Rampart newsletter 7 May 2008


Not much this week at the Rampart(s), but we’re very active and there’s plenty going on and coming up that we thought you’d like to know about this stuff.

We had to close our fixed line broadband connection for the Rampart a while back in case we were evicted and it needed a cancellation period. That period has ended and now we are without internet. Rather than be without internet (heavens, no!) our resident techy has researched some solutions which we thought would be good to share with you:

_ Documentation for providing internet access and an incoming and outgoing phone line in a squat or other non-permanent space, where a fixed contract services might not be practical or possible _

The full most up to date version with links is available at https://en.wiki.aktivix.org/SquatTelecoms


Also members of Rampart will be attending the Interspace meeting at the end of May in Germany which you might be interested in. If you would like to contribute something towards the meeting but cannot go, we are having an Interspace pre-meeting at our Shoreditch space, 6 Bowl Court, on Thursday 15th at 8pm.

_ Interspace: International meeting for squats and autonomous spaces _

Kesselberg, Berlin 24th – 26th May 2008

Following on from the last international squat and autonomous spaces meeting in Dijon, France last November, comes the second meeting: this time on the outskirts of Berlin.

We see this as a meeting not just to exchange tactics and ideas, or to reflect on the April action days (and plan new ones?) but to share in our new projects, fights and victories: to redraw the battle lines. To achieve durable exchange and solidarity on an international level.

The time

The meeting will last three days: from Saturday May 24th till Monday 26th. We invite everybody to arrive on Friday during the day or in the evening.

For those who can stay a bit longer, the Berlin free spaces action days are taking place from the 30th May to the 2nd June (wba.blogsport.de).


We of course have some ideas and have included the suggestions already made in Dijon, but the agenda is open and in the end determined by the people who come. If you have ideas, wishes or if you want to do a workshop, send us an email to intersquatberlin@riseup.net

Proposed topics so far:

* How do we deal with repression?
* What new strategies are there to create and invent squats and autonomous spaces?
* How does paying rent or buying houses influence the reality of autonomous spaces?
* What are free spaces and why are they important?
* How do autonomous spaces generate, maintain and involve themselves in broader social struggles?

And of course there will be need to speak about the April Action Days, to evaluate the actions and the networking process and to possibly further develop the infrastructure created in Dijon.

The place

The meeting is taking place at Kesselberg, an autonomous/project space in the countryside just outside Berlin. There is space at Kesselberg for about 100 people to sleep (but please bring tents if you have one), as well as several rooms for plenaries and workshops. The place is surrounded by woods and there is a lot of space for taking breaks or meeting outside if the weather is good.

Leave your dogs at home if possible. If you do bring them please keep them close to you at any time, as there are wild animals in the woods surrounding Kesselberg and already a bunch of dogs living there.

The site is also chemical free. The people at Kesselberg have said they can provide soap, but if you bring your own, make sure it is completely chemical free.

How to get there from Berlin:

Public transport: The nearest train station is Erkner. Just take the S3 train, direction Erkner. This is a local Berlin train line and tickets cost about 3 euros.

From Erkner station we can either pick you up if you let us know when you’re arriving, or you can take the bus. The bus is Line 428, direction Ziegenhals, until the stop ‘Neu Zittau, Kesselberg’. The entrance to the Kesselberg land is next to the bus stop. Alternatively, it takes about 20 mins to cycle there from Erkner.

With a car: Kesselberg is about 7km south of Erkner, between Neu Zittau and Wernsdorf. Driving from the Berliner Ring, either take the Erkner exit via Neu Zittau, or the exit Niederlehme via Wernsdorf , direction New Zittau. For a map see www.kesselberg.info/weg.html

There is limited parking space at Kesselberg, so it would be helpful to let us know if you are coming by car or wanting to park a live-in vehicle on site for the duration of the meeting.

So that we can prepare enough space, organise enough food etc., we need to get an idea of how many people to expect, so please let us know you are coming. Likewise if you need a place to stay in Berlin just before or after the meeting, please email us at: intersquatberlin@riseup.net

Keep an eye on the blog for up to date info: http://interspace.blogsport.de/ See you in May!


_ Book of the (not even gone yet) Rampart _

We thought we’d start to compile a pamphlet, or book, on the history of the Rampart Social centre, as a way of recording our history and experiences for other people to benefit from. If you have something you would like to contribute; a Rampart related story to tell, photographs, old flyers, advice, how-to-guides, etc. then email us at rampart@mutualaid.org

There is more to come obviously as the Rampart Social centre is still around and very much active! It just makes sense to start to get the material in whilst there is a space to centre it around.

== (( EVENTS )) ==

^^ Bike Film Night ^^
7th of May @ The New Shoreditch Social Centre

We serve Tea and Cake, show Belleville Rendez-Vous (a great French animation movie featuring the Tour de France) and some others.

