Physical space is the focus for the left once again

For many, the firebombing of the Freedom Press anarchist bookshop in Whitechapel last month was shocking – not only in its vicious nature, but also in the revelation that London still had such an institution.

But as the Press struggle to get the pamphlets moving once again, the incident offers a more potent message to the new left-wing cafe and cultural space Firebox: just how difficult it is for fringe left spaces to survive, especially in the modern day.

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Launching this afternoon: the successor to the Partisan coffee house

Tony Benn will preside this afternoon over the launch of Firebox, a new cafe and cultural space for left-wing thought.

The cafe, in Cromer Street, King’s Cross, is a project of the socialist cultural organisation Counterfire. The launch party begins at 4.30pm, and will also feature Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, Green leader Natalie Bennett and comedian Steve Parry.

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Firebox: a new space for the left

Counterfire, the cultural-political project formed in 2009 by former members of the Socialist Workers’ Party, is behind a significant development in the vibrancy of the activist left.

The group has established a new cultural space, meeting zone and café in central London, which aims to emulate the Partisan Café of 1958-61. Called the Firebox, the space is already hosting a series of talks and discussions at 106-108 Cromer Street, London WC1. Continue reading