Occupy Cork: Occupying Nama

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More than two dozen members of Occupy Cork have been literally occupying a six-storey, apparently NAMA-owned building on Oliver Plunkett Street since Christmas morning.

The group describe the building as “a gift to the people of Cork, to be used by them for the empowerment and enlivening of the communities of Cork” and has been renamed The Cork Community Resource Centre.

Plans for the vacant 20,000 sq ft office block, built by the Bowen Construction group, which went into liquidation last Summer, will include:

1. A pop-up charity Café  voluntarily run by the young and old, bridging the generation gap.
2. An alternative music school and recording space.
3. A health, healing and nutrition space run voluntarily by experts in their fields.
4. A library and bookshop
5. Free public internet access
6. Open spaces for training and educational purposes and skill sharing
7. Home of the ‘Let’s Get Together’ foundation, offering free counselling and suicide prevention services.
8. Community Creche

The group adds:

In our cities towns and villages we see empty houses and buildings, resources that should and could be used; The social dividend from NAMA has never materialised. Meanwhile public services are cut in repeated austerity budgets which are destroying the economy and people’s lives, while the state continues to pay out billions to unsecured bondholders.
By liberating this building, the ordinary decent citizens of the nation are taking a stand against elite economic interests. Facilities such as this should not remain derelict eyesores, but should be resources with which we can rejuvenate our communities and inspire people to take control of their own home places.
The centre will be opened on the 23rd of January.

The Rebel Arises (Cork Community Centre)

Protesters Take Empty Offices For Community Use (Brian O’Connell, Irish Times)