In May we opened the doors to the Blacklidge Community Collective; an all inclusive, anarchist info shop and mutual aid center in so-called Tucson, Arizona. The BCC is a space for like-minded people who share a similar vision of the future. We want a future where people aren’t unwillingly sleeping on the streets while many homes sit vacant. A future where the surplus food is shared, not thrown away. A future that is built by our reliance on each other, by attempting to hold something in common, not one built by competition and exploitation. We want a future where anyone can build their own life, their own vision, through their own autonomy and self determination.
We work towards this future by striving to understand our communities needs. Through the guiding principles of consent, collaboration, harm reduction, and autonomy we hope to build our capacities to support individual and collective needs for health, stability, comfort, joy and knowledge. We understand that each individual has individual needs but we also understand there is a collective aspect to every individual, to every need. We hope to foster this collectivity in every encounter, through connecting and expanding networks of care and support and resource outside of our space, linking up with other projects new and old. We also share a vision of bringing people together through art, music, creativity and workshops and desire to make these things accessible, fun, and welcoming. We desire a space that is appealing and exciting for people of many backgrounds and experiences and we hope to foster relationships here that can overcome intolerance, hierarchy, and bigotry in all its forms. To this end we also wish to resolve conflicts and hope to ultimately transform our ways of relating to each other through talking, living, and sharing together, even when that is messy and hard.
We have organized and maintained open hours of 11AM-5PM Monday through Friday and 3PM-9PM Saturday and Sunday. During these open hours people in the community can come in and get free food, hygiene supplies, clothing, harm reduction supplies, and literature. This space also provides a place for street-based people to come and get out of the sun, with temperatures that can reach up to 115 degrees in the summer, this is something that is much needed. We host events frequently such as: shows, zine reading nights, movie screenings, ABC prisoner letter writing nights, and other fun things like plant swaps and art shows. Anyone who volunteers in the space can host events so long as they follow our principals of community building, so we expect to grow and maintain a large range of events to draw out community members with different interests and hobbies.
We also provide the space as a meeting place for different groups, such as S.H.O.T. who frequently has harm reduction kit making parties in the space. Having his kind of space is so important right now, as the neighborhood we are in is currently in the process of being heavily gentrified. One of our goals is to be able to use the BCC to fight back against the gentrification by organizing educational events that inform community members of how gentrification works and what they can do about it.
Aside from the little bit of money we have been able to get donated through Patreon and Cashapp, the volunteers of the space pay for all of the bills out of pocket. We would love to get a few more patrons or donations to our Cashapp. Please consider donating if you like the work we do! Our Cashapp is: $BCCTucson and our Patreon can be found here.
All of our patreon posts are public, and people can follow us on our journey there, whether or not they can afford a contribution!