After the anti-cuts struggles of the Autumn a group of people with different background and age decided to occupy a place in the centre of London, near to important universities as UCL, Birbeck, SOAS, and to set there a free school: The Really Free School.
There, they started a crowded program of events: from language classes to art performances through political debates. But until that time this project was known just among the activists.
Some days ago these guys made a big strike: they moved from the previous place for occupying a 6-millions-house near Regents Park.
The property belong to Guy Ritchie, famous director and husband of Madonna!
A free school at the heart of the luxury-London drew the attention of the media and revealed the always increasing fracture in the English society, where the Government cuts basic welfare, house-benefits and education deeply affecting students, precarious and low-income families, while a super-rich elite becomes even richer, holding valuable properties that rest empty and not used.
Obviously a similar blow couldn’t be accepted by the authorities that after few days warned the occupiers that the 18th February they would be kicked off and the property closed.
What to do so? Here the creativity and the enthusiasm play their role: the occupiers organized a leaving-party outside the house, putting a piano on the road and singing and playing to “celebrate” the closing of the property done by the Metropolitan Police.
A lot of people joined the street-party and after a couple of hours, in a vibrant and exiting atmosphere, the party magically turned into a colored and chanting march in the street of central London towards…a new occupation: an ex pub near Oxford Street.
Now the new location of the Really Free School is in the pub The Black Horse (nobody knows for how long and which is the next step) and always more people are interested and involved in that.
From the universities to the metropolis , trying to build a new connection between free knowledge and re-appropriation of spaces. Being unpredictable, rapid, creative, attractive.
This project is different from a squat movement, it is different from a university collective: the Really Free School put itself at the centre of a contradiction between the traditional figure of the student and the emergence of a new diffuse precariousness of life.
To accept the reality or to escape from it? Now an alternative seem to be possible in England: to build a new one!