Wooden Shoe Books

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Wooden Shoe Books & Records is an infoshop run on the principles of consensus decision-making by an all-volunteer anarchist collective in Philadelphia. It has existed for 36 years.[1] The current storefront is located at 704 South Street.


The collective gets its name from the "sabot" (French for "wooden shoe"). French peasants often resisted early industrial capitalism by tossing their wooden shoes into the gears of a factory machine, in order to get a break after having worked long hours.[2]

The early founders of the Wooden Shoe collective were members of Philadelphia Solidarity (PS), a group of labor-orientated libertarian socialists. Along with others interested in working-class struggle, PS opened the store in December 1976. It was located on 112 South 20th street, right near Sansom Street, in Philadelphia.

The store was vandalized on October 8, 1978. Members of the collective flooded the store’s floor with water, ruining most of the inventory. The Wooden Shoe on 20th and Sansom burnt to the ground on February 12, Ash Wednesday, 1997 in an electrical fire.

As of December 2006, The Wooden Shoe's application for 501(c)3 status with the Internal Revenue Service to become a non-profit organization was approved.

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Coordinates: 39°56′31.88″N 75°9′14.91″W / 39.9421889°N 75.1541417°W / 39.9421889; -75.1541417