Human chain helps radical bookshop move into old bank

Over 250 people formed a human chain to help a long-established radical bookshop in Southampton to move its stock to its new premises. After an appeal to the local community some 20,000 books were transferred by volunteers 150 metres from the old shop in time for October Books to open for business on 3 November in its new shop, which used to be a bank.

The co-operative bookshop, established in 1977 and named after the Russian Revolution, bought the former NatWest Bank building, a symbol of capitalism, in August after raising nearly £0.5m through a combination of loan stock, crowd funding, personal loans and gifts, and a loan from Co-operative & Community Finance. We reported on this in our last newsletter.

The human chain attracted a huge response from the news media, including BBC, CNN, most of the national newspapers and some international ones including Washington Post. The story was shared very widely on social media.

[photo caption: Volunteers hand books down a human chain. Photo: The Southampton Collective]