For the past month the space group of the Cuts Café collective has been working flat out to identify accessible spaces for the initiative to take place in.
Dozens of empty central London non-residential buildings were identified yet all bar a handful were rejected due to the rest not being physically accessible to everyone.
Why we’re in this situation
Our primary space of choice was a property belonging to South Bank University which was an un-used former library and crèche. This building had fully accessible toilets and was really quite perfect for the events.
Sadly, security and police, at the request of South Bank University made access to the building impossible by physically blockading it, arguing that it was still in use – when it was clearly not – due to archives being stored in the building. Despite our assurances that we would respect all the documents and literature still there, South Bank University remained opposed and we vacated the building judging that keeping it would not be feasible.
What the issue is (if we can’t get a wheelchair in, it’s not our revolution)
We thought the struggle to find a space was over with our current building yet despite the electricity working, the current entrance is only accessible by stairs and there are issues with water connectivity meaning there are no working toilets on site.
Cuts Café crew have been working flat out to remedy the water and accessibility problems, including:
- building ramps
- researching portable toilets
- finding alternative spaces
As a project and collective, we hold the principle that Cuts Café must be accessible to everybody which includes sanitary facilities that anyone can use.
What we need your help with
In light of this, we have decided to postpone tomorrow’s (Tuesday) and possibly Wednesday’s events until we have resolved these problems and Cuts Café can truly be an open, reclaimed space for all to use.
If you think you are able to assist us with these problems either practically or financially – and we have researched them quite extensively and have identified solutions – please get in contact with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07842 631 370
We apologise to everyone who has organised or planned to attend workshops – we are working to reschedule as a matter of urgency.
Regarding our current building, police and private security acting on behalf of the owners have contacted us and have accepted that we are legally occupying the building.
We will do a better job of keeping everyone updated too! We apologise for some of our silences, these have been down to everyone working very hard to make this space come to fruition.