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Past events

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  • March at MayDay Rooms

    Scanathon! with Statewatch
    Thursday 14th March,
    Pop in any time between 6.30- 9.30pm

    Come join us for an evening of scanning, Raspberry Pi libraries and lots of pamphlets from Statewatch's magnificent archive of subversive material. From the collection will be particularly focusing on publications from the Time Out Workers Strike in 1980. Come and find out about the radical history of Time Out before it became rubbish!

    Please bring a laptop if you have one, but still come if you don't!
    You can browse Statewatch's collection here


    Folk off and Die!
    Saturday 16th March, 8-11pm

    Folk off and die! An informal gathering of traditional music-players and music-listeners. As far as we know the music will mostly be from
    England, Ireland, Scotland and the Appalachian mountains of the USA, but we will exclude nowhere and include anyone who wants to play a tune, sing a (radical) song, or just listen.

    Bring a drink if you want one. We’ll make some food but more snacks are always welcome.


    Crispin Aubrey Archive on the ABC case is being launched by Crispin Aubrey Legacy Fund and Statewatch
    Thursday 28th March, 6-8pm

    On Friday 18 February 1977 John Berry ex-a soldier who had worked for SIGINT in Cyprus met two journalists from Time Out magazine at his home - Crispin Aubrey and Duncan Campbell. When Crispin and Duncan left the flat all three were arrested by the Special Branch under the Official Secrets Act. The Special Branch had placed under surveillance the National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCCL, now Liberty) - after they got a letter from John Berry - and Time Out magazine newsroom.


    This seminal case eventually led to the reform Section 2 of the Act. Their trial lasted for nearly two years. The defendants and supporters were regularly followed by the Special Branch, those demonstrating were photographed and the car of the Treasurer of the Agee-Hosenball Defence Campaign was broken into twice.
    You can access online the ABC case Collection here

    The Speakers are:
    Welcome and Chair - Ann Singleton, Co-Chair Statewatch
    Kate Aubrey (CALF)
    Duncan Campbell – ABC
    John Berry - ABC
    Tony Bunyan (Statewatch, ABC Defence Campaign)
    Rajiv Menon QC (Barrister, Garden Court Chambers)
    Zak Suffee (Library volunteer)
    Richard Norton-Taylor (Writer on Defence and Security - Guardian)

    It is hoped the event will stimulate researchers and activists to visit the Archive in order that the lessons of the ABC case and can inform present struggles for openness and against official secrecy.

    If you would like to come please send an email with Crispin's ABC Archive Launch in the subject line to: office@statewatch.org


    Inventory: The Counsel of Spent
    Friday 29th March, 7pm

    To celebrate the publication of their recent book The Counsel of Spent by Bookworks, members of Inventory we will hold a night of discussion about their work. The evening will also be a chance to view archival materials from Inventory’s past creations held at MDR, including issues of the journal that ran between 1995 and 2005, and other collectively produced objects and ephemera. The event is organised in collaboration with Bookworks.


  • Preparing for a flood in the desert - reading & discussion
    – organised by Hard to Get in collaboration with MDR
    Saturday 2nd February, 5:30- 9pm

    Stuart Hall writes in Familiar Stranger: ‘Foucault argues that, far from successfully repressing what is unspeakable, prohibition actually generates productive linguistic proliferation, which paradoxically signals the ultimate failure of repression. Prohibited from saying more, he suggests, we find other ways - more indirect, more displaced, but also simultaneously more insistent - of, well, saying it.’

    It seems important to acknowledge the difficulty of communicating in a repressive context, and to recognise the multiple and complex forms that this communcation may take. A previous ‘Hard to Get’ event focussed on ‘women’s writing’ as a simple category, perhaps somehow transparent to itself and to its readers. This event seeks to disturb that category with a focus on other ways of, well, ‘saying it’.

    This event will begin at 17:30 with readings, followed by a discussion prompted by the the works read and the ideas that arise from them. We’ll try to end by 19:30 at the latest, so that we can all head upstairs to continue talking over a meal in the Mayday rooms kitchen.

    Joining us to read and discuss will be: Sophie Collins, Jasleen Kaur, Mira Mattar, Holly Pester, Yasmine Seale.
    If you have any questions about accessibility get in touch at: hard2get.bookclub@gmail.com


    Angry Workers- Class Struggle Reading Group
    Thursday 7th February, 6:30-8:30pm

    AngryWorkers are hosting a reading group based on texts about different aspects of class struggle. We hope to have a meeting every two months. There will be a text (maximum 30 pages) to read before the meeting, the first one we’ve chosen is Mike Davis’ essay, ‘Old Gods, New Enigmas’. This is Davis’ first text directly about the question of working class struggle and its revolutionary potential (his previous books were Planet of Slums and City of Quartz).

