The Kebele, Bristol

by Tim

Kebele symbol

Situations Vacant – “Co-operative members”

An all too rare opportunity for enthusiastic social revolutionaries in Bristol!
Radical collective seeks new members!
Live now the change you want to see!

YOU: Fun-loving and serious; optimistic and realistic; sensitive and firm, dedicated and available; hard-working with time to spare.

US: Cutting-edge social centre on a mission to change the world…well East Bristol for starters.

Job purpose: To take collective responsibility for the running of the community co-operative and its facilities at Kebele social center on a sustainable basis, and our involvement with the local community.

Hours: All that you’ve got free.

Salary: Unquantifiable.

Essential skills/knowledge, or the ability to obtain them:
1. Meeting etiquette within a non-hierarchical environment.
2. Internal conflict resolution, external conflict incitement.
3. Networking & flyposting.
4. Permanent social revolution.
5. Time management & the avoidance of burnout.
6. Customer service and the ability to say no.
7. At least 3 from – chopping/cooking/washing-up for 50 persons, building maintenance, events organising, meeting facilitation, minute-taking, typing, admin systems, finance systems, urban permaculture, bicycle maintenance, website maintenance, DTP, writing political propaganda, activism, buying & selling but not-for-profit, hosting, banner-making, DJ’ing, using a film projector.

Desirable skills/knowledge:
1. At least 2 more from no.7 above.
2. The verbal promotion of anarchism.
3. Fundraising by any means necessary.
4. The procurement of useful tat to order.
5. Knowing someone who knows someone who has or can do what we want.
6. Welding.
7. Building security.
8. Weapons training.
9. How to avoid cynicism.

How to apply: Send a copy of your CV and police record by post to Kebele community co-op, 14 Robertson Rd, Bristol, BS5 6JY; or by email to kebelesocialcentre@riseup.net. Alternatively hour-long interrogations of prospective new members start promptly at 7pm on the last Wednesday of the month, at Kebele.
For more information see http://www.kebelecoop.org

Kebele History

Kebele is based in Easton, Bristol, and for over twelve years has provided space for the development of radical ideas and activities, community campaigns, and international solidarity.

Kebele means ‘community place’ in Amharic, an Ethiopian language. The term refers to community institutions, which dealt with their own needs and concerns, such as justice, health and community democracy.

During the revolution in Grenada in 1979, Rastafarians involved in the struggle used the term ‘kebele’ to refer to the community centres in each neighbourhood from which, in theory at least, the revolution was based. In 1983 the USA invaded the tiny island of Grenada to crush the rebellion.

The founders of Kebele were inspired by these meanings of the word, and current members are too.

The Kebele

Kebele Kulture Projekt

Kebele started as an empty building that was squatted in September 1995 to provide housing for homeless activists. It quickly mutated into something bigger, out of a need to defy the owners (a bank) and authorities seeking to evict them, and from a desire to create a self-managed space for local individuals, campaigns and projects.

Based on anarchist principles of opposing all forms of authority, and organising collectively without leaders, Kebele’s premises became the base for many activities: the regular, cheap vegan cafés; bike workshops; a DJ, sound system & party network; an allotment; many forms of art; radical info and publications; and numerous events & meetings featuring local and international speakers and artists. The Kulture Projekt took on the self-management of the activities that take place on the ground floor of the building.

Kebele Housing Co-op

Through resisting certain eviction and after negotiations with the owners, the Housing Co-op was formed to buy the building with a mortgage. Frantic fundraising ensured a significant deposit. By providing secure affordable housing for its resident members, the Housing Co-op was able to cover the mortgage repayments. This has ensured the continuation of Kebele as a secure space ever since, and saw the mortgage paid off in the summer of 2006 – yes, we own the place outright!

The Kebele infoshop gets out

Kebele Social Centre

The last decade has seen a growth of radical social centres across the UK, and Kebele is a part of this network now. Such centres recognise we can make fundamental changes here and now, in the ways we organise, communicate, interact and take action. This is the every day revolution. We don’t rely on bosses, politicians or community leaders to tell us what to do and think. Social centres provide a space for people to explore and practice what they believe in, free from interference from the state and capitalism (for most of the time!). They also act as a portal into the wider movement.

Kebele Community Co-op

Currently the activists & volunteers who keep Kebele going are engaged in the process of reorganising themselves by merging together the housing co-op and kulture project. Our chosen future format is to become a legally constituted Community Co-op, but this is proving unbelievably complicated. This decision to evolve has come about after very long and detailed discussion looking at what we are trying to achieve, how we are going to do it, improving open democracy amongst people involved in Kebele, and opening Kebele up to wider involvement with and from the local community.

The Kebele is at 14 Robertson Road, Bristol. Tel 0117 9399469 and see the website at www.kebelecoop.org/

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