It is relentless, it is gaining in pace, it will continue as such, unless we stand up and resist. I'm talking about the march of privatisation, gentrification and corporatism, the commandeering of public spaces, a process that can by any rational thought, be called the culling of the poor. Excluding them to the margins of this new society, built for profit only. The ordinary will be dumped in poverty camps on the periphery, there to be called upon when needed to serve the new society built to the god Mammon. Obviously autonomous spaces are a threat to this financial Mafia dream, so must be rooted out, by rigged laws or brute force. Argument and dialogue will have no more than a delaying effect, they have the wealth, and the power of the state behind them, they know their goal. Do we the ordinary people, know ours?
This from Autonomies
Anarchist social centres constitute fragile points of passage for anti-capitalist archipelagos of resistance. There fragility is born of the (ever increasing) restrictions of private property and State opposition. Yet they are often the only link to rebellious pasts and radical presents: they are the vehicles of radical thought and practices, the precious islands of different futures struggling against and creating beyond the violence of the present.
The Centro de Cultura Libertária of Cacilhas-Almada, Portugal is the oldest anarchist cultural centre in Iberia; a centre whose space is now threatened by rampant real-estate speculation. From the CCL, we share their urgent call for solidarity.
For the Centre’s blog, click here.
The CCL needs your support!
The Centro de Cultura Libertária, an anarchist association with 44 years of activity in Cacilhas-Almada, Portugal, is again threatened. The continued pressure of the real estate business, the change in the rental law and the gentrification that forces the departure of residents from the central spaces of cities, the destruction of non-profit spaces or the closure of neighborhood stores, now also touches the CCL.
What is happening?
This is not the first time that the CCL’s permanence in its historic headquarters has been called into question.
Between 2009 and 2011 the Centro de Cultura Libertária resisted an eviction procedure initiated by the landlord. Only the solidarity of many collectives and individuals here and beyond allowed us to face the costs of the judicial process, which led to two trials and one appeal. In the end, we reached a rent increase agreement that allowed us to continue in the space without changes in the duration of the contract.
However, in 2014, as a result of the changes in the rent law in favor of property owners’ interests, the CCL contract duration was set at five years. At the end of 2018, we have reached the point where, as has happened to thousands of tenants, the continuation of the rent of our space will be at the mercy of the owner’s will and the conditions that he wants to impose on us.
Why support the CCL?
The CCL is an anarchist cultural centre founded in 1974 by old libertarian militants who resisted the dictatorship, occupying since then the space rented at number 121 Rua Candido dos Reis, in Cacilhas-Almada. The Center has a unique library and archive in Portugal, with documents produced over the last hundred years, as well as a bookshop promoting libertarian culture. It has been a fundamental space for anarchism in Portugal, welcoming successive generations of libertarians. During its existence, the Center hosted numerous activities, such as debates, meetings, reading circles, video sessions, workshops, dinners and various learning workshops, and served as home to many libertarian groups and collectives. Different publications came out of the space, such as the Voz Anarquista in the 1970s, Antithesis in the 1980s, the Anarchist Information Bulletin in the 1990s, and Húmus magazine in the first decade of this century.
As an anarchist association, the functioning of the CCL’s internal organisation is horizontal and is based on the assembly of its members, where decisions are made and the tasks inherent to the life of the association are distributed. Participation in the CCL is always voluntary, unpaid and non-profit. The only sources of funding are membership fees, the bookstore, dinners and solidarity donations.
What future for the CCL?
We do not want the Centro de Cultura Libertária to end! We want it to continue to exist as an active libertarian association for many years!
But at the moment the future of the CCL is open: it can remain in the same space, paying a much higher rent, or move to a new space, where we would try to have better conditions for our activities, but where expenses will also be higher.
In both cases, and given the conditions imposed by the current housing market bubble, we know that we will need financial means that we do not have. For this reason, we will start a fundraising campaign, which will include crowdfunding, concerts, dinners and other initiatives.
We count on your solidarity support so that together we can guarantee a future for the CCL.
Center for Libertarian Culture
C.C.L. bank account details for donations
Holder: CENTRO DE CULTURA LIBERTÁRIA
(Bank: Caixa Geral de Depósitos)
Mail: Apartado 40 / 2800-801 Almada – Portugal
The website for the crowdfunding effort can be found here.
Original Portuguese language statement from CCL, HERE