Peace! Books! Freedom! The Secret History of a Radical London Building


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By Rosa Schling

Published September 2023 by Housmans Bookshop (paperback, 188 pages)

How has a radical oasis survived for over sixty years in central London?

5 Caledonian Road opened in 1959 as a centre for the peace movement and home for radical bookshop Housmans and pacifist newspaper Peace News. The building’s history is a whistlestop tour through radical and alternative London; from the nuclear disarmament movement to the Gay Liberation Front, from London Greenpeace to anarcho-punk.

Despite being bombed twice, raided by police, spied on and threatened with demolition in the redevelopment of King’s Cross, the building remains a crucial site of resistance, offering the transformative potential to meet, organise and discover new ideas.

Here for the first time, generations of campaigners and activists have come together to share memories and tell stories of this unique building and the groundbreaking activism that has taken place within its walls.  A little known history of sedition, resistance, solidarity, and the ongoing struggle for justice and liberation.