Archive Page 2
We’re still open & still using the space to share food & make plans! So we bring you two special People’s Kitchens:
Tuesday 11 October – 8pm – Tuneful People’s Kitchen with vegan cake & mulled cider to raise cash money for Dale Farm in their fight against eviction.
Tuesday 18 October – 8pm – Discussion over dinner about what’s happening to the Factory & what we’re going to do about it. Followed by eviction resistance
riot porn film special.
We are people who live in or use the Factory Social Centre, the building on the corner of Cave Street and Portland Square. A company called the PG Group wants to develop the building we are occupying. They plan to turn it into luxury flats, offices, a cafe, an art gallery and a small health centre. Aside from the possible health centre, we don’t see their development plans as good for this area. Also, when all other information suggests that the NHS is cutting back on public outpatient nursing, we have doubts about what kind of heath centre it would be and if it will really happen.
We don’t want to be moved on and we don’t want this building to be developed. We are asking for your support.
We have worked hard since we squatted here a year and a half ago to turn this building into a home and into a space for free activities, creativity and political discussion. All of these things are under threat from this development. They are also threatened by similar developments in many other places.
We don’t believe that St Pauls needs more luxury flats and offices. On Portland Square alone there are three buildings full of empty offices. We don’t want to be removed in order to create more “beautiful” sterile vacant spaces. We see the PG Group’s proposal as part of a process that is changing our city – and St Pauls in particular – by making more places that are only comfortable for people with more money. This process – often called gentrification – pushes up prices and displaces existing residents, destroying the relationships that people have built with their neighbours and their neighbourhood. It leads to even more security cameras and police to stop people gathering in public space. We want this to stop.
The PG Group say that their aim is to “improve the environment of their community and, if possible, to make donations to charity.” However, nearly all of their developments are luxury accommodation – which is useful to only a small section of the “community”. For example, they developed the flats and serviced apartments on Portland Square. They were also part of the failed onedovelane development, which proposed building the second-highest skyscraper in the UK in St Pauls.
In addition to this, the main aim of the Grant Bradley Trust, the organisation PG give money to, is “the advancement of the Roman Catholic and Christian faith in any part of the world.” It is a religious, rather than a charitable, organisation. Despite what they say, the PG Group are a development company like any other – who just use some of their profits to promote their own beliefs.
The PG Group are trying to get us to leave voluntarily by holding out the promise of another building that we could use. So far all they have offered is a shipping container for storage and the use of some meeting rooms. We reject this offer.
We want to make it clear: even if they offered us a suitable building, we do not want to leave. We believe that, in this situation, accepting another building in order to vacate this one for development would be the same as supporting what the PG Group want to do. We do not want to help them promote themselves as ethical and caring as they continue to damage neighbourhoods. We do not agree with their development and we do not intend to cooperate with it.
We are squatting this building. We do not legally own it. However, we believe that buildings should belong to the people who use them and open them up for others to use together, not to those who only want to make money off them. Laws exist to protect the interests of the rich and keep the rest of us shut out. That is why, if we have to, we will defy them. We know that this means that we are likely to face violent eviction but we believe that resistance is essential. We have to take a stand.
We are staying where we are and we call for those who support us to join us in struggle – for this building, for free spaces and against eviction and gentrification.
After peoples kitchen, 8pm Tuesday 4th Oct., at the Factory we will show the film ‘On Modern Servitude’ by jean françois brient. Film nite poster online here. The film is 52 minutes and is snappily described by its maker as trying to
…reveal man’s condition as a modern slave within the context of the totalitarian mercantile system and to show the forms of mystification which mask his servile condition. Its aim is to attack head on the dominant world organization.
Blimey! See you there.
Monday April 11, 7pm – Meeting about the proposed anti-squatter/traveler trespass law the Tories are proposing. It’s not a law yet – they’re researching it in committee for the next 3 months. The time is now to organise against it. Please spread widely.
Tuesday April 12, from 8pm alongside People’s Kitchen – Resisting Shell. The struggle against Shell’s controversial Corrib gas project in Ireland continues, and is currently escalating in response to Shell beginning work on the proposed pipeline. A screening of The Pipe followed by a Q & A & info session on Shell’s project & the Rossport solidarity camp.
“What do people do, when the law prevents them from protecting themselves? Documentary film on the small Irish village that stood up to Big Oil.
A compelling documentary film four years in the making, The Pipe tells the story of the small Rossport community which has taken on the might of Shell Oil and the Irish State. The discovery of gas off this remote coastal village has led to the most dramatic clash of cultures in modern Ireland. The rights of farmers over their fields, and of fishermen to their fishing grounds, has come in direct conflict with one of the world’s most powerful oil companies.”
6.30pm, Tuesday 19th April, The Factory, Bristol
(People’s Kitchen afterwards as usual)
Hear first-hand reports from Abyei, Sudan, of struggles over a new national border, watch video & photos of the aftermath of recent attacks on Abyei villages & discuss how we can support the Ngok people of Abyei who are calling for solidarity
Richard Biong: Dinka Ngok activist & former Abyei resident
Tim Flatman: UK activist recently returned from Abyei
The imposition of a new national border dividing North & Sudan Sudan is exaggerating tensions between neighbouring Dinka Ngok and Misseriya communities as the Government of Sudan manipulate the situation to grab land, resources & increase their bargaining power in negotiations between political elites in North & South Sudan.
