Created By: Radical Wellington Walking Tour
Where the Willis Street Village stands now, Wellington's Resistance Bookshop was opened originally on Cuba Street in 1970, and Wills Street premises established in 1975. It represented a non-sectarian center for left-wing radical activity, neutral to the lines drawn between leftist factions such as anarchism and Marxism with the intention of peaceful cooperation and mingling. The Resistance Bookshop was not an active organiser, but facilitated organisation as a meeting place, a printing facility, a library, and of course, a seller of books on anarchism, feminism, New Left politics, and fiction.
The Resistance Bookshop's closure was representative of the financial challenges of any small independent business, but its inability to effectively bring together the various left-wing groups of Wellington into a central community, despite its intentions, was representative too of the highly sectarian left-wing scene at the time. That being said, the Resistance Bookshop can be credited in its role within the radical Wellington space through its distribution of information and importing of international texts that, in the 1970s, might have otherwise been impossible to access.
Want to learn more?
Rabble Rousers and Merry Pranksters (Katipo Books, 2007) by Toby Boramen offers a history of anarchism on New Zealand from the 1950s through to the 1980s.
Rabble Rousers and Merry Pranksters (Katipo Books, 2007)
This point of interest is part of the tour: Walking Radical Wellington