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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
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