Printworks Social Centre

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giraffiti
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Joined: 6-01-04
May 28 2004 21:21
Printworks Social Centre

Not managed to visit the social centre in Glasgow yet, its shutting down soon is that right?

Are there plans to kick it off again somewhere else in the future?

Anyone who uses these boards visited, whats it like?

Good luck with things anyway.......

http://www.glasgow-autonomy.org/

kevin
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Joined: 26-08-04
Sep 11 2004 09:41

Its' quite a good place. It is a good place for groups to meet, and new groups to form. Loads of info and ideas on new campaigns. Although the majority are anarchists a few communists, socialists, greens have come along and lent a hand to a few outdoor activities whenever extra hands have been needed. It has hosted bands for fundraising, and there has been some good discussion nights on a range of subjects.

It used to be a open door, where anybody could just walk in from the street and were made to feel welcome. Now because of some thefts there is a shut door policy where folk have to chap the door before someone unlocks it and lets them in. I think that is a bad policy, and will discourage people. Nobody wants to have their stuff nicked but closed doors are against the spirit of what we are all struggling against.

I have heard rumours that the place is going to close, but nobody can give a definate answer. There has also been factions developing between the Glasgow anarchist groups; where dislikes become petty squabbles.

We all need a strong anarchist base, especially in Glasgow. The SSP (Scottish Scientology Party), the STW, the anti-war coalitions & Scottish CND don't want a strong anarchist movement, as this challenges their control-freakery. They prefer activists who stay imprisoned by rules and agenda, and they will discourage members who don't toe the party/committee line. Scottish CND do give some limited funding to a few anarcho-groups involved in the anti-nuke movement but this funding gives them a level of control. A strong independent anarchist movement will divert funds that they think should go into their pockets. For example the autocratic Scottish CND and the SToptheWar have for several years been involved in a on-off name-calling competition, whilst both trying to get as many groups and individuals to affiliate with them. Affiliation means cash and control. Anarchy means freedom.

I am not trying to slag off those groups for they have a few merits, but if anarchy fails then life will resort back to the status quo, where the only choices for potential activists will be to sign away their individuality to the control-freaks above.

Yrwenot3?
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Joined: 29-01-04
Sep 11 2004 10:48

There were 3 people from the Printworks at EF! Gathering who gave an interesting account of how they perceived it wasn't working as a social centre. Perhaps they might wanna contribute something to this thread?

henry
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Joined: 12-09-04
Sep 12 2004 12:36

I have visited the Printworks a few times. It has/had a great deal of potential and attracted some good people. Obviously a few d**kheads, and pseudo-anarchists are going to show up, but such-is-life. I can't make a judgement on any personality problems amongst the groups, but I did spot a few too many egos. I hope it gets sorted out.

I have to take issue with the guy kevin who seemed to enter into some kind of rant against cnd, and the ssp. Was he suggesting that cnd is somehow responsible for the problems in the printworks? I am not a big fan of scottish cnd, but I think it is daft to suggest that cnd consider anarchists as enemies or rivals.

AnarchoAl
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Joined: 29-05-04
Sep 12 2004 13:03

I was a Printworks volunteer from when we were a few folks meeting in a pub through to the "split". I remain involved in the section (the majority) who are moving on with the original project of buying a property for a permenant social centre.

There is no more printworks centre AFAIK. I hear that some people are squatting the building, but they had agreed that if they did this they would make it clear that they were not in any way the same as the Printworks/Glasgow Autonomous Project, which is the truth.

The Printworks was always meant to be temporary, originally planned to be open for May. We kept it open for another two months after that, then the "split" came (2 people who had been involved from the opening plus their 2 or 3 newly-involved mates vs everyone else) and the centre passed into the smaller group's hands. It was kept open by them legally for a further month, during which the thefts etc etc occured and this ridiculous closed door policy was introduced.

The practical cause of the "split" was that most of us wanted to close the temporary centre at the end of July, and the smaller group wished to carry on. The root cause was two disruptive individuals who repeatedly broke collective agreements, lied to the group, and were even opposed to the principle that motions passed at weekly meetings should be stuck to. This seems to be due to their inability to survive without a constant supply of alcohol.

I would still work with these people, but only on one-off actions. I'm happy that we are moving forwards to a permenant centre having learned these sorts of lessons, and lost some dead weight.

Nick Durie
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Joined: 12-09-04
Sep 12 2004 13:23

I was involved in setting up Printworks and am involved in GAP. I'd like to make it clear here that printworks no longer exists, and that what continues is not being run by GAP.

