Friday, February 02, 2007

Vortex eviction looms

"On Sat 6th Jan a group of local people, along with others, occupied 139-141 Church Street [Stoke Newington, London] with the intention of opening it up as a social centre. Previously the home of the famous Vortex jazz club the building is set to be demolished by notorious landlord Richard Midda to make way for a Starbucks on the ground floor with luxury apartments above. This development highlights the continued erosion (and unique character) of Church Street as a community hub, where corporate logos increasingly proliferate while the cost of housing in Hackney escalates beyond the means of most ordinary people. Again and again rich property developers and the dominating power of capital determine our social, living and cultural needs - as with the eviction of the original Vortex private greed always wins out against community need. Social centres are a means whereby people can come together to create, conspire, communicate and offer a collective challenge against this domination" (see here for more details)

The Vortex ran as a jazz venue from the 1980s until 2004, closed by the landlord with a view to demolishing it. Latest news is that the property developers are going to court to get the centre evicted. If you want to experience this place, tomorrow's No Borders benefit might be your last chance. Starbucks however have stated that they are no longer looking at this site.

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