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Social centres gathering in Leeds, 29 Jan

Commoner | 17.01.2006 09:57 | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | Sheffield

*Social centres and autonomous spaces in the UK: where next after Gleneagles?*

A call out to all social centre activists and interested people in the UK

Sunday 29 January
The Common Place social centre
23-25 Wharf Street

*"Crash accommodation is available for people wanting to travel down on the Saturday or stay Sunday night"*
*"Donations to the cinema will be shared out to help cover travel costs"*

Across Britain, people are buying, renting or squatting disused, empty buildings in city and town centres and turning them into vibrant political and residential spaces run by volunteers such as ‘social centres’, 'infoshops', and 'resource centres'. Inspired by many influences, from anarchist principles of mutual aid and self-management to Italian autonomism, these spaces often provide free or cheap food,
regular film and gig nights, political meeting spaces, libraries, free shops and independent media groups. Following recent attempts to boost their number in the run-up to the G8 protests in Scotland, social centres in particular are rapidly becoming a key battle ground in anticapitalist struggle. Why have these spaces emerged? What can they achieve? Are they activist ghettoes, radical community centres or
something else? We will show films and clips from across Europe about the rise and experience of social centres and the like, and invite activists from across the UK’s social, resource and radical info-centres to come and share their experiences and ambitions.

Day programme:

11am - 2pm Veggie Breakfast (regular cafe collective event) - read the sunday papers with a full 'inglish' and a Zapatista coffee

2pm - 3.45pm Films: clips from the UK (Aspire, Rampart, Summac, 1 in 12, The Basement, PAD, OARC) and across Europe (Canmasdeu, Christiania, Forte Prenestino, Molli etc)

4pm - 6pm Discussion: provisional agenda (please send on ideas)

* Why social centres and other kinds of autonomous spaces?
* What are our experiences so far?
* Where next for these spaces?
* How can we work together? e.g. do we need a national network or website?

6pm onwards Social and evening meal


7pm Film: The Killing Fields (1984; dir. Roland Joffe)


This started out as a local event but there has been such interest coming from existing social centres to make it a serious networking event that we decided to put a call out for a 'national gathering'. We really want to see as many people as possible coming up from previous and current spaces Kebele, OARC, PAD, Rampart, LARC, The Basement,
Matilda, ACE, ASBO, Sumac, Cowley, Chalkboard, etc etc - everyone is warmly welcome.

* there is a saturday night fundraiser for the common place (28th January)
* accommodation will be provided
* affordable food and drink - we will hopefully have a temporary licence
* contribution to travel costs from donations taken at the cinema

If you are planning to come, please let us know so we can plan for crash accommodation and food.
RSVP to stuart [at]

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