Book Bloc

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Nov 1 2010

Location: 

Italy, UK, US

The book bloc constitutes a line of demonstrators holding cardboard-polyurethane-and-foam shields that are made to resemble giant book covers. This tactic tends to be used in actions that oppose neoliberal reform of education and libraries, especially in the form of austerity measures.

Book blocs were first used in Italy in November 2010, but they spread quickly to London, then later to California, where more elaborate shields appeared in actions protesting the proposed closing of 14 of 18 branches of the Oakland Public Library system and the University of California system against state cuts to the university and spiraling tuition. By the following fall they had come both to Spain, where they were used in a day of action against cuts and layoffs in public education and to New York City, where they became an element of the movement against tuition hikes and campus policing on CUNY campuses (which coincided with and was invigorated by OWS) as well as the solidarity demonstrations with the Quebecois student strikes.

Posted by srduncombe on