BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Monday, November 07, 2005

RESISTANCE IS FERTILE: My first visit to the Peoples Autonomous Destination, Cardiff

While I had been enjoying myself in Devon, the weekend had seen the opening of the P.A.D. (Peoples Autonomous Destination), a squatted ‘social centre’ in Canton, Cardiff. It is a project that some friends of mine have been working on for some time, so Monday night had to mean a visit to the PAD.

The whole concept of the PAD came from a seed planted by the Cardiff Anarchist Network. I suppose I would describe it as a place where people can come to share ideas and inspire each other; a radical space for free thinkers, artists, and rebels; a vegan café, art gallery, cinema, library and erm.. conference centre! It all sounds a bit grander than the squatted health centre it really is, but if they are left alone by the authorities it has a lot of potential.

Tonight was meeting night for the Cardiff Anarchist Network, so it made sense to hold the meeting at the PAD. As I entered the building there were quite a few people about, and I was greeted by the smell of Zapatista coffee brewing. There were some banners on the wall together with some pictures of ‘actions’ and protests from recent years, and various bits of info on things coming up. In the opposite corner from the ‘kitchen’ was a little library and piles of leaflets were strategically placed around the room.

Leading off from the main room was a very clean and tidy toilet, the best I have seen in any squat, several bedrooms for those staying to ‘defend’ the space, and a meeting room. The building had only been ‘cracked’ a week earlier so it was still looking a bit sparse, but it was definitely starting to come together.

I shuffled off into the room where CAN was having its meeting and re-emerged close on midnight after several hours of planning and debate, to be welcomed by a cup of the aforementioned ‘Café Libertad’.

The powers that be have already started legal proceedings to get the centre evicted, but lets hope that it can last long enough to have a positive impact on the community, even if it is only to inspire and empower others to carry on the project elsewhere. From little acorns great oaks grow, so lets hope the PAD will help launch something sustainable that will demonstrate that another future is possible.


At 10:18 am , Blogger Alcuin Bramerton said...

A man in a grey suit
Is standing by
The yoghurt shelves
In a supermarket
In Cardiff.

He is looking for
Morphine suppositories.

This man is not
The promised messiah.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home