Anarchist Bookstores Burned


Fifth Estate # 349, Summer 1997

LYON, FRANCE—La Plume Noir bookstore was destroyed by arson the night of February 17, with strong suspicion falling on local right-wingers. The day before, the Lyon Federation Anarchiste Francophone (FAF) demonstrated against the right-wing National Front (FN), the fascist party headed by Jean-Marie Le Pen, because of the court action the latter is taking against the Paris-based anarchist newspaper, Le Monde Libertaire. Stickers from the FN youth movement were discovered on the bookstore’s window following the protest.

That night, the shop’s front was ripped off and gasoline ignited which destroyed the premises and all its books. A 300-person solidarity demonstration was held the next day. The bookstore group plans to re-open and continue its fight against fascist provocations. For more information contact the FAF, 145 rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France.

PHILADELPHIA PA, February 12 — On Ash Wednesday, Wooden Shoe Books was totally destroyed by an electrical fire. The four-alarm blaze left little more than charred books and warped records. Friends of the Wooden Shoe resolved to build a new, larger store.

Established in 1976, the bookstore quickly evolved into the center of anarchist activity in Philadelphia. In 1990 the Shoe began hosting anarchist coffee houses at the Philadelphia Marxist School. When the Marxist School closed down in 1991, members of the Wooden Shoe collective and friends claimed it for anarchy by founding the A Space there.

Since they expect to pay triple the rent of their old location, entirely restock their shelves, and rebuild bookcases and other fixtures, they need our help. Send contributions to: Wooden Shoe, c/o A Space, 4722 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19143; tel. 215/724-1925.