New Poster Download

This is the new poster for the Social centre. Download a copy here.

Well wishes from Berlin!

hi there!
what a pity that the social centre wasn't open when we were
visiting...!(22nd august) i would have loved to see this new free space
in progress.
well we had a good night at the 13th note...
we wish you all the best,
in solidarity
kyra and benny from berlin

Counting Spoons

Once again I see in the news the latest round of arrest of our politicians, government officials and religious elders in corruption probes. Money laundering , tax evasion, selling human body parts etc.

Mayors, city officials, Rabbi's; a hundred and thirty (130) public officials in New Jersey alone either pleading guilty or convicted of corruption since 2001. Congressman, Senators, Legislators having extra marital affairs, taking bribes, receiving kick-backs, selling their office and soul to the highest bidder. Judges on the take, crooked cops, corrupt prosecutors wheeling and dealing while their hands are in the cookie jar.

They all seem to forget real quick their oaths of office and the public they're suppose to work for and who pay their salary. The corruption isn't getting any better but growing worse by the day. I think maybe the general public should take a chance and vote for the unknown candidate, the newcomer, the political novice. It seems to me that those with fancy degrees, political experience, or born with a silver spoon in their mouth and who continue to get elected with huge campaign contributions from "Fat Cat" friends and Corporation cronies, are the most corrupt.

Maybe its time the public stop listening to the usual claims of experience and education. Maybe the public should weigh the options and vote their gut feelings. Take a close look and get a sense of your gut feeling whether the candidate your looking at is on the up and up. Most everybody in these corruption sweeps at one time or another have touted their "Experience" to woo voters or secure a position of trust.

Maybe we should stop looking for who have prestigious degrees from Yale, Harvard or Princeton and start looking for someone with common sense. I've never held anyone in high esteem or admiration simply because they have extensive erudition in a specific field of study and a sheepskin on the wall, that doesn't impress me.

To work for the people you have to be in touch with the average American on the street, you have to know what its like to be a working stiff or poor. You have to have common sense mixed with a little street smarts. I believe these are the ones we need as representatives, Congressmen and Congresswomen and other government officials, these kinds of people should be voted into office. There are too many in positions of power born in gated communities and attending private boarding schools who put themselves on a pedestal and look down their noses at the average American struggling to feed their families, making next months rent and trying to keep from drowning in debt or sorrow or both. Maybe we should disregard the slick talking career politicians with the bulging war chest, expensive T.V. advertisements and fancy campaign buttons. Instead vote in the inexperienced new-comers who sincerely are looking to make a difference, who want to help the people and not just help themselves. Think about it: Can someone with no political experience but smart enough to learn be any worse than a career politician who wishes to carry on the distinguished tradition of abusing their power and positions to benefit themselves?

When choosing a candidate and voting, remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The louder he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."

Get Involved!

Working Groups

Below are the breakdowns of who is involved in the seperate working groups. If you would like to add you name to one of these contact dan888glass[at]

Working Groups

(1) Organising and building the physical space
(2) Publicity and Events
(3) Fundraising and finance
(4) Internal Workings (constitution, bank, communications, website)

