On Saturday 7 December 2002 the Midnight Star Social Centre was evicted. Around 25 OSG riot police forced their way in just after 7a.m, searched those inside for knives etc, tried to take down names, and gave them just a few minutes to get out. Within hours, the owners had enclosed the site with barbwire fencing and were refusing to allow people in to get their equipment. There were no injuries and no arrests were made.
The Midnight Star had been occupied since February 2002. From the outset, the Social Centre was an experiment in autonomous direct action – it was a non-residential space focused on creating a space outside the control of the state and market. The Midnight Star was an important space for gigs – many doof, punk, hip-hop, and jazz benefit gigs were held there, introducing many people to the possibilities of occupied and autonomous spaces. A pirate cinema – oPeRaTiNg tHeAtRe – screened unusual and rare films and served free food every week, including Hindi films for the local Indian community. A number of different people and crews with computer skills set-up a computer workspace/infoshop with discarded and donated computer equipment. The Midnight Star was also the meeting space for a number of different groups – from local wireless technology networking groups to copwatch and other autonomous/activists crews.
The Midnight Star was a key organising space for a number of anarchist/autonomist events in Sydney this year – including organising for M1 demonstrations and an anarchist/autonomist conference in May 2002, and organising against the WTO mini-ministerial meeting held in Sydney last month.
The eviction was designed and driven by the police, as the owner had been fairly indifferent to the occupation of the space. The police had earlier tried to evict just two weeks before Mayday this year, but were unable to break the barricades. This latest eviction comes just two weeks after the WTO meeting in Sydney, and significant mainstream media on the Midnight Star as the “nerve centre” of violent and politically motivated dissent.
There are a number of different autonomist actions planned over the next few months, and those involved in the Midnight Star are already planning further occupations to take and create autonomous spaces over the next few months.
For more info on the Star see http://scan.cat.org.auor mail
“justsay ha!” <>