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CALL OUT: Justice Not Crisis Social Centre.

Petroski Zion | 02.05.2009 08:37 | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Birmingham

Justice Not Crisis (JNC) is a direct action pressure group based in Birmingham. We're currently squatting a house on Pershore road, and we need your help to build a thriving Social Centre here.

The idea is to use the space for meetings, workshops, and as a headquarters to fight against 'the system'. It's a space that can act as a focal point, like minded people can get together, and share ideas/skills.

We think social centres offer a unique opportunity for people to get together, get organised, and really do something that will make a difference to the world. When we get together, we share skills, ideas and experience. There are many different groups in Birmingham fighting for many different causes, but surely we all have something in common. At the end of the day, we're fighting the same enemy. So why not help each other? There is a great energy when people work together. The whole can be greater than the sum of it's parts.

At the moment JNC has been focused on social housing, highlighting the insanity of allowing perfectly usable buildings to be left empty when there are 30,000 people on the waiting list for homes, and many people sleeping rough on the streets of Birmingham. We feel that it's criminal for property owners (who have no right to the land anyway) to leave buildings empty, just so that they can make more profit in the future.

After squatting in the Firebird pub for 12 weeks, it was finally sold to Optima housing association who are in the process of using the land to build social housing.

At the Beechwood hotel on Bristol road we tried to protect the land from environmental damage done by the owner, Mr Kang, who was burning toxic waste there, cutting down protected trees, and poisoning the lake. Unfortunately we didn't have sufficient numbers to prevent eviction from the Beechwood.

JNC has good connections with official political groups, and many high profile supporters. We work using a mix of conventional politics and direct action. We have a good legal team, and know how to use the system to our advantage when it suits us. We also have excellent contacts with the media.

In conclusion, here is a real chance to do something cool in Birmingham. Show the world that Birmingham is not a dead city for activism, that there are people here that will stand up and fight for what they believe in. JNC will always go on, but at the moment we need more support if we are to use this space properly. Without more support we feel that the social centre could disappear.

However, if the people of Birmingham decide to rise up, there are always more buildings. We have the experience now to open and manage new squats. Imagine a network of social centres, where the people decide the rules. Where anyone can go and feel welcome. Where we share things and operate for the good of the people, instead of to make a profit. Where we can escape the silly rules and bureaucracy imposed on us by our 'rulers'.

If you're interested, drop round at any time, or call Pete on 07534 082 173. You don't have to be an 'activist' to get involved. Everyone is welcome. If you have something to teach, come and share it. If you have food to donate, that's always appreciated. Even if you're not sure about the project, but are curious, come and see what we do. All support is useful and welcome.

318 Pershore Road
B5 7QY

Please pass this message on to anyone that you feel might be interested. Feel free to repost it online, print it, pass it on to as many people as possible.

There will be a meeting/party/gathering on Saturday 9th May. Turn up any time after 6pm, invite your friends, and lets see if we can come up with any good ideas.

If you want, this can be the start of a revolution. ..

Petroski Zion
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Display the following 3 comments

  1. The revolution will not be co-opted! — @ is for Autonomy
  2. sustainable community owned housing? — optima watch
  3. Birmingham aint a dead city for activism! — are we really fighting the same enemy?