The OK Café is a temporary squatted DIY social centre which pops up in different locations around Manchester for ~3 weeks at time every few months or so. Most recently we were at The Greenhouse Restaurant 12th – 30th November 2012.

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¡Hasta Luego!

That’s it from us for now at the OK Cafe! We are no longer at the Greenhouse – it’s been a great three weeks so thanks to everyone who came long and made it happen!!
You can find out about the next cafe (which will probably be several months away) by signing up to our mailing list, just email:

The Cafe is over for now but the workshops and actions will continue! Many of the groups who did workshops at the OK Cafe have events all year round, you can find some of them on our links page which we’ll be updating soon.

Hope to see you all & some new faces next time. x


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Manchester & Salford Anarchist Bookfair

So the cafe is at end, but the workshops go on! There’s a lot on today at the Manchester & Salford Anarchist Bookfair at The People’s History Museum.


Please note this programme is NOT at the OK cafe but at the People’s History Museum.

Coal Store Conference Room:

An introduction to Anarchism
Talks from the Anarchist Federation (Anarchist/Communist) & Solidarity Federation (Anarchist Syndicalist) on their groups, the work they carry out, and discussion on anarchism in general in the current political climate.

Come and catch up with the A.S.S. (Advisory Service for Squatters) and local squatters who were affected by the residential ban and changes in legislation.
Find out whats happened, what to do next, and why.
How upcoming changes in the law may continue to affect travellers, the homeless, and those at risk of becoming homeless.
We will be splitting this workshop into two parts; the first about the legalities of squatting, the second about the practicalities of squatting and other means of self- help housing in the UK and further afield.

Why Women Travel
Ireland: home of Guinness, Oyster Festivals, Galway Races and folk music AND where women still can’t get a legal abortion even when their lives are at risk. The death of Savita Hallapanavar has finally brought to internatoinal attention the true horrors faced by people in ireland seeking terminations.
This workshop will show early stage footage from a film Why Women Travel, a pro-choice tool to educate and encourage international solidarity action, made by 2 members of the Anarchist Federation.

Talk about the commons is basically about the theft of our commons by the ruling classes through the ages, taking the commons idea into a modern context by bringing in collective social assets such as the NHS and education.

Meeting Room:

Anarchism & parenting
An informal discussion on “anarchism and parenting”. Not a long talk, but a space for parents (and children!) to chat about struggles and perspectives.

Cheran, “Our struggle is for life”
Cherán is an indigenous community in the Mexican southwest currently in resistance. Illegal loggers, protected by the organized crime, have cut down 80% of their forests. In response, Cherán has expelled the police, political parties and have retaken collective forms of governance following their elders.

Freedom Through Football- Inside Britain’s Most Intrepid Sports Club
Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls are a sports club like no other. In a period when modern football has gained the world but lost its soul, this Bristol-based community team has swum in the opposite direction, taking a journey far away from the stale mediated world of professional sport.
The Cowboys were the first European side to tour the Zapatista-held automonous zones of Chiapas in Mexico and the first UK side to tour the West Bank. They’ve built a vibrant community around their part of inner city Bristol and played a role in building a larger network of like-minded amateur teams in Europe and around the world.
Will Simpson is a freelance writer who has spent 20 years as an Easton Cowboy. He explains how they did and how they’ve used anarchist ideas and drawn inspiration from the punk scene to achieve some things none of the original team would have thought possible.

Manchester: History is what’s happening
An introduction to a video documentary currently being made about the current anarchist, punk and DIY scene in Manchester.

Talks/ workshops will last approximately 45 minutes.

Please note. Line up subject to last minute changes.

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Last Day at the Cafe!! …Come join us for OK Cafe Party Time!!

It’s the LAST DAY at the Cafe! Boo-hoo. How time flies when you’re having fun!
So come, come, come, and bid farewell to the amazing journey that has been OK Cafe Greenhouse and join in one last time at our Grand Finale!

4-5pm: TLUD Wood Stove workshopTLUD Wood Stove
A TLUD burns waste wood (not lumber) and produces an intense heat. A properly built TLUD is SMOKELESS and produces CHARCOAL as a by-product. Sounds amazing, it is! Using a TLUD is an outdoors activity, the same as using a rocket stove or a open fire but this stove has some considerable advantages. To find out more, come down to the OK Cafe today and we will show you the science behind the design and then you can have a go at building one yourself. This workshop is being hosted by MORFF, a collective of eco-conscious Mancunians, who have a love for evolving and changing practice in the city to put the Great back into Greater Manchester.

6-7pm: Dinner Time at the OK Cafe
The Last Supper!

8-11pm: OKcafe Party Time Music n’ Stuff
The line up for the OK Cafe finale:
N okcafepartytime
Is having a rest from his usual Friday night habits (whatver they might be..) to come and select some beats from his dusty dub-box.
Tunes, tunes, expect tunes..!
A man and a piano, expect a man and a piano.
Trumpets and white cider..
Are coming from across the pond (in Platt Fields Park) to play, smooze and booze their way into oblivion sound.

