Freedom Fundraiser: We need your money to improve the building!
=== November 1st update: £3,000 raised so far! Thankyou so much to all who have donated. ===
The 84b or not 84b Fundraiser
We live in a society of great inequalities in wealth and power. Over the last two years, the world’s richest one per cent grabbed nearly two-thirds of all new wealth – £21 trillion. The global working class, however, has faced continued immiseration, bearing the brunt of a crisis riven world-system that increasingly denies us the basic necessities of human life.
Meanwhile, the forces of the left – particularly in Britain – remain scattered and weak. After decades of defeat, we are in dire need of rejuvenated institutions and infrastructure – spaces to meet; spaces to learn; spaces to grow.
The Freedom building at 84b Whitechapel High Street has aspired to be one of these institutions for more than 50 years. Best known as the home of Freedom Bookshop and publishing house, it also plays host to a variety of organisations struggling against the state and capital. Currently 84b provides offices for the:
- Advisory Service For Squatters (ASS)
- Dog Section Press (publishers of mutual aid project Dope magazine).
- Haven Distribution which sends books to prisoners
- National Bargee Traveller Association London (NBTA), campaigning for houseboat rights
- Anarchist Federation (AFed)
In addition, the building also provides a free space for meetings and events put on by groups from across the anti-authoritarian left, including Latin American Feminist Assembly, and Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSM).
Due to dramatic increases in the cost of energy and local business rates, we are in need of more funds and support to keep the building going, and to make key repairs. Some of the latter include:
- Repairs/improvements to windows and frames
- Stair and floorboard repairs
- Plastering, painting and decoration
- Internal insulation
- Upgrading the roller shutters
Which is before we get to the bigger projects that we have in mind for the future, such as a disabled-access loo on the ground floor and some sort of central heating system.
Our last fundraiser was in the mid 2010s, which saw generous souls donate towards fixing the roof, repointing and generally getting the place waterproof, as well as sorting out our electrics and lighting. What we put off at the time was a lot of the less immediately vital works, some of which are things we should be starting to address now to keep the place in good fettle into the future. This coming year we’re aiming to raise £15,000 to get ourselves up to snuff.
Donations are welcome to kick the process off, and can be sent via:
- Cheque made out to “Freedom Press” at 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
- Paypal (please note as “Building Fund” in the ‘What’s This For’ box)