AK press was founded in 1987 as a mail order outlet in a small flat in Scotland. Since then the workers co-operative has established itself as an independent publishers specializing in radical left and anarchistic literature. The collective has a branch in Oakland and works in affiliation with several other small independent publishers to provide a means for minority ideas to be expressed in public spaces. In Wellington The Freedom Shop stocks and sells several works published by AK press, with books tracing the history of anarchism in New Zealand and the importance of labour unions in the development of New Zealand´s political identity.
On the 21st of March 2015 a violent fire in west Oakland severely damaged AK Press, with smoke damage rendering the majority of warehouse stocks unusable. Following the fire AK Press released a statement on their donations page asking for support to get back on their feet.
Here in Wellington Newtown´s Moon has organized a fundraising event to support AK Press. The event includes a wide array of guest musicians, poets and writers who will all be speaking and performing to show support for independent publishing.
We spoke with Barry Pateman an anarchist historian and scholar affiliated with AK Press and Julian the events manager at Moon to learn about the motivation behind the fundraiser.