Drop In Tuesday Meeting Notes

> In attendance:
> Alice, Karen, Leigh, Mark, Chris, Thomas> Ideas/notes:
> Weekly high tea.
> Big events calender
> Central resource where people see what's going on.
> Films, workshops, different groups.
> Meeting place. Facilitate things to do.
> Library.
> Day of the dead fundraiser 2nd November (Mark)
> Like a Mexican Halloween. Mexican relatives.
> Ongoing freeshop.
> Massive space.
> Desk with computer.
> Book shelves.
> Internet access previously downstairs.
> Upstairs communal?
> Create a partitioned area downstairs for little offices?
> Previously had success with running club/rave/dances things, with access
> through the side door.
> Profits on the bar. Can get 150 people downstairs, perhaps more.
> Red stripe available for £4.99 for 4/6 cans? if you have cash carry card.
> Charge £2 tin to raise funds.
> Research Club at Glasgow Uni had access to cash carry.
> D.J. Bar.
> Club lights/stands.
> Materials. Lots of different venues in area doing similar thing. Find
> unique selling point.
> Interest may wave, if dont constantly innovate./refreshen the place
> after the early days/.
> Try and synchronise events, so that if you have a club/rave fundraiser,
> you'll have had another event
> upstairs earlier on, so that you have a ready-made audience/attendees
> Build on activity.
> Have a 'paint party'.
> Open all day Saturday and Sunday.
> Set up the centre legally as a trust, and not an association (chris)
> Don't try to direct the direction of the social centre.
> Generate sense of ownership by allowing groups to determine direction.
> Engender loyalty
> Possible venues.
> Rooms in houses sought for visitors for Festival of diy culture. Get
> this space on the list/website as a venue.
> Either offer space as a venue or put on an event for the fest of diy
> culture.
> Stilt walking workshops
> Height of space good.
> Gives advantages.
> Clowning workshops
> Circus skills.
> Give space for a local grafitee artist
> White emulsion and beers.
> Need to know in writing no monetary debt/accruing re rent for space.
> Audit the items in the space, so you know what belongs to the
> building/GARA/, so it doesn't get mixed up with all the items that
> belong to the Social Centre, that may be moved to a new site once lease
> runs out.
> Business plan. Put to council, resurrect.
> East end regeneration like things that are visual.
> Recapture the momentum of previous plans.
> Zapatastias meetings in November would like to meet there.
> Glasgow Anarchist federations would like to meet there./
> Need to get more keys and widen key access.
> Get in process of putting on a programme
> Invite people to contribute.
> Grafiti on flyboards better as movable.
> When the space was carnibal arts they put on fashion shows. these are
> wot the big boxes are hidden downstairs in a side alcove, the stage.
> advantages, to having place looking a bit rough and ready.
> freecycle, freeshare, puit wants list on there,.
> fire exits need sorted out.
> what is g going to contribute towards painting.
> when will fire extinguishers be provided,#
> legal context. sub-let?

Meetin Minutes - Monday 17th August 09

Social Centre meeting minutes 17/08/2009

Go around and name games
Update on the social centre and how we got to where we are.
How we got the space and who it belongs to.
Dan’s message
What has been done.
What still needs done/what do we need.
Working groups, what to talk about next week.

1. Go around – we had Juliana, Tilly, Omar, Connie, Thomas, Michael, Sam, Dan, Gordy, Johnny, Mila (sorry if I missed you!)

2. Update – lots of this can be found in older records on the website. Basically we have been going since last December trying to work out how to start a social centre from scratch. Some momentum was lost but now we have a space so let’s use it!

3. The Space – we have been given the space on Osborne street on temporary loan by the African and Caribbean Network whilst they wait for full funding to completely fit the place. Now we just need to make it look nice and get folk in it!

4. Dan’s message from Leeds social centre and the melting pot in Edinburgh: their advise was two main things to bear in mind: 1) our ideals 2) hard core infrastructure. Claire who sorted the melting pot is going to come on September the 2nd.

5. What has been done; painted walls and surfaces white, floors cleaned and painted, junk cleared out, bathrooms cleaned.
The electricity works although only plugs nearest the front working and there are very few lights downstairs. The water boiler seems to be working.
Lance is going to go in and check out the plumbing and electricity.

6. What still needs done: strip old paint of walls and roof, clean downstairs, sort out plumbing and electricity, paint floor downstairs, check for asbesdos.

7. What do we need:
The tat list is in the centre, so I can’t quite remember but the main things are:
- furniture, especially couches
- paint
- curtains
- books, magazines
- tool box and tools
- tape, blue tack.
- phone
- Also: bank account, timeline.
We need to work out how folk can phone a number when they see a good item to get it picked up. The idea was to get a phone and that person can be called.
We need to make sure that there’s a good legal document – Pearse is on this (?).
Check out health and safety.
A trip to the landfill was suggested to get loads of stuff.

