Breakaway Social Center is creating an autonomous community center in Chicago
15

patrons

$780
per month
Breakaway is a volunteer-run community center on Chicago's Westside. For the past two years, it has served as a hub of self-organization where Chicagoans can meet, share skills and ideas, and develop collective projects of struggle and mutual aid. When we opened our doors at our first location in 2016, we were the only autonomous social center in Chicago. We wanted a space for revolutionarily-minded folks of all different stripes to come together and develop initiatives, a space free of politicians, N.G.O.’s, and police. Breakaway has always been, and will continue to be, a collective effort.

We have since hosted a wide variety of events, from skill-shares and workshops to talks, film screenings, dinners, letter-writing parties, banner-making, and fundraisers. The networks formed through the space have since launched a free martial arts gym, a radical library, two online publishing projects, two neighborhood tenants unions, and a squatted garden. Right now, we’re seeking support to ensure the survival and longevity of the space, and to help us expand and develop new projects within it.

Breakaway is one node in a global network of collective autonomous experiments. We draw inspiration from a long history of revolutionary political experiments both here and abroad: from the urban communes of the Black Panthers, the Diggers, and the Motherf*ckers, to the Italian and German autonomist movements of the 1970’s and 80’s, to current-day experiments like democratic confederalist Rojava, police-free Cheran, and Zapatista-held Chiapas. In their own way, each of these movements teaches us that revolution cannot solely be an affair of negation. We are committed to a long-term, positive process of building-up and defending places of partisan communal life, which springs from a confidence in peoples’ ability to confront and overcome obstacles together. What renders governments and markets superfluous is not ‘critique’, but the positivity of worlds that eclipse them.

Breakaway’s expenses - rent, utilities, and insurance - are almost entirely paid by those who run and use the space, a fluctuating collective of friends and neighbors. We receive no outside funding or grants, and everything happens on a completely volunteer-basis. As is true of similar spaces run by our friends at Woodbine, the Flyover, the Overlook, Tamarack, South Bend Commons, Legion, etc., we maintain this space because we want to, because it responds to our felt need of community, our need to think and strategize together around the political movements of our time, and to escape the private and professionalized spheres of social interaction that leave us empty and uninspired. The urgency of the destruction facing our world demands we prioritize experiments with autonomous modes of sharing and organizing, for the time is coming when it really might be all we have to go on.

Breakaway currently hosts a weekly Wednesday potluck and organizing assembly, a weekly Anarchist Black Cross prisoner letter-writing meet-up, as well as Friday board game nights. This fall we are launching two new initiatives that we’re excited about. First, a new weekly food distro, where we will redistribute large amounts of fresh restaurant-quality produce for free to our friends and neighbors at our Wednesday dinners. Second, a twice-monthly speaker and discussion series, called Building the Commune, which will feature a wide range of facilitators, from cities around the Midwest, New York, and beyond.

With your assistance, we will be able to ensure that rent is paid, as well as have the funds to help pay travel expenses to host visiting speakers, as well as enhancing our creative capacity for the writing, publishing, and prisoner-support efforts that currently call Breakaway home.

BUDGET:
Monthly expenses:
Rent: $1155 | Utilities: $100 | Insurance: $75 | Supplies: $75

Additional:
New furniture: $200 | Ceiling renovation, with new lighting: $300 | Additional refrigerator to house produce for the food distro: $200 | Storefront sign: $100 | New large format poster printer and screen-printing setup: $600 | Shipping of perks: $250

Since the very beginning, we’ve used our space to invite friends and comrades from all over the world to see what we’ve been doing, and to share their experiences, stories, and thoughts with us. This has included events and discussions with Cindy Milstein, the Crimethinc collective, Peter Gelderloos, the Endnotes collective, Jasper Bernes, Jackie Wang, the Liaisons collective, Brian Holmes, Margaret Killjoy, as well as friends visiting from Atlanta, Paris, Berlin, Carbondale, Bloomington, Mexico City, Montréal, Rojava, Rouen, the ZAD in France, and elsewhere. We’ve hosted fitness and self-defense workshops; English classes for Spanish speakers; skillshares on seed-bombing, herbalism, squatting, and cyber security; reading groups, etc.

Help us keep our space viable and our projects thriving. If you’re short on cash, we’d love if you can help us spread the word to your networks, and above all, come by and hang out. Dinner is every Wednesday at 730pm.
Tiers
Comrades
$5 or more per month 4 patrons
Two color zines of your choice from the Ill Will Editions catalog
Accomplices
$10 or more per month 2 patrons
Five zine titles from the Ill Will Editions catalog
Friends
$20 or more per month 3 patrons
One tote bag of your choice
Kin
$35 or more per month 2 patrons
One t-shirt
Affinity
$50 or more per month 2 patrons
One Tshirt and one tote bag of your choice
Communard
$75 or more per month 1 patron
Two tshirts, five color zines from the Ill Will Editions catalog, and one tote of your choice. 
O.G.
$100 or more per month 0 patrons
Two tshirts, ten color zines from the Ill Will Editions catalog, and two totes of your choice. 
Living Legend
$500 or more per month 1 of 2 patrons
Two tshirts, two totes, fifteen Ill Will Editions zines, plus three rare books of your choosing
Goals
$780 of $1,155 per month
This goal will secure the longevity of the project and the many initiatives it houses. When we reach it, we will throw a two-year blowout anniversary dance party at the space, with free cocktails for all Patrons.
1 of 1
Breakaway is a volunteer-run community center on Chicago's Westside. For the past two years, it has served as a hub of self-organization where Chicagoans can meet, share skills and ideas, and develop collective projects of struggle and mutual aid. When we opened our doors at our first location in 2016, we were the only autonomous social center in Chicago. We wanted a space for revolutionarily-minded folks of all different stripes to come together and develop initiatives, a space free of politicians, N.G.O.’s, and police. Breakaway has always been, and will continue to be, a collective effort.

