Feb 19, 2009

Voluntary Association!

My laptop's in the shop so I'm spending a lot of time at UCL, trying to get my coursework finished. I took a break with a friend because ArcGIS kept crashing, thwarting my efforts to map the potential for prescribed burns of pine forests on Tenerife. Conversing in the UCL union, we got to chattin' about how we make friends, how we associate with other humans.

Sometimes we're put into situations where we meet folks, like work, college, neighborhoods. And sometimes we create communities around ideas, dreams, and struggles. I've been lucky in London to find amazing people with which to share my own ideas, dreams, and struggles. I've found a community at the Library House where I organize in a collective of voluntarily associated people. The social centre offers a weekly cafe with free films from Cinema Libre and fresh vegan food. We have classes in Capoeira, yoga, and English. This weekend we're hosting a day of London Free School with workshops on internet security, knitting, flour and water, and Spanish. Next Saturday a Mini-Eco Fair is coming to the garden and building! We'll have Food Not Bombs with Reclaim Your Food cooking scrumptious nibbles. I'm pushing a Really Really Free Market and there will be art, as well as a bike power generation workshop. We're holding an open day on March 7th, which involves inviting neighbors over for tea and making plans for the community garden.

The Library House rocks. I love my collective and I love the space.

But I guess the Lambeth Council doesn't love us cuz we were served eviction papers on Tuesday. Yeah, the space is squatted. If you're reading from the US, take a breath, it's legal to squat here. Squatters have all sorts of rights and there's a formal procedure for getting our collective out of the space. We're going to court next week to make our case ... but it's pretty weak as you might imagine. Nonetheless, the Library House Collective is moving forward with events and organizing. Our voluntary association continues, despite the efforts of the council to disrupt and defray our power.

Our power is in our ability to come together and make a dump into a joyful, working and living space. Our power is extended when we lend ourselves to movements that are organizing in solidarity with our own ideals and dreams. These voluntary associations, laterally affiliated and extended freely, will continue even if we lose the space.

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