It has become common knowledge that there was a split, that's not quite the case. There was a group of people who felt that printworks had served its aims and was leaching the energy of those involved by rerunning all the same problems we had be having every week at the meetings, namely that there was to be no drinking during opening hours (which there had always been general agreement about) but two individuals habitually broke this agreement, and justified it with straw men and nihilistic individualist argument. It got to the stage where one of these two individuals claimed that the group had no right to tell him to abide by collective agreements because "anarchism means freedom of the individual". The majority of the group wanted to close the centre in July. It was felt at the time that we needed to go thru a period of reflection and come up with ways of dealing with some of these issues (that collective agreements were rutinely broken and collective resources disrespected, damaged, or just totally fucked by drunk people, and that drunk people were hanging out in the centre and turning it from a space to organize in into a dosshouse when others were not about). Two or three people felt that the centre as it stood was still a going concern. They also felt that there was no real need to evaluate what had transpired and draw conclusions, more rather they felt the need to move onto a new space when the lease was up. The majority of the group decided to leave the centre project to these folk, as long as they made clear to both the council (the landlord) and those loosely connected with the centre what had occured. They were to also make it clear that they were not printworks and that they were not GAP. Needless to say that those who had been causing the problems (the super, ultra, mega-radicals, who are "so much of an anarchist" that they feel like rebelling against collective agreements, even those which they have agreed to themselves!) were also those who rejected the need for time and space to evaluate the problems which the centre had been having.

So in short printworks is dead, and the Glasgow Autonomous Project is moving forward to a new permanent centre having ditched some of the problems, and the people who caused them, of printworks.

:red: red n black star :red:

Nick Durie

henry
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Joined: 12-09-04
Sep 12 2004 13:27

I did not suggest that Scottish CND were behind the problems at the printworks. Take that back!!!

Scottish CND are a pretty hopeless crew. It is run on a Stalinist structure, with committees, bureaucrats, and all kinds of bollocks. They can't even fart without calling a committee. They rely on money from members and volunteers, and you better believe that none of those people are given a say in the running of the organization they are helping. I don't even think they have a say in voting on committees. All appointments are settled internally. And the money that is raised is spent on wages and on blockades, and producing leaflets, and producing merchandise for selling and raising more money.

When they get arrested they spout all this piss about humanitarian law, and try to impress the judges with legal debate, then expect a round of applause.

People travel from all over europe to take part in these campaigns, and once they reach Scotland they are treated like cattle. CND don't even have the decency to pay their fines, although the more people that are arrested the more successful they claim it is.

They even have the bollocks to claim that they nearly stopped the war. Fer fucks sake!!! these people are hopeless, we are living in a dangerous age with Star Wars (not the film) and that kind of stuff, and all these tossers can think of doing is collecting signatures, blockades, and wasteof time marches. In over forty years of useless posturing you think would they would come up with real ideas. it would be better that they spent some cash on a big digger and....., leave it to your imagination, but it would make the headlines.

Hows that for a rant?

henry
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Joined: 12-09-04
Sep 13 2004 09:10

Interesting what AnarchoA1 and Nick were saying about the printworks split. I think they are some good lessons to be learned, basically about how to deal with people who challenge collective agreements. I wasn't aware there was a non-drinking policy, since I never went to any of the meetings. However when I did visit there was beer and drink available and it seemed to be the norm and going down that road. So it is positive that the experience in the Printworks has helped you to suss out the deadweights, and you can now move on and learn from it.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 13 2004 09:16

Yeah cheers for letting us know, interesting stuff.

Shame about the split but some people are dicks who you're better off without.

onwards and upwards for GAP! red n black star

Lizzie
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Joined: 9-10-04
Oct 29 2004 19:47

Dear me Henry, you are terribly mixed up about the peace movement. And you seem to think Scottish CND are far more powerful than even they think they are!

Different bits of the peace movement organise in very different ways but always try to co-operate and at least not undermine each other.

Yes SCND does organise along traditional lefty lines (Stalinist might be going a bit far!). Committees do a lot of the planning but these come basically from the Executive committee who are elected by all the members at an AGM. Not my favourite way of organising, but not quite as bad as the tight power mad clique that Henry suggests.

The folk who 'spout all this piss about humanitarian law' as Henry puts it tend to be Trident Ploughshares. They don't do it to impress the judges but because they happen to believe it and think that planning genocide is a war crime. And they organise in autonomous groups - no Stalinism in sight.

Nukewatch who track and stop the nuclear bomb convoys organise as a network and autonomous groups plan action, including folk from SCND, Trident Ploughshares, Faslane Peace Camp and others.

Henry as you think everything anyone currently in the peace movement is doing is a waste of time I'd like to ask what you are doing in this 'dangerous age' - other than posting to discussion forums of course....

Captain Jack Fury
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Joined: 1-11-04
Nov 1 2004 14:31

I would always walk past the Printworks and try to make a mental note to go down and properly check it out one day, but I never did .If only I had regular internet access I'd have had a clue.Or a phone line in my flat, oh aye that'd be nice.