Address: Bowl Court / Plough Yard Squat, Shoreditch, London
Time: 8:00
Price: Donations

More details here :


^^ Food Not Bombs Whitechapel ^^
Saturday 10th of May

Meet at Rampart (17 Rampart St, E1) at 11AM for cooking
Food will be served from 2:30/3PM (until the pot is empty) at Altab Ali Park if it is a sunny day, or in front of the Whitechapel Library on 321 Whitechapel Road if it is a rainy day.



^^ No Borders meeting ^^
Tuesday 13th May 7pm-9pm at 6 Bowl Court, Shoreditch.
Come along to hear latest news and to get involved.


^^ Interactive Diners Club – a dinner party for environmental campaigners and activists ^^

More of a friendly grassroots network meeting than a diners club but still..
Will be on Sunday 18th May, see next newsletter for details. If you want to help out drop us an email.


^^ Radical Theory Reading Group ^^
Friday May 30th at Bowl Court

The readings for the next meeting are both by RD Laing: Ch 1 of The Divided Self (‘The Existential-Phenomenological Foundations for a Science of Persons’) and Ch 1 of The Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise (‘Persons and Experience’). Downloads here:

We are meeting on Friday May 30th at TwoPointTwo, Bowl Court, off Plough Lane (junction of Shoreditch High Street and Great Eastern Street, next to the Drunken Monkey). Meeting starts at 6pm.


This Thursday at Crossroads Womens centre, Kentish Town, time TBC
Details not available at this time, check indymedia on the day.


As part of the constant looting currently occurring in Patagonia (a region in southern Argentina and Chile), more and more companies are getting ready to viciously extract the region’s raw materials. From Argentina’s oil wells to mining operations taking place all along the Andes, aluminium smelters and even a nuclear waste deposit make a devastating panorama.

The system’s insatiable appetite for energy is also making Patagonian rivers a tempting feast for dam building companies. The hunger for electricity has led to the rise of over 20 dam projects alongside Chile and Argentina which are currently menacing farmers and indigenous people. Among them are the Mapuche, who will see rivers and their ecosystems devastated, as well as their lands flooded. They, along with other indigenous communities and farmers, will be forced to leave their homes in the name of “symbols of progress and development”.

Moira Millan is a Mapuche woman who lives in Corcovado, Patagonia, in Argentina. In 1999, she, along with her family and the help from other communities, formed the Mapuche community, Pillan Mahuiza on 150 hectares of land which had been abandoned by the police. This land, previously and still belonging to her ancestors, became the starting point of the reconstruction of a culture and a cosmogony that respects every aspect of nature and the living forces within it. Far from thinking of themselves as land owners, the Mapuche believe they themselves are ‘owned’ by the land, and on this basis, they have been building a new alternative to the capitalist system and its depredation.

But things have not been easy for Pillan Mahuiza whose members have been threatened with eviction and even had death threats from the police and the government. Surrounded by powerful neighbours known as the new terratenientes (large-scale landholders), such as George Soros, Benetton, Perez Companc, Jeremy Irons, Ted Turner, as well as multinational corporations currently extracting natural resources. Pillan Mahuiza is a small but powerful point of light, autonomy and independence ‘amidst some of the most prominent members of the global corporate machine currently occupying their land and extracting its resources.

The difficult reality faced by the Mapuche only makes Pillan Mahuiza stronger. Alongside other Mapuche communities from both sides of the Andes, they are creating a network of resistance and autonomy, based on the fundamental recognition that we must re-think how we live if life on our planet is to be sustained.

Flooding the alternative

The small village of Corcovado and its inhabitants, including Pillan Mahuiza, are currently under threat due to a project which plans on building anything from one to a whole set of six dams in Río Corovado and Río Hielo. The project will be financed mainly by the Spanish group Santander (who own Abbey National in UK) providing electricity to mine companies that have been exploring the region for years and oil wells which, being almost empty, are demanding more energy. These companies include, among others, the Canadian Barrick Gold and Brazil’s Petrobras..

Representing her community and the autonomous group Patagonia sin represas (Patagonia without dams), Moira Millan is touring Europe to create new and necessary links with autonomous groups that are trying to build a new way of living, which values include a sustainable approach and a respect to the enviromment. Paradoxically, this approach has a thousand-year-old history, during which the Mapuche have tirelessly resisted colonist invasions and the greed that accompanies them.

Moira Millan will be presenting a video following by a discussion at Crossroads Womens Centre

Video on youtube at http://youtube.com/watch?v=r-FAP5T5F2E


^^ Public meeting with delegation of Colombian social movements ^^

Monday, May 12th, 7pm at Amnesty International UK’s Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard

Public meeting with delegation of Colombian social movements. Representatives of the Women’s Popular Organisation, the National Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation, “African Footprints” (African Descendent Organisation), and the Movement of Christians for Peace with Justice and Dignity. 7pm, Amnesty International UK’s Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard (near Old Street or Moorgate tube stations).

(( STILL ON ))

1 – 15 May 2008
2 weeks of creative urban modification



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