When: Mon., Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. 2011
Twenty years ago today, the first Iraq War was a few weeks old and Triangle activists were in full swing. One of the most prominent leftists was Bob Sheldon, who founded Internationalist Books. But a shocking crime took place at the
Franklin Rosemary Street store on Feb. 21, 1991: Sheldon was found bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head and died the following day. The crime was never solved (it's unclear if it was politically motivated or simply a botched stickup), but it received national attention and was the subject of at least two songs. One was the Indigo Girls' "Jonas and Ezekial," while Sonic Youth's went with the more succinct title of "Chapel Hill."
Thirty years after its founding by Sheldon, the Internationalist Books & Community Center seems as strong as ever, a sturdy redoubt of leftist thought and activism in an ever-bourgeois, increasingly apolitical community. On Monday from 7 to 9 p.m., old and new friends of the Internationalist will gather at the store, and the evening will include a "rousing" march to the site of the old store (and crime scene). "C'est la lutte finale/ Groupons-nous, et demain/ L'Internationale/ Sera le genre humain!" Or, in Billy Bragg's translation of "The Internationale": "So comrades, come rally/For this is the time and place!/The international ideal/Unites the human race."—David Fellerath