The Red and Black Umbrella

Posted on December 30, 2011

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The Red and Black Umbrella is set to be a hub of grassroots change in 2012.

Since October The Red and Black Umbrella collective have been squatting the Tredegar Hotel on Clifton Street, Splott – a pub that had been disused for five years after problems with violent and anti social behaviour.

The Red and Black Umbrella

Since they moved in they have been working hard to make the building habitable, fixing up water, electricity and an outdoor courtyard, partly with free help from others in the community. It is now an active social centre holding film nights, food nights and works as a venue for various meetings of campaign and community groups. They also have an library, freeshop and a lot more planned for 2012.

Writing on their blog, the collective say: “The reaction to our presence on Clifton Street has been almost all positive. There is a strong sense of community on this street, and people seem to understand what we’re about.”

Efa Thomas, one of the group has written about the building for Radical Wales where she says she was inspired by a massive squatted social centre in Bilbao called Kukutza, which has since been evicted, and the building demolished.

I’ve been to a few events at the centre this year and there is a welcoming atmosphere and a great place to meet people and discuss ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2012 will bring.

There are free language lessons starting in January. People can sign up to learn Arabic, English, Welsh and Spanish.

Cardiff’s last similar social centre was the PAD (Peoples Autonomous Destination) last open on Clifton Street.

Find out more about what’s happening at the Red and Black Umbrella in 2012 by watching their blog and following the collective on Twitter @RedBlackBrolly

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