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Chicago, I.L. – Yesterday, MoveOn Political Action’s first Banned Bookmobile multistate tour officially launched in Chicago, with nearly 100 attendees and MoveOn distributing hundreds of books during the event. Illinois Senator Laura Murphy and Representative Anne Stava-Murray discussed the new first-in-the-nation law they championed in the legislature to prohibit the banning of books in public libraries. National Education Association President Becky Pringle, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and MoveOn Executive Director Rahna Epting came to Chicago to promote their organizations’ efforts to hold Ron DeSantis and his MAGA friends accountable for their anti-American attempts to silence communities and erase history.
“Across America, most of us want the same thing: strong public schools that give every student the freedom to learn. That is why parents and educators—across race, place, and background—are standing together against power-hungry politicians who seek to threaten our students’ right to an education that is complete, truthful, and just. Communities across the nation are rejecting politicians who continue to ban books about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Billie Jean King, and Roberto Clemente. Candidates running to censor the teaching of history about topics such as slavery, the Trail of Tears, and the Holocaust are being rightfully rejected by voters in rural, urban, and suburban communities,” said National Education Association President Pringle. “NEA is proud to partner with MoveOn to help mobilize communities against book bans and extreme politicians who want to take away learning opportunities from our students.”
“We are launching today in Illinois—a state that has shown tremendous leadership, with Democratic leaders who have not only talked the talk, but have leveraged the power they have to become the first state in the nation to prohibit book bans,” said Epting. “Let me be crystal clear: These book bans are an anti-American attack on all of our freedoms, on free thought, and on a free society itself. That is why we are launching this glorious Banned Bookmobile: to celebrate diversity of thought; reflect and honor the rich stories, histories, and experiences of all of our communities and to affirmatively push back on the MAGA agenda; to sound the alarm across the country; and to show up for freedom and democracy.”
“Educators deeply believe in what the MAGA extremists claim to support but whose actions suggest the opposite—the freedom to learn and thrive. These bans expose their utter contempt for the principles they pretend to cherish,” said AFT President Weingarten. “Instead of banning books, the AFT is giving out millions of books as part of Reading Opens the World. Instead of injecting politics into classrooms, we’re finding solutions to help kids learn. And we’re proud to support MoveOn’s Banned Bookmobile as it travels the country.”
“Oftentimes, censorship like book bans comes from fear, which is insidious. It spreads like a disease and leaves our vulnerable communities injured,” said Sen. Murphy. “We cannot allow ourselves to give in to fear. We must stand against this fear disguised as moral outrage and stand up for what we know is right.”
“The banning of books—which is the sort of behavior commonly associated with authoritarian regimes, for good reason—is entirely inconsistent with fundamental American values,” said Rep. Stava-Murray. “Far from being a tool to protect people, book banning is most frequently used to silence the voices of the LGBTQ community, as well as people of color. It isn’t about keeping people safe, it’s about keeping them marginalized.”
Members of the media are invited to RSVP for these events. Constituents and event organizers are available for interviews. To RSVP or for more information on logistics, please contact email@example.com.
MoveOn is a people-powered force for progress. MoveOn mobilizes the left to elect Democrats and enact progressive change. We are the homebase for millions of members who refuse to accept the status quo and are moved to take action. For more than a generation, MoveOn has been a bulwark against the radical right, channeling our voices to end wars, protect democracy, and advance justice for all.