Social centres

Thoughts on Squatting & Social Centers

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Over the previous year myself and a small number of comrades have been involved in housing activism in Dublin, specifically in relation using squatting or using occupation as a tactic. This is meant to be a short piece on some of the lessons learnt to inform activists who wish to get involved in this sort activity.

At the start of our career as squatter/housing activists over a year ago occupying buildings seemed like the primary logical option available to us. Not only was it an available and sensible form of direct action, which informed by our Social Anarchist politics was invariable the best and most effective tactic to use, it was also an easy way to alleviate the housing crisis.

The Housing Crisis is Really a Capitalist Crisis - Resist, Repopulate, Reclaim!

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Ours is a society in which, in every field, one group of people makes decisions, exercise control, limits choices, while the great majority have to accept these decisions, submit to this control and act within the limits of these externally imposed choices. Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of housing: one of those basic human needs which throughout history and all over the world people have satisfied as well as they could for themselves, using the materials what were at hand and their own, and their neighbors labor. The marvelously resourceful anonymous vernacular architecture of every part of the globe is a testimony to their skill, using timber, straw, grass, leaves, hides, stone, clay, bone, earth, mud sand even snow. Consider the igloo: maximum enclosure of space with minimum of labor. Cost of materials and transportation, nil. And all made of water. Nowadays, of course, the Eskimos live on welfare handouts in little northern slums. Man, as Habraken says “no longer houses himself: he is housed” – Colin Ward

 

Violet Autonomous Space opens in Dublin squat complex at Grangegorman

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We are excited by the news that a new radical social centre opened 6th June in Squat City, Grangegorman named the Violet Autonomous Space (after Violet Gibson, the Irish woman who once shot at Mussolini!).

The Barricade Inn - interview and video tour

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An interview with a couple of the people involved in The Barricade Inn, the squatted social centre on Parnell street, including a video tour of the interior.

Social centres, empty space and anarchism in Dublin audio download

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Interview from RTE (Irish state radio) about space in the city and the Seomra Spraoi project which has just opened a new building in Dublin's city centre.

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