In 1985 Veggies helped establish Nottingham’s Rainbow Centre, later taking on the co-ordination of the running of the space. In 2001 the support generated over the previous decades enabled the purchase of the Sumac Centre, a collectively owned space supporting a wide range of interconnected initiatives, including being the home of Veggies Catering Campaign.
On Satuday 8th December 2012 there is to be a discussion on the future of the Sumac Centre noting, amongst other things, its role as “a meeting place for politically motivated activists, a resource centre and library. Meeting place for vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners and a tool for their propaganda.”
This role hasn’t just happened in isolation.
It is due to Veggies and others being centrally involved in the running of Sumac from 15 years before it even existed. We may feel this role to be carved in stone, and this may well be the case.
However Sumac is simply the sum of its parts so we, as ‘vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners’ must continue to play our part.
If you are free on Saturday 8/12/12 (11am-6pm) please consider supporting the vegan status of the Sumac Centre and its role as a national resource for the animal rights movement.
This Saturday is a Sumac visioning day, a chance for all of you who come to the Sumac Center to bring your excitement, enthusiasm and inspiration in order to help shape the future of the Sumac Centre.
- How is the Sumac used?
Meeting place, tat storage, music venue, peoples kitchen, food bank, a base for lots of varied campaigns/alternative cultures, bike project, fundraiser events, information and awareness raising events, film screenings, autonomous DIY infrastructure, ABC letter writing, gardening club.
- Is this the kind of useage we want to continue?
- What is the current purpose of the Sumac?
A meeting place for politically motivated activists, a resource centre and library. Meeting place for vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners and a tool for their propaganda.
This will include a conversation about whether the sumac is there to engage with the local geographical community or the activist community. It’s a stable part of infrastructure for ‘our movement’.
- Is this the purpose we want to go forward with?
There will be lunch in the middle and we’ll all have a big ole delicous peoples kitchen at the end.
The Sumac Centre is an independent community and activist resource centre. It is made up of a community cafe, social club, library, exhibition space, veggie catering campaign, filmnights, talks, meeting spaces and the residents. The centre is used by various campaign groups and collectives working towards social change and justice for all. Come and visit us!
Well, not actually ours, but Growing with Grace is looking for investment to save their stock-free organic farm!
Former Sumac volunteer, Eleanor Fairbrother has recently become a grower at Growing With Grace, an organic farm in the Yorkshire Dales.
The farm is an amazing place, with 2 acres of glass houses. It supplies organic vegetables to local people via its shop, box scheme, and wholesale to other retail outlets. It is committed to its stock free status, with all its fertility coming from an onsite composting scheme of the local green waste.
Growing With Grace is also committed to environmental stewardship, using biodiesel made on site in its tractors and delivery vehicles, and promoting biodiversity in the greenhouses with permaculture techniques, including a spectacular forest garden under glass (with peaches, figs, and nectarines!). It is also committed to co-operation and non-hierarchy, having been a workers co-op since its inception, and now being a community co-op.
The farm has been in financial trouble for 2 years, after a failed take over by a larger social enterprise, but it now has a bunch of new directors who have changed it from a workers co-op to a community co-op, reorganised the business plan, and are now doing a share issue to raise funds to save the farm.
Growing with Grace needs around £60,000 to make it financially viable and has until the end of July to get it!
They are asking individuals / groups to buy a £100 share in the farm (or more if you want!). You will then be part owner of the farm, and able to vote at AGMs etc. The farm will be able to get back on its feet, and will be able to get back to full production and profitability. Copies of the share issue prospectus, and an application form are available in PDF form on our website.
It is essentially an ethical donation, but technically you could withdraw your money in a couple of years, and you can also expect to get a small dividend on your money from around the same time. Until they have raised enough money that they know they are financially viable, your money will be kept in a holding account, and if they don’t raise enough money to save the farm, we will return it.
As a ‘stock-free’ farm no animal products such as blood, bonemeal or slurry from factory farmed animals are used. More information on truely animal friendly farming can be obtained from the Vegan Organic Network.
The success of the day depended on the support of autonomous self-contained teams of volunteers, each with 3 people including one adult confident to explain the ‘political campaign’ status of their stall to anyone official that might ask.
On the Friday cakes, pizza and other food samples were prepared at the Sumac Centre, and each stall kit was sorted out with tables, literature and utensils.
We then gathered at Sumac from 10am on Saturday to tour around the City, dropping off each stall in turn and collecting each one back as and when time, crew or supplies run out. Base camp was at the Old Angel, Stoney Street off Hockley, opposite the end of Broad (Broadway) Street, with a sampling stall nearby.
Franny went on to direct the Climate Change blockbuster ‘Age of Stupid’, which Veggies was pleased to support as part of the Nottingham Not Stupid team that brought the film to Nottingham.
In producing ‘McLibel’, Franny’s Spanner Films invented a new concept of ‘Crowd Funding’, whereby hundreds of ordinary people made an affordable investment in the film.
Now the Crowd Funding concept is (hopefully) bringing a new kick-ass activist film to the screens:
It’s called Just Do It and it’s going to be a feature film about climate change activists, it’s going to be funny and inspiring. Who knows you might even spot Veggies at the now infamous G20 demonstrations in London or at the Great Climate Swoop at Nottm’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station.
They’re making it totally independently (ie no big backers) and planning to give it to us for free. But money doesn’t grow on trees, so they need our help.
The producers, all climate activists themselves, are seeking crowd funding and Lush are doubling donations. Having benefited from Lush support ourselves we have sent a small donation from the Samosas for Social Change fund, but others are encouraged to go over to their website, check it out, and make a donation.