    At second glance the text seems unnecessarily complicated, but we still think that their are important thoughts to be unearthed, e.g. about the relation between economic and political struggle, the relationship between industrial workers and the working poor, the role of agency and organisation. We will summarise the text for the meeting and present the main points for discussion.

    The text can be accessed here. We collated it as a printable file: mike davis
    Everyone welcome! We look forward to seeing you there!


    The Great Moving Left Show Session 1: Owen Hatherley on Landscapes of Corbynism
    Friday 8th February, 6-8pm

    The Great Moving Left Show invites you to the first session in a three-part series of participatory, political discussions on the ‘Landscapes of Corbynism’. Focused on exploring what a socialist urban and spatial politics might look like today, the contradictory relationship such a vision would have with local government, and the position of a Corbyn-led government in this picture, we will trace the British Left’s changing attitudes to housing and urban policy over the past decades. To do this, we will be in conversation with renowned author and journalist Owen Hatherley.

    The event will begin at 6pm, and will be followed by a social in which attendees can meet, greet and have a drink!

    Session 2: Friday 15th February, 6pm with Keir Milburn – author of the forthcoming book ‘Generation Left’ (Polity Press) and writer on the potentials of Public-Common Partnerships.

    Session 3: Friday 22nd February, 6pm with Ben Beach – architectural worker involved in the fight to save Latin Village and researcher of the the impact of riots on regeneration programs. He will speak on ‘The fight for the city: how can the left build its own urban space?’


    Folk off and die
    Saturday 9th February, 8-10pm

    Folk off and die! An informal gathering of traditional music-players and music-listeners. As far as we know the music will mostly be from
    England, Ireland, Scotland and the Appalachian mountains of the USA, but we will exclude nowhere and include anyone who wants to play a tune, sing a (radical) song, or just listen.

    Bring a drink if you want one. We’ll make some food but more snacks are always welcome.


    Angry Workers: Brazil- A proletarian response to populism
    Thursday 14th February, 7-9pm
    Come join us in a presentation and discussion with a comrade from the Invisíveis group in Brazil. He will be talking about the work of his collective, their experiences in organising in their workplaces and local communities, the general situation in Brazil after Bolsanaro’s election, and the question of addressing far-right views from a proletarian perspective.
    https://notesfrombelow.org/article/invisible-nodes

    All events are free and open to all and usually there is no need to book, unless mentioned otherwise.


    MDR Social
    Friday 22nd February, 6-11pm

    The first MDR Social for 2019 is finally here! It will be a special night- come together for food and drink, meet comrades, and plan the way through the wreckage of the next few months. Add it to your calendars and we'll keep you updated.


    "Squatting Is A Part of the Housing Movement- Practical Squatting Histories from 1968 to Now" launch
    Tuesday 26th February, 6:30-8:30pm

    Join us for the launch of the publication 'Squatting Is Part of The Housing Movement: Practical Squatting Histories from 1968 to Now'. This publication is the outcome of a residency in MayDay Rooms, and is part of our Housing Struggles Archive that we compiled last year. After an extensive research and a gathering of materials from different archives, including 56a Infoshop, there is now a three box collection of materials on squatting history in the UK. This publication with put the material in context. The launch will involve a short discussion on the issues the publication is covering, you'll get the chance to grab a pamphlet and we'll then have drinks to celebrate the end of this wonderful collaboration.


    Leftovers: Mediawiki Workshop
    Wednesday 27th February, 7-9:30pm

    As part of our new experimental digital archiving project leftove.rs we will be running regular meet-ups to explore different ways to building databases and models for archival distribution, and reusing material.

    Join us for an evening of collective editing, tagging and learning about all things MediaWiki. During this session we will be starting to build an online repository of MayDay Rooms digitised archival material, and exploring how the wiki software can help us forge collections between materials and histories.

