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Red Books Day 2023: Fight the rise of the right, read a red book

Originally published: Peoples Dispatch on February 21, 2023 (more by Peoples Dispatch)  |

For the past several years, hundreds of thousands of people from social movements, left political parties, trade unions, and left publishers have celebrated the anniversary of the publishing of the Communist Manifesto on February 21 with “Red Books Day”. The day celebrates “left books, their authors, and the people’s movements they ushered forward“. The day also aims to call attention to those movements, publishers, and activists who are increasingly facing attacks from the right wing.

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the text’s publication. From India to Brazil, United States to Ghana, events have been organized to encourage the reading of red books and discussions about why they’re important.

The International Union of Left Publishers which launched the original call for Red Books Day, released this open letter about the day and what it means in our political context today.

We, the International Union of Left Publishers, call on all publishers, writers, booksellers, educators, students, workers, and all struggling people to join us on Red Books Day, February 21, 2023, in celebration of the living message of the Communist Manifesto and to stand with us in commitment to its call for unity.

Written in 1848, the Communist Manifesto represents the clarity of vision of two young men who witnessed the beginnings of the disaster that is capitalism and who dedicated their lives to uncovering its function, warning us of what is to come. But its reverberation around the world, we credit to the hundreds of millions, the named but vastly unnamed in every continent who gave everything to build the struggle for liberation, sovereignty, and socialism. The struggle of these millions has given the text a life of its own that continues to inspire all who insist on their rights, and conditions of a dignified life, and who build revolutionary movements today.

Facing the rise of the far right and the proliferation and diversity of its attacks against our writers, our thinkers, our spaces, and our people; and facing the suffocation of the publishing industry by global capitalist markets, we founded our network on Red Books Day 2020 to launch a counteroffensive in the battle of ideas. Our weapons are left books that amplify the voices of ordinary people, and a strong network of comrades across all continents who are committed to an active practice of internationalist collaboration as we defend the ideas of the people across the world. These ideas, which represent the agenda of the vast majority of humanity, are a direct threat to the hegemony of global capitalism and imperialism. The right-wing forces, along with their ruling class backers, will continue to launch physical and ideological attacks in order to repress them.

We, the IULP, refuse to allow the repression of the ideas that light the path for the future, and we draw our strength from the solidarity of our comrades and our people.

Communism may haunt the ruling classes like a spectre, those classes who clutch their profits in fear of those who produce them–but it is the banner, the flag that represents the march of the people of the world toward a future that we build with our own hands, according to our own needs, and that provides for all.

Workers of the World Unite! Down with Imperialism, and Forward Socialism!


1804 Books (United States)

Chintha Publishers ( India)

Editorial El Colectivo (Argentina)

Editorial Trinchera (Venezuela)

Editorial Txalaparta (Basque Country/ País Vasco)

Estrella Roja (Venezuela)

Expressão Popular (Brazil)

IDEA (Romania)

Inkani Books (South Africa)

Instituto Simón Bolívar (Venezuela)

Janshakti Prakashan (India)

Kriya Madhyama (India)

LeftWord Books (India)

Mangroven Verlag (Germany)

Manifest Llibres (Catalonia)

Marjin Kiri (Indonesia)

Naked Punch (Lahore )

National Book Agency Private Limited (India)

Navatelangana Publishing House (India)

Navayug Prakashan (India)

Yordam Kitap ( Turkey)

Red Star Press (Italy)

Uitgeverij EPO (Belgium)

Vadell hermanos Editores (Venezuela)

Vam Prakashan (India)

Vita Books (Nairobi, Kenya)

Založba /*cf (Slovenia)

To sign, please contact IULP here

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