The historic Freedom building in East London is the best-known public space of the British anarchist movement. Home to Freedom newspaper (long running and much improved), the building’s also used for office space (including both the Anarchist Federation and Solidarity Federation) and social space like after bookfair parties. It also houses Freedom Bookshop, a major outlet for anarchist publications from Freedom Press and other publishers (including us).
In the early hours of Friday 1 February 2013 fire fighters were called to a blaze which damaged about 15% of the shop, destroying books and knocking out the building’s electrics (it took about two hours to put out). The cause was an arson attack: a shutter had been forced, flammable liquid poured in and lit. Luckily no-one was in the building, and the building itself still stands. Shortage of money (the curse of radical projects) meant that the insurance premiums hadn’t been paid, leaving the cost of the clean-up on the shoulders of Freedom – and their friends.
In the days straight after the attack, friends and supporters of Freedom descended on the building to clear and clean it. Already the bookshop has reopened. Freedom have been offered new books by anarchist publishers. Other fundraising plans are taking shape, from music and poetry collections to fundraising feasts. Cash donations have come in from comrades across the country and in fact the world.
If you’re able to send Freedom a donation, UK cheques and postal orders made payable to Freedom Press can be sent to Freedom Press, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX.
News updates, links to photos and other ways to help can be found on the Freedom website:
Source of melted phone photo:
Additional info from http://libcom.org/news/freedom-bookshop-firebombed-01022013