    Open to all. Please bring a laptop and email rosemary@maydayrooms.org if you wish to attend so we can get an idea of numbers.
    Find out more about Mediawikis here:
    https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:What_is_MediaWiki%3F



  • 56a Scanathon
    Thursday 6th December
    Pop in any time between 7-10pm
    56a Infoshop, 56a Crampton Street, SE17 3AE

    In early December we will be combining two of our favourite things, 56a Infoshop and scanning! Come along to 56a for an evening of scanning, Raspberry Pi libraries and more anarchist ephemera than you can eat.
    Please bring a laptop if you have one as we don't have enough computers to go around. 


    Leftovers: Mediawiki Workshop
    Thursday 20th December, 7-9:30pm

    As part of our new experimental digital archiving project leftove.rs we will be running regular meet-ups to explore different ways to building databases and models for archival distribution, and reusing material.

    Join us for an evening of collective editing, tagging and learning about all things MediaWiki. During this session we will be starting to build an online repository of MayDay Rooms digitised archival  material, and exploring how the wiki software can help us forge collections between materials and histories.

    Open to all. Please bring a laptop and email rosemary@maydayrooms.org if you wish to attend so we can get an idea of numbers.
    Find out more about Mediawikis here:
    https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:What_is_MediaWiki%3F

  • Poetry Reading: Sara Larsen & David Brazil 
    Thursday 15th November, 7.30-10pm

    A one off reading from the Bay Area radical poets and publishers Sara Larsen and David Brazil. 
    Sara Larsen is author of the The Riot Grrrl Thing  (forthcoming from Roof Books, 2019), Merry Hell (Atelos, 2016), and All Revolutions will be Fabulous (Printing Press, 2014). She is also the author of several chapbooks including Riot Cops En Route to Troy and The Hallucinated, among others. With David Brazil, she edited over sixty issues of the literary zine Try! from 2008-2011. 
    David Brazil is a poet and translator. His most recent book is Holy Ghost (City Lights, 2017).
     


    leftove.rs: Samiz-Dat Library
    Wednesday 21st November
    7-9.30pm

    As part of our new experimental digital archiving project leftove.rs we will be running regular meet-ups to explore different ways to building databases and models for archival distribution, and reusing material.

    For this first session will focus on Samiz-Dat (formerly, Dat Library-https://github.com/samiz-dat/samiz-dat). Built on Dat Protocol (peer-to-peer protocol for syncing folders of data), Samiz Dat distributes libraries across many computers so that many people can provide disk and bandwidth, sharing the labour and responsibility of archival infrastructures. During the session we will be looking at installing Samiz-Dat both as a desktop app and a command line program so that any level of technical ability can get involved. Bring digital libraries of your own or use some of MDR’s digitised collections to built one. 

    Please bring a laptop with either MacOS or Linux distribution. 
    If you would like to come please email rosemary@maydayrooms.org so we can get an idea of numbers. 


    Statewatch Archive Launch
    Thursday 22nd November, 6-8pm

    The wonderful Statewatch are launching their archive! Come and browse the collections they have been gathering since 1977, which include key sources on the state and civil liberties, and on social and political movements. It currently comprises over  4,300+ items, including books, pamphlets, journals, special in-depth collections and many badges!

    You can visit the online catalogue on: https://statewatch.omeka.net/
    If you would like to come to the launch please send an email to: office@statewatch.org


    Slack Pussy Session 12: "Correspondences" (2016) by Nisha Ramayya. Chosen by Eley Williams
    Thursday 29th November, 7-9pm

    This is what Williams says: "I’d like to recommend Nisha Ramayya’s pamphlet of poems Correspondences. It considers our age of connectivity and seeks to parse its networks: ‘Tantra may be understood as the knowledge that spreads.’ Much of the power in Ramayya’s second poetry chapbook lies its scouring and teasing of etymologies and the writer’s skilful pursuit of the routes and roots and routs of words. What is it to profess or pursue ownership over words and their exchange?"

    We will be reading an extract from Ramayya's pamphlet – please contact slackpuss.rg@gmail.com for more details.


    MayDay Xmas Party
    Friday 30th November, 6.30pm - late

    Warm your crackers and tremble your mince pies, MayDay Rooms is celebrating Christmas early with too much alcohol and probably some food. So come along and bring your festive cheer, revolutionary violence, and appropriate quantities of solidarity and happiness. We’ll be cooking a meal in the early evening and drinking until late, with amazing music being played by Root and Branch. Bring friends and comrades, lovers and lonely friends who have nothing else to do on a Friday night, and maybe even your affinity group.


