In the face of all these disgusting capitalist festivities, we at the People’s Cafe are trying to remain positive. More than that, we are going to try and actively reduce the negative impacts of xmas. We have decided to have our own alternative celebration of community, creativity and 2 weeks of successful occupation!
The event is open for anyone to come along and help out in whatever way they feel best suits them. To give you an idea of what already will be on offer:
Face painting, Free shops, Tea, Coffee and homemade cakes (donations very welcome!), workshops, crafts, stalls, information and real community spirit.
Come along, share gifts and skills, eat cake, drink teas and find the sense of community no amount of bright lights and plastic shite can fake.
There will be a meeting to finalize preparations for the fayre on Tues 13th @12.30pm in the People’s Cafe. Spread the word!
Its been a busy week at the People’s Cafe, with infrastructure coming along by leaps and bounds. The space is now well set up with sofas, a fully operational and clean kitchen, a kid’s space, a free shop and our workshop spaces available for booking by anyone. We’ve been visited by the Fire Service who kindly fitted smoke detectors in all the rooms and we’ve done a full check of the health and safety of the space, closing off rooms that might not be safe until we’ve finished fixing everything.
On Monday and Friday we held film nights, and on Wednesday we hosted DIY Discussions, a radical feminist discussion group who held an evening of making crafts to be sold to raise money for the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA). Outside of these scheduled events there’s been plenty of spontaneous music and creative happenings, but we could always do with more!
Next week we’ll be opening up the space even more for folk to come and hold events, workshops, gigs or forums to share ideas and come up with inspiration for radical action against social injustice! Click here to view the schedule
This is your space too, so lets make it happen!
Film Night Tonight – 8pm
The Fourth World War (2003)
From the front-lines of conflicts in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa,
Palestine, Korea, ‘the North’ from Seattle to Genova, and the ‘War on
Terror’ in New York, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
It is the story of men and women around the world who resist being
annihilated in this war.
Coconut Revolution (2001)
The movie tells the story of the successful uprising of the indigenous
peoples of Bougainville Island against the Papua New Guinea army and the
mining plans of the RTZ company to exploit their natural resources. The
documentary reveals how the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA)
managed to overcome the blockade strategy carried by the papuan army by
using coconut oil as fuel.
Plus other short films.
Where Next For The People’s Cafe? 10.30, Tomorrow 6th December
After a successful weekend of events we need to decide what to do next
with the space. Come down and plot and plan, whether you’ve been
involved since the beginning of the occupation or never been before but
A diverse group of autonomous people are currently squatting(1) 3 Bristo Place in central Edinburgh. The 3-storey building has stood empty and unused for over 3 months since August 31st 2011. The non-hierarchical group are taking direct action to reclaim this space for use by the community.
The squatting of the building began yesterday afternoon with more than 100 people including families occupying the space, cleaning, organising a kitchen area and discussing how the building could be used for the benefit of the community. Banners were painted including ‘The Peoples’ Cafe’ and displayed in the front windows.
3 Bristo Place has previously been utilised by The Forest Cafe as a volunteer-run, collectively-owned, free arts and events space. After Edinburgh University Settlement the owners of the building went bankrupt (2), it was appropriated by Price Waterhouse Coopers to administrate and The Forest Cafe were forced to vacate on 31st August 2011 despite a high profile and popular campaign to retain the space (3). Those currently squatting the building are not directly affiliated with The Forest Cafe but recognise that its closure is part of an ongoing eradication of free, non-corporate spaces in Edinburgh City Centre. Direct action has been taken to ensure that the space is not left unused but can be reopened for the benefit of the local community.
The action deliberately coincided with the November 30th UK-wide strikes over pensions. Amy Douglas, a 32 year old youth worker from Edinburgh who has been in the building since yesterday said, “While massive cuts are being made to public services and workers bear the brunt of these through much diminished pensions, the banks responsible for the financial crisis continue to profit. Cuts to public services also threaten community spaces and the same banking system is responsible for the detrimental impact this has had on communities across the country(4). By squatting and reopening 3 Bristo Place we resist the banks’ continued profiting at the expense of those who are already suffering from the cuts.”
Today there will be meetings to organise a programme of participatory events which will be open to the public. It is hoped that the building can be used as an organising space for community projects.
For Access Call: 07799737995
- While there is no legal right to squat in Scotland, squatting in this context means to settle on or occupy property, especially otherwise unoccupied property, without any title, right, or payment of rent.
- Edinburgh University Settlement were declared bankrupt and forced into administration in October 2010.
- For more information on the impact of cuts-related community centre closures see http://www.guardian.co.uk/edinburgh/2010/may/18/edinburgh-community-centres-saved-gorgie-mem-colinton-mains-longstone-council and http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/25/public-sector-cuts?intcmp=239