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(en) Workers Solidarity #84 - Social Space is the Place Seomra Spraoi Initiative Aims to Create Radical Social Space

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 7 Mar 2005 09:23:24 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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Today in Ireland there is virtually nowhere indoors for people to
congregate that isn't a pub or overpriced cafe.
Many readers will be aware of the success of autonomous social centres in
other European cities, independent of local authority, church, business or
other controlling body. These spaces have provided a focal point for many
of the social movements in the West, where public spaces have been eaten
away by consumerism, property speculation and the culture of the car.
They celebrate collective cooperation and diversity and have numerous day-to-day
uses: community drop-in centre, inexpensive cafe, political meeting space,
library, gig venue, arts centre, and internet cafe, to name a few.

Several attempts were made in Dublin in the past couple of years to set
up autonomous centres in buildings that had been derelict for years,
but these have been evicted by the City Council or by 'heavie'_
employed by the owners. Clearly the Council would prefer to see
buildings remain derelict rather than put to any use.

Seomra Spraoi is the provisional name of a collective which has come
together to create a social centre space in Dublin

In early December there was huge response to the call for a gathering
to initiate an Autonomous Social Centre in Dublin, over a hundred
people came and watched films about centres across Europe and
chatted over vegetarian food served afterwards. Then on the 21st of
December we had a well attended gig in the Voodoo Lounge, where
fans of both punk and dance were entertained and more funds were
raised. How long before we can use/raise that money towards a
building is the question.

After the Xmas break we had another meeting in the first week of
January to see how far we got with research on the finance and
structure of the proposed social centre. We have expanded on our
wishlist of functions for the centre and now we have to start making
these a reality under one roof. As we organise, we are coming across
the very factors which have made it necessary to take this ambitious
project on: small borrowed rooms, restrictions on their use and no
consistent place for people to know where we are.

We have been talking to people involved in social centres and how they
go about it and making contacts with them and remembering our own
experiences on our travels to spaces around Europe and elsewhere. We
are still refining the question of what do we want and how do we make
it happen within the restriction of doing it the legal way, (insurance,
finance, legal form etc.).

Next we will be concentrating on the search for a location, raising
more money and getting more people involved. We are looking for
more people who think they could help with the project in any way and
also for talented people to entertain at our monthly gigs.

This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity'. http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/paper.html
We also provide PDF files of all our publications
for you to print out and distribute locally
This edition is No84 published in Jan 2005

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