On Friday evening, we went back to Whitechapel. We had a meeting with Chickpea at the LARC.
Chickpea does not like cameras in general, so we did not record the interview and took notes instead. She is one of the people who does Dissident Island, an internet radio show which is in the waves every two weeks. They do record it at the top floor of LARC (London Action Resource Centre).
Chickpea was editing some tracks for that nights show, but took a break to show us their space and explain us what the LARC is for. The founders of LARC created it in order to provide on the one hand a common space for different “action groups” (using their own terminology) and also something constant, as most of the action groups would be linked to squatted social centres, were an eviction can mean having to start up again many times.
It has three different floors, bottom one were they storage stuff, main floor where the kitchen and meeting space is located (they do film projections sometimes, monthly assemblies, occasionally a party or so. On the second floor they have a library, with all kind of materials from the radical perspective. Then on the top floor they have the office, and a garden with mainly useful plants such as vegetables, etc
According to Chicpea’s view, the LARC has not own identity, it changes according to the users it has at each moment. Groups can use it freely, and decissions are taken in a mothly assembly.The building itself it’s owned as a trust, so they do not need to pay rent. But every now and then different members/users of the building will organize fundraising events, in order to keep it going.
As for the future, they are looking at opening it more to the community itself, so that is a meeting point for EVERYONE without a need to be a radical.