Skip Navigation | Sheffield IMC | UK IMC | Editorial Guidelines | Mission Statement | About Us | Contact | Help | Support Us

UK Indymedia UK Indymedia Sheffield Indymedia Sheffield Indymedia

The Common Place is closing 24th April

C P | 22.03.2011 19:09 | Free Spaces | Sheffield

closing statement

The weekend of the 23rd - 24th April will be The Common Place's last.

From its beginnings six years ago as hub to mobilise for the G8, The Common Place has evolved to be a truly valuable independent community space; it's well-loved and continues to be well-used by lots of different groups. It has provided a non-commercial space in Leeds city centre for local and national groups and collectives to meet and organise, and is a popular and unique venue for DIY gigs and club nights in Leeds. It has sometimes been criticised for not nurturing an activist culture, yet it has been more open and welcoming to a broader cross-section of groups, communities and individuals than might have otherwise been the case. Equally, it might not be recognised as a 'social centre' within the narrow definitions of some political or radical circles, but to a lot of other people outside of that community The Common Place is actually quite a refreshing, exciting and challenging space compared with what else can be found in Leeds.

So why is it closing? There are a whole load of reasons, and this is an attempt to explain some of them. One simple but key reason is that it's just unworkable; the funding model is unsustainable and relying on volunteers is often expecting too much from a small number of people. The building itself has faced a lot of criticism because it's not an ideal space, and renting it has meant a reluctance to put money and energy into making any improvements. We have £15,000 in court costs hanging over our head, and there's no way we can afford to pay this. If we kept going The Common Place could be shut down at any time. The costs resulted from having our license revoked following a period which saw an unwarranted degree of police scrutiny, particularly given that there had not been a single complaint made against The Common Place by a member of public, nor has there been since. In addition, recent revelations of long running disruptive undercover police infiltration have through no fault of our own undermined our ability to continue as a legal entity - one of our founding directors was not who they claimed to be and was in fact a member of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU).

Leeds needs a clean slate, a chance to be re-inspired and the opportunity to break free of pre-described ideas about what an 'autonomous and radical social centre' should be. What does that even mean anyway? The Common Place lacks dynamism and some would say it's outdated, tired and ghettoised. Some feel that this state has partly come about because fresh ideas and new ways of doing things have been constrained by set expectations about what a radical social centre should be, while others disagree. Either way, we need to break with the past and so it's time to pull the plug. For a while now a lot of people have felt that Leeds is missing or lacking something, and we need to figure out what that is. The Common Place has become dysfunctional and static; admitting this and closing will hopefully open us up to new possibilities and spark imaginations about the different kinds of spaces Leeds needs. Things are moving and now is the perfect time to get to work creating the places we want in Leeds.

So, there will be a 'What's Next?' meeting at The Common Place on Sunday 17th April at 5pm. The idea is to put people in contact with each other so groups can go off and start planning whatever they are interested in, be it a bookshop, a cafe, a gig venue or something else entirely.

What's more, we're going to hold a PARTY WEEKEND! Saturday 22nd - Sunday 24th! One last big party before The Common Place closes. If you all get on board and help make stuff happen then there will be daytime events on Saturday and Sunday as well as the obligatory party on Saturday night. Party planning Monday 21st March 8pm. Turn up or email us if you can't make it but want to help organise it/get bands to play/DJ/decorate/make posters/make cake/make cocktails/make or do something. Get involved!

One more thing- almost everything in the Common Place is the property of user groups and members. We will send out an email around the start of April to arrange for people and groups to remove their stuff.

C P

Download this article in pdf format >>

Email this article to someone >>

Submit an addition or make a quick comment on this article >>

Comments

Display the following comment

  1. Shame — Scrumpy

Publish

Publish your news

Do you need help with publishing?

