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Civil Rights Activist to Lead Discussion

Civil rights attorney Norm Gissel will lead the discussion at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library of a book by Jess Walter which examines a deadly confrontation and siege in North Idaho in 1992.
The Pageturners Library Book Club is reading “Ruby Ridge:  The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family” and will discuss the book Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 10:15 in the Community Room at the library, 702 E. Front Ave. Discussions are open to any adult reader and copies of the book are available to check out at the library’s Research and Information Desk.
The book is the second by best-selling author Walter selected by the book club as part of its participation in North Idaho Reads (NIR), a cooperative program by multiple North Idaho libraries.
The book examines what led to the incident that resulted in three deaths at a lonely cabin site near the Canadian border. Drawing on extensive interviews with the Weaver family, government insiders, and others, Walter traces the paths that led the Weavers to their confrontation with federal agents.
Gissel is one of the founding members of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations and he was instrumental in convincing Victoria and Jason Keenan to bring suit against the Aryan Nations, an action resulting in the $6.3 million verdict that forced the sale of Richard Butler's compound.
He received many awards including the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations Civil Rights Award, Carl Maxey Civil Rights Award, Distinguished Citizen of the Year from the Couer d’Alene Chamber of Commerce, and many other acknowledgements for his community work against racist groups in the northwest.
 NIR is a joint project of the Boundary County Library District, the Coeur d’Alene Library, the Community Library Network; the East Bonner County Library District, the West Bonner Library District, and the libraries at Kellog, Mullan, Osburn, Plummer, and Priest Lake. The NIR committee each year selects a book – or in this case a regional author – that the community is encouraged to read and programs are developed around the themes in the books to create a dialogue.

Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208-769-2315.

Norm Gissel photo courtesy of Idaho Public Television.