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This Cute Indie Bookstore Held a Sign-Painting Event and Now the FBI Is Spying on Them for ‘Pro-Abortion Extremist’ Activity

Belle singing on a ladder on a book shelf in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Dear FBI,

Can you guys go back to taking Trump’s passports and pretending to investigate Brett Kavanaugh?

Are you just bored? Looking for things to do? If you need something useless I could lend you all some of my Lego sets? Or maybe you want my HBO password? You wanna just sit around on the couch all day? You’d probably end up contributing more to society by doing that than whatever kind of Donnie Brasco shit you’re trying to pull with this bookstore.

What did the FBI do now?

Independent media outlet Unicorn Riot recently obtained FBI documents detailing an ongoing investigation into a left-wing bookstore called Pilsen Community Books in Chicago. The reason? It could be home to the commies! Sorry, I mean “anarchistic violent extremists” (AVEs) or maybe “environmentalist violent extremists” (EVEs) or “pro-abortion extremists.” And book clubs! Don’t forget about book clubs! There’s sedition in the Self-Help section! Treason in texts! There’s conspiracy in comics! Anarchy in the anthologies! It’s a left-wing threat to the government on par with the Cuban Missle Crisis! It has to be stopped!

Yes, it seems that this unassuming Chicago bookstore is a hotbed for “violent extremists” who are “planning and networking” and maybe looking to pick up a copy of The House In The Cerulean Sea on the side!

Mandy Medley, one of the owner-workers of the very cute bookstore says that the evidence of such activities is “news to us!” But how could it be? As she described it to Unicorn Riot, the bookstore is “open to the community” and “sometimes used as a gathering point for leftist politics.” You know what that means! Just peek behind a bookshelf and I’m sure you’ll see Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, and Fidel Castro alive and well! Kept alive all these years by their pure hatred for good old-fashioned American ideals! Living off the moisture that they suck from the pages of The Communist Manifesto and The Ethical Slut! It’s a cesspool I tell you! A liberal cesspool!

And how did it all begin? With a “sign painting event,” says Medley—who, by the way, describes the store as “very cute,” something a scroll through its Google profile can confirm. Yes, they say that this “sign painting event” was simply a lead-up to a nonviolent demonstration about the Supreme Court’s devastating Dobbs decision, but we know better don’t we? That’s just a red herring! Red for communism!

“It’s really creepy that they call a bunch of socialist feminists who are painting signs and banners for a rally that [Illinois Governor J.B.] Pritzker spoke at ‘anti-abortion extremists,’” says Medley. But we all know that sign painting is part of the extremist pipeline! Next they’ll be handing out cute little zines! Giving away contraceptives! Confiding in each other for emotional support and all the things that the anarchists of old have done to tear this country to shreds!

“Community organizing is not illegal” says Medley, “and should not be treated as such”. But this is the FBI! Where community organizing is the definition of “threatening behavior”! Just look at how they mobilized against civil rights figures of the past.

And here’s the real kicker, the FBI believes that this Chicago bookstore may already have ties with powerful anti-police movements like the ones happening in Georgia, where people are flocking to protest the construction of a multi-million dollar police training facility dubbed “Cop City” that will be built where a forest currently grows. They believe that a group similar to the Defend The Atlanta Forests (DTAF) was formed in Chicago, and that the bookstore could potentially be used as a meeting place for the activists.

While vast portions of the FBI document detailing the bookstore investigation have been redacted, it gives away enough information to see how this “assessment” and others like it are organized. After Attorney General Michael Mukasey rewrote certain FBI guidelines, the organization is free to gather information on individuals and groups for virtually any reason they see fit. Apparently, I got a hunch there’s some commies in there is a good enough reason. And it’s probably not the first time they’ve used it. According to the New York Times, the FBI conducted 82,325 “assessments” from 2009 to 2011, with only a handful of them actually turning into an investigation.

Despite the FBI’s ongoing assessment of Pilsen Community Books, the store remains unintimidated. Maybe because they have solid plans to overthrow the bourgeoisie, or maybe, just maybe, it’s because they realize that the FBI is just wasting everyone’s time. Including their own.

(via Unicorn Riot, featured image: Disney)

Correction 3/22/2023: The name of Pilsen Community Books has been corrected.

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.