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Freedom Bookshop Firebombed

tweet | 01.02.2013 15:44 | London

from twitter


22m Freedom Press Freedom Press ‏@Freedom_Paper

Not sure yet whether archives survived - we had one of only a few sets covering almost the entire printed history of the paper boxed in shop
51m Freedom Press Freedom Press ‏@Freedom_Paper

UPDATE: 1pm, tomorrow (saturday 2nd) Bookshop solidarity cleanup! We won't be beaten so easily. Please share.
54m Freedom Press Freedom Press ‏@Freedom_Paper

Pic of the damage:
1h Freedom Press Freedom Press ‏@Freedom_Paper

@secretlondon Not yet
View conversation
1h Freedom Press Freedom Press ‏@Freedom_Paper

@markthomasinfo @JonnieMarbLes No-one hurt fortunately.
View conversation
1h Freedom Press Freedom Press ‏@Freedom_Paper

A few people have asked about cheques - we should still be able to get mail so yes you can send them, made out to Freedom Press, thanks :)
2h Freedom Press Freedom Press ‏@Freedom_Paper

Thanks to everyone for the kind words, brief answers yep we'll be making an appeal but still sorting out what's next atm!
2h Freedom Press Freedom Press ‏@Freedom_Paper

Not much to be done today, but plan for cleanup and appeal for cash (no insurance coverage sadly) will be getting sorted out asap.
2h Freedom Press Freedom Press ‏@Freedom_Paper

BREAKING: Freedom was firebombed last night. No-one hurt, upstairs is okay but shop and electrics have been seriously damaged.



Hide the following 30 comments


01.02.2013 16:09

Guessing the munters who did this will brag about it on internet pretty soon...


I hope they sell the firebomb damaged books

01.02.2013 16:51

I can think of a few anarchos who'd be happy to have one and to help pay for the shop to get sorted.


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:

Domain ID:D105899649-LROR
Domain Name:LIBCOM.ORG
Created On:16-Mar-2005 14:45:21 UTC
Last Updated On:14-Mar-2011 13:30:29 UTC
Expiration Date:16-Mar-2020 14:45:21 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Gandi SAS (R42-LROR)
Registrant ID:0-1269255-GANDI
Registrant Name:Albert Meltzer
Registrant Organization:Albert Meltzer
Registrant Street1:84b Whitechapel High St
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:london
Registrant State/Province:
Registrant Postal Code:E17QX
Registrant Country:GB
Registrant Phone:+44.2072479249
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:

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Combat 18

01.02.2013 17:30

attacked the bookshop back in 1993.


@ πυρ You ignorant asshole!

01.02.2013 17:36

Nice bit of solidarity for the near destruction of oldest anarchist print and bookshop in the country. You are the cop/fascist. Fuck your remarks. You my nemisis are whats attempting to completely destroy the Anarchist movement in this country. Come to Freedom bookshop and say it to the faces of the volunteers there you big brave keyboard warrior....

Barry Cade


01.02.2013 17:47

πυρ: firstly, just because Freedom Bookshop have (presumably) allowed libcom to use their address as a postal contact for their domain ( doesn't mean FB is libcom's "headquarters"!

Secondly, and most importantly, evidence please of libcom's "cop collaboration"!

Thirdly, even if libcom were "cop collaborators" (which I doubt), FB may be unaware of that, so simply for being used as a contact address for libcom (which they might not even have been asked about) they certainly wouldn't deserve a firebombing. That's fucking ridiculous.


So sorry.

01.02.2013 17:55

I can't say I agree with a lot of what bookshops like this are about, but its very bad that some retarded f***wit has resorted to brazen cowardice like this. The people that do this are always closet cowards who can't hold their own.

Hope you get up and running and back to normal asap. If you need money to help replenish your stocks please post something here so anon donations can be made.


Q to anonymous. What exactly do you mean by saying that considering you are...

01.02.2013 18:05

...posting on a activist site. "I can't say I agree with a lot of what bookshops like this are about"

Can you explain that statement as you sound like a complete ass/ daily mail commenter!!!

Barry Cade

Adolf Hitler Burnt Books

01.02.2013 18:55

Adolf Hitler burnt books.

The EDL/EVF/NF cowards who did this, obviously are pleased to see peeps not being educated about life, so they can be indoctrinated with racism easier.


Donate and rebuild.

