under threat. Beginning in the 1830s until the end of the Civil War, for example, the U.S. postmaster general refused to carry abolitionist pamphlets to the South. During the Red Scare, filmmakers were jailed for alleged ties to communism. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration actually passed a law to end the production of Braille copies of Playboy — because heaven forbid the visually impaired be corrupted through their fingers.
Today, teachers and librarians remain under a barrage of paranoid adults attempting to remove material from school curricula and bookshelves. Other censorship advocates have turned to the Internet as their new frontier. And in an age of surveillance, many writers are increasingly engaging in self-censorship to protect themselves from a snooping government.
Since its inception in 1920, the ACLU has been at the forefront of the fight against censorship, winning many important victories for free speech along the way. Today we are defending reporters’ right to observe and write about lethal executions, fighting for students to exercise their First Amendment rights, and advising a government whistleblower who has spurred an unprecedented debate on the need for government reform.
Banned Books Week celebrates these and other efforts to defend our right to think and learn about whatever we want, no matter how unorthodox or unpopular.
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.