Social Centre News / The Rampart & Bowl Court newsletter – 27th May 2008

The deadline for written objections to the planning proposal for Rampart Social Centre has been extended and is now until Thursday 5th June 2008. If you have the time, a swift letter on our behalf would be very much appreciated. See below the events section for the info you need.

We also have a court date for Bowl Court.. Wednesday 4th June at 2.30pm at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court.
Not long is it? The court is in court isn’t caught(?). We are getting advice from the good people at the Advisory Service for Squatters ( but really we need all the help we can get for this one. Anyone able to offer extra support on this please do get in touch.

== So now on to the events at Bowl Court and Rampart ==


7.30pm @ Bowl Court
[[ Dos Americas and Down But Not Out film screenings ]]

Screening of Dos Americas and Down But Not Out by Upheaval Productions followed by a talk with one of the film-makers

Post-Katrina reconstruction is still in progress throughout the Gulf Coast, with much of the city of New Orleans still in ruins. Dos Americas: The Reconstruction of New Orleans focuses on those rebuilding this city through interviews with some of the estimated 100,000 Latino migrant laborers who have converged in this area over the past two and a half years.

Despite terrible working conditions, massive fraud, a housing crisis, severe harassment by law enforcement, and very limited resources, New Orleans’ Latino-community has mushroomed since the storm and is establishing an infrastructure proportional to its size. Take a look at how this community is organizing to defend itself against numerous injustices and the attempts to bridge the gap between themselves as new residents and the pre-Katrina
population, all within the context of the extremely unique and tragic context of post-Katrina New Orleans. Trailer:

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina attacked the Gulf Coast of the United States. A Category-5 hurricane, Katrina destroyed entire towns and left a trail of destruction in her wake. But the impact was magnified by city, state, and federal government negligence, and in no city was there a better example of the government’s failure than in New Orleans, where thousands were killed—both by water and bullets—and hundreds of thousands were left behind to save themselves. In early August 2006, almost one year after the disaster, survivors sit down and talk about their experiences of fighting for survival in the days following Katrina, and how their lives have progressed since returning to New Orleans.

Providing accounts of living in a city whose populace has largely been forgotten, the survivors give a stinging description of a slow reconstruction process that is ignoring the human cost of rebuilding. Down But Not Out shows the people directly affected by the fallout from Hurricane Katrina, and lets those who experienced it tell the stories themselves.


7PM @ Bowl Court
[[ Free Skool – Webmaking Workshop ]]

The first event of the newly setup free skool will be taking place this thursday. People will be meeting at 6:30 to learn about setting up websites and to discuss making one for the free skool.
The next meeting for the free skool itself will be taking place the following thursday, June 5th at Bowl Court from 6:30 pm. If you have any suggestions for future workshops/skill share or would like to get involved then please come along or email

Next meeting for the Free Skool THURSDAY 5TH JUNE, 6:30PM at Bowl Court
Bit of reading to prepare for the meeting:
‘The Origin and Ideals of the Modern School’ by Francisco Ferrer
Copies online can be found at
See also Free Skool Santa Cruz –


6PM @ Bowl Court
[[ Radical Theory Reading Group ]]

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:

9PM @
[[ Dissident Island Radio ]]

Tune in at their nicely revamped website
Check their website nearer the time for the info on the show!


3PM @ Bowl Court
[[ Pre-meeting for anti-capitalist feminist event ]]

Feminist Fightback, Feminist Activist Forum, Left Women’s network and others will be meeting to discuss holding an anti-capitalist feminist event in the autumn. This is our first meeting, agenda is entirely open, all welcome. For more info contact or 07890 209479.

