april2008 | 15.04.2008 19:37 | 2008 Days Of Action For Autonomous Spaces
Following an international meeting at 'Les Tanneries' in Dijon last year, there was a call out for decentralised actions in defence of free spaces on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th April. The aim is to develop interconnections and solidarity between autonomous spaces and help create more visibility for them as a political movement.
In Copenhagen things kicked off early with an huge demo in support of creating a new Ungdomshuset (Youth House). 5000 people took part followed by a massive street party. Since then all parties have agreed a deal on a new building. Last month, after a long struggle, there was similar good news for the campaign to save the Kopi in Berlin.
In the UK, new squats have opened in Bristol, Leeds, Brimingham, Nottingham [ 1 | 2 | 3 ], and London [ 1 | 2 ]. In Reading, the Common Ground Squatted Community Garden was reopened, in Manchester multiple spaces were invaded; the new space in Nottingham hosted workshops, films, discussion, zines, and free jumble stalls; London distributed events at different spaces, with a squatters estate agency and a program of workshops, films, discussion and art plus a benefit gig for the Advisory Service For Squatters. A squat themed spoof news paper was also been distributed in participating cities. Actions also took place against dodgy landlords exploiting asylum seekers.
All IMC coverage [RSS] : Birmingham (Freespace Brum - Temporary Autonomous Zone) | Leeds (Angel Group targetted) (A success in every way! Audacious Space Leeds) | London (Hackney hostel residents march) (Shoreditch New Squat Pics) (News from Londons autonomous spaces...) (Days Of Action Follow Up for London's Autonomous Spaces) (Putting people into London's empties) | Manchester (video) (A tale of 4 squats in Manchester) (Demonstration of squatters turns into mass occupation) (Pics of demo and mass action) (Space Invaded, and Evicted?) | Nottingham | Reading (Squatted Community Garden Reopened) | Brighton (video)
People use squats and autonomous spaces to take control of their own lives, a tool, a tactic, a practice, and a way for people to live out their struggles. For decades, squat movements across Europe and beyond have fought capitalist development, contributing to local struggles; providing alternatives to profit-making and consumer culture and participatory activities outside of the mainstream economy.
Demonstrating self-organising without hierarchy, providing bases for meetings and projects, for the creation and distribution of subversive culture, for the non-monetary based exchange of goods, resources and knowledge, for experimenting with new ways of living, for collective debates, for recycling and construction, for the production of independent media - these spaces are crucial to us as part of a movement for social change.