An independent bookstore has called on its members to boycott a Missouri State University bookstore after a recent protest.
The store’s founder, who asked not to be identified, told The Huffington Post on Friday that the bookstore was a “toxic” environment.
“I don’t want to be associated with any of those things that you see in other places like the [Moses] Barber Shop, or the Barnes & Noble,” he said.
“That’s not how I wanted to start this shop.”
The protest was organized by a group called “Monsanto Liberation Coalition,” which claims to be a “community of self-styled radicals.”
In a letter to the bookstore’s owners, the coalition wrote that the protest was not authorized and that the group had violated the M.S.U. Constitution by refusing to pay a rent.
The letter stated that the MSC was an “institutionalized racism, patriarchy, and homophobia,” that was a direct threat to the safety of its members, and that members were “targeted, harassed, and arrested” for participating in the protest.
“We believe that it is in the best interest of the community of MSC members to sever ties with MSC,” the letter said.
“The MSC is an institution that fosters safe spaces for free speech, but the MSSU does not foster an atmosphere of tolerance, inclusion, and solidarity.
The MSC has a history of targeting, harassing, and arresting MSC supporters.”
The coalition also called for the boycott to be taken off MSC’s website.
“This is not a business, and it’s not a campus,” one of the group’s members, Mike McGovern, told HuffPost.
“It’s a university that has never given us a fair shake.
We’re here to tell MSC that it’s time to sever all ties with this organization.”
A MSC representative told HuffPost that the coalition had violated university policy by participating in a boycott.
“Members of the coalition are welcome to discuss their concerns in the community forum as they would with any other group of students,” the spokesperson said.
The representative added that the store’s owners were currently in talks with the MCC.