Arson and Burglary Committed at Groundwork Bookstore


Photo courtesy of Hrishikesh Barokar.

Written by:

Unknown suspects smashed the glass door entrance to the Groundwork Bookstore yesterday morning, knocking over bookshelves and lighting a bookcase on fire, causing $500 in damage.

Founded in 1973, Groundwork Books is UC San Diego’s student-run bookstore that offers a variety of social justice books related to workers, women, black, Latinx, indigenous, and critical histories. The store was the primary source for class texts until the opening of the Price Center Bookstore.

The perpetrator(s) did not steal anything and did not leave a note detailing why they broke in.

Photo courtesy of Hrishikesh Barokar

Photo courtesy of Hrishikesh Barokar

In a statement released on Monday, the Groundwork Books membership wrote that it believes this crime is connected to a recent rise in far-right and white supremacist activity at universities. In January, a UCSD student affiliated with the white supremacist group Identity Evropa disrupted a lecture with the intention to harass students, also dropping banners and distributing flyers on campus.

“Driven and emboldened by the rising right-wing momentum, someone was motivated to commit a felony against a student-run community bookstore on the basis of its political character,” the statement says. “Because this is an attack on a truly independent student-run organization, this concerns the entire student body regardless of political orientation.”

No one has been apprehended for the crime and the investigation is ongoing.

Mo Elew is an Assistant News Editor at The Triton. Follow him @solomune.