Sunday, 12 August 2018

The extreme-right bookshop ambush couldn't have backfired more spectacularly

On Saturday August 4th 2018 a bunch of extreme-right thugs ambushed the left-wing bookshop Bookmarks, damaging property, intimidating staff, throwing books around, baselessly slandering shop workers as "paedophiles", and calling for the shop to be burned down.

In the week following this sinister extreme-right raid several of the perpetrators have been identified, largely thanks to the fact that they were idiotic enough to film themselves plotting and carrying out the ambush, and then actually upload it to the Internet!

Three of the attackers have been identified and suspended by UKIP for their involvement in the attack. 

Aside from getting themselves suspended from their right-wing political party, in attempting to silence and intimidate people for selling books they don't like (it's debatable whether people like this like reading any books at all) the attackers ended up massively increasing the profile of the bookshop.

All kinds of people expressed solidarity with the bookshop in the face of these extreme-right intimidation tactics, from lefties like Owen Jones, Michael Rosen and me, through to orthodox neoliberal 'centrists' like JK Rowling and Andrew Adonis.

It seems the imagery of Nazi book burning ceremonies are seared so strongly into the public consciousness that pretty much everyone has reacted with disgust at this bookshop raid, and the extremists who carried it out.

One week after the ambush the sheer scale of their idiocy has become clear, with the bookshop selling four times as many books as normal through the till, and their online shop taking an entire year's worth of orders in just seven days!

So this extreme-right attack on free speech has backfired so dramatically that literally thousands of people are reading left-wing books that they wouldn't have otherwise thought of buying had these extreme-right crackpots just left the shop in peace!

A bunch of right-wing thugs triggering a massive upsurge in left-wing book sales with their raid on a lefty bookshop really has to be one of the most fantastic examples of the Streisand effect ever.

Keep it going

Here's a link to the Bookmarks website in case you want to order a book for yourself, or to bookmark it for later to buy Christmas presents for your lefty friends.

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