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Red Salmon Arts

Resistencia Bookstore
1801-A South First St.
Austin, TX 78704
Phone: (512) 416-8885

Copyright © 2001-2004

An interview with raulrsalinas

by Deborah Sengupta

The bookstore has a 18 year history in Austin. It developed out of an idea that came from the Centro de la Raza Seattle. We were engaged in a political study. So we developed a little in house bookstore to deal with our political education materials. I named it Resistencia because of that organization's history of resistance.

I returned to Austin in 1981 and went on the East Side and found a little storefront shop in the neighborhood where I had grown up. I knew who owned it, who lived there and what stores and shops had been there. And so we began. By the second year I was doing poetry readings in the neighborhood. We began to take the poetry readings to the restaurants and the cantinas and places that hadn't had poetry before. We've had to survive just to educate, just to share information. There was stuff happening on the West Side of town in the little bookstores, but though some inroads had been made, they were still very segregated. People were still afraid to go all out, and I felt the need to do that. The first year we were there we did the first Chicano/Indian Kwanzaa celebration out in the Black community. We hung in there and today we've had some pretty impressive writers and human rights activists from all communities come through here. We get good information and we're pretty clear in terms of the positions we take politically which are certainly against corporate monopolies, globalization, you know.

Extract from an interview with raulrsalinas published in

August 4, 2001

Our first centro de resistencia opens in East Austin.
Front window of our second East Austin location.
Our third location in South Austin.
Striking a pose after a poetry reading.
The current reincarnation of Resistencia Bookstore.

About Resistencia Bookstore

In recent years, the bookstore sponsored/endorsed readings and political forums that included nationally and internationally known writers, human rights activists, and indigenous artists such as Puerto Rican nationalists poet Rafael Cancel Miranda, Chicana/o Indian syndicated journalists/writers from San Antonio Patricia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez, Miguel Algarin traveling with the 1999 Nuyorican poetry slam champs, CNN urban affairs correspondent/author Maria Hinojosa, and Mexico correspondent and Zapatista chronicler John Ross. The bookstore as well has sponsored read-ins from Live From Death Row and The Story of Colors.

Located in the heart of the south-side, Resistencia bookstore has also provided space for grassroots organizational activity by various groups like the Austin Cuba Committee, the Leonard Peltier Support Group, and El Comite en Solidaridad con Chiapas y Mexico; as well as hosting Pastors and Veterans for Peace delegations to Cuba and Nicaragua.

Resistencia Bookstore
1801-A South 1st Street
(at W. Annie)
Austin, Tejas

Red Salmon Arts is a a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.