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(en) Britain, London, New Social Centre opening - Institute For Autonomy :: For a life of dignity without capitalism

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 19 Mar 2005 14:18:47 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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At 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\u2019s 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 \u2018superiors\u2019 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\u2019t
judged by their ability to consume or to produce; where really
human discussion and action can take place.

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 resist.

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 proposed.

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\u2026 contributions of books are welcomed!

Art Project: Printing Workshop/ design / banner making.

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\u2019s very easy to practice
anti-copyright by just cutting and pasting any design off the web or
anywhere else - so you don\u2019t 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\u2026 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

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

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

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