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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Library Halts Book Event Over Authors’ Support of Palestine, Against Israeli Occupation [UPDATED MARCH 20]

March 14

by Seven Stories Press

UPDATE: the New Rochelle Library event for Voices of a People's History of the United States in the 21st Century has been rescheduled to April 18th at 6:30pm.

It has come to our attention that the New Rochelle Public Library has pulled out of hosting an event with authors Anthony Arnove and Haley Pessin, originally scheduled for Thursday, March 21st, in which Arnove and Pessin were to discuss their book Voices of a People’s History of the United States in the 21st Century: Documents of Hope and Resistance. They were informed the event would be indefinitely postponed due to complaints about the authors’ vocal support for Palestine. It is unacceptable for New Rochelle public institutions to promote censorship and silence pro-Palestinian voices. This is similar to book bannings we’ve seen in libraries across the US and echoes authoritarian efforts to silence and oppress opinions that do not support their agenda. Libraries should serve as spaces to expand our thinking, not constrict it.

The New Rochelle Public Library's decision to indefinitely postpone this event is alarming. Our ask is that NRPL continue with the event as scheduled, and to take a strong stance against censorship of any sort. Please email or call the Board of Trustees using the scripts posted below. We will not be silenced!


EMAIL: Director of the NRPL, Tom Geoffino,

SUBJECT LINE: Event Cancelation- Arthur Arnove & Haley Pessin

Dear Mr. Geoffino,
I am emailing today because it has come to my attention that Anthony Arnove and Haley Pessin’s book event was indefinitely postponed due to their support for Palestine. Silencing their voices goes against everything our community stands for. The library should serve as a non-political space for ALL voices to be heard. Please see that their event continues as originally scheduled.

[Your name]

Whitney Barrat, President:
Corey Galloway, Vice President:
Lucille Renwick, Secretary,
Beth Acocella:
Rhiannon Navin:
Tatiana Infante:
Fela Cortes:


- Call the New Rochelle Public Library: (914) 632-7878
- On the menu, wait for dial name to speak. Then, type TOM to speak to the director, Tom Geoffino.

"Hi Mr. Geoffino, I am calling to voice my concern over the indefinite postponing of Anthony and Haley's event next week due to their pro-Palestinian views. The library should serve as a non- political space that welcomes voices from all backgrounds. Silencing pro- Palestinian voices goes against everything New Rochelle and public libraries stand for. I would like to see their event continue as originally scheduled."

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