If anyone is on freecycle then please look out for furniture we need.
Contact other centres including Pearse Institute and Ruckhill Centre.

8. Funding: we need a funding group to work out what avenues there are. There is a funding book to write in when money goes in/out.

9. Working groups: We decided for the initial stages there should be 4 working groups:
1. Building (including tat, decorating etc.)
2. Publicity
3. Funding
4. Constitution/group workings etc.

To talk about next week: workings of the centre initially - how often is it open, roles for people, security - we'll create a list on the blog for next week.

Action points to be done:

Juliana – timeline, freecycle and sofas, posters in window.
Tilly – decoration & painting, constitution.
Omar – constitution.
Connie – to decide later.
Thomas – building, fundraising, equipment.
Michael – finance, funding, Unity centre, possibly constitution.
Sam – funding, decoration, kitchen, speak to his Mum.
Dan – consolidating advice and put in newsletter.
Gordy – publicity, constitution.
Johnny – asbesdos, building, information/publicity.

Next meeting Monday 24th August 7pm.

The Big Meet

Meeting to talk about what we should do with the space.

Due to popular demand, there's going to be a meeting on Monday and then a wee one on Tuesday for those who can't make Monday or don't find out in time that there is one on Monday. This may seem like a bit of hassle, but it's the only way we can get everyone on board.

Monday 17th August 7.00pm bring food for pot luck and some dancing shoes!
Next day Tuesday 7pm also.

Location 66 Osborne Streets MAP

See You there

Canvas making and painting workshop tomorrow

Canvas making and painting workshop
Thrusday 13th August from 6.30pm
Glasgow Social Centre Space Osborne Street

What to bring: white material/sheets, paint and brushes, stapler or staple gun.
Don't worry if you don't have any of these, I'll try and source some of them/

- Johnny

Clean Up

Very exciting times as the new space takes shape. Still plenty of work and decoration to come. Get involved. Email me.

Living in Hell.

Amongst the blogs that I frequent, the topic which has received the most discussion is the one dealing with George Sodini(Pictured), the man who recently murdered three women in a gym. What's interesting about this fellow is that he left quite a bit of information about himself on the Web. People often speculate about the mind of a mass murderer and frequently these speculations are way off the mark, but the snippets of information that Mr Sodini left on the Internet are worthy of some reflection so as to be able to speculate as to what kind of man Mr Sodini was.

Reading his diary postings and other assorted paraphernalia, one certainly gets the impression of a profoundly lonely man. Whist most of the media have commented on his sexual deprivation, it's also apparent to the slightly less superficial observer that he was starved of common friendship and love as well. He lacked both male and female friends and believed others were the source of his woes. The blindness to personal failings is usually a sign of a narcissistic personality.

The themes that run repeatedly in his writings is of his inability to find a mate and of his incompleteness and emptiness. So the question that comes to my mind is why did he want to destroy the thing he most wanted.? Why did he want to kill the very sex that that he so desperately craved?

Perhaps the idea that can help us the most in understanding this unfortunate man is the concept of Poena damni, the pain of loss, a Christian idea on the nature of suffering of the soul in Hell.

In Christian theology, the worst terror of Hell is not the "fire and brimstone" but the sense that we are permanently separated from God and the associated happiness that that would bring. People who have not thought about the matter deeply imagine this loss as a loss God's company, sort of not getting to hang around God, but they are wrong. The best way of imagining this pain of loss is by looking at it's opposite, the beatific vision. Acceptance by God, is like being accepted and loved by your sweetheart. It's not just the local effect of possessing your beloved, but the "spillover" effects are as important as well. When you're in love, life is sweeter, injuries are born easier, life is beautiful, there is a sense of goodwill to all; we want others to share our happiness. The beatific vision is not "just" the possession of God's favour, but the state of being in God's favour. It is this state of existence is what we mean by being in heaven.

