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

Posted By

Anonymous
Feb 1 2013 13:55

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Tian
Feb 3 2013 19:08
Anarcissie
Feb 4 2013 03:19

Here in America, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY, a free store operated by the In Our Hearts anarchist collective in a structure they themselves built was burned to the ground a few years ago, destroying the neighboring building (occupied by a dozen or so people, all of whom fortunately escaped injury although many lost all their possessions). Two people were rumored to have said that they were responsible. These persons had been associated with one of the various anarchist groups in the locality and were widely suspected to have been either provocateurs/saboteurs or crazy (or both). In any case they disappeared. The police showed little interest in the case in spite of the gravity of the crime. This is not the first instance of sabotage among activists, but it is the most serious.

smush
Feb 4 2013 06:05

Solidarity from down-under! We will make a donation shortly.

Steven.
Feb 4 2013 09:37

This piece on Vice argues that it was probably fascists the did this, and ties it to Freedoms publishing of the AFA book. Which I think is probably the case.
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/who-firebombed-londons-oldest-anarchist-b...

Rob Ray
Feb 4 2013 11:35

Hungry: Had an ask and apparently we get a smack on the back of the head from Google if we put anything donation-related in the shop itself - they have some rule that only registered charities can do it apparently.

Croy
Feb 4 2013 12:27
Steven. wrote:
This piece on Vice argues that it was probably fascists the did this, and ties it to Freedoms publishing of the AFA book. Which I think is probably the case.
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/who-firebombed-londons-oldest-anarchist-b...

Until a couple of months I thought Vice was a smaller "alternative" lads mag but then I saw their documentaries on youtube and thought they were pretty cool, and its good that they are covering this and put in a good word for anarchism in the article a bit. Does anyone read vice regularly ?

syndicalist
Feb 4 2013 16:10
Anarcissie wrote:
Here in America, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY, a free store operated by the In Our Hearts anarchist collective in a structure they themselves built was burned to the ground a few years ago, destroying the neighboring building (occupied by a dozen or so people, all of whom fortunately escaped injury although many lost all their possessions). Two people were rumored to have said that they were responsible. These persons had been associated with one of the various anarchist groups in the locality and were widely suspected to have been either provocateurs/saboteurs or crazy (or both). In any case they disappeared. The police showed little interest in the case in spite of the gravity of the crime. This is not the first instance of sabotage among activists, but it is the most serious.

What are you saying or implying?

Tian
Feb 4 2013 18:50
syndicalist wrote:
Anarcissie wrote:
This is not the first instance of sabotage among activists, but it is the most serious.

What are you saying or implying?

Let's not get the pitchforks out or play internet detectives. I'm really not sure it helps anyone.

jolasmo
Feb 4 2013 20:34

I'm not sure if Anarcissie was implying anything...? I could be wrong but I assumed they were just mentioning a somewhat similar incident (i.e. an arson attack on an anarchist shop) from their experience. I think it would be a bit of a leap to infer they were making any kind of accusation.

~J.

Steven.
Feb 4 2013 22:52
the croydonian anarchist wrote:
Steven. wrote:
This piece on Vice argues that it was probably fascists the did this, and ties it to Freedoms publishing of the AFA book. Which I think is probably the case.
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/who-firebombed-londons-oldest-anarchist-b...

Until a couple of months I thought Vice was a smaller "alternative" lads mag but then I saw their documentaries on youtube and thought they were pretty cool, and its good that they are covering this and put in a good word for anarchism in the article a bit. Does anyone read vice regularly ?

It's not a "lads" mag (see what they think about unilad here for example: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/why-uni-lad-is-bigger-than-a-rape-joke), it's a pretty general hipster magazine. So there is a bit of nonsense but quite a lot of good stuff, some of it by people vaguely associated with libcom at least. Some of the documentaries are really good, they had good coverage of Egypt, as well as good stuff about anarchists in Greece and Italy, the student protests, EDL etc, some good feminist articles…

Actually a couple of years ago one libcom poster made fun of me for reading vice, saying it was "so 2009" or something and now he writes for them…

Lugius
Feb 5 2013 04:09

I can report that the meeting of the Melbourne Anarchist Club of 3rd February has decided to donate AUD500 to Freedom Bookshop in solidarity to assist with repair and recovery. The email address on the website has been written to but no reply has been received as yet.

The MAC has been subject to a number of attacks by fascists/nationalists over the past four years. The most spectacular was an assault by about 60 members of Sons of the Southern Cross that was successfully repulsed by a weapons system developed in-house known as 'Stubbie Rain' despite being outnumbered by about four-to-one.

The most memorable was when a notorious local lone-wolf fascist skinhead nutter who had been spraying swastikas on the MAC for months was given a proper and thorough going-over by two of the most erudite and intellectual members of the MAC whilst managing to retain their spectacles on their faces. These comrades are now known around the traps as 'Liquid Ninja' and 'The Bookworm'.

The front of the MAC is offered some protection by a full-length roller-door and inside there are located about the joint six hand-held fire extinguishers. Highly recommended.

syndicalist
Feb 5 2013 04:22
Tian wrote:
syndicalist wrote:
Anarcissie wrote:
This is not the first instance of sabotage among activists, but it is the most serious.

What are you saying or implying?

Let's not get the pitchforks out or play internet detectives. I'm really not sure it helps anyone.

Actually, they were implying something, so it seems. I mean, I'll let it be and really think folks should just say, there was a fire. We're not sure who did it. I found the other stuff to be a bit accusatory. Just my impression.