We have since hosted a wide variety of events, from skill-shares and workshops to talks, film screenings, dinners, letter-writing parties, banner-making, and fundraisers. The networks formed through the space have since launched a free martial arts gym, a radical library, two online publishing projects, two neighborhood tenants unions, and a squatted garden. Right now, we’re seeking support to ensure the survival and longevity of the space, and to help us expand and develop new projects within it.

Breakaway is one node in a global network of collective autonomous experiments. We draw inspiration from a long history of revolutionary political experiments both here and abroad: from the urban communes of the Black Panthers, the Diggers, and the Motherf*ckers, to the Italian and German autonomist movements of the 1970’s and 80’s, to current-day experiments like democratic confederalist Rojava, police-free Cheran, and Zapatista-held Chiapas. In their own way, each of these movements teaches us that revolution cannot solely be an affair of negation. We are committed to a long-term, positive process of building-up and defending places of partisan communal life, which springs from a confidence in peoples’ ability to confront and overcome obstacles together. What renders governments and markets superfluous is not ‘critique’, but the positivity of worlds that eclipse them.

Breakaway’s expenses - rent, utilities, and insurance - are almost entirely paid by those who run and use the space, a fluctuating collective of friends and neighbors. We receive no outside funding or grants, and everything happens on a completely volunteer-basis. As is true of similar spaces run by our friends at Woodbine, the Flyover, the Overlook, Tamarack, South Bend Commons, Legion, etc., we maintain this space because we want to, because it responds to our felt need of community, our need to think and strategize together around the political movements of our time, and to escape the private and professionalized spheres of social interaction that leave us empty and uninspired. The urgency of the destruction facing our world demands we prioritize experiments with autonomous modes of sharing and organizing, for the time is coming when it really might be all we have to go on.

Breakaway currently hosts a weekly Wednesday potluck and organizing assembly, a weekly Anarchist Black Cross prisoner letter-writing meet-up, as well as Friday board game nights. This fall we are launching two new initiatives that we’re excited about. First, a new weekly food distro, where we will redistribute large amounts of fresh restaurant-quality produce for free to our friends and neighbors at our Wednesday dinners. Second, a twice-monthly speaker and discussion series, called Building the Commune, which will feature a wide range of facilitators, from cities around the Midwest, New York, and beyond.

With your assistance, we will be able to ensure that rent is paid, as well as have the funds to help pay travel expenses to host visiting speakers, as well as enhancing our creative capacity for the writing, publishing, and prisoner-support efforts that currently call Breakaway home.

BUDGET:
Monthly expenses:
Rent: $1155 | Utilities: $100 | Insurance: $75 | Supplies: $75

Additional:
New furniture: $200 | Ceiling renovation, with new lighting: $300 | Additional refrigerator to house produce for the food distro: $200 | Storefront sign: $100 | New large format poster printer and screen-printing setup: $600 | Shipping of perks: $250

Since the very beginning, we’ve used our space to invite friends and comrades from all over the world to see what we’ve been doing, and to share their experiences, stories, and thoughts with us. This has included events and discussions with Cindy Milstein, the Crimethinc collective, Peter Gelderloos, the Endnotes collective, Jasper Bernes, Jackie Wang, the Liaisons collective, Brian Holmes, Margaret Killjoy, as well as friends visiting from Atlanta, Paris, Berlin, Carbondale, Bloomington, Mexico City, Montréal, Rojava, Rouen, the ZAD in France, and elsewhere. We’ve hosted fitness and self-defense workshops; English classes for Spanish speakers; skillshares on seed-bombing, herbalism, squatting, and cyber security; reading groups, etc.

Help us keep our space viable and our projects thriving. If you’re short on cash, we’d love if you can help us spread the word to your networks, and above all, come by and hang out. Dinner is every Wednesday at 730pm.

Recent posts by Breakaway Social Center

Tiers
Comrades
$5 or more per month 4 patrons
Two color zines of your choice from the Ill Will Editions catalog
Accomplices
$10 or more per month 2 patrons
Five zine titles from the Ill Will Editions catalog
Friends
$20 or more per month 3 patrons
One tote bag of your choice
Kin
$35 or more per month 2 patrons
One t-shirt
Affinity
$50 or more per month 2 patrons
One Tshirt and one tote bag of your choice
Communard
$75 or more per month 1 patron
Two tshirts, five color zines from the Ill Will Editions catalog, and one tote of your choice. 
O.G.
$100 or more per month 0 patrons
Two tshirts, ten color zines from the Ill Will Editions catalog, and two totes of your choice. 
Living Legend
$500 or more per month 1 of 2 patrons
Two tshirts, two totes, fifteen Ill Will Editions zines, plus three rare books of your choosing