Far-right attack on Bookmarks bookshop

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jef costello's picture
jef costello
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Aug 6 2018 09:27
Far-right attack on Bookmarks bookshop

This dropped off The Guardian front page pretty quickly.

There were a bunch of Far-right protestors, who had been protesting against the "censorship" of infowars. A group carrying the same flags, posters and wearing the same "Make Britain Great Again" hats etc then went to socialist bookshop Bookmarks and vandlaised the displays and destroy books.

This has been posted as an image of the group shortly before.

It's unclear how many were involved, police were called but made no arrests.

Is this another sign of an emboldened far-right?

The group that organised the infowars march is people's charter, someone identified its leader, Luke Nash-Jones in a photo, but not necessarily as participating in the attack. A quick look at their page shows pretty standard islamophobic brexit rubbish. Amusingly he complains that Europeans have more right to come to Britain than commonwealth members, perhaps he hasn't realised what colour most people living in commonwealth member countries are...

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darren p
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Aug 6 2018 09:59

They filmed themselves and it's been posted on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvZM_-dQFIw

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Rob Ray
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Aug 6 2018 10:10
Quote:
Is this another sign of an emboldened far-right?

Sort of yes, sort of no. The group involved very much weren't organised street fighters, being affiliated to the largely ineffectual and laughably inept Make Britain Great Again, and did more damage to their own side's reputation than the the shop. There's a video (below) and many of the main people involved have already been identified, which gives an idea of how totally ridiculous these people are.

The initial Tweet report seems very much like the shop staff were shaken by the whole thing (understandably, it looks very unpleasant) while the left response since has been imo somewhat overblown (wasn't surprised at all to see the SWP fundraising off it despite the episode clearly having had no appreciable economic impact - though I suppose there's worse ways to punish far-rightists who try to intimidate bookshops than making sure the outcome is the opposite of what they intended by boosting the victims).

That said, the fact these idiots felt bold enough to film themselves "confronting" a left-wing bookshop in broad daylight says a lot about the increased confidence of what is currently an unorganised bunch of conspiraloons and wannabe edgelords who think they're part of a movement. Cack-handed opportunism is one of those steps that go between rhetoric and more organised violence.

Jim
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Aug 6 2018 10:10

This wasn't an attack.

They rip up a placard and knock some books onto the floor. Sure it must have been fairly intimidating but this is hardly far-right violence. I don't remember this much anguish from the left when the Clapton Ultras were violently attacked by 40 tooled up far-right hooligans.

But, the level of far-right violence has been increasing steadily for years and is now at a level which the left really needs to take seriously, so hopefully this minor incident will help with that.

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darren p
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Aug 6 2018 10:38
Jim wrote:
This wasn't an attack.

Yes my feeling too. Still an attempt to intimidate and an unpleasant experience for the bookshop staff and customers thoygh

wojtek
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Aug 7 2018 16:15

Ukip suspends three members over socialist bookshop attack

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Steven.
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Aug 7 2018 16:27

I wonder what Class War-turned-UKIP-member Paul Stott makes of it!

wojtek
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Aug 7 2018 18:50

Just wait for the Spiked hot take.

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Entdinglichung
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Aug 7 2018 19:23

he is currently busy defending Boris Johnson

R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Aug 9 2018 09:52

Tbf, "wanting to piss off the trots" is one of the only things that I can think of that would belong in the middle of the Class War/UKIP Venn diagram. Also, when I first heard about this I wondered if this was them being really clever and making a strategic decision to go after targets that would be divisive and perhaps not get automatic sympathy, I really can't get over the fact that these clowns actually decided to have a go at the SWP's bookshop without taking five seconds on google to find out anything about who the SWP are.

Mike Harman
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Aug 9 2018 10:39
R Totale wrote:
Also, when I first heard about this I wondered if this was them being really clever and making a strategic decision to go after targets that would be divisive and perhaps not get automatic sympathy

One thing I noticed on twitter when this happened is a lot of people had no idea that Bookmarks shop was SWP-linked, even people who would be well aware that SUTR is an SWP front.

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Cooked
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Aug 9 2018 11:50

Strangely there was a small piece about in in a swedish broadsheet, at least the online edition. Sounded like a proper attack from that piece...

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R Totale
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Aug 9 2018 12:38

I guess it makes sense that more people would be aware of the back story to an org like SUTR that holds high profile events all over the country than for a bookshop that you'd have no real reason to encounter unless you've ever decided to buy leftie books in central London. Also probably reflects the declining influence of the SWP in recent years, I imagine Bookmarks' ownership must be common knowledge among anyone who's ever been even peripherally close to them, but I guess anyone coming into politics since 2013 or so probably won't ever have gone to Marxism and so on.
Branding-wise it is an interesting turnaround: not so long ago, a lot of the media, and even the less sharp cops and fash, would assume any antifascist was automatically from "the UAF", now you have dopey alt-right chumps standing around outside the SWP's bookshop trying to work out if it's an "ant-eef-uh" shop.

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Alf
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Aug 9 2018 19:28

What stays with me about this 'action' is the perceptive literary criticism offered by the guy who picked up three books from the shelves: first, "Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity" and "Posh Boys: How the English Public Schools Ruin Britain". This was clear evidence that the shop was encouraging paedophilia. Finally he seized upon Abram Leon's "The Jewish Question, a marxist interpretation" to prove that it was selling "Jew hatred".

Everyone is mixed up these days.

Black Badger
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Aug 9 2018 20:35

Whipping Girl is one of my favorites