Annual 1998 | Anarchist
Justice? Brighton's Campaign in Defiance of the Criminal
The Anarchist Teapot
began a year ago in a radical little squat in Baker Street, Brighton
- the idea being that the act of making tea free for loadsa people
will do something to break down social relations imposed by the
capitalist system as we hope squatting buildings will do too; plus
providing people with a good cuppa and a place to chill.
Since then, moving from
building to building (6 to date), a reading room/infoshop has been
added and has expanded, events have been hosted and, best of all,
more people have got involved. In the last year, the A-Teapot has
experienced hauling all our possessions around in shopping trolleys,
police harassment, pisshead and nutter harassment, plumbing problems
(with vatfuls of shit), film showings, genuine members of the public
none of us actually know wandering in spontaneously, to many dogs,
not enough money, paranoia, feeding a direct action conference,
sudden media attention we don't give a toss about, squatting an
ex-mortuary, hordes of foreign language students, staging an Anarchist
Week with an Anarchist local history tour, Christmas dinner in July,
a Critical Mass and a food fight on the beach, as well as a few
breaks due to exhaustion and lack of numbers. Oh, and the death
of Princess Diana-!!!
Thinking back one of
our consistent failings - and that of many other squatted centres,
has been in our efforts to draw in larger numbers of 'normal' working
class people. We don't want the buildings just to hang out with
our friends and listen to punk music. Squat chic can be very
alienating. Maybe part of the solution would be trying to look as
welcoming and unthreatening as possible.
On our 1st birthday,
we are in a HUGE building ex-Council offices - right in the heart
of Brighton, opposite the Pavilion. We currently have an excess
of autonomous space that could be used by sorts of groups ... (except
for drinking 'cos we've got a no alcohol policy.) We're open 12-6
Mon -Sat, and in the evenings for events, such as a recent talk
on the Zapatistas or film showings. If you're in the Brighton area,
pop in sometime for a cuppa, a good read, perhaps an interesting
chat and/or to get involved! If you're not local, why not go and
set up a Teapot Yourself!!??**
5 EASY STEPS
TO DO A TEAPOT....
you might want to do it completely different & much better)
together with a few people.
2. Look for
an empty, suitable building (Like with a shopfront) Get in
and secure it and it's yours! (for a while)
3. Tat some
tables, chairs, pots, cups, plates, a tea urn or a kettle,
a CalorGas cooker etc; set up & make it look nice.
your place and bang a big sign or banner out at the front.
5. Make the
rest up as you go along; Hey we did!
- information for action - photocopy! distribute! contribute!
"After an initial
period of depression, the anarchist was cheering up" - Dario Fo
and DIY THEATRE
THEATRE THROUGH A
born out of the play TATTING DOWN. Written by Paul Light and directed
by Celine Griscom, it features a group of Brighton squatters under
the constant threat of eviction and the CJA. It tries to humanise
them by showing how squatters deal with every-day life in such extreme
Staged in November '96
at Brighton's Nightingale Theatre, it was DIY Theatre from the start.
The set used skipped materials and parts from tatted squats (including
a window from Claremont Rd, M11.) Rehearsals took place either in
borrowed co-op space or in squats. The cast were a mixture of full
time actors, activists and new arrivals to Brighton. Everything
needed was either blagged or borrowed.
Tatting Down' ran for
four nights, selling out on each occasion. Brighton Theatre Events
(a production outfit that put on their own excellent plays) saw
it and transferred it to the Pavilion Theatre for their 'Mayhem'
season the following May. With a revamped set, it once again did
very well. This success led to the foundation of the collective.
Thespionage emerged from
the need to bring hard information into popular entertainment and
highlight issues that the mainstream media tend to ignore or distort.
With regular meetings and members' subs we had enough money to fund
another production, the idea being that each play pays for the next.
We aim to provide a fully functioning vehicle for activist propaganda
through entertaining plays.
The next play by THESPIONAGE
is GRIEF ENCOUNTER, a tale of mistrust, benefit fraud and beer.
Like Tatting Down, it revolves around a group of characters in extreme
situations. It's a darker story than Tatting Down but still has
the same spirit and another wicked copyright-waived soundtrack,
with music from Citizen Fish, Violent Femmes, and the Specials amongst
FOR MORE INFORMATION
ON THESPIONAGE OR GRIEF ENCOUNTER CALL: (01273) 388079 or (01273)