Kollektives

Birmingham
Cambridge
Liverpool
London
Oxford
Sheffield
South Coast
Wales
World

Other UK IMCs
Bristol/South West
London
Northern Indymedia
Scotland

Sheffield Topics

Afghanistan
Analysis
Animal Liberation
Anti-Nuclear
Anti-militarism
Anti-racism
Bio-technology
Climate Chaos
Culture
Ecology
Education
Energy Crisis
Fracking
Free Spaces
Gender
Globalisation
Health
History
Indymedia
Iraq
Migration
Ocean Defence
Other Press
Palestine
Policing
Public sector cuts
Repression
Social Struggles
Technology
Terror War
Workers' Movements
Zapatista

Sheffield [navigation.actions2016]

Sheffield [navigation.actions2015]

Sheffield [navigation.actions2014]

NATO 2014

Sheffield Actions 2013

G8 2013

Sheffield Actions 2012

Workfare

Sheffield Actions 2011

2011 Census Resistance
August Riots
Dale Farm
J30 Strike
Occupy Everywhere

Sheffield Actions 2010

Flotilla to Gaza
Mayday 2010
Tar Sands

Sheffield Actions 2009

COP15 Climate Summit 2009
G20 London Summit
Guantánamo
Indymedia Server Seizure
University Occupations for Gaza

Sheffield Actions 2008

2008 Days Of Action For Autonomous Spaces
Campaign against Carmel-Agrexco
Climate Camp 2008
G8 Japan 2008
SHAC
Smash EDO
Stop Sequani Animal Testing
Stop the BNP's Red White and Blue festival

Sheffield Actions 2007

Climate Camp 2007
DSEi 2007
G8 Germany 2007
Mayday 2007
No Border Camp 2007

Sheffield Actions 2006

April 2006 No Borders Days of Action
Art and Activism Caravan 2006
Climate Camp 2006
Faslane
French CPE uprising 2006
G8 Russia 2006
Lebanon War 2006
March 18 Anti War Protest
Mayday 2006
Oaxaca Uprising
Refugee Week 2006
Rossport Solidarity
SOCPA
Transnational Day of Action Against Migration Controls
WSF 2006

Sheffield Actions 2005

DSEi 2005
G8 2005
WTO Hong Kong 2005

Sheffield Actions 2004

European Social Forum
FBI Server Seizure
May Day 2004
Venezuela

Sheffield Actions 2003

Bush 2003
DSEi 2003
Evian G8
May Day 2003
No War F15
Saloniki Prisoner Support
Thessaloniki EU
WSIS 2003

Server Appeal Radio Page Video Page Indymedia Cinema Offline Newsheet

insecure Unencrypted Page

We suggest you use an encrypted connection encrypted connection for browsing this site.

Please install the CAcert root certificate to verify the authenticity of the site, for more information see the security page.

IMCs


www.indymedia.org

Projects
print
radio
satellite tv
video

Africa

Europe
antwerpen
armenia
athens
austria
barcelona
belarus
belgium
belgrade
brussels
bulgaria
calabria
croatia
cyprus
emilia-romagna
estrecho / madiaq
galiza
germany
grenoble
hungary
ireland
istanbul
italy
la plana
liege
liguria
lille
linksunten
lombardia
madrid
malta
marseille
nantes
napoli
netherlands
northern england
nottingham imc
paris/île-de-france
patras
piemonte
poland
portugal
roma
romania
russia
sardegna
scotland
sverige
switzerland
torun
toscana
ukraine
united kingdom
valencia

Latin America
argentina
bolivia
chiapas
chile
chile sur
cmi brasil
cmi sucre
colombia
ecuador
mexico
peru
puerto rico
qollasuyu
rosario
santiago
tijuana
uruguay
valparaiso
venezuela

Oceania
aotearoa
brisbane
burma
darwin
jakarta
manila
melbourne
perth
qc
sydney

South Asia
india


United States
arizona
arkansas
asheville
atlanta
Austin
binghamton
boston
buffalo
chicago
cleveland
colorado
columbus
dc
hawaii
houston
hudson mohawk
kansas city
la
madison
maine
miami
michigan
milwaukee
minneapolis/st. paul
new hampshire
new jersey
new mexico
new orleans
north carolina
north texas
nyc
oklahoma
philadelphia
pittsburgh
portland
richmond
rochester
rogue valley
saint louis
san diego
san francisco
san francisco bay area
santa barbara
santa cruz, ca
sarasota
seattle
tampa bay
united states
urbana-champaign
vermont
western mass
worcester

West Asia
Armenia
Beirut
Israel
Palestine

Topics
biotech

Process
fbi/legal updates
mailing lists
process & imc docs
tech