As part of the Mayday Festival of Alternatives, a temporary
social centre will be opened for the week. The social centre will host
an infoshop, workshops, discussions, films, art space and vegan cafe.
The centre will be collectively set up and run. To get involved in helping
out, ring 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th February, for the venue.
Social Centres organise to create new worlds, new possiblitites,
real leisure and social alternatives to wage labour and centralised
power. Although more established in countries like Italy and spain,
the concept of social centres as a political strategy is taking off
here in the UK with new centres in Manchester, Nottingham, Brighton
and London. Social Centres can be either occupied [squatted], or financed
through loans and other community funding organisations.
The popularity of social centres stems from a need for space, both political
and social, outside the domination of capital. The construction of a
new 'political space', an extra-institutional public sphere within which
can emerge a common action, interest and identity amongst people, in
all their differences. The creation of an autonomous and public political
space is the fundamental condition for any revolutionary movement to
recognise itself, in a strong project of transforming the city, territory,
life. As more and more of our time becomes capitalised with the commodification
of everyday life in the new social factory it becomes vital
to create places where people arent judged by there ability to
consume or to produce, where real human discussion and action can take
Far from being activist ghettos the new social centre projects
organised and supported by LondonSCN [london social centres network]
are increasing the participation of the local community by supporting
and developing local struggles.This is also a part of reclaiming politics
as being direct and universal, as opposed to politics understood as
the administrative and bureaucratic machine of command and oppression.
As the idea of Social Centres spread we can begin posing serious alternatives
to capitalism and wage-labour and start creating a new world in the
shell of the old.
Day of workshops and discussions on the theme of social centres,
squats & how to set them up. The aim of the day is to transform
a disused building into a vibrant social centre, and to learn &
share new skills.
Workshops on plumbing, electricity, finding a good building & legal
advice. Speakers from London Social Centres Network & Advisory Service
for Squatters. There will also be talks from collectives who have set
up both permanent & reclaimed social centres. Cleaning & decorating
will go on all day, so please come down and lend a hand.
Squat electronics - 10.30am
Get the electricity connected without frying yourself.
Practical Plumbing - 12pm
Hands-on session covering elementary fix-it skills relating to whatever
needs doing in the particular reclaimed space we'll be working in.
Lock-changing, securing a building & fire escapes - 1.30pm
Venue for all of the above: Temporary social centre - phone: 07786 716
335 on Friday 26th April for details.
Carpentry - 2pm
Learn to make your own bookshelves, tables etc.
Advisory Service for Squatters talk - 3pm
Help and legal advice for squatters.
London Social Centres Network talk - 5.30pm
The dutch experience of squatting - 7pm
Differences in law, police repression, defence, activist community mobilisation
and cultural representation of the scene.
Venue for all of the above social centre workshops: Temporary
social centre - phone: 07786 716 335 on Friday 26th April for details.
SQUATNET: international squatting site with news
and many links to social centres
European Counter Network: <ECN> autonomous zone with mutlilingual
section. Or use bablefish.com to translate the italian. Has a centri
Info shop network news (info on squatted autonomous centres )
UK squatters advisory service - links to archive, stories.
Extensive archive of squat websites: including links to direct
action papers, occupations, squats of the world.
"Squatters in white overalls", naomi klein article
Theory: social self organisation and autonomy networked
Includes section on the question of self management
"Italy's social centres - a thousand human stories -"
- article by Steve Wright
Bradford's legendary 1 in 12 club - an autonomously run social centre.