Physical space is the focus for the left once again
For many, the firebombing of the Freedom Press anarchist bookshop in Whitechapel last month was shocking – not only in its vicious nature, but also in the revelation that London still had such an institution.
But as the Press struggle to get the pamphlets moving once again, the incident offers a more potent message to the new left-wing cafe and cultural space Firebox: just how difficult it is for fringe left spaces to survive, especially in the modern day.
Once London was littered with radical bookshops and community centres, but they are few and far between these days. It looked like a downward spiral to zero – until Counterfire, the political and cultural project that developed after a split from the Socialist Workers’ Party in 2010, acquired a shopfront in King’s Cross and established London’s first radical cafe in decades.