A couple weeks ago I got an email announcing the closure of one of my favorite places in DC – the Brian McKenzie Infoshop. Infoshop? That’s one of the terms that is sometimes used for a bookstore and community space run by a collective. A safe place for ideas, and for people to air them.
The infoshop also put on some great events. Greenscare benefit events, prisoner letter writing nights, talks with authors of some of the books they carry…
I never made the effort to go as often as I liked. Part of this was due to my book guilt. I have more books to read right now than I think I can get through in the next two years! And the books they carry are so tempting, and in many ways so necessary.
And so tonight I made it a point to go, to help support their closure in this last month of their lease, to buy books and help offset some of their costs.
It was bittersweet – tonight reminded me of all the things that I love about the infoshop, and will miss. Having that space, knowing it was there, was important to me regardless of how often I actually went. I had great conversations with people for whom all those intersections between movements come so naturally. I can say, wholeheartedly, that these are my people. The ones who, like me, can’t see the line between environmental issues and animal rights, between social justice and environmental justice.
Critical mass swung by, and I went outside in the freezing cold to watch them take off and stream through the street. A safe place created by and for bicycles, a celebration.
Safe places, sanctuary. I’ll miss the infoshop, but it is comforting knowing that the people themselves are still around, just as I am. We’ll come together in other ways, and who knows what will come of it.