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(en) US, The Nor'easter #7 - Reportbacks From the Northeast - A New Home for the Lucy Parsons Center + Syracuse Solidarity Network + The Wooden Shoe Bookstore + Silent City Distro + More Ideas from The Big Idea

Date Thu, 21 Jan 2010 12:38:18 +0200

A New Home for the Lucy Parsons Center By Sublett ---- The Lucy Parsons Center, Boston's most awesome collectively run all-volunteer radical bookstore and community meeting space, has purchased a new home. The new space is a commercial condo in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. A substantial amount of work will need to be done on the new store, including moving the bathroom, making the space wheelchair accessible, cleaning a lot of junk out of the basement and building new bookshelves. The collective hopes to move into the new store by March. ---- This move will put the LPC on sounder financial footing, as they will no longer have to pay rent on their current South End location, and the purchase price of the new condo was covered by money already in their dedicated building fund.

In addition, sales are expected to increase in a neighborhood less dominated by yuppies.

The move comes as the Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary.


Syracuse Solidarity Network

Over the last few months, Syracuse Solidarity Network has been working on a number of projects. We geared up for the G-20 protests in Pittsburgh and brought all that enthusiasm back home. We've held three successful Cafe Autonomys; the first two focused on the G-20, before and after, and the third was held on Black Friday.

The cafes are a bit of everything: We have food, coffee, movies, games, presentations, an open mic, radical literature and good conversations. The Black Friday cafe had less presentations and more laid-back fun with lots of music and group discussion about the anniversary of the 1999 Seattle demonstrations. The cafes have been a great way to meet new people in a casual setting rather than at a meeting.

In addition to the cafes, we have been preparing to host a concert by Testament, an anarchist hip hop artist from Canada who also does a workshop on the No 2010 Olympics. We are using the show to bring local anti-authoritarian groups together for a huge tabling event.

Our reading groups have also started back up. For the next few weeks, we will team up with a local radical women's group, the Syracuse Women's Action Committee, to read and discuss the complete Quiet Rumors book/zine.

We also repped black flags and a bad attitude at a regional protest to stop the Reaper Drones from being stationed at Hancock Air Force Base here in Syracuse.

Last, but not least, we will say goodbye and good luck to a beloved participant of SSN who is moving away.


The Wooden Shoe Bookstore

In the beginning of October, The Wooden Shoe officially moved into its newest location at 704 South St. in Philadelphia! This new location offers us more foot traffic from South St. and is significantly larger than the old one, allowing us to have a much more organized space. After several months of very difficult work rehabbing the building, and after a year of struggles around the moving process itself, we are proud to be in what may be our nicest location in our over 30 years of existence! With any luck, the new location should help us to maintain a radical presence in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future.

The Wooden Shoe will also be hosting the convergence of the Northeast Anarchist Network this Dec. 19 and 20. So far, the assembly promises to include a variety of conversations about the functioning of the Northeast Anarchist Network, as well as a number of workshops and educational trainings, including a know-your-rights training, a report back from the G-20 mobilizations and more.


Silent City Distro

Now that most of the leaves have fallen and the farm work is coming to a close, all the committed Ithaca Anarchists are bundling up and stacking wood for the winter. However, local issues are heating up more than ever. The oil and gas industries are gearing up their fleet to invade this region, pushing their profit-driven development as a "bridge to a sustainable future." We recognize these false solutions for what they are and reject them with passion and vigilance. We're all spread out, putting ourselves in direct contact with the community, taking both leadership and support roles in local grassroots efforts.

Emotions are flowing in these turbulent times. I guess one of the most important things to remember is to trust our struggles. Especially when personal insecurities feel like they are all there is or when all the pain of the world feels so heavy. We're still here right? There's a legacy of resistance. It's inevitable. We will carry on if it's the last thing we do.

Silent City Distro continues to sustain and provide nutritious radical literature and media to the surrounding area. We've just recently started up a new series of "Intro to Anarchist Studies 101." Besides lots of awesome new zines that have been coming out, we've been supplying other groups in the community with photocopies and folding.

With the winter coming, we're getting ambitious about all the new zines we want to make, all the awesome shows that we're going to host in living rooms, and the upcoming NEAN assembly, as well as many other radical gatherings. Those of us here at the Distro are excited to see old friends and make new ones in the coming days.

Love and Rage,
Ryan Clover
Silent City Distro
115 E. MLK St. (the Commons)
Ithaca, NY 14850


The Big Idea – Pittsburgh's all-volunteer, collectively run radical bookstore – is nearing its eighth year of existence and its sixth year at our current location. The quaint, hole-in-the-wall storefront, however, has often had trouble catching eyes. People who have passed the store every day for years occasionally come in and claim they'd never seen the place before. Luckily, we recently persuaded a local vinyl sign maker to donate to us a flashy new sign that reaches across the windows from one end of the store to the other. This move will surely afford us some more notice.

But, more troubling yet, are the times we live in. With the digital divide afoot, book-buying traffic has decreased, along with the money people are willing to spend on literature. Financially, The Big Idea has been coasting through 2009 on a wing and a prayer – or, if not prayer, then whatever it is that anarchists have. In need of that cold, hard cash that keeps anti-capitalists like us in a persistent bind (you never want it but always need it), we did something that is popular among broke activists: benefit party! On Friday, Dec. 4, The Big Idea threw a variety show fundraiser event under the banner of a "2010 Slingshot Organizer release party," encouraging patrons to buy an organizer and maybe a new book, while providing them the pleasure of a quirky variety show in exchange. And with the exception of a few small incidents (the worst of which was a spilled bowl of chips), the event was a success. We are still constantly in need of money to keep the lights on, but now we can finally pay AK Press back for all those books they lent us on good faith. Thanks, AK!

If you're in Pittsburgh, remember to stop in and visit The Big Idea. We'll be the ones with the classy vinyl sign.
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