    MayDay Rooms' News

    Activist Media Project

    Where you at G8 Gleneagles in 2005? Got any footage?
    Activist Media Project (AMP) wants your video materials to support the #spycops campaigners! We are actively seeking Gleneagles G8 material right now, because we know that it was heavily infiltrated by spycops without borders. If you have any footage, in whatever form, we are interested and please get in touch at amp@spc.org

    More info about AMP here (http://maydayrooms.org/amp


    Join the MDR Building Collective!

    Attention all people: We're looking for groups to join our building collective at MayDay Rooms. Cost free office/organising space in exchange for helping us keep the building open in the evening.

    Full details can be found here: http://maydayrooms.org/building-collective/


    Calais Border Struggles Archive

    We are currently developing an archive of material recording the events of the Calais border struggle, primarily limited to the period of 2014-2016. As borders become increasingly key sites of anti-racist, anti-capitalist and anti-state struggle, it becomes more important to forge a memory of border struggles against the violences of official history. We're interested in any resources produced throughout this period; campaign ephemera, information bulletins, statements, footage and photographs, practical guides, articles etc. and individuals who were present on the ground in Calais who might be interested in providing oral testimonies.

    If you have any material or are interested in getting involved in the archive please contactrosemary@maydayrooms.org. Find out more here http://maydayrooms.org/calais-border-struggle-archive

  • Prison Resistance in the Archive
    Saturday 20th October, 1- 2.30pm

    As part of #nottheanarchistbookfair we will be running a session about histories and archives of prison resistance. While the prison strikes in the US have made global headlines in the last months, MayDay Rooms holds a range of historical materials, including newspapers from the New England Prisoners Association (NEPA), issues of Black Flag, personal ephemera from theStrangeways riots, and a special collection on deaths in police custody. The workshop will offer an opportunity to collectively explore and discuss these archives, and to think about them in the context of contemporary activism and struggles inside and outside prison.


    Film Screening with Rebel City Collective: L'Amour et la Revolution
    Friday 19th July, 7-9pm

    As part of the #nottheanarchistbookfair we will be screeningYannis Youlountas' L' Amour et la Revolution. The media no longer talk about Greece, suggesting that the austerity cure has been successful and that peace has returned. This film proves the opposite. A musical journey, from the north to the south of Greece, among those who dream of love and revolution. Watch the trailer here: http://lamouretlarevolution.net/

    This is programmed as part ofhttps://anarchistfestival.wordpress.com

    There will be food and a chance for discussion after the film



    Slack Pussy Reading Group
    Session 11: Attrib. and other stories (2017) by Eley Williams
    .
    Thursday 17th October, 7-9pm

    After an extended summer break, we invite you to take part in Slack Pussy reading group. This session we will be reading Attrib. and other stories (2017) by Eley Williams. Chosen by Ali Smith.

    This is what Smith says:
    "I'm going to recommend Attrib., a collection of stories by Eley Williams that's so playful and thoughtful and full of possibilities that it makes things more open and more multiple with each story you read. The intelligence opens, the so-called structures of things open, the notions of gender open – the words open, the world opens."

    Find the first story and more information about Slack Pussy
    http://maydayrooms.org/slack-pussy
    Nor prior knowledge is necessary and all are welcome to join 

  • September Social +
    The Decline and Fall of the Home Office
    Friday 28th September, 6pm- late

    Back after our summer break, we will be cooking some big pots of food, dancing, smoking celebrating, consoling, and probably drinking too much. As part of this month’s social there will also be a performance ofLisa Jeschke and Lucy Beynon’s new play ‘The Decline and Fall of the Home Office’ (which, we’re told is maybe a little more harrowing than their previous gems of militant theatre, ‘David Cameron: A Theatre of Knife Songs’ and ‘The Tragedy of Theresa May’).

    Bring friends and comrades, food and booze, rage and good spirits. We’ll be cooking from the afternoon so drop by early if you fancy helping, or later if you just fancy eating and watching a show. 

  • Radical History in One Street: Sedition in Fleet Street from Paine to Pankhurst
    Wednesday 18th July, 7-8pm.

    Join us for a walking tour that explores the radical history of the neighborhood around 88 Fleet Street. From the Bridewell Prison, to The Rights of Mann and Sylvia Pankhurst, this tour will reveal the sites of resistance which are now the arteries of global finance capital.