Ramona
Feb 5 2013 22:21
Gavin McInnes wrote:
We seem really racist and homophobic
because we hang around with fags and niggers so much. It just becomes part of
our vernacular.

Vice does have some quite good articles in between the tits and racism

Harrison
Feb 12 2013 14:13

vice a while ago had a playlist curated by one of the little american garage punk / garage pop record labels i buy stuff from.

Mr. Jolly
Feb 6 2013 04:37

Find alot of VICE very Nathan Barleyesque. A mag for thick hipsters.

Caiman del Barrio
Feb 6 2013 08:33
Harrison wrote:
i find vice often a bit uncool, like a friend who tries really hard to be on the curve but basically isn't but totally thinks they are and tries to lord it, but covers their ass by being constantly sarcastic so if they need to they can claim they weren't serious.

Yeah exactly at its worst it's this zeitgeisty faux-irony which defines young creative types living off Mummy in East London. The American material seems to be loads of insensitive gawping, poverty porn and tabloid-esque voyeurism at horrific human suffering (the Vice Guide to Liberia is particularly offensive).

But, they have a large budget to cover a lot of issues of interest to young urbanites and travellers so a lot of their material does actually concentrate on interesting stuff. I just wish the presenters would STFU, cos they're fucking banal.

Posted this before, but here's a non-ironic and sensitive Vice Mexico video on the Cherán commune (Spanish): http://aristeguinoticias.com/1107/mexico/cheran-el-pueblo-purepecha-en-r...

Steven.
Feb 6 2013 09:14
Ramona wrote:
Gavin McInnes wrote:
We seem really racist and homophobic
because we hang around with fags and niggers so much. It just becomes part of
our vernacular.

Vice does have some quite good articles in between the tits and racism

as Jim says, this is off topic so let's get back to Freedom. I just wanted to point out that that guy, McInnes, is a dick head but he got the boot from vice five years ago.

Tian
Feb 6 2013 09:42

Buy a t-shirt, help out Freedom:

Quote:
The anarchist t-shirt shop No-Gods-No-Masters.com answers this call by giving an immediate monetary support to Freedom Press comrades following an attack of an unspeakable lazyness [sic] which reminds us the most horrible moments of the last century.
A first donation will be sent this week and more will follow on the upcoming months according to our monthly income.

Information is a wealth that must be defended at all cost and anarchist education is a fundamental need for the establishment of any anarchist society. Places like Freedom Press are rare and the ideas that they share plants the seeds of anarchism. We must stay in solidarity with them to preserve our ideas and continue to transmit today’s and yesterday’s anarchist philosophies that will be the roots of tomorrow’s revolutions !

In front of fascists who wants to shut us down and censor our ideas to impose theirs, we stay in solidarity. Neither aggression or intimidation will overcome our ideas !

In solidarity,
Ni-Dieu-Ni-Maitre.com / No-Gods-No-Masters.com / Ni-Dios-Ni-Amo.com

http://no-gods-no-masters.com/blog/money-donation-to-freedom-press-libra...

Steven.
Feb 6 2013 11:42

Yeah, as I understand it Vernon basically stole the press from the AFB, which plenty of people were understandably pissed off about.

Harrison
Feb 6 2013 14:58
Steven. wrote:
Yeah, as I understand it Vernon basically stole the press from the AFB, which plenty of people were understandably pissed off about.

I can think of at least two more incidents like this within the british ultra left!

rat
Feb 6 2013 17:12

I've never understood who owns or runs Freedom Bookshop and press.

Steven.
Feb 6 2013 18:09
zero wrote:
I've never understood who owns or runs Freedom Bookshop and press.

the bookshop is owned by a group called the Friends of Freedom. The press is run by the press collective. It's not a physical press. There is a physical press next door called Aldgate Press which is a separate workers' co-op and which Freedom originally helped set up.

GrouchoMarxist
Feb 7 2013 19:15

The first time I posted this to my facebook wall. Someone accused this site (Libcom) and Freedom Press of collaberating with a group of police informants. I think the accusations against Aufheben are stupid and are a smear campaign.

Rob Ray
Feb 7 2013 20:46

Even if they weren't libcom publishing Aufheben material isn't "collaboration" in any meaningful sense and Freedom doesn't have anything to do with either group (in fact the only major link between Freedom and Libcom is me, and I'm neither an admin nor do I hold any official position in Freedom other than "collective member.")

Chilli Sauce
Feb 7 2013 20:59

I think it might be true that libcom uses/has used Freedom's address in the past.

Rob Ray
Feb 7 2013 21:05

They used it to set the account up a little over eight years ago, which I don't really count as "major"

Rob Ray
Feb 7 2013 21:55

I didn't claim there aren't links I said I was the only major one, which is true afaik. There's no crossover of collective membership and no-one on the Freedom collective posts on here other than me (in fact I had to explain the entire Aufheben thing to people just the other day after they read the Indymedia stuff and had no idea what was going on - that's how minimal it is).

888
Feb 8 2013 06:50
Steven. wrote:
Yeah, as I understand it Vernon basically stole the press from the AFB, which plenty of people were understandably pissed off about.

Yes, from what I have heard Vernon Richards was no innocent at any rate

888
Feb 8 2013 06:51

argh dp

Steven.
Feb 9 2013 14:45

I think it's fair enough to say that there is no kind of official link between libcom and Freedom. There used to be, as there was joint membership of the two collectives, but there isn't any more, nor has there been for what 8 years maybe?

But in the eyes of the cretins we host freedom articles on here, the same as we host Aufheben articles, so that means we are essentially the same organisation. As we are with Karl Marx , Chomsky and CrimethInc.