My mates were involved in putting on a night called 'headspace' in a big building further down albion street, have you checked that out with regards to starting something there? Its quite a free and easy, drop-in kinda vibe....If your mates wanted to get drunk you could have sent them halfway down the block to where there are dj's sofas and shit....

henry
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Joined: 12-09-04
Nov 6 2004 11:48
Lizzie wrote:
Dear me Henry, you are terribly mixed up about the peace movement. And you seem to think Scottish CND are far more powerful than even they think they are!

Yes SCND does organise along traditional lefty lines (Stalinist might be going a bit far!). Committees do a lot of the planning but these come basically from the Executive committee who are elected by all the members at an AGM. Not my favourite way of organising, but not quite as bad as the tight power mad clique that Henry suggests.

Nukewatch who track and stop the nuclear bomb convoys organise as a network and autonomous groups plan action, including folk from SCND, Trident Ploughshares, Faslane Peace Camp and others.

Henry as you think everything anyone currently in the peace movement is doing is a waste of time I'd like to ask what you are doing in this 'dangerous age' - other than posting to discussion forums of course....

Dear Lizzie, sorry for taking so long to reply. I admit I am a bit confused about the Peace Movement, and about SCND.

I'm a bit of a anarcho-syndicalist, and take the opinion that any body that does not form along those lines is not fullfilling its' potential. I still take the opinion that SCND is currently run on undemocratic lines.

You seem to believe that SCND is run on a semi-democratic footing, it isn't, that is a myth. Members may have a say, but decisions are decided by the committees and the committees are made up of individuals who I don't believe should be running the anti-nuke movement. I don't think the current leadership of SCND has the capability to rid our island of nuclear weapons. Besides that there is a lot of political infighting and backstabbing, which is not surprising when you have reps from Labour, SNP, SSP, Greens, anarchists, communists and other bodies involved in the decision making.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to run a anti-nuke campaign. All is needed is a office, a phone, willing volunteers to do the work, a list of volunteers to do stewarding and stalls, the phone-number of the police, council and local authorities, and cheap buses.

What is needed to make it more effective is more democracy, and more people involved in the decision making.

Take the latest decision made by SCND to do a blockade of Faslane of 4th July. Were members consulted about that decision? Only after the decision was made were members informed of it.

Why have SCND not set up a discussion post like this, so as to gauge public opinion? Is this because the committees don't want a challenge to their own decision making power? What makes them experts as opposed to your average anti-nuke protester?

By the way I consider myself quite active in these dangerous times. Although I'll have to admit that this summer I was involved in more failures than successes. So by my own high estimations I'll have to bar myself from the SCND leadership.

pj
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Joined: 11-10-04
Dec 1 2004 19:43

The decision to blockade Falane on 4th July was suggested at an early G8 Alternatives meeting which did not include anyone from SCND or Trident Ploughshares. However the proposal was passed on to people at the Trident Ploughshares camp at Coulport (after the last blockade of Faslane)who then held a series of meetings - with decisions taken by consensus - where Trident Ploughshares agreed to call for a blockade of Faslane on Monday 4th July in the run up to the G8.

Trident Ploughshares then proposed to Scottish CND that the two organisations should jointly organise it - as SCND and Trident Ploughshares have jointly organised previous blockades.

Scottish CND formally agreed this at a meeting of it's Executive Committee and the proposal for a blockade has subsequently recieved the support of CND (UK)

Scottish CND members elect members onto the Executive Committee at its Annual General Meeting held once a year. This Committee is then empowered to make decisions on behalf of the membership of SCND at monthly meetings. Members of SCND can hold the Executive accountable through the 3 'CND Council' meetings and the 1 AGM held quarterly through the year. It is the basic democratic model used by many organisations.

Whether it could be improved and made more democratic or accountable is not open to doubt - of course it could! It is not an anarchist organisation and has never claimed to be. But it has always had anarchists working within it right from the days of the Direct Action Committees and Committees of 100 in the 1950's and early 1960's.

I guess that people in CND who have anarchist sympathies believe that the priority is not necessarily spending all our time fighting to change the way in which CND is organised but to try and use the resources of CND to promote direct action, affinity groups, consensus decision making and other anarchist ways of organising whenever we can.

That's why the blockades are organised in that way, that's why sections of CND promoted the civil disobedience Pledge during the anti-war campaign (which included a call for people to organise into autonomous affinity groups) that's why those of us involved in Nukewatch use direct action, try and get direct action activists onto CND platforms, (like Ewa Jasovitch, Faslane Peace Campers, Jenny Gaiawyn) etc, etc.

Quote:
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to run a anti-nuke campaign. All is needed is a office, a phone, willing volunteers to do the work, a list of volunteers to do stewarding and stalls, the phone-number of the police, council and local authorities, and cheap buses.

You're right - none of us are rocket scientists but it is not as easy as you make out - if it is, just do it!

With my best wishes, honest!