9PM – 2AM @ Bowl Court
[[ Music and Lights, Riseup & A.S.S. fundraiser ]]

Music and Lights Benefit on the 31st May is a joint benefit party for [who provide valuable web space and email/list services for activist groups Advisory Service for Squatters []

Music and Lights Saturday 31st May @ Bowl Court Squat, Plough Yard, Near Drunken Monkey off Shoreditch High Street

The Music and Lights Crew are staging a funky night of electro,reggae, funk and eclectic tunes.
Two bands of super quality:
Captain Strange – Funk-ska with a ghoulish edge.
The Juliets – Electro indie to please the dance floor

Djs: Steene, Catnip and CNTRST playing party tunes from afro,hip-hop to dnb Grand Union Crescent come back with their positive reggae vibes and dubstep Visual treats from Raul, Skiprat and slides from Mighty-I & further guests tbc

In between all this there’ll be a puppet performance and food. See you there

£4 suggested donation


8PM @ Bowl Court
[[ Radical Bike Group London ]]

On 5th of June the Radical Bike Group London will do another Bike Film Night at the bowl court squat starting at 8pm, movie starting 8:30pm.

We’ll show “Even the Girls“ (, “Bike Like you mean it” ( and maybe some more + we serve tea and some cake. Feel free to bring along bikes, friends, flatmates, neighbors, cake, snacks, drinks or even movies to share as well.
After the screening we will have a bike sound system supported nightly bike ride.



7.30Pm @ Rampart
[[ rampART’s 4th birthday ]]
Anniversary celebration spectacular

Our favourite community creative centre and social space, the rampART is – despite threats from all sides – still alive. Therefore we want it’s 4th birthday anniversary to be a gorgeous celebration spectacular on the 6th of june. doors open at 7:30pm.

We will have an open house presenting the rampART at it’s best:
– with fabulous films and footage, snippets and slideshows from 4 years rampART
– poetic social- political rants and spoken word performers
– fantastic cabaret and cabaretesque accoustic music
– jam session and live music of rampART’s most loved bands
– dressing up, face painting, arty- crafty creativities
– tea bar, vegan food and drink

Everything is by suggested donations:
All proceeds for the socialcentre seed fund. This is meant to spawn new social centres and help them to get started. There will be more info on the event.

Don’t miss it! It will be the last one… :’(


7PM @ Bowl Court
[[ Palestinian Film Night ]]

A benefit film night for Anna Wajda, a Polish activist, coordinator of Palestine solidarity group “Viva Palestyna” in Poland.
In October of 2007 she was arrested in West Bank by Israeli authorities. While in prison Anna asked an Israeli lawyer known for defending Palestinians and international human rights activists for assistance. The benefit would help cover the cost of the lawyer’s intervention.

Two films will be shown preceded by an introduction from Anna’s friends:

– Gaza Strip is a 2002 documentary film by James Longley which records events taking place in 2001 during the Second Intifada. The film focuses on 13-year-old Mohammed Hejazi, a second-grade dropout the filmmaker encountered at the Karni crossing in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinian children often gather to throw stones.

– Shebab Daiya is a 2003 documentary film with real footage from Palestine: house demolitions, running from Israeli tanks, random shooting, defying the curfew, and interviews with Palestinians. The film was compiled from footage shot by European activists working in Palestine August 2002 to February 2003. During this period the West Bank and Gaza Strip suffered multiple invasions and a constant state of occupation by the Israeli Army. The film was made by videographers working with International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

£3 suggested donation

== And events you might be interested in elsewhere ==


4.30PM @ Brazilian embassy, Green Street
[[ Support further action for Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, this week’s Vigil ]]

London Global Women’s strike

1. Endorse Open letter to Brazil and other Latin American governments

which are part of the UN forces in Haiti: “Why are you in Haiti? What are you doing to find Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine?” Send it to your government.

2. Wednesday 28 May: Protests in Brazil and San Francisco, as Brazil’s President Lula visits Haiti to mark four years of Brazil-led UN occupation. and

3. This week’s London vigil will be Thursday 29 May, 4.30pm – 5.30pm, not Wednesday. The Embassy have asked to meet with us after months of vigils and letters. We want a strong presence outside. All are welcome. Continue to email or fax the Brazilian embassy in London, every Wednesday. Phone if you need a model letter.


