Video of “mask-wearing fascists” storming a socialist bookshop in London shows them accusing a shop worker of being a paedophile, a “Nazi-bastard” and “corbynite scum”.
Bookmarks in Bloomsbury was targeted by around a dozen demonstrators, including one in a Donald Trump mask, just before it closed its doors at 6.45pm on Saturday, in an incident now being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.
In an almost 13-minute-long video posted on YouTube, the demonstrators are seen taunting the retailer and tossing books from the shelves while chanting “Trump, Trump.... we love Trump”.
They also appear to express support for the founder of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, as they appeared to crowd around the retailer while verbally abusing and filming him.
Michael Bradley, from Stand up to Racism, said the protest was a “sinister development that indicates the growing confidence of the far right who feel they can attack a bookshop in central London in broad daylight”.
He added: “Attacking a bookshop also exposes their claims to be defenders of free speech as hollow.”
The Met were called to the shop on Saturday and have said only that they are due to speak to the complainant. No arrests had been made by midday Monday.
Writer Hussein Kesvani shared the video on Sunday, writing on Twitter that it was the “purest example of how toxic internet culture has seeped into real world street movements, that will at some point get people killed”.
Kesvani claimed that one of the men involved in the demonstration recently featured in a BBC documentary called, Trump In Britain: Protests, Pubs and Giant Balloons.
The bookshop is planning on holding a “Solidarity Day” on Saturday, which almost 3,000 people have indicated they will attend, according to the shop’s Facebook page.
Dozens of supporters have also posted messages of support. A statement from the bookshop said the demonstrators had threatened staff and attempted to destroy books and other materials.
“We will not let this happen! Never Again”, and wrote on Twitter “this is the true face of fascism. No Paseran!,” it read.
Ealing Central and Acton MP, Rupa Huq, tweeted about the “utterly despicable” incident, as did trade unionist Len McCluskey.
Huq wrote: “Free speech and independent bookshops – under threat in an age where intolerance and Amazon flourish – should be cherished. Utterly despicable.”
Support also came from singer Billy Bragg, who wrote on Twitter: “Bookmarks socialist bookshop has been attacked by mask wearing fascists. Send them your solidarity”.