Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Rhizome Collective Needs Help!

The Rhizome Collective is a kickass bunch with a demonstration centre to show the benefits of 'eco-living' and Permaculture. They educate people on topics such as cob building, water harvesting, composting, organic gardening, and alternative energy.

They currently need help, and have placed a call to help out other organizations in need. Here is their press release:

New press statement from the Rhizome Collective - 3/31/09

Friends and comrades,

On Tuesday, March 17, 2009, the Rhizome Collective, including both the individuals and organizations that have called 300 Allen St. home, was barred from the building due to the City of Austin Code Enforcement declairing the building unsafe. This is a tragic loss and has been traumatic for the people who have invested so much in the space, from long nights of hard work repairing bikes and mailing off books to days of tending the garden to evenings of laughter in the kitchen. Despite the current unfortunate situation, the Rhizome Collective is not dead. The Rhizome Collective in actuality is not the space from which it has operated for the last 9 years. It is a collective that will continue to exist even through the hardest of times. The Rhizome Collective also has 501-(c3) status that is not affected by the loss of use of the space at 300 Allen st.

The Rhizome Collective takes its name from the root system that makes even seemingly insignificant plants notoriously difficult to destroy. Kill one plant, and one or two or hundreds more can blossom from the same root. The Rhizome Collective intends to do everything in its power to make certain that the Rhizome Collective lives up to its name, that it will flourish once again, whether in its old home or a new one.

Right now, we are calling on the larger community—in Austin, the U.S., and around the world—to come to the aid of those organizations that are losing their workspace. In addition to the Rhizome Collective itself, groups like Inside Books, Bikes Across Borders, and Food Not Bombs will be losing their headquarters. We invite people to go to their websites to see what can be done to aid these important organizations in this time of crisis:

Inside Books:
Bikes Across Borders:
Food Not Bombs:

In addition to addressing the immediate concerns, the Collective is also looking to the future. In 2003, a private individual granted 9.8 acres of land to the Rhizome Collective. Unlike our previous space on Allen st, which the owners had to sell quickly because of severity of the fines threatened by the City of Austin, this is not another individual's privately owned land; this is a property owned by the Rhizome Collective available for sustainable use. The Rhizome Collective can not pursue the acquisition of the 300 Allen St. space for financial reasons. But whether we pursue another space or use the land in another way be determined by the collective once the immediate crisis of being evicted has been overcome.

Since 2000, the Rhizome Collective has been a center for social justice and community organizing as well as a model for urban sustainability. The building may remain closed, but we hope and trust that the spirit that has made the Rhizome Collective such a unique entity will continue to thrive like the unstoppable root structure from which it takes its name.

This is an official communication arrived at by consensus of the Collective.
For more information, please contact Laura Merner.
Laura Merner, Collective Member
Phone: (201) 739-6341

For more info about the Rhizome Collective, check out their webby here.



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