4PM @ 40 Basinghall St
[[ Justice4Cleaners Demo ]]

In the last fortnight 300 workers on 3 worksites in the city of London got payrises due to J4C protests across London.

Next big demo:

Meet at 4pm at 40 Basinghall St London EC2V 5DE.

nearest tube is Moorgate.

We are hitting one of the biggest cleaning contractors in the UK for


12 noon @ The Level, Brighton
[[ Carnival against the arms trade ]]

Wednesday 4th June 2008
Meet at The Level, Brighton, 12 noon

In protest against war crimes committed world wide, highlighting EDO MBMs contibution to the war machine. A theme of RED and carnival fun, music and festivities. This is a chance for all groups and campaigns to come and join our local movement.

Wear RED! Bring whistles, banners, drums and be ready to make some noise

A Reclaim The Streets Style protest – Bring drums, pans, whistles, horns, instruments, sound systems and make some NOISE!

We are on the brink of a major victory! Closing down EDO MBM will send shock waves through the arms industry. We want groups from around the country to unite with our local campaign. Come with your own actions and ideas to creatively resist the arms industry!

Transport – There will be people around the country coming who may be able to help with transport – London – email, Leicester – email – more soon…

Accommodation – Accommodation is available in Brighton. If you want to arrive the night before email

Carnival Against The Arms Trade 2Live Music
The King Blues will have a mobile sound system –
Rhythms Of Resistance – samba – will be there

FIT Watch – The Police FIT Team will no doubt be there filming the protest. FIT Watch will be there watching them, and having a demonstration. If you want to help monitor the FIT Team

Critical Mass – A critical mass bike ride will meet at Brighton Train Station, June 4th at 11.30am, in support of the Carnival Against The Arms Trade. Push pedals not bombs.

== End of the events bit ==

[[ Save the Rampart, write an objection letter! ]]

We have an example letter below if you do not have the time to write your own, though if you are able, it would really help us if you could write your own individual letters. See the main objections list for the key points. Deadline for objections is currently Wednesday 28th May. Thanks a bunch!


London Borough of Tower Hamlets
15-17 Rampart Street, London, E1 2LA
Objection to Application No: PA/08/00813 and No: PA/08/00814

(Specify if you are local resident or a user of the building)

Please find enclosed with this letter my objections to the above planning applications.

Main Objections :
– Loss of character with the demolition of the pitched roof.
– No affordable units or family units
– Poor accessibility
– Loss of community / social functions with the residential conversion
– Inaccuracies and false statement in the marketing report
– What is the community gain / section 106 agreement of this project ?

At present the Rampart is occupied by a “Public Social Centre”, residential spaces, small offices and workshops, a video room, an art gallery, a cafe’, a music-concert space and a rehearsal studio.
The conversion into flats will empoverish and limit the current mixed-use character of the building.

All the proposed flats in the planning application are small units (max 2bed). In an area where family houses are crucial to the community, this proposal would be able to contribute only to the buy-to-let market sector. It would be limited and economically unsound.

There is not provision of socially rented affordable housing.

The flats are not designed according to Life Time Homes standards, therefore they don’t provide enough flexibility to future generations (in particular the elderly). The overall accessibility to this proposed project is very poor.

The ground floor of Rampart is a perfect example of multi-functional space. This space could be very important for the future of the community as it has been over the past years: From supporting bengali women groups meeting to local musicians and artists.

The marketing report indicates that the only solution is the conversion of the building into residential units. What it fails to say is that Rampart has been actively used for the past years and this underlines the necessity, in London, of small and flexible business, workshop, office and art and community space.
We want to see at least the ground floor of the building retained as a community asset.

What are the community gains from this project? What is proposed in the section 106 agreement?

Please consider this objection in the process of deciding the future of this building.

Kind Regards,


Don’t forget the collective meets every monday at 7pm. You will find Bowl Court off Plough Yard which is next to the Drunken Monkey at the junction of Shoreditch Hight St and Great Eastern Street.

Thanks very much


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