PAY NO RENT. These words were scrawled across the walls of Stepney in 1938 as hundreds of people withdrew their rent and resisted violent evictions in the wake of high rents, callous evictions and lack of basic repairs. As part of a strike wave across the country the movement climatically ended with the introduction of rent caps at the outbreak of war. Today we all know the housing system is broken. We don’t need to read the countless exposés and accounts of so called ‘rogue landlords’ with many of us dealing with substandard housing, sky high rents and the constant threat of eviction. What we hear less about, is the systematic cause of this crisis and how we can get out of it. Through the course of this workshop we will develop our critique of the housing market, look at some inspiring struggles from the past and reflect on how we can develop our movement strategically in the current moment to secure decent housing for all. In sharing your experiences as renters and delving into the Mayday Rooms archives, we invite you to assist in developing creative tactics to further the work of the London Renters Union.
'The schools and universities are dead. They must be destroyed and rebuilt in our own terms’,
Joseph Burke wrote in an in a introductory text about the AntiUniversity. Taking this idea as a starting point this workshop will explore archival material from the MayDay Rooms collections to see how comrades from the past attempted to radically reconstitute what was meant by education. Through delving into an array of choice archival morsels from groups such as the original AntiUniversity, Libertarian Teachers Association of 1966, East London Big Flame, the militant prison-based pedagogy of NEPA News and many more, we will be looking at how these inspiring interventions from the past can help us critically counter educational practices of the present and rebuild them on our own terms.
An event organised by MayDay Rooms and hosted by the Antiuniversity Now Festival, 9-15 June 2018. See the full programme on www.antiuniversity.org .
Phil Cohen in discussion with Toby Butler, T J Clark, Anna Davin and Bill Schwarz. Chaired by the Mayday Rooms Collective.
A debate on the future of the radical archive and the changing nature of political memory fifty years on from 1968.
The book explores issues of archival theory and practice that arise for any project aspiring to provide an open access platform for political dialogue and democratic debate. It is informed by the author’s experience of writing a memoir about his involvement in the London “underground” scene of the 1960s, the London street commune movement, and the occupation of 144 Piccadilly, an event that hit the world’s headlines for ten days in July 1969.
To book please RSVP email@example.com
From 6pm onwards we will be cooking and eating and drinking, and generally celebrating being a whole month closer to the end of all work. We host these events every couple of months so all the people around MayDay and in movements connected to what we do can come together and get to know each other, plot and plan the transformation of the world, and maybe dance a bit. Please bring friends, joy, insurrectionary spirit, and food and drink (we will cook a few big pots of food so don't worry if you can't afford to bring anything!)