The Foundry is Gone - Long Live The Foundry!

Tagged as: art culture foundry free_spaces gentrification social_centres social_struggles squatting
Neighbourhoods: great_eastern_street hackney old_street
Published by group: GroupImc London Features

The well known and much loved pub, alternative arts space and venue for a myriad of political and campaigning events - The Foundry in Old Street - was finally shut down in May as a result of Hackney's Council plans to pull down the building and turn it into a 18-storey hotel and shopping mall.

During its decade long history, the venue was not only consistently open to non-commercial art, music and cultural events and initiatives, but it also kept its doors always open to organising meetings for radical political actions and mobilisations. Throughout all this time, Indymedia was also welcomed to make use of the space in several occasions, as The Foundry was always very supportive of the IMC project. As a result media centres during major mobilisatons were set up in the basement rooms, and several open IMC meetings and film screenings were also held in the venue.  

It is therefore great news to learn that The Foundry has been re-opened and gone back to its roots: It is now a squatted social centre!

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The Foundry's doors are re-opened

Text of the leaflet from the occupiers of The Foundry:

Resist! Occupy!

84 Great Eastern Street is now occupied.

The Foundry was a free accessible space that hosted a variety of arts and music events.

This building will be leveled by Park Plaza who intend to build an "Art'Otel" in its place, sweeping away the DIY culture that has been built here over many years by many people. This luxury hotel will capitalise on a sanitised imitation of what was, selling sub-culture tourism art a premium.

This process of gentrification has forced out the disenfranchised inhabitants of the area. Our creative potential is being sacrificed to a political system that pursues profit though cultural demolition.

In defiance of the destructive forces of the market we assert our right to culture and community through the occupation of this building and the creation of a free and open space.

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To be part of this email gr84@live.com, check 84greateasternstreet.tumblr.com, or come say hi. 84 Great Eastern Street, EC2