Embargoed until 00:01 on Thursday October 1st
SHEFFIELD AUTONOMOUS SOCIAL CENTRE OPENS
A group of Sheffield residents opened an autonomous social centre today by occupying an empty building on Pisgah House Road in Broomhill, S10.
The social centre is a non-hierarchical, anti-capitalist space based on a number of core principles which reflect the world its organisers want to see: co-operation and mutual aid, openness and inclusion, voluntary participation and shared responsibility.
It is a place where discrimination of any kind is challenged in order to create as inclusive a place as possible. One way of achieving this will be through open meetings using consensus decision-making, which happen every other day at 10am to decide how the centre operates, with the first one of these happening on Thursday October the 1st.
A programme of workshops, discussions, and other events is planned for the first fortnight. A full timetable can be found at http://www.sheffieldsocialcentre.org.uk/, and anyone is welcome to propose things they’d like to organise in the social centre by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 07729575582, or by visiting the centre.
The social centre organising collective released a statement saying “we've established this space for people to openly discuss and learn from each other about issues of social and environmental justice, because there's a chronic lack of public space in which people can come together and freely and genuinely talk about the things they are concerned about, and take action together to change them. The only real way of addressing the problems of our society is for us all to realise the power we possess when we act co-operatively, and helping people to make that realisation is one of our main goals in setting up this social centre”.
The building being occupied, Pisgah House, is on the same site as the Tapton Experimental Gardens, both of which are owned by the University of Sheffield. In 2007 local residents defeated a planning application by property developers Miller Homes to demolish all of the buildings on the site1.
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