    Housing Struggles Archive Launch Party
    Thursday 19th July, 7-9pm

    This month we will be launching our Housing Struggles Archive! After a year of collecting printed and digital materials from housing campaigns all over London, we are now ready to show you what we have found. We will be discussing the importance of archival material for future of housing campaigns and how we can further build this resource, with members from the Radical Housing Network, Southwark Notes, and housing campaigns from South London. There will be drink and archival perusing from 7pm, see you there! 


    Scanathon: Women's Liberation Movement
    Thursday 25th July, 7-9pm

    Come and delve through our new collection for dissenting ephemera from the Women's Liberation Movements of the 1970s. During this workshop we will be cataloguing and scanning material from Red Rag, Shrew, Working Women's Charter and a whole load of militant graphics! 

  • Antiuniversity: PAY NO RENT
    Saturday 9th June, 2-5pm

    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.

    An event co-organised by London Renters Union and MayDay Rooms, and hosted by the Antiuniversity Now Festival, 9-15 June 2018. See the full programme on www.antiuniversity.org.
    Click here to book.


    Antiuniversity: Archiving from below// Countering Education
    Thursday 14th June, 7-9:30pm

    '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 .


    Book Launch: Archive That, Comrade! by Phil Cohen
    Wednesday 27th June, 6-8pm

    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 fani@maydayrooms.org


    MDR Social
    Friday 29th June, 6- Late

    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!)

  • Public Galleries: The dock is full but your box is empty
    Friday 4th May, 1pm-9pm

    The court sits today as it did the day before and will tomorrow. All the while it prosecutes 'criminals' in the name of the public, us. We were not there to see it but it happened in our name. In an effort to bear witness to the hidden work of prosecution that takes place at courthouses, Wail Qasim has spent six months between the public galleries of the Old Bailey and archives at the MayDay Rooms exploring the public's role in criminal justice and how criminalised campaigners have called for supporters to join them in court as an act of solidarity. During this afternoon and evening event Wail invites you to take part in a visit to the courtrooms (especially if you have never previously been to a public gallery), followed by a critical discussion of our experiences of bearing witness to the court process. This afternoon session will be followed by a first screening of a video emerging from the residency as well as a display of criminal justice archive material.

    To book a place on the courtroom visit please RSVP via Eventbrite. The afternoon session will begin at 13:00 and the screening with drinks is open to all from 19:00.


    Long Lost Tendencies
    Thursday 24th May, 7-10pm

    What tactics and tendencies can be revived from the confines of history to reinvigorate our struggles?
    How can the archive help foster conversations between contemporary militants and those of the past?
    How can the strategies used by workers at Ford during the 1970s inform the recomposition of unionism now?

    For the last six months Seth Wheeler along with the Class Inquiry Group have been delving into the MDR archive to uncover lost histories of workers' inquiry and militant rank-and-file organising. This event will launch the publication that has come out of this collaboration, which draws together historical examples of strike bulletins, theories of class inquiry, studies of present conditions and recent workers' bulletins. We will be inviting rank and file workers, union activists and class compositional theorists and researchers to discuss tactics and tendencies from the archive and contemporary workplace struggles.



     

    Screening: Death Maybe your Santa Claus + Marseille Apres La Guerre 
    Tuesday 22nd May, 7-9pm

    May 2018 this year marks fifty years since riots and protests erupted around the world against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the Soviet Union rolling tanks into Prague. Students, workers, dropouts, communists, hippies, and anarchists came together trying to build a new world. This month JGPACA and MDR will be paying homage to the militant black cinema that comes out of and echoes these revolutionary and counter cultural moments. 

    Death Maybe Your Santa Claus (1969), UK
    A drama written and directed by Frankie Dymon Jr, as seen in Jean-Luc Godard's film Sympathy for the Devil (aka One Plus One). In this experimental film echoing the social revolution of Paris 1968, a
    hypnotic and explosive vision of a young black militant in West London is presented. A film, in which political and sexual identities come together in countercultural 60s London.  

    Marseille Apres La Guerre (2015) , USA
    Inspired by the Senegalese filmmaker and novelist, Ousmane Sembene who joined the French communist party and was a docker there, between the years of 1947 – 1959, Director Billy Woodberry presents a captivating photo montage of black and white archive images of the Marseille Dockers post-war movement,. Sembene wrote his first novel The Black Docker (‘Docker Noir’) based on that experience.  Woodberry, (one of the ‘LA Rebellion’ filmmakers from UCLA in the 1970s)  is best known for his seminal feature film of the era ‘Bless Their Little Hearts’.

