Remembering Bob Sheldon

bob sheldonMore than 20 years after his death, Bob’s memory endures through the community that knew him, the work he did, and the project he began that has continued for decades to inspire and bring people together.

This weekend, Internationalist Books and Community Center will announce the 2013 recipient of the Bob Sheldon award, an award recognizing local organizing and struggles for justice in Bob Sheldon’s memory.

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“Bob Sheldon left us with a piece of infrastructure that accelerates the pace of social movement organizing and the capacity for impact, particularly in times of urgency and social upheaval. It was a natural anchor throughout many struggles—a place for the public to buy bus tickets to go to growing anti-war protests in D.C.; a space to hold press conferences after activists returned beaten and abused at the Republican National Convention protests; a venue to support budding new organizations, welcome traveling activists and inspire collective action. It is a space for anarchists, climate change activists and queer youth alike to organize from.

Sheldon gave us a public space, a unique, participatory dimension of civic life where those with an energy for social change can find consistency, conversation and community. And Sheldon laid the seeds of that space with his open personality, a loving heart and a deep thirst for political debate, learning and activism. Without the experience of Sheldon the man, I doubt that the community would have come up with the same essence of the Internationalist that lives on today.”

- The legacy of Bob Sheldon, founder of Internationalist Books, Independent Weekly, 2011

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“In an editorial noting Sheldon’s legacy, two years after his death, the Chapel Hill Herald likened the Internationalist to “a weed flowering in a pavement crack.” Thanks to friends, family and dozens of volunteers, the Internationalist has survived the loss of its founder.  …

“It continues because there’s a constituency here based on what he built,” Straley says. “You’d be dishonest to say that the constituency is focused around Bob–many people at the store today didn’t even have the chance to know him. But the kind of free thinking, the kind of independence of attitudes is what has endured.”

- Bob Sheldon’s Legacy, Independent Weekly, 2001

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