Editorial Board Statement Opposing the Vandalism of Austin’s Central Library

By the Editorial Board

Tribune of the People supports the election boycott campaign initiated by Communists and revolutionaries in the United States, we have done so with our reporting, by publishing and circulating images we have captured or received, as well as with editorials and coverage of the campaign.

We have received emails expressing concern about an action taken in the city of Austin, in which red paint and presumably anti-election graffiti was painted on the Central Library. Tribune has been unable to come to any conclusion regarding the slogans or its connection to the election boycott campaign which we support, we cannot verify its authenticity. Tribune was first made aware of this action by reading the mainstream media coverage.

Tribune’s editorial board does however view the action as completely inappropriate and wrong, conducted either by those who wish to harm and hinder the election boycott campaign, or by amateurish elements who chose to paint their message on the most inappropriate target—a public library. This act must be condemned as it can only divide revolutionaries and the election boycott from the people. Due to confusion among our readers and supporters as well as rumors being circulated online, we are forced to issue this public statement in opposition to the action.

As journalists and writers, we value libraries as sources of free knowledge, as socialists we value them as an essential social service. We understand that such services are under near constant attack, their funds are slashed and they are stifled, understaffed, and underused. While controlled by the city government (a reactionary institution) the library itself is still in service of the people, and should be under the control of the people. Only revolutionary struggle and the conquest of power can bring all education under the control of the working class.

The capitalist mode of production requires educating workers up to a certain point, and all education is tailored to reproduce a class, and maintain class rule. The library is one of the only resources common people have access to in order to self-educate, it is one of the only community resources where almost anyone can secure indoor public space for community educational events. It is a vital resource which should be improved and defended, which should be conquered by working people. The fact that the imperialists utilize it once every two years for their electoral sham does not qualify it as a legitimate target, it is valued by the people, and it is the people that all struggles must serve.

In spite of this insult to the election boycott campaign, we can only conclude that the campaign itself is a success, which still marches forward in new ways. Its success resides in the fact that it has spoken to common working people, gained national media attention and sharpened people’s understanding of turning voter abstinence into an active and militant boycott. Boycotting the elections is a political act, one that uses the imperialists’ efforts to force the election down the peoples throats against the imperialists.





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