  • BIG FLAME 🔥: BIG READ 
    Saturday 14th April, 2-5pm

    To mark a large donation of archival material from Big Flame, this month we will be running a reading group with the twist. Swapping our weekend newspapers for Liverpool's favourite revolutionary socialist broadsheet, and our twitter disputes for Big Flame's internal discussion documents, instead of reading about the archive we will take an afternoon to do a close reading of the archive. Find out what Big Flame were saying about Wages for Housework, Black autonomy, Lotta Continua, how they reported on one of our most militant periods and more. Join us as we delve into this amazing archive and uncover the history of Britain's libertarian left.
    Find out more about Big Flame here.


    StART and PEACH: visions for community-led housing in London
    Thursday 26th April, 7-9pm

    Continuing our events around archiving housing struggles this month we will be looking alternative housing models that are being developed at present in London. Join us for an evening of conversation between StART (St. Ann's Redevelopment Trust-http://www.startharingey.co.uk/) and PEACH (People’s Empowerment Alliance for Custom House- http://www.peach-e16.org.uk/) to discuss obstacles, successes and visions for community led housing developments now


    MayDay Party: 50 Years since May '68
    Friday 27th April, 6-11pm

    May 2018 this year marks fifty years since riots and protests erFriday 27th April, 6-11pmupted around the world against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the Soviet Union rolling tanks into Prague. Students, workers, dropouts, communists, hippies, and anarchists came together trying to build a new world. Buildings were stolen, drugs were taken, police were beaten up, posters were printed, and some people had intense chats about Marcuse and Lacan. Although the protests were quickly crushed they changed everything: Out of this moment the Women's Liberation Movement began to take shape and the stage was set for a decade of bitter workers' struggles. A new form of social movement had been born.

    To celebrate this anniversary, we'll be eating and drinking, dancing and smoking, plotting and generally having fun on the evening of Friday 27th. We'll be cooking some big pots of food, but please bring a dish, or some booze, or ferocious antagonistic joy. Invite friends and comrades. Come by and help us cook any time from 6pm onwards - we'll be drinking until late. 


    Where were you in 1992?
    Saturday 28th April, 6-9pm

    Where Were You in 1992? is a multi-platform project that looks at the technologies and practices of activism in the 1990s. Starting from the anti-racist struggle in the UK and the resistance to ethno-nationalism in Yugoslavia, the project explores the legacy of European 'liberalism', 'multiculturalism' and 'social cohesion' and contrasts these with notions of solidarity, anti-racism, and anti-authoritarianism.

    The project gathers hitherto unseen or forgotten testimonies, still and moving image, minutes, leaflets, banners and organising notes from individuals and organisations. We invite you to explore the video and paper materials and join us in welcoming Paul Halliday (Goldsmiths College) and Vanessa Vasic-Janekovic (The Death of Yugoslavia)  to discuss where they and you were in 1992.

  • Scan-a-thon: Concrete Action's Collection
    Saturday 17th March, 2-5pm

    During this month's Scan-a-thon we'll open Concrete Action's box to discover the material the group is collecting on radical architecture collectives and political organising in UK from 1965 - present (see below the discussion we are organising with the group later in March). Come along to learn how to scan materials using a photocopier, a flatbed scanner, a book scanner and even your phone and upload them on our online catalogue. Please bring a laptop if you have one as we don't have enough computers to go around. Lunch will be provided! If you have any questions please contact fani@maydayrooms.org.


    Poetry Reading Lisa Jeschke & Sam Solomon
    Saturday 17th March, 7:30-10pm

    Lisa Jeschke completed a Ph.D in England, and now lives in Munich. She is co-editor of MATERIALS and MATERIALIEN, and the author of Dead Cheap (Face Press, 2014), and, with Lucy Beynon, David Cameron: A Theatre of Knife Songs (Shit Valley, 2015) and The Tragedy of Theresa May (Tipped Press, forthcoming). The Anthology of Poems by Drunk Women is forthcoming from MATERIALS.
    "Next up: Guillotine!"

