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Swapping lives at Beyond ESF

levin | 15.10.2004 22:42 | European Social Forum

In a small room at Middlesex University about 40 people crammed in to share experiences of social centres across Europe.

Experiences included the one week Telefonplan social centre in Stockholm, Sweden, where very close co-operation between homeless groups led to national media coverage and interest; to Siberia in Helsinki, Finland, where the space has survived numerous “3 month deadlines” to obtain a stable(?) situation where the government department concerned with their existence has “washed their hands” of it by passing responsibility to a more sympathetic department; to the 25 year old Alternative (a.k.a. Walli) space in Lubeck, Germany, where “living, politics and culture are the three basics”, and the neo-nazi attacks have now ceased; to Projektraum in Berlin, Germany; to A-Spire (reports: here, and here) in Leeds; and The Magpie House (more...) in Ireland.

Discussions ranged from the political identity of social centres, to the problems of consensus decision making in the face of the rare cases of sexual intimidation, violence, hard drugs, and “drunk punks shouting”, to practical details of neighbourhood outreach, publicity, and the contradictions inherent with horizontal organisation interacting with hierarchically-organised local community groups.

The discussion ended half an hour into lunch with the promise to continue in the afternoon where the plan was to “take a building in London together and create an international social centre...”

(Unfortunately I arrived late and missed the report from the London social centre.)



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another report

11.11.2004 12:42

You can find a report in German about this workshop on:

Walli Lübeck
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