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Caracas: the opening of a Libertarian Centre & social library

CESL | 20.11.2004 00:55 | Culture | Education | Free Spaces

* The Venezuelan Comision de Relaciones Anarquistas (CRA) calls for solidarity with a project which is the first of its kind in our country: the opening (sunday 14th November 2004) of a Libertarian Social Studies Centre (Centro de Estudios Sociales Libertarios - CESL), together with a social library.

What is the "Centro de Estudios Sociales Libertarios"?

The CESL in an independent, self-managed non-profit organization without ties of any kind to parties or organizations, whose primary objective is the study and spreading of values such as self-management, mutual aid, solidarity, social justice and cultural advancement in general. The CESL is inspired by the historic libertarian "ateneos", European squatters, Italian social centres and, in general, by the spirit of self-learning which comes from the knowledge of anti-authoritarians. Due to Venezuelan laws, the Centre operates as a "non-profit foundation".

What does the CESL actually plan to do?

* Open a social library in Caracas (inaugurated on 14th November 2004)
* Organize forums and debates
* Carry out workshops on areas such as communication, graphic design, self-management, the plastic, visual and theatrical arts
* Produce printed and web-based material
* Distribute independent printed and audio-visual material

How can people participate in the CESL?

Anyone can participate in the CESL as a member or user. Members of the Centre will have special benefits. They can borrow materials from the library, receive the CESL bulletin, obtain discounts for workshops and the material the Centre produces. They also have the right to participate in the organization, in the general assemblies and in decision-making.

How can I join?

There are two ways to become a member:
* By paying annual dues, the amount of which will be decided by consensus by the general assembly
* By actively cooperating in the Centres activities and daily running.

How is the CESL financed?

* Through the monthly or annual subscriptions of ordinary members (amount to be decided by General Assembly)
* Through donations received from people or public or private institutions which must be approved by the Assembly
* Through the production of self-managed activities designed to raise funds.

So does the CESL accept subsidies from the institution of political or economic power?

No. The working philosophy of the CESL is self-management, which implies that its promoters will generate the finances to support it as far as their abilities permit. Upon the approval by the Assembly, any person or institution can make precise donations, but these will in no way influence the philosophy, running or objectives of the Centre.

What is the social library?

In this first stage our priority is to open a social library which will function regularly. We believe that education and knowledge are fundamental for any collective project which aims towards people realizing their potential to the fullest degree. At present, the CESL has a collection of over 1,500 books and 2,500 specialized periodicals in the fields of the Social Sciences, Gender Studies, Anarchism, Alternative Culture, Philosophy, Globalization and Human
Rights, that are waiting for a suitable physical space in order to be made available to the public at large.

What is the relationship between the Centre and the journal "El Libertario"?

The Centre and the journal "El Libertario" are two different things, each with their own profile. Many of the present promoters of the Centre also work with El Libertario, but being part of one by no means automatically implies affiliation to the other. The CESL seeks to carry out the task of cultural promotion that goes beyond the specific nature of an anarchist collective. ["El Libertario" is publishing for the CRA. For more info in english, see ]

How can I help the CESL financially?

* By buying any of the material that we produce (see the Self-management section of the Centre's website)
* By committing yourself to paying a monthly or annual quota
* By contributing material, equipment and/or payments for services required for the CESL's activities
* If you are in Venezuela you can make a contribution to Banesco account No. 6012 8894 6133 3337 in the name of Luis Silva, CI: 10868928
* If you live elsewhere, you can deposit or transfer money to the Banco Santander Central Hispano in the name of Antonio Serrano G., account number 0049 5275 0427 1180 1250 (Please warn us by e-mail when you do so). If the amount is too small to warrant a bank transfer, or if you prefer to donate in another way, please write to us at our e-mail address centrosociallibertario(a) .

Although we have worked hard so that the CESL will be self-financing, it will not be possible for a few more months, and right now the expenses connected with the premises and the library are
accumulating, and quickly exhausting the funds we had collected previously for these purposes.
This is why we are making an urgent appeal for financial solidarity. The contributions of any amount that are received over the next few days, weeks and months will be essential for the project to get off the ground and establish itself. A full financial statement will be regularly available on the Centre's website.

How do I contact the CESL?

E-mail: centrosociallibertario(a)
Website: (in spanish, with photos of the Centre's activities)
Postal address: Fundacion Centro de Estudios Sociales Libertarios, Apartado Postal Nº 49110, Caracas, Venezuela
Where to find us: Calle La Blasina, esquina San Luis, casa nº 37, Sarria, parroquia La Candelaria, Caracas. [You can reach us from the Metro station Bellas Artes, take the microbus for Sarria and get off at the corner of San Pedro, 50m. east of the corner of San Luis and the Centre]

[Translation by nmcn/ainfos]

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