The venerable LGBT bookstore Gay’s the Word suffered damage when it was targeted during the ongoing riots that have rocked London for the past three days.
Pink Paper reports on the incident, which occurred early Monday morning in the Bloomsbury neighborhood at the U.K.’s oldest and only bookstore dedicated to LGBT titles. Store operators suspect that vandals took advantage of the growing social unrest to unleash homophobic sentiments. Damage included a smashed window replaced at a cost of £1,300, and undisclosed stock damage caused by the pelting of eggs.
“The incident happened at 12.35am on Monday morning,” according to Pink Paper. “Witnesses are said to have seen a gang of adolescents on a ‘rampage’ along the street where the shop is situated. Initially, they are said to have thrown eggs before returning with a bottle and rock.”
Rioting began in the economically disadvantaged Tottenham neighborhood in northern London over the weekend in response to the shooting death there of a suspect by police last Thursday. Since then, the violence has spilled into other districts and spread to other cities in the most serious period of social unrest in Britain in 25 years.
According to Pink Paper, the violence in London also sparked a warehouse fire that claimed the stock of Peccadillo Pictures, a gay business in the Enfield section. Staff members at Gay’s the Word, which opened in 1979, expressed concern that the rioters could return to the store to cause more damage.