01.02.2013 19:19

"Can you explain that statement as you sound like a complete ass/ daily mail commenter!!!"

No offence, but your an idiot trying to undermine the bookshops ability to gather money to repair the damage by gobbing off and derailing the conversation following this story. You would just do better to slink away and go lick your troll balls for a bit, its kinda all your good for anyway!

I'm very sorry to see this and reiterate that the bookshop are clearly deserving of donations to help rebuild the archive that they have. I and others might not agree with the content of that archive, holding different and more effective views about how to kill the state stone dead (yes, that involves Toyota trucks, anti-aircraft guns, the bombing of Parliament, Millbank and targeting of state facilities along with setting up kangaroo courts in the streets for the nightly hanging of the Capitalismo), but even so its always nice to have a range of different political views about the place. Its always good to know the difference between Marxism and theoretical Anatolyism when one is in the middle of shooting down a Harrier jet flown by state loyalists.

So political variability is good. As soon as you are organised, please do post some info about how we can make anon donations to help you get back on your feet again.


@Anonymous Another middle class wanker.....

01.02.2013 20:23

playing at keyboard insurrection.. Yeh!

Aunty Christ

International Times article

01.02.2013 21:13

"FREEDOM BOOKSHOP, London’s most famous anarchist press and bookshop, has been firebombed.

The attack on the Whitechapel premises took place on Friday morning at 5.30am.

The downstairs section of the shop is badly damaged. Electrics are damaged. Many books are burnt or charred. Upstairs is untouched. No one was hurt.

The exact nature of the weapon is not yet known. A fire-bomb was projected through the shutters of a downstairs shop-window; or petrol was poured through and set alight.

An emergency meeting is taking place on Friday afternoon – as this article is being written – at The White Hart pub close to Angel Alley.

No one has claimed responsibility and the general response can be summed up in three letters: WTF?

A police forensics squad has examined the premises. The perpetrator ‘may have been caught on CCTV’.

The Left has a whodunnit to solve. A book-burning is bad enough. A bookshop-burning is a very serious crime.

Also, there is a mess to clean up and a campaign to raise funds.

Publishers, record shops, and magazines have already pledged to donate stock and sales proceeds to help FREEDOM rebuild.

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 website, and emailing us at to let us know that your purchase was a donation. Thanks!’

Even broke poets can donate:

People will gather at the shop from 1pm on Saturday Feb 2 to start the work. All welcome.

The manager of the bookshop Andy Meinke, speaking from the pub where the staff have been forced to relocate said, ‘Freedom will carry on in the same haphazard way it always has – the Fascists have just driven us to the pub a little bit earlier in the day than otherwise. Unfortunately, copies of the Raven have been irreparably damaged which, as you can imagine, is a great loss to the movement. We thank all those who have contacted us today with their solidarity. We remain united in the struggle against fascism.’

FREEDOM’s incredible history began in 1886, with Peter Kropotkin as one of the founders. This is the latest episode in a very colourful story. There are worries that complete print archives of the press may have been damaged or destroyed."


Keep the info coming.

02.02.2013 00:23

Soon as you get a donation page up and running please do post here so we can circulate.

I want to do as much as I can to get you some cash to get this fixed.

We'll deal with the cowards that did this after.


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 John Drury.


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Guardian article

02.02.2013 14:46

Blaze at historic anarchist bookshop is investigated by police
Suspicious fire at anarchist newspaper's base may have damaged archives

A long-standing anarchist bookshop has been badly damaged in a suspected firebomb attack.

Police investigating the blaze at the Freedom Press bookshop in Whitechapel High Street, east London, are treating it as suspicious. Firefighters were called to the premises at around 5am on Friday and spent two hours extinguishing the blaze. No one was injured.

Around 15% of the ground floor suffered fire damage but the flats above the shop were unaffected.

Freedom Press, which owns the bookshop and publishes a monthly anarchist newspaper, is asking for donations to repair the damage as the premises was uninsured. "We're all absolutely shell-shocked," said Jayne, a member of Freedom Press who did not want to give her surname. "What's particularly annoying is that we couldn't afford to renew our insurance and it ran out last week.

"There's a lot of fire and water damage, which doesn't go too well with books. This wasn't an accident. Somebody had to lift up a mental shutter to break the window to start the fire. We do get this kind of trouble sometimes."

A post was uploaded on the Freedom Press Twitter page which said it was not yet clear whether its newspaper archives had been damaged in the blaze.

