One of my oldest friends (in fact, she was born on the same ward as me, only five days later) is an agitator! Well, she works for the TUC, and I constantly irritate her with questions on the theme “Been agitating recently?” My friend just sent me a press release. I guess I should come out of the closet and say that I’m not dogmatically political, but there is something left-leaning in my attitude to social issues, so I’m happy to do a little agitatin’.
Aaaaaanyway, there’s this bookshop, see. And…well, here’s the press release:
Independent bookshops in Britain are an endangered species, on average one closes every month. They are suffering as the big chains rely on slashing prices and supermarkets cherry pick the best selling titles. Amazon on the internet and Waterstones on the High Street dominate the book trade in Britain. They are doing to the book trade what Starbucks have done to coffee shops and every high street looks the same, homogenised, centralised with less choice.
Amazon is a virulently anti-union company. During one union recognition ballot, staff were kitted out with management-bought T-shirts telling the union to “get back in the history books”.
Bookmarks is an independent socialist bookshop in London which has been providing a book service to the working class movement for over 30 years. We give advice on anything from pamphlets on Health and Safety law to multi-cultural children’s books, give discounts to orders for trade union branch libraries and send bookstalls to trade union events. We are also the appointed bookseller to the TUC.
We have launched an appeal, with the support of Tony Benn, to raise £50,000 to help secure the bookshop’s future. We do not have millionaire benefactors, instead we are calling on the support of the thousands of trade unionists and activists across the country who want to see our socialist bookshop thrive. If you or your trade union branch are in a position to make a donation to our Friends of Bookmarks £50,000 appeal or can publicise, through inserts in mailings or advertising, the services that Bookmarks offers to trade unionists please contact me at the bookshop.
You can find more details at www.bookmarks.uk.com, comrade.