We recorded audio of the Austerity and Violence Against Women talk. We also have a number of video recordings of interviews with speakers (below).
So yesterday was a big exciting day for the cafe with lots going on! The front doors were open and we had a packed program of events which drew big numbers; but the cafe aspect of the project also managed to entice lots of passers by who came to share their experiences and stories about the cuts. One trainee nurse came to share his experience of cuts to NHS funding which for him translated as the funding to his course (which was free when he started) being entirely stripped and therefore much more expensive than he had anticipated.
AT 6pm was the Austerity and Violence Against Women which was hosted by Sarah Day a caseworker from Refuge and Rowan an NHS worker. Rowan spoke about how the cuts have effected mental health, citing increased suicide rates as one example, and also presenting an argument that mental health issues should be framed in a similar way to physical disability. Sarah spoke about the serious problem of domestic violence in the U.K. citing the Housing Crisis, Cuts to Legal Aid, and Cuts to the Police as factors of austerity that will only make the situation worse.
Rowan from the NHS on how the cuts affect mental health patients
Rowan NHS from Cutscafe on Vimeo.
Sarah summarises her workshop on austerity and experiences of domestic violence by women
Sarah from Cutscafe on Vimeo.
Open mic at Cuts Cafe Part 1 from Cutscafe on Vimeo.
Open mic at Cuts Cafe Part 2 from Cutscafe on Vimeo.
- It’s been an exciting day today, with between 70 and 100 people passing through, enjoying coffees, conversations and taking part in meetings. We’ve had Occupy London, the Precarious Workers Brigade, Robin Hood Tax Group, Traveller Solidarity Network, Atomic Weapons Eradication & Campaign Against the Arms Trade all putting on workshops/talks and holding their meetings, and here is lots to tell. The documentation group met today, and from tomorrow we will be live-streaming audio in as many meetings as we can manage (more people are needed to help out in the documentation group, whose aim is to produce a lasting history of the space) and hopefully doing some video too (including a series of fag break interviews, five minute interviews with speakers that will fit into your fag break at work or home).
So here is a blow by blow rundown of happenings today:
- We woke up super early and went hard at it doing loads throughout the space from painting the first floor, to setting up the cafe space, cleaning and tidying everywhere, trying (and failing to fix water), installing a welcome desk, and cleaning up all of the mess involved in building and setting up the space. Everyone worked super hard, and by the end of the session things were looking beautiful.
- From around midday there was a steady flow of people coming to help out in the space, lending a hand with cleaning and building, and enjoying our wide range of hot drinks and skipped food.
- At around four, a rush of people from Occupy London entered the space, holding a meeting discussing what they were going to do for Occupy’s global day of noise (a day of action called by the international occupy movement) and what the group could do for this and beyond. It was a well attended meeting of between 20 and 30 people and members of the group were most helpful in setting up a projector screen and other shiny new things.
- Next, came The Traveller Solidarity Network and The Robin Hood Tax Campaign who held simultaneous meetings (obviously in different rooms). The Traveller Solidarity Network ‘s workshop covered a wide range of interesting things. It began with an introduction for people new to the Traveller Solidarity movement (including an explanation of the different kinds of Travellers and Sites on which they live, the problems and racism faced by travelling communities, recent evictions of travelling communities, and the effects of the new localism bill) and the sharing of ideas on how to support local Traveller Sites. Following this, there was a breakout into smaller groups and an invitation to all attendees to their upcoming action against the Homes and communities agency on the anniversary of the Dale Farm eviction.
- The Robin Hood Tax Campaign Group gave an introduction to what the campaign is about and explaining what they see as sticky situation they find themselves in- from politicians seeing them as “bonkers” to much of the left viewing them as not radical enough. They then went on to talking about what the tax means and how it would work- essentially taking tax from financial transactions of super rich corporations and investing the money made in progressive projects including anti climate change work. You can see more information about the group on their website, and to get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- After this, was a workshop from Atomic Weapons Eradication and CAAT who put forward arguments as to why (particularly during the economic crisis) we don’t need trident, and why it should be discontinued. The talk then led into a discussion from everyone in the meeting ranging from the successful campaign on Scotland’s River Clyde, to discussion on how to take action locally.
- The Precarious Workers Brigade then held one of their monthly drop in sessions to share experiences of precarious work, housing, and life in London and to prepare for the upcoming TUC demo on the 20th October which they inform us may well be sporting the always exciting “carrot block”.
- We finished off with an open general meeting at 9pm where a number of new people came into the space to discuss and decide what the Space should be doing over the next couple of days. All the information about meetings, what can be done, how to get involved, and fun stuff to do will be up and available from the welcome Desk as of tomorrow- See you there!!!
For Photos of today see our Twitter!!!!!