"Not sure yet whether archives survived – we had one of only a few sets covering almost the entire printed history of the paper boxed in shop," it read.

Further tweets stated a clean-up had been arranged to take place at the shop from 1pm on Saturday and a donations page was being set up.

Freedom Press was founded in 1886 by a group of friends, including Charlotte Wilson and Peter Kropotkin, and describes itself as the "largest anarchist publishing house" in the country.

It claims to stock thousands of books, newspapers, pamphlets along with magazines, periodicals and newsletters from major anarchist and radical groups.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said: "Inquiries into the circumstances of the fire are under way but at this early stage it is being treated as suspicious."

No arrests have been made.


solidarity amsterdam

02.02.2013 15:03

THE FIRE DOESNT BURN US THE FIRE BURN INSIDE US @ solidarity amsterdam krakers


What an act of terrorism.

03.02.2013 11:15

i am really so upset about it. it's not funny at all.




03.02.2013 12:01

Short circuit?


what about the local kids

03.02.2013 18:00

do you remember those kids who spray painted over the "anti-facist" memorial outside, cause it said Fascist?
i mean one possibility it could be some dumb locals who dont quite get it.


@'anarchist' ahem

03.02.2013 18:28

You sound so full of shit I'll cut it short here.

under the floorboards

never mind

03.02.2013 19:25

I guess this is what happens when you go around burning down phone masts

what goes around.....
oh well!


Not only failed to destroy the shop – they made it more popular than ever

04.02.2013 12:18

Speaking of "impotent", pretending someone writing in capitals is sufficient grounds for dismissing a reasoned argument sounds like typical Anarchist "logic" (ooh dear, maybe this guy thinks I'm wrong too because I use inverted commas)

Either way, according to - "The arsonists not only failed to destroy the shop – they have made it more popular than ever"



04.02.2013 12:57

"I guess this is what happens when you go around burning down phone masts"

Anarchists do a lot more than that. What the Anarchists do is good. It is good because it is fighting against that which is corrupt and malevolant.

Defending the state however, by burning down a bookshop and then claiming that somehow is 'karma' for what the Anarchists do, is just state loyalism. Nobody supports state loyalism because its considered a feeble and dumb reactionary waste of time that nobody can be bothered to support. I suppose you can spam the IMC newswire because that somehow makes you feel good about whatever silly loyalist nonsense you belong to but it caries no weight.

Attacking the state is good, attacking those who attack the state is bad.

I know, this seems wrong and unfair, but it just 'seems' that way. The state 'must' be the state must always be attacked.

In the UK that is the way it is, in the US and Israel with young, immature and perilously balanced states, this kind of anarcho politics must fill the state loyalists with absolute terror.

Which is why so many of those countries loyalists post here trying to defend the UK state.

Only loyalists are compelled to default to the 'relativism' of moral anguish. For the rest of us, the horizon is uncluttered. That is why we will win.


You are pathetic!

04.02.2013 14:55

accepting that like any good organisation, freedom has room for some criticism, this is not the time.
Anyone who knows anything in the London activist scene, anyone who ever went to a protest knows they owe their freedom to Andy and the legal team, aside from a gathering place for wannabe pointy heads, this place facilitates so many good things for our community that the sort of accusations running here are just insane. If freedom is a police collaborators than they must be the worst collaborators in the history of collaborations.

Glad to hear they are back on their feet, stronger than ever. maybe in the long run they did us a small favour.

Thor the onion router

Brian Whelan-John Drury-Libcom-Freedom

05.02.2013 09:10

All in it together. Its starting to fall into place.

Brian Whelan has been exposed as "closely associated with Searchlight splinter Hope Not Hate" (1), while Sam Fanto notes "Brian Whelan, whose article on the riots is no longer available on the internet and whose unpleasant and vapidly cynical comments over the years on libcom have now also been disappeared" (2). Who is covering up Brian Whelan's ties to the state? Libcom.

Libcom are deffo state themselves. Libcom founder member Jack 'Captain Anarchy' Upton has close links with the last labour government. He worked for his dad's pr company on state defined projects. His dad btw was a close aide of tony blair's while he was running the country and was one of his inner circle of spin doctors (3). Libcom admin Steven openly admits to working with the screws union, POA (4).