The Dinka Ngok people cannot defend themselves alone, when faced with superior weaponry provided by the Government of Sudan. Their calls to relations in the South to defend their land and homes as villages are burned & they are forced to flee are being resisted by international governments who insist on negotiating a solution themselves, constantly redrawing borders in response to fresh waves of state-sponsored violence, in effect rewarding ethnic cleansing. International governments have the South Sudanese over a barrel in respect of recognition of South Sudan following an official declaration of independence in July this year. South Sudanese would flock to Abyei to defend the victims of ethnic cleansing and help them protect their homes and livelihoods, but for the pressure being put on them by external governments through their own government.
The very concept of a border is part of the problem. Dinka Ngok want to be considered part of the South when it secedes in July so they are free from the oppressive influence of the Government of Sudan. The border is important to them insofar as it is a limited guarantee that the Government of Sudan & Northern militias attached to it cannot drive them out of their homes. But they do not want a firm border in the tradition of current international norms. The Misseriya, neighbours to the Dinka Ngok, are nomads who travel South through Abyei during the dry season to find a place to graze their cattle. Sometimes they travel through peacefully, sometimes in a violent way, killing Dinka Ngok & destroying homes. The Dinka Ngok want to make their own arrangements with the Misseriya about how they travel through Abyei – how many arms they will be allowed to carry as they travel, compensation rules for wanton destruction and so on – without limiting their rights or freedom of movement. They acknowledge that this has been possible in the past when the Misseriya have not been armed by the Government of Sudan, and when the Misseriya have not been encouraged by the Government of Sudan to look to Abyei by manipulating internal electoral boundaries within the North so that other local groups have dominance over them.
That borders are born of violence and necessitate violence in order to maintain them is no surprise to anyone who has tried to cross a border in Europe without the “correct” immigration status and documentation. Abyei is relevant to us all because it shows how elites use borders to divide communities against each other and control land and resources. The struggle of the Dinka Ngok is our struggle. Come to The Factory on Tuesday 19th to hear more and discuss what we can do to answer the Dinka Ngok’s call for solidarity.
Films are shown every Wednesday from 7pm. Entry is free & there are free tea & nibbles.
April 6 – The Spook Who Sat By The Door (1973)
Based on the novel by Sam Greenlee, this film is both a satire of the civil rights struggle in the United States of the late 1960s and a serious attempt to focus on the issue of black militancy. Dan Freeman is enlisted in the Central Intelligence Agency’s elitist espionage program as its token black. After five years of racist and stereotyped treatment by his superiors, he quietly resigns to return to his native Chicago to work for a social serves agency…by day. By night, he trains a street gang to be the vanguard in an upcoming race war, using all the CIA has taught him. As a story of one man’s reaction to ruling-class hypocrisy, the film is autobiographical and personal.
April 13 – The War You Don’t See (2010)
A documentary by the award winning screenwriter and director John Pilger. Following his award-winning documentary The War on Democracy, Pilger’s new film is a powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war. The War You Don’t See traces the history of ’embedded’ and independent reporting from the carnage of World War I to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan. As weapons and propaganda are ever more sophisticated, the very nature of war has developed into an ‘electronic battlefield’. But who is the real enemy today?
April 20 – Crips & Bloods: Made In America (2008)
From the genesis of LAs gang culture to the shocking, war-zone reality of daily life in South L.A., the film chronicles the rise of the Crips and Bloods, tracing the origins of their bloody four-decade-long feud. Contemporary and former gang members offer their street-level testimony that provides the film with a stark portrait of modern-day gang life: the turf wars and territorialism, the inter-gang hierarchy and family structure, the rules of behaviour, the culture of guns, death and dishonour.”
April 27 – Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2008)
Wars of the future will be fought over water as they are over oil today, as the source of human survival enters the global marketplace and political arena. Corporate giants, private investors, and corrupt governments vie for control of our dwindling supply, prompting protests, lawsuits, and revolutions from citizens fighting for the right to survive. Past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management. Can the human race survive?
May 4 – Wall-E (2008)
After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) has developed his very own personality. He discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he encounters–and becomes enamoured with–a sleek search robot named EVE. WALL-E and EVE travel across the galaxy and set into motion one of the most exciting and imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen. Joining WALL-E on his fantastic journey across a universe of never-before-imagined visions of the future is a hilarious cast of characters, including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.
May 11 – Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam (2009)
The word Taqwacore is a combination of hardcore, a genre of punk music, and taqwa, an Arabic word that translates as “piety” or “god-fearing.” The first to use the term was writer, journalist, and Muslim convert Michael Muhammad Knight. His novel The Taqwacores, about a group of young Islamic punk rockers, received a storm of recognition among young American Muslims and prompted the formation of various Muslim punk bands. Michael Knight then goes on a journey to gather together the various taqwacore bands across America to play at the Islamic Society of North America Conference to a crowd of conservative Muslims.
May 18 – The Edge (2009)
28 years after Minor Threat released the song “Straight Edge”, hundreds if not thousands of kiddies have drawn Xs on their hands with sharpies and donned camo shorts and baseball hats. The drugfree counterculture has become a worldwide phenomenon. Now, to celebrate it, a documentary has been put together. The documentary Edge traces this subculture, from its early roots in the beginning of the 1980s through in-depth interviews of 10 individuals. Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi), Ray Cappo (Youth of Today/Shelter) and Karl Buechner (Earth Crisis) give witness to their perception of the history of Straight Edge. Edge takes the viewer behind and beyond the scenes of Straight Edge: the people living the idea, how it changed their lives and what it means to them on a very personal level.
May 25 – Marian
A film about a Czech detention centre, shown for the first time with English subtitles.