The first half of May was unexpectedly eventful for our co-operative. On Thursday, May 7th we woke up to find our front door smashed and the register emptied. After the initial shock passed, we swept up the glass and shared some reflections on our social media. Those reflections, which touched on vulnerability and carcerality, ended up reaching a much bigger audience than we anticipated. When we logged on the next morning, our post had been shared thousands of times. It eventually grabbed the attention of Boing Boing, one of the most popular blogs in the English language (see "An anarchist community bookstore had the best response to getting robbed") and we were flooded with supportive emails and phone calls. The cost of damages were quickly covered by book orders and unsolicited donations received from across the country.
It was... surreal. Since the incident, we've discussed what factors contributed to the explosion of attention. Was it the visceral photo of broken glass? The irony of anarchists experiencing lawlessness? The accessibility to supporters of a tangible response? The resonance of the political message? None of us have ever produced anything that has "gone viral" before, and past attempts to collectively capture national attention (see, for instance, the time we fought city hall) have floundered.
Regardless, we're truly touched by the outpouring of support. It's heart-warming to know how many folks out there care about bookstores and want to see alternatives to criminalization and policing.