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Saturday, July 12, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 73.0° F  Overcast
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Judge Doyle Square opponent threatens A Room of One's Own bookstore with boycott

A Room of One's Own owner Sandy Torkildson says she says she won't be intimidated.
Credit:Kristian Knutsen
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Sandy Torkildson is no stranger to boycotts or protests. The owner of A Room of One's Own bookstore just off State Street, Torkildson has at times faced the wrath of evangelical Christians upset with her carrying feminist and gay and lesbian literature. She even suspects, but can't prove, that her store has been vandalized because of the books she sells.

She was recently threatened with a boycott over a different offense -- serving on the committee evaluating proposals for Judge Doyle Square.

At a meeting last month, Ann E. Fleischli, an attorney and journalist who fought the construction of Monona Terrace and opposes the Judge Doyle Square development, urged people to boycott a Room of One's Own.

Fleischli calls Judge Doyle Square a "horrendous proposal," adding, "It is the privatization of two entire city blocks."

She says that anybody involved in promoting it should be made aware of the consequences of doing so.

"If [Torkildson] thought being on this committee only gave her status in this community, she should know there are other possible consequences," Fleischli says. "I don't ever intend to go in that store again."

What if Torkildson refuses to support either development proposal? Fleischli says that would be good. "Then I would walk back into her store. And I'm a very good customer of that store."

Torkildson takes offense to the call for a boycott, saying it goes against the spirit of participatory democracy. But she says she won't be intimidated.

"It takes a lot to get people to serve on these committees because it takes a lot of time," Torkildson says. "This kind of intimidation doesn't do anybody any good."

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