Spartacus Books is on the move...

With sadness, anger, and a sense of loss, we find ourselves forced out of our current location at 684 E Hastings in the DTES, the neighbourhood in which we have resided since 1973.   The Heatley Block, where Spartacus is currently housed, is being renovated and ‘refashioned’ to host businesses of a different character, at significantly higher commercial rents – in our specific case, yet another cafe.


Spartacus Books, as an institution, has faced its share of adversity. Gutted by fire at our long-time Victory Square location in 2004, we rebuilt adjacent to the old location only to be moved along by rising rental costs. Today we find ourselves again moved along by the forceful advance of gentrification, pushing east from the Woodward’s redevelopment all the way down Hastings Street through East Vancouver. The adversity we have faced is but a small part of a larger scenario; for many, the broader processes at work here have implications at the level of subsistence and survival.

Vancouver is built on colonial violence and dispossession:  the displacement of First Nations communities has impacted generation upon generation, and the displacement of poor folks (including a disproportionate number of indigenous people and people of colour) by gentrification continues at a rapid pace. What little space of relative affordability remains in this city is being squeezed hard.

On the one hand are arrayed powerful structural forces (the ongoing workings of colonialism and capitalism that are the basis of successive waves of displacement and the imposition of a way of life increasingly beholden to commodity markets and state systems of control); on the other hand there are those, in an endless variety of ways, who seek to challenge and resist gentrification and other forms of oppression and exploitation.  The DTES has for decades appeared as an epicentre of struggle, and Spartacus Books, which has called the neighbourhood home for 40 years, has always sought to situate itself in solidarity with those who resist.

Spartacus Books has endeavored to be a space for all: not just radicals, activists or academics.  By way of example, the “Peoples’ Phone” stands as an act of solidarity and not of charity, a very literal form of connection in a neighbourhood that, like so many others nowadays, is lacking public pay phones. We have endeavoured to be not only a space for radical politics, but a safe space useful and open to local communities; the neighbourhood has been essential to our identity, and we can only hope that our presence has been a welcome one. While circumstances have dictated our departure, the DTES is forever in our hearts, our collective memory, and our history.

We will continue to support the fight against gentrification in the DTES and beyond, and against all forms of oppression and exploitation, from our new location in Cedar Cottage/Commercial Drive, East Vancouver.

Spartacus itself is a project that has persisted through the decades on the basis of energy and time freely given by members of the collective (over 1000 volunteers over the years) and by our various community members intent on realizing forms of value other than those that can be calculated by the real estate speculators: the value that comes from putting our space, our time, and our collective energy to use in the name of sociability, cooperation, mutual aid, solidarity, learning, reflection, analysis, and confronting mutual challenges. We hope to foster these alternative forms of value by making Spartacus a hub for activism in our new location.

The personal and institutional connections that Spartacus built in its former locale took time. We look forward to learning more about the Cedar Cottage / Drive / Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood, which is itself experiencing a process of gentrification, and to forging connections with residents, workers, and others who make this area a part of their lives. Several collective members already call this neighbourhood home – and we encourage folks who want to be part of this project to get involved.

Our new Cedar Cottage/Commercial Drive location is 3378 Findlay Street, a storefront that was once a neighbourhood grocery, at the intersection of Commercial and 18th, between Broadway and Nanaimo SkyTrain stations. That’s a short walk from Broadway/Commercial or Trout Lake, and on the number 20 bus route, adjacent to the Croatian Cultural Centre.

At 3378 Findlay, we will make a new home for the foreseeable future. We will continue to stock a wide-ranging assortment of radical books and zines, a full range of periodicals, and all sorts of patches, t-shirts, posters, cards, etc. We also look forward to playing host to a diverse range of events: radical movie nights, readings, book clubs, organizing meetings, and musical performances (including the Squeezebox Circle), and more.

Come get your own copy of Undoing Border Imperialism by Harsha Walia!


The Colonial Present: The Rule of Ignorance and the Role of Law in British Columbia - Author Reading


Friday, 6th September, 2013



Kerry Coast is doing a reading & discussion of her new book "The Colonial Present: The Rule of Ignorance and the Role of Law in British Columbia" at Spartacus Books!

The new book challenges the status quo which seems to feel and even advocate throughout media, politics and even university studies specific to First Nations, that it's acceptable for indigenous peoples in Canada, especially BC, to gradually release all their rights under duress and eventually fade away as nothing more than village municipalities.

We need to consider what it is they are asking from indigenous peoples while they carry on "business as usual" – is the capitalist economy really more essential to the human condition than whole regions of distinct peoples?

The Colonial Present was endorsed by author Ward Churchill as "history as it should be."

The author is interested in chances to do some speaking, a little book reading, and engage in discussions about modern policies and practices to extinguish the indigenous in Canada 's western province – and what non-native citizens could be doing to turn that around.

Author Bio:

Kerry Coast is a journalist, dramatist and activist from unceded indigenous territories on the Salish Coast and Interior, called British Columbia , Canada . She has performed with the Ucwalmicw Players over five seasons and also been active in the movement to protect wild salmon and indigenous rights to the fisheries.

