Rob: The space (suburban project for autonomy community and equality) is an Infoshop (radical bookstore) and community space that is opening February 11th at 101 Turner ct in West Chicago. The space will be used for a wide variety of events for youth and the community. For the youth we will offer a space to organize, have shows, art galleries, poetry nights, and a safe environment to hangout. For the community we have a free store, areas for recyclying batteries, and cell phones. Mexico Solidarity Network has offered to give free ESL lessons, and workshops on globalization, and latino issues. We will be having workshops, skill shares, and movie nights. One member works for a non-for profit solar company and can help community members install panels This spring we plan on starting several campaigns, which are not finalized yet.
Rev: How did the idea for the SPACE come about?
Rob: The idea of the SPACE has existed for a long time. It was attempted in Aurora around 4 years ago, but never happened. The space was tried later 2 years ago again in aurora. Collective members who were in food not bombs wanted a space to operate out, and students from campus greens wanted to use the space for art and music. The collective lost the building it was wishing to rent when the landlord sold the building and the new landlord raised the rent. We started the project up again at the begging of August and chose West Chicago. One of my roommates was talking with a friend what he thought about the space. He said it was cool but why are they doing it out there? Chicago needs an info shop more than west Chicago. West Chicago was picked because four collective members have lived in west Chicago, and others have grown up in surrounding cities. We are angered by the conditions of apathy and lack of community, culture. We understand what the conditions are because We were raised in these communities and we feel connected to each other because we share similar, goals, desires and we have found strength in each other by understand what is lacking in our lives. We find the need for an infoshop and community space to be more personal. By understanding how issues such as corporate hegemony of culture, decentralized cities (everything is really spread out and poorly planned) affect our families, neighbors, friends, and people we have grown up with. West Chicago is also has a large working class and has large Latino population. Racism has increased in areas of large immigration. We wish to link the connection of corporate globalization, immigration, and unemployment to show that we are all working class people who want a better life for our families.
Unlike the city, the suburbs offer little activities for youth. Many youth become isolated and turn inward on them selves. The space will offer a place for the youth to express them selves and hopefully understand that by working together we can shape society how we see fit. For the rest of community, the issues are quit the same. Isolation, lack of culture, mutual aid, and cooperation is lacking.
Rev: When does the SPACE open and what will it’s hours be? Is there a websiteor e-mail for it?
Rob: The space will at first be open during the weekend and two days a week. Those days have not yet been determined.