Flyers are currently being distributed for Reclaim the Future 5 which will take place on Saturday September 5th at a venue somewhere in London. It is a benefit for anti-capitalist and anti-militarist causes and will feature live bands, DJs, cabaaret, workshops, stalls and debate, vegan cafe, bar, 12 volt cinema and exhibitions of conscious art. More details at RTS website.
There is a Reclaim the Beach party on Saturday with live music from Kalakuta [featuring master musicians of Fela Kuti's Africa 70 / Egypt 80] performing legendary Fela Kuti rhythms, and Speakers Corner DJs and MCs.
At Open Tech 2009 on Saturday I met a guy who is involved with a project to set up a London Hackspace.
Circle Community have occupied Ravens Ait Island in the Thames near Kingston.
Free London Listings is a fairly new website which aims to be a comprehensive list of free (or nearly free) events in and around London. I had a look at the Politics/Social Action category and was pleasantly surprised to see that it listed things like Food not Bombs!, Critical Mass, the Class War bonfire party on London Fields and the Anarchist Bookfair. My housemate said that he thought the site had been around for ages, but he must have been thinking of LondonFreeList which has now closed down, with a recommendation to use the new site instead. Upon further investigation I relised that Free London Listings is at least partly the work of Johnny Void, whose blog I have been following for a while.
Not quite underground, but despite being a comercial operation Cafe 1001 on Brick Lane is a pretty cool cafe/bar. Lots of comfy sofas and cushions upstairs and they sometimes have a good DJ spinning. And while I am at it, another nice place to lounge is the Lincoln Lounge at 52 York Way near Kings Cross Station.
I haven't written anything here for a while so I will try to do a brief update. Venus had not planned a 2007 Reclaim Love event in London but a few other people organised a small gathering to keep the tradition going. It returned in 2008 though, bigger and and brighter than ever. I took Son of Pedals, the new 12 V mobile soundsystem I built in 2007. Son of Pedals is based in London and has been involved in all sorts of stuff this year, including London Critical Mass, which is still going strong.
I don't have time to write anything else so I will just leave you with a new poem by Dalston resident Michael Rosen called Regeneration Blues.
I am pleased to report that n16 was not the last edition of Infousurpa London after all! It is still very much alive and is being uploaded weekly to its own website - please print and distribute.
Lambeth Council have decided to make it impossible for the organisers to go ahead with plans for a South London Urban Green Fair which was to have taken place in Brockwell Park on June 17th and 18th.
Following hard on the heels of Reclaim Love, there is a bold plan afoot to Reclaim Fools Day.
OPEN Dalston is a good site for news about resistance to the gentrification of Dalston, including news about the occupation of Dalston Theatre.
Infousurpa is a weekly independent events listing for London social centres. It has been produced in the form of a poster, and a pdf of this week's edition (n16) has just been posted on Indymedia. Unfourtunately, due to a general lack of support, it looks like this might be the last edition.
Guerrilla Zoo at the Corsica Arts Club on April 1st promises to be an interesting night out.
Reclaim Love 3 was excellent. After Rhythms of Resistance finished their set Venus got on the mic to say a few things about love. Then about 600 people held hands in a huge circle centred on the Eros statue, sending out love to all beings in all worlds. After that it was time to dance as DJ EON played tunes selected by Venus, kicking off with One Love by Bob Marley. Tony and I provided Pedals to push out the sounds.
London's premiere alternative valentines event Reclaim Love 3 will take place on Saturday February 11th at the Eros statue in Picadilly Circus.
Last night I was in the area so I decided to visit Tony's cafe. I had not been there since the eviction/demolition/reoccupation/reconstruction. The guy who opened the door recognised me from when I visited last year and let me in - they had just finished a meeting. They could be evicted at any time so every day they hold out is a bonus. They told me that Spirit was going to be in court today to defend his own shop in the same street - I was busy and couldn't attend - hope it went well.
I just realised that I missed a meeting today of the London Social Forum. Not that I would have gone anyway because I am suffering from some kind of lurgy and I have no idea whether it would have been useful. I have also just heard that there has been a tip-off that Dr. Wratten's henchmen will have another go at evicting Tony's Cafe at 06:00 tomorrow morning. The trouble with tip-offs is that they are often fake, designed to exhaust occupiers by keeping them on a heightened state of alert. I hope there are enough people there to resist if it does happen.
Well the defender's of Tony's are still holding out against the Dark Lord:-) Check out Hari Kunzru's Dispatch from Tony's Cafe.
Since I visited Tony's Cafe it has been evicted and then reoccupied! Unfortunately it was badly damaged but the new crew are busy repairing it. Check out the website and get on down there to help if you can.
On Friday night I went along to a solidarity cafe night at Tony's/Francesca's on Broadway Market. It was a good evening and not just the usual suspects.
The Nutritious Food Galley on Broadway Market seems to have been stolen from it's proprietor, Spirit, by a corrupt council. Read about it in a Guardian article called Market Forces by Hari Kunzru.
Last night I was in London for a demo on Tower Bridge where I heard that St. Agnes Place was being illegally evicted, so after putting the soundsystem away I cycled round there with a friend, only to be stopped by cops who had closed the road. They would not let us past but we could see security fences and floodlights further down the road. We left, but just round the corner we spotted a couple of residents and stopped to chat. They described how the cops had created a no go area so that there was no one to witness the illegal activities of the bailiffs. The evictions will be challenged but by then the houses will probably have been bulldozed:-(
Meanwhile, the premises of Francesca's Cafe on Broadway Market have been occupied in protest against ongoing corruption allegations and aggressive gentrification in Hackney.
Apparently there is group squatting the Brixton Bike Shop on Coldharbour Lane near the Ritzy Cinema and they are hoping to buy the building. I don't know anymore than that. Worth a visit to see first hand I think.
On Saturday I spent a couple of hours chilling at the Flea Pit, a laid back cafe/restaurant at 49 Columbia Road in Bethnal Green which does good vegetarian food. Apparently it has free wireless Internet access.
I never did get to The Synergy Project as I said I was planning to do in the last entry on this page. I have been to the Bonnington Cafe though, which is an excellent place for vegetarian food and has a very nice vibe.
Although it is relatively commercial, there is apparently a cosmic underground current flowing at The Synergy Project. I have heard a lot about it but not yet been myself, so I might get along to tonight's event.
Simon Busch talks to some London squatters for a piece called My Place or Yours? in the Independent.
There is a an excellent page about London at libcom.org
www.zenatode.org.uk Ian Gregory 2010