Freedom bookshop torched

Freedom bookshop torched

London based anarchist bookshop Freedom was damaged in an arson attack in the early hours of Friday morning. Nobody was hurt in the fire which partially gutted the ground floor and damaged the building's electrics.

Freedom Press is Britain's longest running anarchist publisher and traces its history back to the original Freedom paper started by Charlotte Wilson and Peter Kropotkin in 1886.

Firefighters were called to the shop at around 5:00am and had the fire extinguished shortly after 7:00am. Around 15% of the ground floor was damaged by the blaze according to London Fire Brigade.

An unknown assailant forced a broken shutter open and smashed a window before pouring flammable liquid into the bookshop and setting it alight. The filth attended the scene and are treating the fire as suspicious.

As well as selling books, Freedom Press publish a number themselves, produce a monthly paper and provide office space for several radical and anarchist groups such as the Solidarity Federation, Anarchist Federation, Advisory Service for Squatters, Corporate Watch and London Coalition Against Poverty.

Nobody has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack although many believe that the far-right may be responsible as the building was last seriously attacked in 1993 by now defunct neo-nazi terror group Combat 18.

Due to financial problems the press has suffered recently, the insurance on the building had not been renewed and group are requesting financial support so they can continue their work.

Freedom said: “We are setting up a donation page. In the meanwhile, anyone who wants to donate can do so by ordering a book/s through the www.freedompress.org.uk website, and emailing us at shop@freedompress.org.uk to let us know that your purchase was a donation. “

Alternatively, cheques or postal orders made payable to Freedom Press can be sent to Freedom Press, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX.

Photo - Max Reeves
Video - Brian Whelan

Comments

slothjabber
Feb 1 2013 14:43

Glad to hear no-one has been hurt in this attack - grim news though. Intangible solidarity and some tangible cash will be on its way shortly.

the croydonian ...
Feb 1 2013 16:13

I want to know who fucking did this. This is both infuriating and depressing. I think this was obviously done by a political enemy, not just normal people because normal people probably wouldn't of known it was even there and its quite remote being in an alley and stuff.

Khawaga
Feb 1 2013 16:35

That's horrible! Glad to hear nobody's hurt.

freemind
Feb 1 2013 16:37

Probably Fascist scum!

Tian
Feb 1 2013 16:44

Very sorry to hear. Solidarity.

working class s...
Feb 1 2013 18:02

'Donate a Poem for Freedom' is a fundraising campaign to raise money for Freedom Bookshop after the firebombing 1/2/13 . If you are a poet/know a poet who would like to donate then please inbox me. If you want to show your solidarity LIKE and SHARE!

https://www.facebook.com/DonateAPoemForFreedom

Alf
Feb 1 2013 19:31

I agree that practical solidarity is needed, and that this is certainly a political attack.

rooieravotr
Feb 1 2013 21:20

That is horrible news! I wish the Freedom people strength.

commieprincess
Feb 1 2013 21:48

solidarity from afar sad

Chilli Sauce
Feb 1 2013 21:45

Donation on the way.

WTF insurance won't cover this? Why the fuck not?

Tian
Feb 1 2013 21:53
Chilli Sauce wrote:
WTF insurance won't cover this? Why the fuck not?

I took it to mean that they don't have any insurance, or at least not a policy that covers the damage.

Rob Ray
Feb 1 2013 22:08

It ran out a little while ago and hadn't been renewed

wojtek
Feb 1 2013 23:02

Granted it's not the US embassy in Ankara or the presidential palace in Cairo, but the BBC has no excuse for not covering this, especially with all their resources and the locality.

How would one go about making a donation?

Tian
Feb 1 2013 23:05

"A member of the FREEDOM collective said: ‘Could you please help spread the word about donating to rebuild the shop? We are setting up a donation page. In the meanwhile, anyone who wants to donate can do so by ordering a book/s through the www.freedompress.org.uk website, and emailing us at shop@freedompress.org.uk to let us know that your purchase was a donation. Thanks!’"

Chilli Sauce
Feb 1 2013 23:05

Yeah, that's fucked about the BBC. Has there been any mainstream media coverage?

Also, anyone checked out the chatter on far-right websites about this?

Tian
Feb 1 2013 23:17

AP has picked it up, so been a few lines in various capitalist media. Washington Post, Huffington Post, Evening Standard.

Even the South Carolina The State.

wojtek
Feb 1 2013 23:17
Quote:
Has there been any mainstream media coverage?

