We are in the midst of intense times and intense events happening here in the Bay Area, in this country and worldwide. It is a time where poor people and black and brown communities are under serious attack and facing heightened levels of violence and repression as well as ever changing tactics used by those in power to silence those who would speak out against this violence. It is a time of sadness for many and for more and more, it is a time to join struggle. The struggles taken up here in Oakland and in places like Ferguson are bringing light to the darkness.
For many people the Qilombo social center has been part of their struggle. It has been a space where people from the neighborhood can be treated well, access resources and share space with each other in a healthy way. The space provides access to free clothing, food, hygiene kits, a clean syringe exchange and free use computers. It has also provided events space for meetings, gatherings, workshops, film screenings and celebrations. It is a center for people who want to connect to different struggles and a powerful place to build towards autonomy. It provides banner making space, printing materials and even a bike workshop.
Over the last few months the space has gone through many transitions and people involved are still working to create what they envision. This has been a long process and is still very much not finished. People are slowly building connections and working to solidify relationships and resources. This kind of work takes time and patience to flourish and has meant that the main financial resource of the space, events, has been put aside for reflection and crafting of a new space which will represent and nourish revolutionary potential. People are envisioning ways to grow towards financial sustainability as well as providing access to resources for families and people in the community. By working together to meet these basic needs and providing a way to engage around meeting needs that is not dependent upon the capitalist system that is destroying people and the planet, we are taking a major step towards realizing radical change. We hope to work towards gathering more food resources,hosting more workshops and events and building autonomy here in west Oakland.
While this transition continues, we are in URGENT need of support. We must raise $2500 by Friday,October 24 if the space is to continue to stay open. Losing this space would mean losing the only social center in West Oakland dedicated toward radical change and black and brown struggle. It would mean a huge loss for the surrounding community that has come to see the space as a resource and asset. Please consider donating and forwarding this email to your contacts. ANY amount will help us and will provide support in a time of genuine need. We especially encourage people who are in Oakland by choice and benefiting from levels of class or white skin privilege to support a project that is directed primarily by and for black and brown folks from Oakland. We are aware that it is a sacrifice, but if you can spare one night out or a morning coffee or buying lunch out for one day, or even a couple days, people who use this space would greatly benefit and you would literally be keeping the doors open.
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