We’re nearly there, but we need your help!

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: cutscafe@riseup.net 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.

UPDATE: space not yet accessible

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of those preparing the space, we are not yet wheelchair accessible; entry only via stairs. The DPAC workshop has been postponed and will be rescheduled, please keep an eye out. We hope to be wheelchair accessible by Wednesday. The Crypto workshop will still be happening at 6.30pm today; and all are welcome to come and help with final set ups.

Cuts Cafe opens 5pm tonight! DPAC TALK MOVED

So, this is it: 1 Stamford Street, SE1 9NT. Doors opening to public at 5pm. If you fancy helping with last minute clean up, please come earlier.

Workshops starting this evening with Crypto Party and DPAC coming to speak. See you all down here!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: we are not yet wheelchair accessible, entry only via stairs. The DPAC workshop has been postponed and will be rescheduled, please keep an eye out. We hope to be wheelchair accessible by Wednesday. The Crypto workshop will still be happening at 6.30pm today; and all are welcome to come and help with final set ups. Obviously we’re massively sorry about this, and will endeavour to help anyone that still wants to come.

Successful Public Meeting, as Excitement grows for Cuts Cafe

The meeting was live streamed, you can see the full unedited video here  (start at 19:25 to miss out a co-facilitator doing nothing for 20 minutes).

October 1st saw the first public meeting of cuts cafe, to discuss, explore and explain the project in more detail and to drum up excitement about things to come. A packed and diverse room of people from a wide range of groups and campaigns were in attendance, and at its height the meeting had more than one hundred participants.

There were a number of speakers including those from Uk Uncut, and the Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) groups who explained to the audience specifically what they were doing and also how this might tie into the cuts cafe. After that, a speaker from the Cuts Cafe group spoke to a now very excited audience about the variety of events the Cafe will be holding as well as the politics and ideas behind the space.

Following this, participants to the meeting were asked to discuss with others around them why they had decided to come, what they wanted from the space, and how the cuts effected them. This went on for around five minutes and the range of subjects and reasons was astounding. In the question and answer session that followed, as well as in people expressing their desires for what should happen in the space, we found a huge multitude of new an exciting ideas, that will greatly aid and benefit the space when it comes to opening day.

After this section of the meeting was finished members of the Cuts Cafe group, who represented different working groups, took it in turns to explain what the different working groups were, what they have done so far, and how new participants can get involved. Amongst the requests for help were the need for people with skills in running kitchens and childcare, people with video or writing skills, and people who can help give out flyers or put up posters in their community center, workplace etc. As the meeting finished, participants were invited to come and speak to representatives of different working groups and to get involved.

The whole meeting was hugely exciting, invigorating, and inspiring; and the Cuts Cafe group would like to thank everyone who came to the meeting and for all your new ideas, contributions and offers of help; we hope that these continue to come in as the opening day gets nearer and beyond.

A future that doesn’t work

A future that works?

A future that works?A response to the Trade Union Council’s call for ‘A Future that Works’, from someone involved with the Cuts Cafe

A future that doesn’t work. Because there is a general consensus that work is shit. That it is inherently exploitative and degrading and alienating, that it sets up a hierarchy between those who work and those who cannot or do not want to and devalues these people and their activities.

Marching for work, for daily drudgery, for the quantification and domination of our activities, seems counterintuitive. We can do better than this. We are more than workers – we are lovers and learners and thinkers and carers and many other identities that cannot be reduced to one fixed daily activity

The TUC’s call for ‘a future that works’ is a vision that is lodged in the past. The logo accompanying the call out is of three men propping up an arrow (perhaps I’m being unfair, maybe one of them is a woman) harking back to some glorious industrial past of the male worker – hoping that if we can just produce enough Brompton bicycles everything will be OK.

But work will not solve the crisis that is capitalism, it is intrinsic to capitalism – more work is more exploitation under the rule of capital.

A future, better still, a present, that doesn’t work would allow us to live our lives doing things, individually and collectively, that we find meaningful and take pleasure from. Constricted though we find ourselves today, we manage to do these things some of the time, why not all of the time?