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RTF III Party this Saturday 11 - History and Info

RTF | 08.06.2005 14:54 | Culture | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | London

Here's a personal account of the history or the Reclaim the Future parties in London, followed with info and the line up of this Saturday's RTF III
5+ Rooms including live stages, bands, djs, chillout, bar, cafe, indymedia cinema, performance and vjs.

See you there! - Saturday June 11th 8pm -8am

The concept of RTF arose from an emergency meeting of London Reclaim The Streets (RTS) on 17th June 2002. It appeared that although the movement might be alive and well in London, no one had been to an RTS meeting for some weeks (never mind any London street parties for a couple of years) so at the meeting while some said it might be best to just knock the whole thing on the head.

But Chris Groner - who I had the pleasure and privilage of working with on many of the fundraisers wanted to do one last party. Bearing in mind that London RTS wasn't as big as it had been, it was decided to do one in a squatted venue. This could also be used as a fundraiser for a variety of causes.

The idea and call went out, and soon many of the people from the groups that RTS had spawned came together. These included Indymedia, Wombles, Rythmns of Resistance samba band, Rising Tide, LARC, Disarm DSEI (that's enough bastard children of RTS - Ed.) and it started to grow and grow.

We thought we should first invite some of the bands that had helped in the past, but there were just so many, and no one wanted to be left out. Bands were phoning and asking to play and - as more and more bands were booked, we realised one stage would not be enough so the building needed to be quite big.

In the end, the building group occupied the Pleasure Rooms, a night club complex in Tottenham. Everyone who saw the building said we'd bitten off more than we could chew, as there were holes in the roof, the ceiling of one room was in the middle of the dance floor and the main corridor resembled a mangrove swamp.

Big ups to the building crew! You know who you are. And slowly but surely the place was transformed - walls were knocked down to make a cinema, a kitchen was built, and in a very short time it looked as though our very own fairy godmother had waved her magic wand. (Actually it was lots of bloody hard graft, with all of us suffering from the Tottenham cough.)

And wow! Who would have believed it? The main room was a fantastic sight, with Val's wonderful sun banner flying from the ceiling and the Squall photos decorating the room. And who could possibly forget the Wombles/Serum room, complete with white Cadillac in it - fantastic! The World Music room draped to cover the fact that there was no ceiling (God, that was a bastard to do!) Chill out space and a cinema. I think we even surprised ourselves.

Come the party itself and we even had the audacity to announce the venue the day before (Naughty, naughty!) So we had the rubbish local police outside telling us no way was there going to be live music played here tonight. As if! Don't they know who they're dealing with? As we were arguing about it at one door, we were bringing bands and systems in throught another. Suckers! And after a short time they decided to retreat out of earshot of our scorn and derision.

In total, 27 live acts played that night, after a number of talks and workshops that afternoon. Acts included Inner Terrestials, Headjam, Space Goats, Zebedee, Simon Emerson out of Afrocelt, Tattoo John out of the Alabamas, sorry for forgetting the rest. And a great night was had by all.raising much needed social awareness Not only this, but the money raised went to help Legal Defence and Montoring Group, IMC, London Action Resource Centre (LARC), prisoner support, anti-war actions and other causes.

But more than that, an idea was born, surely we couldn't stop now. The following year, RTF 2 was held at Ossary Road, SAARF East London and we thought maybe, do this once a year. However, last year, after a long period of illness, the much loved Chris Groner died. Nowadays, she's probably getting Lennon, Hendrix and co to do gigs for expenses only and funding the anti-God movement in Heaven. We all miss you Chris.

Which just about brings us to now and RTF 3:

Saturday June 11th 8pm -8am

5+ Rooms including live stages, bands, djs, chillout, bar, cafe, indymedia cinema, performance and vjs

Punk, Techno, Reggae, Drum & Bass, Breaks, World Music, Cabaret

Benefit Gig in a reclaimed space in London

for venue call 0207 644 5155 or 07951 868 252 on the night

or for more info and reviews of past events see


Live Bands include:
Inner Terrestrials
Naked Ruby
Riot Folk
Lower Depths
Barney's Dad
David Cronenberg's Wife
Electricity Comes From Other Planets
Nomadics Roots
Rhythms of Resistance
Pink Pork Chops

Debs Elemental
DJ Seed
Tofu aka Silverpants
Jah Free
Squall Jim

Party flyers here:

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  1. You damn capitalists LOL! — Tom