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New Social Centre for Belfast

category antrim | miscellaneous | news report author Friday June 05, 2009 17:05author by Sean - Supporter Report this post to the editors

Warzone collective launches free newsletter

When the Warzone Centre/Giros closed in 2003 a lot of people in Belfast didn’t realise what they’d had until it was gone. Since then different individuals and groups have talked about maybe getting something going again. The will was certainly there but some sort of catalyst was needed and then towards the end of 2007 a few of us discussed resurrecting the Warzone label to bring some of the old bands into the digital age; to document those times but also,more poignantly, we hoped that it would maybe inspire people to get motivated.

STARTING OVER…

When the Warzone Centre/Giros closed in 2003 a lot of people in
Belfast didn’t realise what they’d had until it was gone. Since then
different individuals and groups have talked about maybe getting
something going again. The will was certainly there but some sort
of catalyst was needed and then towards the end of 2007 a few of
us discussed resurrecting the Warzone label to bring some of
the old bands into the digital age; to document those times but also,
more poignantly, we hoped that it would maybe inspire people to get
motivated. Warzone had run the centre at two different premises for 17
years throughout some of the most difficult years of the
Troubles. It was the only openly non-sectarian venue in Belfast
and would become the countercultural hub of the city over time.
Thousands of people passed through those doors over the
years and were inspired by the DiY anarchist ideas that rose
strongly and freely above the nationalist dead end philosophies
espoused by corrupt politicians and self-appointed paramilitary
‘heroes’ who had collectively dispossessed the heart and soul
of our culture while simultaneously getting rich off the
misery. There was and still is an alternative vision to the twisted
shite that made Belfast a literal war zone for so long, and a
cultural cul-de-sac of sectarian politic s which festers to this day.
The Good Friday Agreement helped to start the end of the war
and to take the guns off the streets but unfortunately it also
cemented sectarian politics into our future, while opening up the
north to the neoliberal agenda of free trade and global big
business; with the old lie that an unhindered capitalism will create
the ultimate trickle-down economy. Will it bollocks. Today
in 2009 we see the results of that greed culture with politicians
The very first Warzine milking the sys tem to clean their
fucking moats and swimming pools and paying off non-existent
mortgages; banks and big business pleading for bail-outs
while awarding themselves huge bonuses; big oil companies like
Chevron declaring their best profits in history while working
families struggle to make ends meet and unemployment soars
again. It’s always the poor taking the brunt as we are lied to again
and again by snivelling self - righteous bastards who want to
see us chained to their well oiledmachine for the best years of our
lives so they can skim the profits.
Of course this corruption isn’t confined to our little statelet as the
world recoils from the credit crisis and an estimated one billion
people face starvation. War for resources continues to mow down
communities by the hundreds and thousands. And also very
disturbing, as we head into what looks like being a third wet
summer in a row, we are beginning to see the effects of
climate change here, a world-wide phenomenon which could cause
mass devastation to civilisation as we know it while our so-called
minister of the environment, Sammy Wilson, has blocked
climate change adverts which he describes as “insidious
propaganda” and has the audacity to tell us that ecological
messages could only be promoted here with his
permission. It is against this background that
some of us felt there was a need now more than ever to create an
alternative vision to the right-wing reactionary brown nose bigots
who dare to call themselves our leaders. There are other ways of
doing things that puts people before profit; that puts our
environment, which provides all our needs (and which is being
placed in greater and greater jeopardy to satisfy a corporate
monopoly) at the forefront. Anarchism remains the only
steady vision in a world of chaos. This is our motivation. People can
and will take back control of their lives through mutual aid and
understanding. People do not fear their governments; governments
fear their people after all.
So we kept talking and we decided to have another go – the
interest was there and people had different reasons to see an
autonomous centre up and running again. Bizarrely there are
no vegetarian/vegan cafes or restaurants in Belfast, a capital
European city in the 21st century!
Promoters putting on gigs here have had to use crap bars and put
up with their rules while the punters have to tolerate macho
bouncers and the overpriced corporate swill that passes for
drinks. But at the end of the day we need a central space to
organise all our ideas to provide a focus again; and to have a bloody
good time while we’re doing it. There is a new world in our
hearts!
The Warzone Collective has reformed as of 2009 and a
steering group is working towards raising the funds for the
establishment of a new centre but we are keen to emphasise that it
will be different than what has gone before. Central to our long
term goals for example is that the new centre will be off the grid and
run by a passive power supply which emits the lowest possible
carbon output and minimises our impact on our environment. It
would be the first such building in the city and an example of people
taking the lead while politicians squander. A number of benefits are currently being organised while we continue to look at possible
premises and details will be printed in Warzine as we have
them, or you can contact the email to hear of our latest
shenanigans. The forums at our old website are open again for information and discussion. Click on members and join in:
www.geocities.com/warzonecollec
tive
So there you have it, we’re back
and we’re not going away this
time, and everyone is invited!

Or email us at:
Warzonecollective@riseup.net

PDF Document Warzine newsletter 1.05 Mb

author by Warzone Collective - Warzone Collectivepublication date Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The collective was re-established in March 2009 by volunteers from the original collective and several new members but just to confirm for those emailing us - we have not acquired premises yet but are in the process of doing so - viewing buildings, learning about current legislation that willl impact on what we want to do and fundraising. Our news sheet Warzine should be out every 2 months or so for updates. Contact us at warzonecollective@riseup.net.

author by Galway SpaCer - Galway Social Spacepublication date Sat Jun 06, 2009 17:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's great to hear. All the best with the project and solidarity from the West.

author by SeOmRaUsEr - Seomra Spraoipublication date Sun Jun 07, 2009 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good to hear,hope you get it up and running soon so I can visit!

author by Pink Turd in Naas - Up your hole with a big jam rollpublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 05:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I like the sound of this, no endless theorising but the results of concrete action and the long learnt lessons of actually fuckin' doing it instead of endless ponderting about the revolution. I was priviledged to frequent the last Warzone centre on countless nights and it was a great place filled with great people, good books, good food, ropey bands haha and endless laughs. The number one reason to venture up North despite all the crap you hear about the place down south. I could go on for hours. Looking forward to visiting the new place.
The real ALTERNATIVE ULSTER.

author by warzonecollective - Warzone Collectivepublication date Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the comments everyone - new website finally up at www.warzonecolllective.wetpaint.com - feel free to join in

author by j segus - warzonepublication date Thu Jun 25, 2009 22:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

soundin good like

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