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(en) Britain, London, Institute For Autonomy For a life of dignity without capitalism

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 9 Apr 2005 08:35:20 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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76-78 Gower Street, London WC1 Opening Saturday 19th March - 7pm til
1am Café :: films :: music :: info-shop :: kids space
The Institute for Autonomy is a newly occupied social centre in
central London. Created in a disused university building in a city
where house & rent prices continue to climb far out of the reach of
the majority, it has lain empty and forgotten for over 5 years.
The Institute for Autonomy aims to be an open space for daily
development towards autonomy. We are a collective of people of
different backgrounds and experiences: some of us have participated
in similar projects, some of us are students; none of us can find
a place in this society to live our lives with dignity.

We believe capitalist society is based on the
principles of greed, egoism, individualism and
competition - and like it or not, we are all part of
this machine.

In these modern times our fantastical means of
communication drive us apart. We are losing the art
of society: first we lost our local bakeries to the
supermarkets, and with them our local communities (and
our health) - now, we rush home from work and, with a
frantic series of keystrokes destroy one more
opportunity to free ourselves from the prison of
efficiency. We are becoming robots at the service of
money and fake dreams.

It's vital for us to create space where a different
reality can be experienced, where new paths can be
walked, along which can emerge common action, interest
and identity amongst people. We organize both the
space and our work in open assemblies where, in a
rejection of this society where our 'superiors' tell
us what to do, we practice horizontal and direct
democracy. When ideas are discussed openly, we are
recreated as real actors in our lives - we use our
differences to make any idea a better idea. We aim
to create a self-organised space where people aren't
judged by their ability to consume or to produce;
where really human discussion and action can take

It is more and more clear how unsustainable capitalism
is. The scream of nature is louder than ever; animals
are facing extinction all over the world; and we are
facing a bleak, uncertain future. Wars, wars against
wars, wars against our food, wars against the
environment, and wars against those who seek to

We believe the process towards autonomy will not
protect us from the current situation, but will create
a path within the capitalist world which will help
us to learn, reflect and develop real relationships
between human beings based on solidarity, honesty,
respect, initiative and dignity.

We think it is necessary to create and experience
moments of autonomy and freedom in our daily lives, in
order that we have the tools to begin posing serious
alternatives to capitalism and start creating a new
world in the shell of the old.

We hold an open meeting every Monday at 8pm to discuss
our progress, and for new projects and events to be

Infoshop and Library

We have set up an infoshop where people can come and
pick up leaflets and literature on radical events,
thought, movements and struggles. You can find out
about squatting, the Zapatistas, the history of Anarchism and
environmentalism. Lots of groups have left their
literature, and books and pamphlets are for sale at
pretty much cost price. There is also a library for
people to read in the building, while enjoying a cup
of coffee. contributions of books are welcomed!

Art Project: Printing Workshop/ design / banner

We will be having weekly screen-printing workshops
starting on Sunday 20th March, where people will be
encouraged to make their own designs and print on
different materials, including T-shirts. Instead of
expensive corporate logos we can have our own say on
our clothes, and recycle old clothes by making them
a lot more interesting. Workshops will welcome artistic
people as well as those with no artistic background
because it's very easy to practice anti-copyright by
just cutting and pasting any design off the web or
anywhere else - so you don't need talent, just ideas
and energy. Anyone wanting to make their designs on
the computer (photoshop or illustrator) can be given
design support, and then they can print the designs
they have made on the computer to the screen and
then onto the t-shirt/jacket. We can print colorful
posters and leaflets as well if people are committed to
consistent printing and a bit of hard work.

From 6pm - Fortnightly on Tuesdays, starting 15th March
Maybe your boss decided not to pay you, maybe you are
getting evicted, maybe your benefit claim is being
refused, maybe you have an urgent problem or just a
feeling that life could be better if we work to change
it together. Come for food and coffee, and to talk
about insecurity in our lives and how we can take
action together to solve them. Come to share
information, advice and to meet people.

For the last few months in London a group has been
meeting and discussing their precarious situations and
lives. Increasingly we are balanced on a cliff edge:
we have no job security, no state benefit, no
guaranteed shelter, food: all aspects of life in
this system are unstable.

That is the aim of the powerful - that we will do as
we are told, constantly controlled by the fear that we
will end up homeless and hungry. We want to build an
alternative, build our own security, by knowing we
will have the support of each other.

Solidarity Kitchen
We are an all-volunteer, not-for-profit cooking
collective. We seek to provide cheap, vegan and
organic meals as an alternative to the
pesticide-ridden, genetically modified and expensive
supermarket produce and in opposition to the rampant
exploitation of animals and the environment.

We are currently open 3 lunchtimes a week at the Gower
Street location. The Kitchen will be open between the
hours of 12 and 3 pm, the same time as the Cafeteria
Rebelde, which serves organic coffee in direct
solidarity with the autonomous Zapatista communities
of Chiapas in Mexico. The Infoshop will also be open,
providing radical reading material. So come down, try
the food, meet-new-friends or volunteer to help to
place our health back into our own hands.

We are also available to be approached to cook for
political events, demonstrations and direct actions
that we feel affinity for.

Cafeteria Rebelde
In 1983, the EZLN the Zapatista Army of National
Liberation was formed in the mountains of Chiapas in
order to combat the crushing poverty of the regions
indigenous communities. The EZLN has worked closely
with the communities in order to build a new society
from the bottom up where the Maya people can organise
autonomously. After more then 20 year the Zapatista
are practising a level of autonomy they never dream
of, autonomous education and health care are a
concrete project now in their territories. They also
organise themselves in co-operative and create direct
solidarity networks to sell their coffee avoiding
market constrains.

Our project aims to support autonomous communities in
resistance in Chiapas and also to undermine the rules
of the neo-liberal market.
The cafeteria will be open during events in the
"Institute for Autonomy" .

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