Socialist bookshop inundated with support after rightwingers’ attack

From The Guardian:

Socialist bookshop Bookmarks has said that it has been inundated with messages of support after far-right protesters targeted it in an attack on Saturday evening.

Twelve men, one of whom was wearing a Donald Trump mask, entered the central London shop as staff were closing for the day, knocking over displays and ripping up magazines while chanting far-right slogans. The shop, which is planning a free public “solidarity” event with appearances from authors on 11 August, said it had received messages of support from MPs and writers as well as thousands of activists from around the world.

Noel Halifax, who was one of the two staff in the shop on Saturday evening, said: “There were a dozen of them bellowing and saying that ‘we are this, that and the other and it’s a disgrace’. One was saying something like, ‘We wish you burn down’. There were two of us, a dozen of them. I’m 67, there’s no way we [could] shove them out of the shop,” he said.

“They were very shouty, bellowing in your face, saying incoherent things. The books they were holding up and what they were saying about them made no sense. They grabbed hold of a book called Posh Boys, which is about how public-school boys still run Britain, and accused us of being paedophiles for selling this book, saying, ‘You like boys, don’t you.’ That sort of nonsense. They’d clearly been on a demonstration, because their placards were nothing to do with us. They were attacking the BBC, and they were wearing baseball hats saying Make Britain Great Again. One had a mask, oddly enough a Trump mask. I thought anti-Trump people wore Trump masks.”

. . . .

Halifax described the support Bookmarks had received after the attack as overwhelming. Members of the public have been donating money to replace damaged stock and help increase the store’s security, while names including singer and activist Billy Bragg and MPs David Lammy and Rupa Huq have been vocal in their support online. “The normalisation of far-right politics is already leading to chaos and vandalism on our streets. Fascist thugs attacking bookshops is the logical conclusion to a political movement that rejects facts and experts. We need to be vigilant,” Lammy tweeted.

Dave Gilchrist, manager of Bookmarks, said: “This horrific attack on a radical bookshop should send shivers down the spine of anyone who knows their history. The Nazis targeted books because they knew how important radical ideas are for challenging racism and fascism. The same is true today, and that is why we have to show that we won’t be intimidated.”

Link to the rest at The Guardian

PG thoroughly condemns any sort of violence directed towards any legal business, especially a bookstore.

However, one detail mentioned in the OP tickled his Spidey-sense. Although all PG knows about violent far-right British protesters is what he reads online, the Donald Trump mask detail struck him as strange. Do violent far-right British protesters think of Donald Trump as their hero? PG can think of a lot more likely heroes for this type of mob.

The Trump mask immediately brought a false flag operation to PG’s mind (perhaps the result of either too few or too many Diet Cokes consumed today).

To refresh the recollection of some visitors to TPV:

A false flag is a covert operation designed to deceive; the deception creates the appearance of a particular party, group, or nation being responsible for some activity, disguising the actual source of responsibility.

The term “false flag” originally referred to pirate ships that flew flags of countries as a disguise to prevent their victims from fleeing or preparing for battle. Sometimes the flag would remain and the blame for the attack laid incorrectly on another country. The term today extends beyond naval encounters to include countries that organize attacks on themselves and make the attacks appear to be by enemy nations or terrorists, thus giving the nation that was supposedly attacked a pretext for domestic repression and foreign military aggression.

Operations carried out during peacetime by civilian organizations, as well as covert government agencies, can (by extension) also be called false flag operations if they seek to hide the real organization behind an operation.

Link to the rest at Wikipedia

On the other hand, PG could be entirely wrong in his musings. Such errors have definitely happened before.


27 thoughts on “Socialist bookshop inundated with support after rightwingers’ attack”

  1. “Do violent far-right British protesters think of Donald Trump as their hero?”

    Yes. They do.

