Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Burning Books (II)

Freedom bookshop firebomb damage

A fortnight ago today, Freedom Books, London’s anarchist bookshop, was firebombed. It’s not the first time in Freedom’s 125-year history that this has happened – in 1993 the shop was trashed by members of Combat 18, the spectacularly revolting fascist paramilitary organisation which has been responsible for murders and attacks against non-white people, left-wing activists and (perhaps less unfortunately) each other for over 20 years.

Now, I may be a jaded, cynical old git with a somewhat mixed/jaundiced view of my anarchist past, but burning books/hops, especially ones putting out ideas that the powers-that-be would rather we didn’t think about, pisses me off more than pretty much anything else (it’s certainly on a very short shortlist). So now that I’ve finally gotten around to blogging something about this, here are some significant links:

Freedom Books, with information on how to donate to and buy from them;
— a list of benefit events around Britain to raise funds for Freedom’s refurb and restock;
— a benefit t-shirt for the same purpose;
— a call for submissions for ‘Donate a Poem for Freedom’, a fundraising poetry compilation;
— the bookshop’s Facebook group, with updates on events, re-opening etc, as well as the truly inspirational solidarity shown by people who helped with the clean-up and donated kit and money, and by bookshops and publishers who’ve supported Freedom by supplying replacement stock;
— and the Bishopsgate Institute, where much of Freedom’s historical archive was preserved, safe from the flames.

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