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Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 18:51:38 -0000
Subject: Loombreaker Issue 27
Okasional Cafe Packs in the Fun! - Manchester, England
Your favourite cafe/squatted space, the Okasional Cafe, Manchester's most lively and creative alternative venue is currently in its 10th incarnation. This time we're in the Pack Horse, a beautiful old Manchester pub on the end of Deansgate (between Deansgate train station and Atlas Bar). Alas the owners have taken us to court already, and as loombreaker goes to press it looks like we'll be evicted just after Easter weekend so if you're reading this in time, get down there quick and pack in the fun at the Pack Horse.
The Okasional cafe 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 no happen otherwise in the over-commercialised society today, and also makes the point that land and space should not be only 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 caff 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 cafe, and everyone is welcome to get involved.
The space itself is free and open to anyone who wants to put it to good use, just come on down and help us make your ideas happen.
The Pack Horse
This building was legally squatted on 14th March and since then there has been vegan food, chilled music, free parties, live bands, two screenings of Beyond TV (see later), a poetry evening, a benefit for Peat Alert, a subvertising workshops and more.... Our collective is most impressed however, with our lovely loo. 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 lovely loo. Anyway, on a more serious note, we have not been able to keep the space for long, as yet again, the owners are kicking us out to turn this lovely pub into yet more yuppie flats. There'll be a final benefit party on Ester 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 Cafe between squats, and to get involved with helping make the next one happen call 0161 226 6814, come to a Beyond TV show (see below) 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.
As we reported in the last loombreaker, Beyond TV is an independent media project in Manchester. The launch night at The Font in February was extremely successful, and we hope to see Beyond TV having regular monthly slots. The idea is that people can come along, see inspiring short films, meet people involved in action in Manchester, and find out how to get involved in stuff. There have been a couple of Beyond TV screenings at the OKasional Cafe (see front page), and we are currently exploring venues who can host the events on a monthly basis. The idea is to have one screening a month which is a more social outlet, and the next month have a more reflective, discussion element alongside the films and the socialising. If you would like to help, or get involved, and to find out when our monthly screenings will be - contact us at email@example.com, or phone 226 6814 or visit http://www.beyondtv.org
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