London Action Resource Centre
The London Action Resource Centre (LARC) is a social centre situated in Whitechapel, in the East End of London. It is used as a meeting place for protest groups, including Queeruption and Indymedia in London. It was originally known as the Fieldgate Action Resource Centre. LARC is part of the UK Social Centre Network, alongside other projects which were set up around the same time, like the Cowley Club in Brighton and the Sumac Centre in Nottingham.
The building was constructed 1866–7 as a mission house and infants’ school, keeping this usage until around 1918. It then housed the Louise Michel International Modern School, organised by Jewish anarchists. It also hosted the New Worker’s Friend (Arbeter Fraynd) Club and the East London Anarchist Group. It was then converted into a synagogue in 1925. After World War II, the building was used in the rag trade before falling into dereliction.
LARC was purchased in the autumn of 1999 by people active in Reclaim the Streets, just after the Carnival against Capitalism which occurred on 18 June 1999. It was rebuilt over three years. It was described in 2005 as "a hub of the new anarchist movement."
On its own website, the project states it is "a cooperatively owned and run building dedicated to the furthering of social justice and environmental issues, locally, nationally and globally. We believe this is done through direct action, refusing to be a spectator or waiting for someone else to do it for us. It is about taking back power and realising our potential to bring about change. This is an anti-capitalist, non-hierarchical space."
Despite this there have been various issues around hierarchical structure of the organisation. The library was set up to run on the principles of the Antisystemic Library on June 18, 2003. A split in the User Group over claims of institutional racism and of fascist infiltration of Peoples' Global Action. of which LARC is one of the founding info-points, led to the expulsion of the No Platform group West Essex Zapatista at the December 2004 AGM of the company. This led to the forced departure of the Voice Refugee Forum and eventually the relocation of the Antisystemic Library.
- Katzeff,Steen & Hoogenhuijze, (eds) (2014). The City Is Ours: Squatting and Autonomous Movements in Europe from the 1970s to the Present. PM PRESS. p. 167. ISBN 978-1-60486-683-4.
- "Two curiosities on the London Hospital estate in Whitechapel". Retrieved September 3, 2018.
- "62 Fieldgate Street: yesterday, today and tomorrow". Retrieved September 3, 2018.
- "London Action Resource Centre". What's This Place? Stories from radical social centres in the UK and Ireland. LARC. 2008. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
- Sebestyen, Anna (2005-11-19), "Tony Mahoney", Guardian, retrieved 2015-11-07
- "About Us". LARC. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
- On New Right infiltration in PGA, Savin's website, What really happened at the PGA Europe Wintermeeting
- Institutional Racism in the Left, Alytusbiennial
- Peek, Laura (November 19, 2003). "How I infiltrated hard core of the protest movement". The Times.
- Sawer, Patrick; Akwagyiram, Alexis (May 1, 2003). "...And Their Headquarters". The Evening Standard.
- LARC website
- London RTS website (historical interest, not updated)
- Louise Michel International Modern School
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