Last night, Michael Moore spoke at St. Mark's Bookshop, which you probably know by now needs a break on their $20,000-a-month rent. They've been trying to talk things out with their landlord Cooper Union, but so far no deal has been made. So Moore stepped in—fresh off the street from his latest New York appearance at Occupy Wall Street—to rally up the troops.
Jeremiah's Vanishing New York reports that last night, the shop was packed. Moore began his speech with the announcement "We're appealing to Cooper Union," to which one woman shouted in response, "There's no appealing to them. They're fucking up the neighborhood!"
He continues: "We must appeal to their conscience and to the integrity of their history. They exist only because the people of New York have supported Cooper Union...and without the people there would be no Cooper Union. So we are asking for a very simple quid pro quo." He also quite eloquently adds, "It's not asking for a free lunch. Oh, God forbid! It's just asking for some decency. That's it."
But the battle isn't only with Cooper Union, something Moore addresses when he told the crowd to read "real books" and to see "real movies," meaning: Buy a book, go to the movies. And as Runnin' Scared pointed out, if 27,000 people bought just one $15 book from St. Mark's (at the time, that's how many people had signed the petition), the shop would make $405,000.
Moore turns his vigor into sentiment at the end of his speech when he added: "We want to be around other people. That's why we love coming to a bookstore. That's why we love coming to St. Mark's. Right? There's just something that you can't put a number on. You can't really quantify it. But you know it, don't you? You know it as a feeling. And you know it feels good when you say, 'Hey, let's go over to St. Mark's for an hour. And just go through the shelves.'"
· Michael Moore at St. Mark's [Jeremiah's Vanishing New York]
· The Fate of St. Mark's Bookshop Could Be Decided Today [Racked NY]
· St. Mark's Bookshop Needs a Break on the Rent [Racked NY]