The Wingnut Anarchist Collective is working in the Southern Barton Heights neighborhood to help facilitate community autonomy and solidarity. One of the things we have noticed and heard is that the community needs a place to come together. For those not familiar with the area, it is lacking in businesses or public spaces. There is 1 bar, 2 corner stores, and a garage. The area barber shop closed down months ago. Aside from the churches and the mosque in the neighborhood, there are not any public community spaces. There is no place for people to come together indoors to have casual conversations, play games, learn from each other etc. The Wingnuts have been trying to work on purchasing a second building for use as a community center. We have so far not had much luck- encountering people trying to hoard properties in order to get a much larger amount from people actively gentrifying/developing for profit, and banks who cater their sales to developers who purchase dozens of properties at once.
Our solution in the mean time is to start having open hours at the Wingnut. The Open Hours model is one similar to that of many radical spaces, including Oregon Hill’s Flying Brick Library. Our intention with open hours is not to compete with the Flying Brick, but to provide a more local space for our community to come together. We have tabled with fliers advertising the Flying Brick and found that while people in our neighborhood were interested in the idea when we explained it to them, Oregon Hill is too far to expect folks to go just to check out something they are unfamiliar with like a radical library. The history of Oregon Hill as a white neighborhood, with some avidly racist inhabitants, also makes the area less appealing to people from our neck of the woods.
Open Hours are just that- open. You are welcome to come hang out, look at books, work on a project, drink tea, talk, do your homework, write, play a game etc. You don’t have to want to engage in a particular activity to come use the space. Open hours are intended to create a community space. For both the Southern Barton Heights and the radical/anarchist community.
If you want to volunteer at open hours, get involved, donate supplies or books or snacks, just get in touch. We would love your participation! firstname.lastname@example.org or 804 303 5449 or 2005 Barton Avenue
What can you expect to find at Wingnut Open Hours:
Wednesdays from 4pm-10pm
Fridays from 4pm-10pm
Radical Lending Library- (more…)