Russell Brand has used profits from his book Revolution (Century) to help fund a café in Hackney staffed by recovering drug addicts.
The Trew Era café is a social enterprise located in a housing estate that faced eviction last year by a US company. The Guardian reports that Brand backed the campaign against the eviction, which proved to be successful last December.
Yesterday morning (Thursday 26th), Brand officially opened the venue and gave a speech to a crowd of around 100 people.
With a copy of Revolution to hand, he said: “In this book, I wrote about how the way to change politics is not depending on the existing political class and the existing political system, but for us ourselves to start grassroots movements like what has happened on the New Era estate. It’s a model which is not for profit, a fully self-supporting new economic enterprise.”
He continued: “We’ll start more and more of these social enterprises. Eventually, we will trade with one another in our own currency. We are going to create our own systems, our own federations, our own currencies, our own authorities ... Politics is dead, this is the end of politics. What we are discussing now is what comes after. We have an opportunity to create something better and it will start with small enterprises such as this.”
Many local residents spoke out in praise of Brand and his support of the café, which organisers have said is a “work in progress”.
Revolution was published in October last year and launched with an “anarchic fayre” held in association with the Big Issue at Hoxton Docks that was attended by almost 500 members of the public.
The book has sold 148,611 copies through Nielsen BookScan since its publication, despite being largely panned by critics.