I am writing on behalf of The Radical Bank of Brighton & Hove. We are a diverse group of people who have come together partly in response to the deprivations of the austerity measures enacted by European governments. We refuse to accept their claims that austerity is necessary, indeed, we understand that it has done nothing to improve economic health. Instead, we recognise that this current economic regime has only resulted in impoverishment and misery; it is a means of weakening the public infrastructures relied on by so many, for the purposes of privatization and profit. We refuse to watch as our future is sold to the highest bidder. In response, we have recently reclaimed an abandoned building on 1 Preston Road, in Brighton, previously used as a bank.
This collective came together to use this liberated space to support and aid our community in any way we can. We want to implement here an alternative ecological model, re-using & mending as much as possible, and collecting large amounts of good food thrown out by supermarkets. In time, we would create our own kind of social centre; setting up a food-bank & serving hot food, running skill-share workshops, and exhibitions: all for free. Radical Bank could also host talks, reading groups, and seminars; aiming to stimulate discussion and motivate people to understand their own ability to get active and involved. This space will be part of a community of all the countless like it in Brighton, the UK, & the world, and join them in being catalysing force for similar initiatives to emerge.
Despite the overwhelming support we’ve already received, we do not claim to speak for the others in our society. We simply want to offer them what we can by providing a new infrastructure that may challenge and subvert the existing structures of domination that administrate over their suffering. We believe that in harnessing the excess wealth and waste of this system, we can collectively aid and support those consigned to live on its fringes. We believe that such a project is a natural response to the failure of European governments and an important means of resistance against their ruthless ideological measures.
Whereas it’s previous owners had left it to rot, we currently have a dedicated group working tirelessly on several fronts to make this building clean, safe and habitable. We have already begun to run a Free Food fridge; storing sandwiches and other meals thrown away by supermarkets (despite them still being in-date and edible) and are dedicating our energy to organizing the space to be open very soon, but if anyone wants to visit drop-by during the day and you can decide for yourselves about what we’re doing.
Yours, with respect and gratitude
The Radical Bank Collective