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Hi social centre enthusiasts,
Great news!! Inspired by the success of the Mill Road Social Centre, and after a brief Tesco-enforced holiday kicking it in the Caribbean and swotting up on the squatters’ handbook, some people have just moved into the Rose and Crown with the intention of turning it into a social centre!! This once-pub is located on – wait for it – Occupation Road 🙂 So, not Mill Road. Sorry.
For anyone who doesn’t know the Rose and Crown, it’s just off the Newmarket Road – East Road roundabout. Map here: http://tinyurl.com/6accht
There’s apparently plenty of space, nice stuff, electricity, and an ongoing search for the water stop cock. The police have already called round, and everything appears to be in order.
If anyone wants to call by and get involved then that’d be brilliant! It’s not always possible to rely on the owner giving people three months to do what they want, so please come and help clear the place / fill it up with useful things, and get it usable as soon as possible. More info when it’s available.
we’ll sort out the “mill road” flavour of our electronic presence in a bit, honest. For now, get down there and find that water stop cock.
On Friday 1st August, at nine in the morning, police and bailiffs kicked down the door of the social centre and gave residents one meager hour to collect all their stuff and leave. The night before, Tesco had lost their planning appeal, and this action shows their arrogance, as they were clearly banking on winning the appeal.
So the Mill Road Social Centre is no more. We’ve had a good three months, though, so thanks to everyone who put in their energy to make this space happen. And fear not, the struggle goes on, so there’s still time to get involved!
On Sunday night, six local standup and standout comedians (seven if you include the compere) treated a large crowd of onlookers to an evening of laughter and general jollity. I say onlookers, but maybe I should’ve said participants, ‘cos this was in no way a one-way street where the audience merely acted as a sponge to soak up the verbal spillages of the funny ones on stage. In fact, the social centre itself proved a rich source of inspiration, the graffiti on the wall encouraging one comedian to lick a painted ice cream cone.
Headlining the show (“the secret is to organize it yourself”) was Hannah Dunleavy, giving her material a last outing before taking it up to the Edinburgh fringe. The selfconfessed porn ignoramus regaled us with her tale of neigbors jerking off in her Arbury living room (she’s from the posh part of the neighbourhood) to scenes of double penetration, that’s if they’re not standing in the street shouting at each other.
There was much more, but as ever only the saucy bits now spring to mind. It must be a thankless task, being a standup, but maybe not on nights like this. For some playing in a squat might not be the highlight of their career (“it’s said you play in a squat twice in your life, once on the way up, and once on the way down – I’d just like to say it’s great to be back!), but the night was enjoyed by all. Let’s do this again some time!
The Mill Road Social Centre keeps popping up in the local news outlets. The Cambridge Evening News published a story last week announcing our resolve to stay in the centre as long as possible, and possibly longer.
Local Secrets published a long article about the centre, written by one of our very own.
We have also featured on the local television news, but due to the fleeting nature of that medium, this doesn’t seem to be available online anymore. But keep checking our new video section (choose from the main menu) – who knows it might turn up there soon…
If anyone stumbles across any more coverage, let us know, and we’ll put up a link to it.
After a few days of sweeping bits of glass off the floor we realised we’d actually made a pretty good job of cleaning the floor, and the social centre is now looking impressively tidy, just like the residents. After some heroic drill and board action by our resident European DIY team, the broken windows are now screened off from the outside world, which helps to stop eager people leaning their heads on or inside them (the strange behaviour of the average passer-by on Mill Road has never been surpassed, anywhere). It’s been a slightly subdued week, however there’s a sparkly cleanness about the place now that seems to be attracting smiles again rather than concerned faces from the outside world. We’re going ahead with a lot of events over the next few days – music, boxing, art installations, films… so check out that calendar!
one love bruv,
In the night from Saturday on Sunday, at around 1.30am, the centre was attacked, this time in a premeditated fashion. Crowbars were used to smash several of the large front windows. Cars in the the car park were also attacked. Luckily, no one inside at the time was hurt.
Sunday’s program of events has had to be cancelled. Watch Indymedia Cambridge for further news on this front.
Tesco gets possession order, we remain in possession
About 20 social centre groupies went to court today dressed in all our
wet finery and had a friendly bit of banter with the Tesco legal
representative and the judge. The judge decided that, although we
pointed out in our defense that their claim wasn’t accurate and so
should be thrown out, she was happy to quickly amend it in court. This
meant that we no longer had a defense as that was the only way our legal
assistance had found for rejecting the claim. So, the judge awarded
Tesco the possession order, as we thought they might.
We raised the issue of Tesco stating that they didn’t want to apply the
possession order immediately, they just wanted hold of it. The solicitor
again confirmed that this was the case.
SO, net result, as far as we know, we can remain in there doing fun
things until Tesco want to get the builders in, hopefully sometime
never. Obviously it’d be useful to keep open some kind of dialogue with
Tesco about when they’re going to move in and we’ll look into that,
however the early hope is that we actually have the space for a number
of weeks and can get cracking in earnest to make it even more lovely and
The solicitor said in court that “Tesco has no use today for the
premises.” to which the judge replied “So they are in no position to
commence redevelopment at this moment?”, and the solicitor answered
“No.”. So if that’s right, and if they do want to wait on the planning
process before trying to evict us, it could be a long long time. Hurrah!
: ) It also means they were fibbing when they said they could open a
store “tomorrow”. Cheeky blighters.
We still have a space! Let’s use it while we can!
On Thursday 12th June, at 10am there will be a court hearing where Tesco’s application for an eviction order will be decided. It would be swell if we could turn up with lots of support to make it clear what this space means to us. The hearing will be the main point of discussion in next week’s general meeting, on Monday at 7pm at the social centre.
The address of the County Court is 197 East Road, at the back of the Fire Station, opposite Jimmy’s shelter.
Agenda points for the open meeting. This is just a list of things people may want to talk about – feel free to add anything else by leaving a comment…
- how we organise the space (bookings, consensus?? more meetings…)
- do we really want to say that we’re officially not bothered about Tesco?
- how we relate to the community
- Do we have longer-term plans?
- Do we want to talk to the council or look into longer-term funding for such a space?
- Talk to existing people using the space and get interviews (film, written) about why they use it, what they want from a community centre
- get a petition going?