SchNEWS Of The World


If you would like to buy a copy of this book
click here


The Tenth OKasional Cafe

In a world of disintergrating culture and increasing psychic disease, decay, and disorientation, it's always good to watch people get positive stuff together rather than seeing it fall apart. Taking control of a space when you have a clear focus can be a really amazing experience. This Easter a totally new group of people took on the shape shifting banner of the Okasional Café to do just that - and Manchester's most lively and creative alternative venue had its 10th incarnation!

The Okasional Café is put together by a loose non-hierarchical collective of people who have taken empty buildings in Manchester and transformed them into wicked spaces. Squatting allows us to take back some space for inspiring stuff that could not happen otherwise in today's over-commercialised society. It also makes the point that land and space should not only be available to rich developers to turn into yuppie flats or posh bars. In previous cafes there have been vegan meals, free parties, live music, inspiring films. Drumming workshops, other workshops, direct action and political meetings, benefit nights, poetry evenings, free shops, art exhibitions, banner making, kids space and always stacks of information about alternative radical stuff going on in Manchester and further afield. The OK Café is run by people working voluntarily and any money made is ploughed back into supporting radical action to make the world a better place. Decisions are made collectively at meetings before and during the café, and everyone is welcome to get involved. The space itself is free and open to anyone who wants to put it to good use. When you find out about the next one, just come on down and help us make your ideas happen.

The 10th Okasional cafe was a squatted pub the Pack Horse , a beautiful old Manchester pub on the end of Deansgate - don'tcha just love squatted pubs! This building was taken on the 14th of March and since then there has been vegan food, chilled music, free parties, live bands [shout to Solinky who were excellent!!], two Beyond TV interactive screening nights, a poetry evening, a benefit for Peat Alert, a subvertising workshops and more.... Our collective was most impressed however, with that lovely loo. With the toilets all having been knocked down, we had to be creative, and our wonderful plumbing friend (you know who you are!) managed to plumb us in a pukka loo. Anyway, on a more serious note, we weren't able to keep the space for long as yet again, the owners kicked us out to turn this lovely pub into yet more yuppie flats. There was a final benefit party on Easter Saturday to raise money for a new Earth First! Minibus. But not to worry, we hope to reappear another day another place, to shed another ray of light into Manchester life.

To stay in touch with the Okasional Café between squats, and to get involved with helping make the next one happen call 0161 226 6814, come to a Beyond TV show or look on the Loombreaker website. We always need more hands and everyone can help in some way - even if it's just a bit of cleaning.



Advisory Service for Squatters