Chomsky backs bookshop targeted by far-right group
Philosopher-historian sends message of support to Bloomsbury store after 'shameful attack'
17 August, 2018 — By Tom Foot
Bookmarks supporters defiant after ‘shameful’ attack on bookshop
NOAM Chomsky sent a message of support from America to Bookmarks bookshop after it was targeted by a far-right group.
The philosopher-historian and “father of modern linguistics” said US president Donald Trump had paved the way for the “shameful attack” in Bloomsbury on August 4 when a braying mob tore books off shelves and berated the bookshop manager as “Corbynite scum”.
Chomsky’s message, sent after hundreds attended a rally at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church on Saturday, said: “Trump has consciously taken the cork out of a very ominous bottle, understanding full well that in the current period of anger, fear, uncertainty and erosion of the social fabric dark forces will emerge.
“The shameful attack on the bookshop should be a warning, and an impetus to act forthrightly and urgently to address the basic causes of contemporary malaise.”
At Saturday’s meeting, Weyman Bennett – founder of Stand Up to Racism – said: “We’ve had the Anti Nazi League, Unite Against Fascism and Stand Up to Racism. We need to reinvent what we’ve already got.
“We have to make sure we have a mass movement. We are going to launch three carnivals – big ones – this year.”
The meeting heard historian Dr Louise Raw detail a series of “lessons from history”, including the way Jews battled blackshirt supporters in Cable Street in 1936.
Speakers included Ruth Levitas, niece of Max Levitas, a veteran of the Battle of Cable Street, Lindsey German from Stop the War Coalition, and EastEnders star Ann Mitchell.
Bookmarks manager Dave Gilchrist said: “The response has been phenomenal.”