Publisher of The St'at'imc Runner newspaper for five years and The BC Treaty Negotiating Times for three years, Coast has a thorough analysis of how indigenous peoples are still being faced with assimilation or criminalization in modern-day Canada. The majority of people, who are non-native, must be able to change their government's policies in this regard!

Coast is just returning from New York where she served for the third time as representative of the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Spartacus Books is on the ground/street level. Both the outer door and the bathroom door are 800mm (31.49 inches) in width. In the gender neutral bathroom, there is one bar directly to the left of the toilet and one bar directly behind it. The inside of Spartacus is all one level except for a slight bump (about 1mm in height) close to the back.


Let Us Eat Cake: Spartacus 40th Anniversary Birthday Party

Sunday, 18th August


Started in mid 1973, Spartacus Books is finally over the hill – but still not under the ground! Come celebrate with us. We welcome all collective members past and present, community regulars, people who've organized here, and everyone who has found that special politically inspiring book on our shelves.

This past year has been one of joy and challenge here at Spartacus, and through it all (as has always been the case) we've had tremendous support from our broad community. On this day we will celebrate our birthday, our perseverance, and our continued dedication to radical politics, struggles for justice, and a space that welcomes and inspires folks of all sorts.
Unlike big box stores, for 40 years Spartacus Books has been Vancouver's go-to store for anti-capitalist shopping. Through financial challenge, a fire in 2004, and this year's threat of eviction, Spartacus has remained. We are collectively volunteer run, non-hierarchical, and non-sectarian – and we make it work thanks to hundreds of volunteers and comrades.

So come one and all, share stories and experiences, share cake, and lets give Spartacus Books the birthday hug that it deserves.

Cake will be as accessible as possible (gluten free, sugar free and vegan options).
Everything will be 10% off and 20% for Spartacus supporter members.
Fun will be had – it'll be a riot!

Spartacus Books is on the ground/street level. Both the outer door and the bathroom door are 800mm (31.49 inches) in width. In the gender neutral bathroom, there is one bar directly to the left of the toilet and one bar directly behind it. The inside of Spartacus is all one level except for a slight bump (about 1mm in height) close to the back.

Bestsellers of 2012!

Here are the top ten best selling books for Spartacus Books in 2012. 

Click on the titles to link to the publishers page for more information.

1) The Anti Capitalist Resistance Comic Book – Gord Hill

2) The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

3) The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book – Gord Hill

4) The Revolution Starts at Home – Ching-In Chen (Editor), Jai Dulani (Editor), and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Editor)

5) Static – Amy Goodman and David Goodman

6) Witness to Wilderness - Edited by Howard Breen-Needham , Sandy Frances Duncan and Deborah Ferens.

7) Why we WriteH. Nigel Thomas

8) Punk Rules OK - Chris Walter

9) How it all Vegan! - Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard

10) Feminism is for Everbody - bell hooks

VCN profiles Spartacus!

Every year, Spartacus has interns from VCN join our ranks to suppoirt folks accessing the space.  This year, we got a write-up! See the links below for more photos and an interview with Alexander, one of our volunteers!



Bookmarks comes to Vancouver!

Spartacus is lucky enough to be carrying a shipment of books published by Bookmarks, one of the UK's oldest bookshops!  These titles are usually unavailable anywhere else in BC, so come by the store and browse to see them!

Or, if you don't believe me, check some of them out in our online Bookshop.

Vancouver Grafitti!

Pictures of us online?  People offering thoughts on our offerings? Check out our mention in Vancouver Grafitti here!


Dear Friends,

We are writing to tell you about upcoming events to celebrate Rhizome's
fifth anniversary-and to ask for your help.

For over five years, Rhizome has served as a vital community resource. We
have hosted hundreds of events related to social and environmental justice,
and have created a shared "living room" for diverse communities. Rhizome has
become a unique institution-a forum for powerful voices, discussions on
critical issues, mutual learning, and sharing of resources. Rhizome was
created to nurture organizing in Vancouver-and now it's time for the
community to nurture Rhizome!

Rising costs and the current economic crisis have hit Rhizome hard-just as
they have impacted many others in our communities. Our revenue has dropped
significantly in recent months-and we now need more than food sales to keep
doing this work. Rhizome needs your help to stay open.

Introducing – The Friends of Rhizome

We are launching an individual donor program to help keep Rhizome afloat-and
to make sure that it can thrive well into the future. We are gratefully
accepting donations of any amount-either on a one-time or monthly basis.
Individuals and organizations can all become Friends of Rhizome. Go to our
website: to find out how you can donate by
cash, cheque or credit card. Your donation really can make a difference.

Please also forward this urgent appeal as soon as you are able to people you
think would like to support Rhizome.

We need volunteers to support this campaign. If you can help, please contact


Awesome Graphic Novels

Graphic Novels section at Spartacus Books!!!

Spartacus is carrying a great selection of comics and graphic novels!  We will be bringing in new stuff every month, so keep checking in to see what's new in the space!  Go to our bookshop to see more!