Radical Social Centres in the UK - new list

29.10.2005
Social centres organise to create new worlds, new possibilities, real leisure and social alternatives to wage labour and centralised power. Although more established in countries like Italy and Spain, the concept of social centres as a political strategy is taking off all over the UK.

Social centres can be either occupied [squatted], or financed through loans and other community funding organisations. They are usually funded day-to-day by donations given by the users, and they will often raise funds through benefit nights such as gigs or cafes.

The popularity of social centres stems from a need for space, both political and social, outside the domination of capital. The construction of a new 'political space', an extra-institutional public sphere within which can emerge a common action, interest and identity amongst people, in all their differences. The creation of an autonomous and public political space is the fundamental condition for any revolutionary movement to recognise itself, in a strong project of transforming the city, territory, life.

As more and more of our time becomes capitalised with the commodification of everyday life in the new "social factory" it becomes vital to create places where people aren't judged by there ability to consume or to produce, where real human discussion and action can take place.

As the idea of social centres spread we can begin posing serious alternatives to capitalism and wage-labour and start creating a new world in the shell of the old.

Radical Anti-Authoritarian/Anti-Capitalist Social Centres in the UK

Bradford

1in12 Club
21 Albion Street, Bradford
Tel: 01274 734160
Web: http://www.1in12.com/
Brighton

Cowley Club
12 London Road, Brighton BN1 4JA
Tel: 01273 696104
web: http://www.cowleyclub.org.uk/
Bristol

Kebele
14 robertson rd, Easton,
Bristol Bs5
Tel: 0117 9399469
Email: kebeleprojekt@yahoo.com
Web: http://www.kebele.org/
Edinburgh

Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh (ACE)
17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh, EH7 5HA
Tel: 0131 5576242
Web: http://www.autonomous.org.uk/
Glasgow

George X Chalkboard Social Centre
34 Clarendon Place, Glasgow G207PZ
(Off Maryhill Road. Underground: St George's Cross)
Tel: 0141 332 2902
Web: http://georgesxchalkboard.blogspot.com/

The Saorsa Centre
674 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow
Tel: 0141-423-9055
Email: g42collective@riseup.net
Web: http://www.g42collective.net/
Manchester

The Basement
24 Lever Street (off Piccadilly Gardens)
Manchester
Tel: 0161 237 1832
Email: mustsocial@yahoo.co.uk
Web: http://shortcutz.nologic.org/thebasement
Nottingham

SUMAC Centre (formerley Rainbow)
245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX
Tel: 0845 4589595
Email: sumac@veggies.org.uk
Web: http://www.veggies.org.uk/rainbow/
Oxford

Oxford Action Resource Centre
Room One, Princes St, Oxford, OX4 1HU
Tel: (01865) 243 121
Email: oarc@riseup.net
Web: http://theoarc.org.uk/
Lancaster

Lancaster Re-Source Centre (La.R.C.)
78a Penny Street, Lancaster, LA1 1XN
(Below single step/Whale tale cafe)
Tel: 01524383012
Web: http://www.eco-action.org/lancaster
Leeds

The Common Place
23-25 Wharf Street, Leeds
LS2 7EQ
Tel: 0845 345 7334
Email: thecommonplace@gmail.com
Web: http://www.thecommonplace.org.uk/

The Hanover Squares
34 Hanover Square, Little Woodhouse,
Leeds, LS3 1AW.
Email: hanoversquare@riseup.net
web: http://www.heavy-rocks.com/hanoversquare

A-Spire - Squat Autonomous Zone
Locations around Leeds
Email: info@a-spire.org.uk
Web: http://www.a-spire.org.uk/
London

56@ Infoshop
56 Crampton St (near Elephant & Castle), London SE17 3AE
Email: 56a@safetycat.org
Web: http://www.56a.org.uk/

Freedom Bookshop and Autonomie Club
Angel Alley
84b Whitechapel High Street,
London E1 7QX
Tel: 020 7247 9249
Email: shop@freedompress.org.uk
Web: http://www.freedompress.org.uk/

London Action Resource Centre (LARC)
62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Tel: 020 7377 9088
Email: info@londonarc.org
Web: http://www.londonarc.org/

Ramparts Creative Social Centre
15-17 Ramparts Street, London E1
Email: rampart@mutualaid.org
Web: http://www.rampart.co.nr/

Sheffield
Matilda
111 Matilda Street,
Sheffield, S1 4QF.
Tel: 0114 2787767
Web: http://www.matilda.aktivix.org/

Others Social/Community Centres:

Manchester

MERCi
Bridge-5 Mil, 22a Beswick Street,
Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7HR
Tel: 0161 273 1736
Email: merci@bridge-5.org
Web: http://www.bridge-5.org/
Reading

Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC)
35-39 London Street
Reading, RG1 4PS
Tel: 0118 958 6692
Email: risc@risc.org.uk
Web: http://www.risc.org.uk/

New space in Nottingham

ASBO Community Centre. 35 Burns Street, Arboretum / Radford, Nottingham

There is a new squatted community space in Nottingham. The building, owned by the council and left abandoned for 7 years, has been occupied since August, and opened recently as ASBO Community Centre.

ASBO currently opens every Saturday from 2-7pm. Events running include 'Kranks' bike maintenance workshop, 'Broad Bean' free internet access, 'Bears essentials' Free Shop, and a Peoples kitchen making good pure vegetarian food for around 6 O' Clock. An arts workshop is also in the pipeline.

Everyone is welcome, and the ASBO has recieved loads of support from the local community so far - so check out the website, and come along!

mail e-mail: 33burnsstreet@myway.com
home Homepage: http://www.asbocentre.org.uk