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(en) [Infoshop News] Media: Brighter Days Infoshop opens in Lansing, Michigan - D.C. trip inspires center and shop for activists

From Chuck0 <chuck@mutualaid.org>
Date Thu, 7 Aug 2003 07:48:43 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

When Natasha Bancroft participated in a rally in Washington against the
World Bank last fall, she was happy to find a quiet space, where she
could take a break from the turmoil. A nearby church had turned part of
its building into a welcome center for the demonstrators.

When Bancroft returned from the rally, this idea of meeting place stayed
with her. And after much planning, on Friday, Aug. 8, the information
center and community meeting space, Brighter Days Infoshop, will open
its doors. Organized by Bancroft and friends, the Brighter Days Infoshop
will be run by members of Direct Action, a group supporting social
change through creative and radical political action. The shop is at
1914 E. Michigan Ave., near Clemens Street, on Lansing’s east side.

Bancroft said infoshops cooperatively run spaces, oriented towards
social liberation and the cultivation of revolutionary thought and
education. She said the Lansing infoshop was modeled after the
Chicago-based “Azone*,” which also provides information on the concept of
infoshops on its Web site, www.azone.org.

The 1999 Everett High School graduate, who works at nearby Theio’s
Restaurant, said that Brighter Days Infoshop aims to fill a gap by
providing community activists with a much needed permanent meeting place
to exchange ideas. Bancroft said Direct Action has been meeting at the
Michigan State University Union but wasn’t able to store any files or
books there.

On Aug. 12 Direct Action plans to hold its first weekly meeting in the
new building. Bancroft said that in addition to a small library that
will be open to the public, Direct Action will also have an office area
for files and administrative work and a backroom suited for art projects
and classes on anything from stained glass, to the history of democracy
and anarchism.

In the last year Bancroft, who lives in an apartment above the center,
has built a collection of 300 books ranging in subject from sociology
and popular culture to anti-consumerism. The infoshop will lend and sell
books, focusing on topics such as the prison system, racism, political
dissent, and anti-capitalism. The 25-year-old director said she wants to
offer literature that mainstream bookstores don’t carry. “You might be
able to order these books from Barnes & Noble, but who wants to buy from
them anyway, when you can get them cheaper through us?” she said.

The infoshop will also sell T-shirts, buttons, stickers, magazines and
locally made jewelry and art. Other funding will come from a monthly $25
membership fee for voting members of the collective, who will in return
receive free admission to events, and a 10 percent discount on
merchandise. Non-voting members pay $5. Anton Bollen, a MSU freshman,
said they hope more Lansing residents will chip in money, so they can
guarantee the survival of the project. Infoshop volunteers have
distributed fliers in Lansing’s Eastside neighborhood to inform
residents about the shop.

Quinn Ostrom, an Eastern High School senior and infoshop volunteer, said
the shop will not only serve as a resource center, but will also host
guest lectures, open mikes and concerts. The 17-year-old East Lansing
resident pointed out that except for nearby MAC’s Bar, which offers
Sunday afternoon shows to under age audiences, Lansing has virtually no
all-ages venues.

Bancroft, Ostrom and Bollen said that donations would be appreciated to
make their dream of a community center become a reality. They’re also
searching for office equipment, including computer supplies,
bookshelves, chairs, couches, filing cabinets, a stereo and posters.

The Brighter Days Infoshop is located at 1914 E. Michigan Ave. It will
open on Aug. 8. Regular hours are noon-8 p.m. The Infoshop is looking
for new members. If interested, contact Natasha Bancroft at (517)
980.0468 or send her an e-mail to TashaBean138@aol.com


Source: http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/030806/030806infocenter.html
Link: http://www.direct-action.net

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* Azone = Anarchist Zone

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