Barricade Inn

Squatted Anarchist Social Centre

Aims & Principles

*Principles*

The Barricade Inn is a social centre run on anarchist principles. Anarchism covers a very wide range of political thought so we feel it is important to detail the principles that are most important to us. At its core anarchy is about people self-organising voluntarily, and having the choice to take part in any and all decisions that concern them. We believe the principles below will guide us in running the Barricade Inn in this way. Like any body of written work, these principles will naturally be open to different interpretations and disagreements over specific parts and so on, so we intend that this will be a living document, constantly open to change and revision.

*Anti-Authoritarian*

We oppose the coercive authority bred by the overbearingly hierarchical system in which we are drowned. We practice horizontal organisation, without leaders, based on consensus decision-making. We encourage skill and information-sharing to ensure the distribution of knowledge, and power, and as a measure to prevent the formation of hierarchies, both formal and informal.

*Autonomy and Self-Management*
The Barricade Inn is run independently by a collective of individuals, not by local authority, government, church, business, or any other controlling body.

*Anti-Capitalism*

We aim to resist capitalism and diminish its influence on people’s lives through such ways as expropriating unused “private property” from the capitalist class, and providing space where non-capitalist social relations can develop. The social relations of capitalism permeate every aspect of our lives and there is no straightforward way to escape from or to exist outside of them. What we can do is provide a space where non-capitalist social relations can develop: where we can do whatever we want, because we’re not constrained by a profit motive; where monetary contributions are welcome, but nobody is obliged to donate anything or valued more for their ability to donate; and where individuals’ irreducible qualitative contributions are as valuable as their quantifiable material ones.

*Opposed to all forms of Oppression*
We actively oppose all forms of oppression, including but not limited to sexism, racism, transphobia, classism, homophobia and ableism. (This is not intended to be a comprehensive list). These categories describe
patterns of behavior, and not necessarily belief systems, i.e. you can have all the right beliefs and still practice oppression through your actions.

One of the ways in which we challenge these patterns of behaviour is through trying to create a safe(r) space. We believe in the principle of ‘fucking up, owning up, standing up and growing up’. We all fuck up, however, we recognise that this isn’t a reasonable defence for allowing
oppressive behaviours to exist. We aim to create a space where challenging these behaviours constructively, taking ownership of them and subsequently, learning from them is encouraged.

*Self Care*
Organising, supporting and taking action are often stressful and time-consuming activities. In many activist scenes, self care is neglected and is generally seen as an afterthought. With this in mind, we must
learn to identify when we need rest, how to say no to organising when necessary, and respect others’ need for self-care. Taking care of each other is especially important since the state-corporate system is not
designed to do so, instead it tends to encourage people to be isolated and cut off from their communities. In order to continue the struggle against oppression and take care of others involved in the struggle, we must acknowledge and care for our own needs.

*Mutual Aid*
We aim to support and practice solidarity within our community, as well as with other people and groups with similar principles, who are trying to resist and change the oppressive system in which we live.

*Diversity of Tactics*
We support a diversity of tactics in resistance, and reject pacifism as an ideology. While we are not opposed to peaceful tactics, we will not necessarily limit ourselves to peaceful resistance and acknowledge that there are situations in which the use of physical force is justified.

*Sustainability*
Social centers can get evicted, movements can scatter to the wind, precious knowledge and experience can be lost, people can get burnt out and collectives can loose their direction. We should strive to maintain our aims, passion and energy as well as intentions. We should learn from our mistakes and continue to make gains.

*Fun!*
As we graduate from being children to citizens, playfulness is stamped out. When we enter secondary school, the playground no longer exists. Then, craic is discouraged in the workspace in favor of a professional attitude. Reclaiming fun is really important in reshaping society.

We hope to run this social center for fun, work in the bike workshop because we enjoy it, cook food because it makes us happy and not because we are getting paid to do so. Playfulness challenges peoples’ ideas about human nature and motivation. It suggests that we can structure our lives and economic system around more than just sticks and carrots.

*Anti-Capitalism (extended..)*

We live in a capitalist society — what does this mean? Capitalism is a mode of production characterised by private property (in particular, private ownership of the means of production), capital accumulation (production driven by a profit motive), commodity production (the primacy of exchange value over use value) and universal wage slavery (people being forced to work for a wage one way or another). Taken altogether, this leads to a society built on economic exploitation and self-reinforcing inequality.

The social relations of capitalism permeate every aspect of our lives and there is no straightforward way to escape from or to exist outside of them. What we can do is provide a space where non-capitalist social relations can develop: where we can do whatever we want, because we’re not constrained by a profit motive; where monetary contributions are welcome, but nobody is obliged to donate anything or valued more for their ability to donate; and where individuals’ irreducible qualitative contributions are as valuable as their quantifiable material ones.

Squatting is itself a direct challenge to one of the core tenets of capitalism: the idea that somebody should be able to prevent others from using something they do not use themselves. By expropriating unused “private property” from the capitalist class, we provide a material base for the development of non-capitalist social relations. We hope that this ability to put our ideas into practice, on however small a scale, can convince people that another world is possible and advance the cause of overthrowing capitalism for real.