Being rejected by the thing we love or desire creates the opposite effect. Nothing gives us joy, everything is bleak, and if we know we will never have the thing we want, despair or resignation sets in. However, more often than not ,we come to hate the thing the we love. The boy who was spurned by his high school sweetheart,is still is still bitter toward her years later and wants to get back at her. The girlfriend who is dumped by her partner sets out to destroy his life. Hatred and despair are the companions of those who suffer poena damni. They hate that which they want to love, but which does not love them back.

George Sodini's actions, seen in this light, are perfectly understandable. The women that he so desperately wanted rejected him, engendering in him a sense of poena damni which reached it's cumulation in the shooting of the innocent women at the gym. Now while Sodini's actions are understandable, they are in no way justifiable. The women who were killed or injured in no way had personally injured Sodini, their capital offence was that they were women. He stands condemned.

Is Sodini's hatred legitimate? Are women to blame for Sodini's plight? Amongst some of the more "sympathetic" analyses of Sodini's actions, the opinion is put out that Sodini's anger was legitimate, the consequence of a breach of social contract. As the theory goes, a educated,hard working, quiet man is meant to be rewarded by female affection. After all, in days gone bye such a man would have made good husband material. Quite reasonably, in the 50's, such a man would have no problems getting married. But this assumption is flawed in several ways.

Firstly, the consequence of this line of though is that in the 50's people viewed marriage as an exchange of goods. A woman weighed up her options and picked the best mate on the basis of what she could get for her sexual favour. This of course is rubbish, in most instances in the West, women and men married for romantic motives rather than for the transactional benefits. This trope is common with Evo-Bio thinking which has to reduce all human action within the confines of its reductionist metaphysic. Love was the primary motive for most couples, not the transactional benefits. Indeed until recently, the "gold digger" was a woman who was culturally derided.

Secondly, this line of thinking assumes that certain behaviours are meant to be rewarded with sexual favour. Something that no intelligent person in the West has ever assumed. There has never been a formulaic answer with regard to attracting the opposite sex. There were rules for increasing the odds for attraction but they were never guaranteed. No morally legitimate station in life was ever guaranteed to give you access to sex. Ever.

The problem with this line of reasoning is that engenders a sense of entitlement after accomplishment. It lays the intellectual groundwork for the perception of personal injury where there is none and provides a motive for unjustified retribution. Sort of like yelling at your parents for not getting a good enough present for your birthday, the perpetrator forgets that no one is owed a gift. No woman was ever obligated to give Sodini sex, no matter how buffed, rich,hardworking or nice he was. No woman had to "pay" because he couldn't get any action. Sodini suffered because he couldn't get what he wanted, not because he couldn't get what he was owed.

I feel that most men can empathise with sadness and bitterness associated with female rejection. However we should not confuse empathy with the perpetrator with sympathy of for his crime. He coldly, methodically and with measured deliberation had planned the murder of innocents who had in no way caused him harm. The Catholic Church teaches that the deliberate killing of an innocent is a mortal sin, and the souls of such sinners go to Hell. Still the Church also teaches that we cannot be sure of what the state of a soul is after death. I do not know where George Sodini's soul rests, as he was a seriously disturbed and depressed man and perhaps this may have attenuated his culpability, but I do know that while he was alive he lived in this world as if it were Hell.

My sympathies and condolences to the victims and their families.

Volunteers Wanted

We are currently trying to gather as many people as possible to volunteer to help out with the renovation of a proposed space on Osborne Street.

If anyone can come along and donate a couple of hours to help us bring a social centre to life, this weekend (8th/9th August), then please email me.

Cheers much



Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others , even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
[ I found these words in a picture frame while cleaning out the garage. I never seen it before and have no idea how it got in the garage. I thought I'd share the wisdom of these words]