Last Sunday, far-right protesters attacked Bookmarks Bookshop, UK largest socialist bookshop, located in Bloomsbury Street. EIBF deplores that such acts of violence be perpetrated and fully supports the Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland statement:
“The Booksellers Association, and booksellers across the UK and Ireland, stand in support of the staff and managers at Bookmarks Bookshop in central London, which was attacked by a far-right mob on Saturday evening. Bookshops are, as Philip Pullman memorably put it last year ‘lantern-bearers of civilisation’ and it’s appalling and shocking that this attack has happened now, at a point where we need bookshops, and all they stand for, more than ever.“
“Bookshops should be safe spaces, and are very often the refuge of the oppressed, the fearful and those looking for guidance at difficult times; they are special places for so many reasons, and should never find themselves on the receiving end of hate-filled, violent outpouring. They are also the locus for community, and we know that the bookselling community itself has already rallied round Bookmarks on social media, pledging support and expressing outrage at what has happened. Added to the cowardly attack earlier this year on Gay’s the Word Bookshop, also in central London, these attacks are a worrying sign of growing polarization and intolerance in our society, and we must do all we can to stem it. Bookshops will continue to stand as places for the free exchange of ideas, where all are welcome.”
The bookshop has published a press release on its Facebook page and will be holding a solidarity event in the shop on Saturday 11 August.