Abraham Lloyd on the Kindle2/Authors Guild demo in NYC

I am in Montreal right now, and missed the Right Rights Coalition demonstration at the Authors Guild. Manon, Judit and Malini from our office are in NYC at the demonstration, and said it was incredibly moving. Several people at the protest sent reports by tweeter. The most complete was probably Abraham Lloyd. This was his account, with the Tweets organized from his first to last.


@abrahamlloyd #kindle2 #right2read #protest

45. In the city now, on the way to the protest. My anticipation.and excitement is building.
44. About seven blocks away. The protest should have a few hundred people.
43. Just met Patricia and Mary at the protest. They were walking on the way to the protest.
42. The reason for this protest begins to hit home when you see how upset people are about this issue.
41. My estimate is that there about 200+ people here. Note: informal head count. ;)
41. First observation: this protest is very organized and under control without shackling theIr pasion.
40. There’s a rally master with music and a mike leading cheers and chants, maintaining a positive tone.
40. Everyone (blind, seeing, or disabled) is carrying a sign expressing their displeasure with the guild.
39. “Give Kindle the Freedom of Speech”. “Don’t Disable the Kindle”. “Print for some, audio for others”.
38. Everyone’s chanting “We want books! We want eBooks” to “Right Now” by Van Halen. Good taste in music. :)
37. More signs: “We want to read”, “Make the sound decision about the Kindle”,”Great writing deserves to be heard”
36. Ok — had major difficulties with the iPhone. Just switched to my laptop and working through TweetDeck.
35. Back to the protest. “What do we want; we want our books! When do we want them? We want them now.”
34. The protestors are making the point that the Authors Guild only wants people to read off a screen.
33. Disabled, blind, and seeing are protesting together. All have signs that express displeasure and frustration.
32. “Don’t Disable the Kindle”. “Let America Read” “You Do Not Need to See to Read”. “Let Kindle Speak”. Nice.
31. The point being made now is that the Kindle2 makes thousands of books accessible to a market of 15m. Not tiny.
30. Another chant. “We would like to read your books, so we won’t let you off the hook.” I think they can hear it.
29. Interesting. Spoke with a couple from Australia in publishing that happened to catch the protest.
28. In the AU, consumers are legally allowed to change the format of an eBook once, and make a copy for per. use.
27. This is new, and was just passed there. Funny, they thought that the Authors Guild position was silly.
26. Another chant;kind of funny. “One, Two, Three, Four — hear us on the 7th Floor!” – The Authors Guild offices.
25. “The Authors Guild is telling the Governor of NY that he cannot read books that come out in eBook format.”
24. Roy Blount of the Authors guild just texted “We are certainly not quaking in our books, thank you very much.”
23. More from Roy Blount “We got what we wanted from Amazon. As far as we’re concerned, this case is closed.”
22. Let’s just say the protesters did not like that. Everyone’s cheering “People! United! Will never be defeated”.
21. One point that’s interesting to me: this issue, legally, is about copyright law interpretation….
20. … and market protection (the audiobook market). No one is talking about this at the protest, though.
19. More on Roy Blount:”We are not shaking in our boots”.
18. Protestors in Response: “You may not be quaking in your boots, but you sure are hiding in your office”.Ouch.
17. New chants. “Stop that Greed, we want to Read!” and “We’d all have access sooner if not for Roy Blount Jr.”
16. Roy’s comments apparently got everyone fired up. “Stop the Greed! We want to Read!”
15. And on that note, they’re dedicating another song to the 7th Floor. “I Won’t Back Down”by Tom Petty.
14. Another testament from those protesting. “We want to buy books, and read them in a manner that benefits us.”
13. Ok — met a woman here who’s company makes books accessible; Her stance was that there’s enough money for all.
12. And fittingly enough, they’re back to chanting “No need for greed; we want to read!”
11. More music. “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” by Fleetwood Mac. Great tune, and fitting. 15 minutes left.
10. Ok — taking a moment to organize some photos to tweet. Stay tuned.
9. “The Authors Guild should be real proud to have the Kindle read out loud.” All still protesting, not wavering.
8. “For the books we will pay, but we need the speech to play.” Again, this protest is well organized and planned.
7. The Authors Guild just made a statement. “Roy Blount’s statement was not made by Roy Blount”. Hmmm.
6. “We don’t want to read a statement, or meet through an intermediary. We want to meet face to face.”
5. This lead to a rousing chant of “Come on Down! Come on Down! Come on Down!” Why won’t the Guild come down?
4. “If we mis-represented Roy Blount, we apologize. We haven’t had an opportunity to speak with him, though.”
3. This is not the last of the protests; this is the first. Protests will continue until we get our right to read.
2. And just like that, they transition to “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now”. The protest is beginning to disperse.
1. Two minutes left; the protest is about to wrap up. Wow, what a great event. I’ll blog my summary later.