Housmans Bookshop burgled: Radical Cally store that survived letter bomb looted by thieves who scaled roofs to break in
PUBLISHED: 15:19 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:20 27 August 2019
A long-running radical bookstore in Caledonian Road was burgled by thieves who scaled roofs to gain entry on Wednesday night.
The not-for-profit Housmans Bookshop, which has sold progressive literature since 1945, was broken into and looted for some £300 days after socialist columnist Owen Jones was set upon by suspected far-right thugs a short stroll away in Pentonville Road.
But there is no evidence the incidents are linked, and store manager Cristina Riofs doesn't suspect there's a connection because burglars only stole the till rather than trashing the place.
She told the Gazette: "The shop has a long history and over the years it has been the target of various political attacks, there was even a parcel bomb posted in the shop once. We are sporadically targeted by far-right groups who come in to spout abuse and leave stickers, but this is the first time in the four years I've worked her we have been burgled.
"We are quite philosophical about it. No one was hurt but it's unpleasant to see things disturbed in the morning and the cash draw gone."
Housmans had hosted one of its popular events in the night before the robbery. The event celebrated the achievements of Laurie Cunningham, born in Archway, who was one of the first black footballers to play for England and the first British player to sign for Real Madrid.
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"We think they came in and left via the bathroom window," said Cristina. "To get to the window they would have had to so some quite daring feats of jumping over various roofs. It's not absolutely impossible but it would take some doing. One of my colleagues has young faces scrambling up the rooftops before."
Owen Jones was assaulted by four men outside the Lexington pub at about 3am on Saturday, while celebrating his 35th birthday.
He subsequently took to twitter to call it a "blatant premeditated assault", which he believes was motivated by political hatred.
He added: "Given the far right attacks I've had in the streets, and generally escalating threats I've had, I'm in no doubt as to what this is.
"The far-right menace is growing, it is real, it's violent and it's targeting minorities and leftists. We can't let them intimidate us, and we will defeat them."
Housmans had promoted peace, human rights and equality throughout its history.
You can help the store recoup its stolen cash by tagging along to one of its popular events and talks, which cost as little as £3 to attend.
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