    (I am aware that is a little weird, but if you thought far-right wing Brits weren’t weird, I am afraid I must dispell that misconception)

  2. I agree with the PG that I feel the need to break out the tartar sauce as something smells ‘fishy’.

    “I thought anti-Trump people wore Trump masks.”

    Funny I always thought they wore the masks of whom they were pretending to support/represent …

    • Not such an odd observation. Yes, False Flag operations are widespread, and, when a Leftist enterprise if ‘attacked’. it should be your FIRST thought.
      Yes, this probably WAS a Fake Attack. It’s just not a tactic that ANY Right-ish group has done, or would likely do. Probably done in response to poor sales.

  3. Have friends with extended family in Britian who are pro-Brexit. They aren’t far-right exactly but are sympathetic to their position. They think Trump is great.

  4. From November: “British Far-Right Group Exults Over Attention From Trump”

    From July: “English far-right activists applaud Donald Trump in central London”

    A couple of aging radical socialist bookshop owners arranging a false flag operation? I think not. (Of course, I don’t believe the Twin Towers and Sandy Hook were false flag operations either, so maybe I’m just the overly trusting sort.)

    • FWIW The New York Times is not an unbiased source. Nor Reuters. That’s my polite way of saying your sources are rubbish.

    • Soon as I saw details, i thought there was a decent chance Maduro’s operation set it up to justify a crackdown, play on people’s tendency to come together in the face of attack, etc.

  5. “They were very shouty, bellowing in your face, saying incoherent things. ”

    Sounds like the tactics of far-left antifa in the US.

      • Political extremists tend to have similar personalities and tactics, regardless of the differences between the slogans they shout.

    • Political extremists tend to have remarkably similar personalities and tactics, despite whatever differences there are in the slogans they shout as they engage in their activities.

  6. I, too, agree with PG that these idiots should be condemned and arrested.

    I hope that the bookshop had CCTV and will release the footage so they can be identified. The police should release the CCTV outside the shop (assuming it exists) for the same reason.

  7. The Trump mask does strike me as a little strange, as does the attach on such an irrelevant institution. But whilst Antifa and its misbegotten cousins have dominated violent protests and attacks on free speech in recent times, they certainly don’t have a monopoly on it. Whether left or right, false flag or otherwise, these people are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly. The attack on free speech should in fact be an aggravating factor increasing their custodial sentences.

  8. I suspect that a lot of people who live in the US don’t fully appreciate the symbolism for the far-right provided by Donald Trump.

    The international power and reputation of the US makes its president a global figure, and when that figure is as controversial as the current president those in other countries will use that symbolism.

    Also, a Donald Trump mask is probably easier to get than many other potential hero of the right.

    • Easy or hard to get – they would have used the mask in any case. Whether this was a demonstration by the would-be tyrants of the “Right,” or a false flag by the would-be tyrants of the “Left,” they know quite well that they are playing to a global audience. Who, outside of the UK and some circles in the EU, would recognize a Nigel Farage mask?

  9. FWIW: a Trump mask is probably about to become de rigeur for bad actors everywhere, much as Nixon masks in their day (a bank robber used one in 2009) because they are recognizable and they get such a rise out of some people. Give them a Trump mask and they won’t think of the wearer’s height, voice, or clothes.

    In this instance, it also functioned as mockery over the global left’s pearl-clutching inability to accept the concept of “voting for the lesser evil” or adjust to the orange one’s tactics. The world survived 4 years of Jimmy Carter (another popular subject for masks), it can survive eight of Trump.

    Me, I’m betting on mockery as a justification.

  10. Oh yes, sadly. As other people have pointed out, our far right morons (and believe me, these are not just conservatives, they are true fascists) do seem to have Mr Trump as their hero. They are actually too right wing even for UKIP, which is saying something.

  11. if white supremicists in usa can carry cheap Tiki torches [usually used at hawaiian outdoor feasts,lol], it doesnt seem outre that thugs in uk might wear a trump mask– or carry a barbie doll to look innocuous, or a harmonica because it has the word harm in its name

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