Socialist bookshop in Bloomsbury attacked by ‘mask wielding fascists’ – Evening Standard

A book shop in Bloomsbury was attacked by “mask wearing fascists” who intimidated customers.

According to Bookmarks, a socialist book store in Bloomsbury, central London, the store was targeted by a dozen far right assailants on Saturday who they say “attempted to intimidate customers and staff.”

Metropolitan Police officers were called to the scene at around 6.35pm to reports of a protest at the store.

No arrests were made.

However after leaving the store, a second call was made again to officers telling them the group had caused damage inside the shop.

Police said an appointment was made for officers to speak to the complainant.

On Facebook, the bookshop wrote: “On Saturday evening around 6.45 just as we were closing, Bookmarks was attacked by around a dozen mask wearing fascists.

“They attempted to intimidate staff and customers and to destroy books and materials.

“Fortunately no one was hurt.”

Anti-racism groups, MPs and authors sent their support to the book store.

A press release issued by anti-racism group Stand Up To Racism claimed some of the attackers held placards which read “British Bolshevik Cult”, while one wore a mask of US President Donald Trump.

A member of staff told the organisation that books on Islamaphobia were “ridiculed and thrown around”.

“They chanted about Muslims and Paedophilia, and called us traitors.

Stand Up To Racism added that the attackers threatened to return and picked up a copy of The Jewish Question off the shelf, “holding it aloft as proof of the anti-Semitism of the left”.

Michael Bradley, speaking on behalf of the group, said: “Luckily no one was hurt this time, but this is a sinister development that indicates the growing confidence of the far right who feel they can attack a bookshop in central London in broad daylight.

“Attacking a bookshop also exposes their claims to be defenders of free speech as hollow.”

Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq tweeted of the “utterly despicable” incident: “Free speech and independent bookshops – under threat in an age where intolerance and Amazon flourish – should be cherished. Utterly despicable.”

Support also came from singer Billy Bragg, who wrote on Twitter: “Bookmarks socialist bookshop has been attacked by mask wearing fascists. Send them your solidarity”.

His post was shared by children’s author Michael Rosen, while writer Jonathan Coe tweeted “this is shocking”.