Monday, 11 April 2016

'Friends of Freedom' & the Inverted Rachman

THE Friends of Freedom Press will meet tomorrow next door to the Whitechapel Art Gallery; to continue the long-running saga of selling off the building on Whitechapel High Street at which the anarchist newspaper 'Freedom' was produced for well over a century.  Last  month's meeting, was highly entertaining with allegations put out on Facebook by 'Andy' the man who polices' the Freedom Bookshop, that the Friends were going to sell-up over the heads of the Collective and 'pocket the proceeds'

As predicted, last October, in Private Eye, in the article referred to below, there was lots of swearing from some of the characters associated with the Collective like the so-called 'Gawain the Cunt' and others among the thirty or so present.

It's is strange indeed, that in was in the Notting Hill area of London where in the 1950s and early 1960s a form of rent rogue-ism existed call 'Rachmanism'* a word that entered the English dictionary and became synonym for the exploitation and intimidation of tenants.  Now its in Whitechapel, where Freedom and the anarchists down South seem to have developed a new version of 'inverted Rachmanism' in which an employee in the bookshop rounds up tenants to do his bidding and as one critic recently said maintain himself in 'a cushy job'.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Private Eye ponders problems of 'Freedom'

THE demise last year of Freedom newspaper, founded in 1886 by the geographer Peter Kropotkin, has now reached the columns of Private Eye.  In a feature story in the H.P. SAUCE feature (page 10)  entitled 'LETTING IT ALL HANG OUT...',  the journal today reveals that:
'The hitherto somnolent board of FFP Ltd (Friends of Freedom Press) – mostly old-school anarchists – will meet in London on 21 October to initiate formal eviction procedures [against a group of failed anarchists in residence].  Meanwhile, despite having spectacularly failed to publish a newspaper, the occupants of the anarcho hang-out refuse to recognise the board's authority and claim ownership of the building “on behalf of the movement”.'

The current occupants of the building who closed down Freedom newspaper describe themselves as 'the Freedom Collective', and imagine themselves as representing the British anarchist movement.  

The building they occupy at Whitechapel High Street has been valued at £1.1 million, and the Eye says the collective is composed of 'a bunch of scribblers, activists and Class War enthusiasts who style it an “anarcho hang-out”.'   

The strategy of the Friends of Freedom who own the building, if the Eye is to be believed, now seems to be to sell the building over the heads of the layabouts on the Collective who have failed to produce a newspaper as required.  Next weekend is the London Anarchist Bookfair, and one wonders what 'the movement' will have to say about all this.  Meanwhile, the Eye's H.P. SAUCE feature urges regular visitors to the Whitechapel Art Gallery to keep a eye-out for 'some lively impromptu performance-art next door in Angel Alley' from the colourful crowd who form the Freedom Collective.

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