According to 325.nostate "British civil anarchist group ‘Libcom’ and bourgeois communists ‘Aufheben’, are confirmed to fraternise/defend/collaborate with police consultants John Drury and Clifford Stott, academic parasites who work on improving police techniques and social control." (5) And above, we learn that Freedom is the headquarters of libcom (6). Rob 'Too posh for Eton' Ray, the quickest to defend cop collaborator John Drury, as well as being Whelan's fellow journalist, has close ties to both Freedom and Libcom.

And where did Brian Whelan show up and start sniffing around? Freedom. Freedom is the missing link between "Aufheben and Libcom’s partnership with police consultants" (7) and Brian Whelan's ties to the secret state, exposed by Paul Stott and Larry O'Hara. It is clear that if Freedom wasn't firebombed by the state, it was probably for its naked ties to state collaborators Brian Whelan and John Drury. Sam Fanto, 325, Contra-Info, Paul Stott and Larry O'Hara have done the movement a great service by piecing together this puzzle. This is about as clear as the secret state ever gets, otherwise it wouldn't be secret!




05.02.2013 14:07

If you think that Freedom = Libcom = State then you clearly don't know any of the people involved in the space.

(S)he who 'smelt' it, dealt it, as everyone in the playground knows!



05.02.2013 16:52

...."Libcom admin Steven openly admits to working with the screws union, POA (4)."...... That is absolutely pathetic, He does nothing of the sort. All he said was that he happened to be on the same course as someone from the POA... Get a grip!


@ Spyhunter

06.02.2013 13:33

You might want to check your own sources. I did.

(1) - you just need to read the comments. Brian Whelan himself refutes his supposed 'close ties' to HnH (they reposted two of his articles without his knowledge, and he has occasionally replied to their tweets). Baseless.

(3) Using right-wing hatchet jobs and anonymous internet gossip to attack anarchists? Really? Someone's dad once working for the labour party does not make everything they touch a state front.

(4) As M says, Steven said nothing of the sort. This is a complete distortion and deliberate misrepresentation. In the very same post he's explicit he doesn't support the POA.

(6) Libcom's registered to Freedom. So? Numerous anarchist groups are based out of Freedom, it's a base for anarchism.

(2), (5) and (7). These all lead back to the same link (contra-info links to 325 which links to Sam Fanto). Sam Fanto himself has said explicitly on this very thread that "as far as I know even the ridiculous Libcom, does not directly collaborate with the cops". So none of these links prove your claims, and both 325 and contra-info are misrepresenting about the contents of the link, for reasons unknown.

You might also be a bit careful taking 'Sam Fanto' at face value, as his dad worked with British Intelligence during WWII (doing brave and noble work smuggling documents to refugees under Nazi occupation, but still an uncomfortably close link to the spooks by Sam's own standards).

It's disappointing that people are using the attack on Freedom as an excuse to push this ridiculous Aufheben-Libcom-Freedom vendetta. I don't want to feed the trolls, but I don't want to let Spyhunter's baseless post stand either.

Spy vs Spy

Spy vs Spy gets it wrong

08.02.2013 06:41

Spy vs Spy says, "You might also be a bit careful taking 'Sam Fanto' at face value, as his dad worked with British Intelligence during WWII (doing brave and noble work smuggling documents to refugees under Nazi occupation, but still an uncomfortably close link to the spooks by Sam's own standards)."
My dad went to Czechoslovakia a week or so after the Nazis invaded in March 1939 to help get Jewish and Communist Party refugees out of the country by giving them false documents. He did this as a member of the Communist Party, not as part of Britisih Intelligence. Now, of course, there were people who were in British Intelligence and were in fact members of the Communist Party, but this was not until the war itself, and, besides my father was not one of them.
All of which is irrelevant to the firebombing of Freedom Bookshop. But "spy vs spy", "spycatcher", the false "Sam FantoSamotnaf" (with a gap between Sam and Fanto) and others, both pro and con the firebombing of Freedom bookshop, are clearly part of a malicious rumour network, either on the part of the Aufheben/Libcom defence team or a part of a UK equivalent of the cointelpro or just befuddled conspiracy morons who can't distinguish a significant critique from an attempt to uncover a state cover-up.

I repeat (and it seems ridicuoous to have to state the obvious): I totally oppose the bombing of Freedom Bookshop even though I think most of the texts in it have virtually nothing to contribute to a social movement against this world (the other things in that building - eg squatting advice - are something else).


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