See here.

Tian
Feb 1 2013 23:22
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Not seen anything on far-right sites.

This comment was left on Indymedia:

Quote:
Cop collaborators
01.02.2013 17:01

Freedom is the headquarter of cop-collaborator libcom. If they work with police they deserve all the fire. See Sam Fanto: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/?page_id=9

http://whois.domaintools.com/libcom.org

Well that just makes me feel a bit sick.

Samotnaf
Feb 2 2013 03:00

Forced to post here to contest this absurdity, which has nothing to do with me. In response to the above, I've just written on Indymedia:

Quote:
Samotnaf's Denunciation of firebombing

02.02.2013 02:34

The 3rd comment down here links to my site and the text I wrote "Cop-out...", and applauds the firebombing.

This has either been written by someone deliberately trying to discredit me and the critique I made of Anarcho-Leftism and Libcom (amongst other things) or a very naive idiot who praises attacks like this even when (probably) committed by fascists. My enemy's enemy is not my friend. And besides, Freedom Bookshop, for all its faults and stupidities, is not Libcom, even if some of Libcom's fellow travellers and partisans are closely associated with it. What's more, as far as I know even the ridiculous Libcom, does not directly collaborate with the cops, even if they defend the cop consultant JD.

Chilli Sauce
Feb 2 2013 07:54
Quote:
Cop collaborators
01.02.2013 17:01

Freedom is the headquarter of cop-collaborator libcom. If they work with police they deserve all the fire. See Sam Fanto: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/?page_id=9

http://whois.domaintools.com/libcom.org

If I was a betting man...

A Wotsit
Feb 2 2013 10:58

If we can make it to help with the clean up, should we bring stuff with us like:
- work gloves
- rubbish bags
- brooms n dustpans
- mop n bucket
- etc
Or will these be on hand/ bought from one of the local shops when we get there?

Armchair Anarchist
Feb 2 2013 11:38

Is there a paypal account for donations?

syndicalist
Feb 2 2013 14:04
Khawaga wrote:
That's horrible! Glad to hear nobody's hurt.

Ditto this.

Solidarity from across the pond.

syndicalist
Feb 2 2013 14:09

Looks like ancient bound volumes of FREEDOM. Hopefully the really old stuff has duplicate copies in some friendly professional library archive somewhere.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29712186@N05/8437146439/in/photostream/

Sorry, perhaps I missed it somewhere, where can financial donations be sent? I suspect there's a lot of structural and licensed (electrical) stuff that would need to be done.

Any addresses or accounts to send such a donation to?

syndicalist
Feb 2 2013 14:19
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
I've updated the article above and included the bit asking for donations:

“We are setting up a donation page. In the meanwhile, anyone who wants to donate can do so by ordering a book/s through the www.freedompress.org.uk website, and emailing us at shop@freedompress.org.uk to let us know that your purchase was a donation. “

Got it!

Steven.
Feb 2 2013 20:06

Thankfully, most remaining issues of The Raven were destroyed in the blaze.

No seriously folks, this is really shit, I'm sorry. I would try to set up a donation page ASAP because interest in this will wane quickly and you need to jump on it! You could just set up a personal PayPal…

When I used to edit Freedom I used to sleep overnight there on occasion, and something like this was always in the back of my mind. But this could have been much more tragic.

I hope the archives are okay, particularly the back issues of Anarchy magazine we were speaking about recently!

arminius
Feb 2 2013 20:12
Tian wrote:
"A member of the FREEDOM collective said: ‘Could you please help spread the word about donating to rebuild the shop? We are setting up a donation page. In the meanwhile, anyone who wants to donate can do so by ordering a book/s through the www.freedompress.org.uk website, and emailing us at shop@freedompress.org.uk to let us know that your purchase was a donation. Thanks!’"

Put this up on the World in Common's 'Spaces of Hope' blog. Hope it helps! Solidarity!

http://www.spacesofhope.org/2013/02/freedom-bookshop-in-london-firebombed.html

syndicalist
Feb 2 2013 21:29

I'm hoping that the Workers Solidarity Alliance will come thru with a modest donation.

Hungry56
Feb 3 2013 00:44

Why don't Freedom put a book on their online bookshop called "Donate to Freedom" and make it the first book on the list? Instead of people emailing them. Seems easy though I've never run a website.

jef costello
Feb 3 2013 09:12

Shit, this was not something I thought would happen.
solidarity

edit: Hungry's idea seems like a good one