    Sam Solomon teaches at the University of Sussex, where is Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence. He is the author of Life of Riley (Bad Press, 2012) and co-translator, with Jennifer Krinovet and Faith Jones of the Selected Poems of Celia Dropkin (2014). Special Subcomittee was recently published by Commune Editions.
    "not queer time but alien physics"


    A Discussion with Concrete Action
    Wednesday 21st March, 7-9pm

    Concrete Action began as a platform to connect professionals, activists and communities who are fighting for social housing and public land. It has since expanded it's field of focus to include ethical practice and working conditions as well as grassroots organisation.
    We will talk about our current projects including our archival project at Mayday Rooms on radical architecture collectives and political organising from 1965 - present. We will look at limits to ethical practice based on the RIBA Charter and the limits to unionisation based on professional structures, before detailing a couple of examples of radical architectural practice across Europe.
    https://concreteaction.github.io/

  • Scan-a-thon: Squatting
    Saturday 17th February, 2-5pm

    During this month's Scanathon we'll work with materials on squatting in London, mainly with copies we got from 56a Infoshop archive. Come along to learn how to scan materials using a photocopier, a flatbed scanner, a book scanner and even your phone and upload them on our online catalogue. Please bring a laptop if you have one as we don't have enough computers to go around. Lunch will be provided! If you have any questions please contactfani@maydayrooms.org.


    Mark Saunders' "Kilner House" (1981) screening and friendly chatting on The Left and Squatting – What Happened?
    Thursday 21st February, 7-9pm

    1968 saw the rebirth of squatting as a practical political situation with the London Squatters Campaign's takeover of empty homes in Ilford. During the 1970's the London Squatters Union and Squatters Action Council were established, not without some controversy and criticism.  The occupation of Kilner House in Kennington in 1981 as part of the Squat against Sales campaign against the first Greater London Council house sales might have been the final moment of The Left's support and engagement in the squatting movement.
    We will be showing the film 'Kilner House' about that occupation and some other short clips to try and ask the question – did The Left abandon organised squatting in the 1980's and why?
    Organised as part of the continuing research residency on The Politics of Organised Squatting.


    Poetry Reading: Sean Bonney
    Thursday 22nd February, 7-10pm

    Sean Bonney will be reading from his new manuscript 'Our Death', alongside other new work written during his post-doctoral exile from London to Berlin. This cycle of poems, which began to appear online and was partially published in the recent chapbook 'Ghosts', chants and chatters into a darkness that seems to have swept across the world. But through this darkness, memories of old struggles, of old ways of fighting, the shining scraps of the enemy reduced to jagged symbols glimmer. “The buildings collapsed inside the ruins a black light shining. / One day we fall down In the street Great waters are growling.” The history of poetry is reanimated from its most caustic, insurrectionary periphery, which crackles into wordshapes. Could this be the last periphery before all is lost and the sun is finally banished? Or perhaps the glint of these evocations is a fuse lit for an explosion of sadness that would do justice to loss. Either way, these poems talk urgently out into the setting night of the socially embattled present, and they bring the nightmarish forces of the past with them. Come listen.

    Sean Bonney’s books include Ghosts (2017), Letters Against the Firmament (2015), Happiness (2011), The Commons (2011), Document (2008), Baudelaire in English (2007) and Blade Pitch Control Unit (2005). He also publishes on the blog https://godsoftheplague.tumblr.com/ and previously published onhttp://abandonedbuildings.blogspot.co.uk/


    MDR Social
    Friday 23rd February, 6-11pm

    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!)

  • This is Parkdale: Screening and Discussion
    Thursday 18th January, 7- 9pm

    In the summer of 2017, in the Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale, over 300 tenants living across 12 apartment buildings went on rent strike to protest a wave of rent increases that would have displaced members of their community. Through months of organizing and a series of escalating actions, working-class people took on the biggest corporate landlord in their neighbourhood... and won. In an age where gentrification is rapidly transforming the nature and demographics of working-class neighbourhoods in cities across the world, pushing out poorer tenants, people on fixed incomes, immigrant communities and other long-term residents, the story of the Parkdale rent strike offers an important and practical lesson on how we can organize with our neighbours to fight back.

    The screening will be followed by a discussion with housing activists from groups TBA.


    Scan-a-thon: Housing Struggles Material 70s-80s
    Saturday 27th January, 2-5pm

    Come along to immerse yourselves in a newly acquired collection of materials from mid '70s to mid '80s on campaigns demanding improvement of the council estates' condition and against their sale, rent strikes and various publications on the political economy of social housing and other interesting issues relevant to contemporary housing struggles. 

    Come and join us to find out about the process of scanning and cataloguing, and learn how to use our bookscanner. Please bring a laptop if you have one as we don't have enough computers to go around. Lunch will be provided, and if you have any questions please contact fani@maydayrooms.org.