Starts 8pm, we will be asking for donations on the door, all money raised will go to good good things.. In the past we have supported The 1in12, Prisoner Solidarity, RAWA, No Borders, Manchester Social Centre, Refugee/Migrant Solidarity and loads more that I’ve forgotten.. Finishes at 11pm.

(A) (E) (OK) !!!!

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Come squat with us…

We had some great acts again last night at the Open Mic night… which went well despite being Mic-less at the start! Today at the Cafe you can find out more about squatting (as in occupying empty buildings) in our practical squatting workshop, and we also have the autonomous learning zone and a workshop on sustainable food systems;

1-5pm Autonomous Learning Zone – a new radical learning project

Come along to explore different ways of learning together….. The autonomous learning zone is about bringing people together to create a space for informal learning, and to allow projects and ideas to grow faster. At the start of each session everyone who comes decides what we are going to do that day, and you can also just along and do your own thing if you like getting on with your work / project / knitting with other people around.. Examples of what we have done previously include: researching the changes in squatting law, vegan Danish pastries, film production, bike maintenance… We decide what we want to learn, then we do it! Simple… come join!

5-6pm Revolutionising the food system – practical steps to create a more sustainable food system in Greater Manchester

Kindling group will show their sustainable food film (10 mins) then a presentation of the projects they’re working on in Greater Manchester (with some nice photos) that people can get involved (Land Army, Big Dig, feedingmanchester, Manchester Veg People) & time for questions and thoughts.

8:30-10pm Practical Squatting workshop
The ins and outs of squatting, how it works practically & legally including update on the recent changes in the law. Come along to learn, share experiences of squatting, meet others interested in squatting & learn practical skills that will help you do it!

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3 more days! Wed: Acupressure, Animal Farm, A Good Meeting and OPEN MIC!

It may be the last Wednesday, of the last week, but we still have 3 days left with a packed programme for you to enjoy. And what a line-up..!

2-4pm: Self-healing Work Shop: Acupressure & 5 steps Qi exercise
Eunice will teach self acupressure for common illnesses and health improvement. Attendents will also learn the most simple but effective Qi (internal energy) exercise to increase the body energy, calm and de-stress the mind. It is a form of meditation in motion. If the time allows, she will diagnose each individual’s health conditions by a specific method called ‘Palm diagnosis’. It will be first come first seen if too many people. Eunice was trained as a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor, has taught Tai-chi, Qi-gong and Zen meditation for many years.

4-6pm: The PIGS: a current socio-political analysis of Animal Farm
In spite of the fact that Animal Farm was written more than 60 years ago, its historical, social and political background is still a current issue. In the novel, George Orwell criticises, by means of an apparent simple tale of some animals in a farm, the political situation in the communist URSS. This novel portrays a very accurate representation of the current political and economic situation in many countries in Europe. Represented most remarkably by Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain due to the delicate economic moment they are passing through. A frightening parallelism can be seen between the main characters and main events of the novel and the current scenarios in Europe. The workshop will try to establish this parallelism in a 15-20-minute long discourse and will set the scene for a potential round table among all the participants. The aim is to reach some conclusions and ideas on how to avoid situations like the ones described in this wonderful novel in order to help improve our communities.

6-7pm: Dinner Time at the OK Cafe – All welcome!
Food. Yum! Nuff said.

7-8pm: How to have a GOOD meeting
Ever been bored or frustrated in a meeting? Come find out how to have a GOOD meeting! This workshops is for anyone and not just for people who are interested in facilitating / co-facilitating meetings… We’ll be looking at what a group as whole can do to make a meeting run in smoothly. The workshop will focus on what roles can be taken on by facilitator(s) (and how) and which tasks are best done collectively by the whole group.

8-10.30pm: Open Mic Night!
This is our last Open Mic night at OK Cafe Greenhouse, and its your final chance to get on the Mic!  Come along and share your passion – we want to hear you… Or just pop down to listen and treat your ears to the musical delights we have lined up 🙂

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The programme for week 3 is out!

It’s official and the Cafe is on until Friday 30th November! Until then we have a week of workshops lined up for you, so make the most of the OK Cafe and come along… As usual you can help us spread the word by downloading the programme flyer for this week and putting it far and wide for all to see! On the cards for today is;

1-3pm Woodcraft workshop – come make something from wood
Come play with wood! We will introduce the basics of working with green wood and use tools to make a wooden spoon, spatula or necklace. All tools provided, no experience necessary.

4-6pm KNIT IT!

Come along and learn to knit a house! A stitch in time saves nine and all that…

6-7pm Dinner at the OK Cafe – All welcome!

7-9pm Rhythms of Resistance percussion workshop
Rhythms-of-Resistance/Sambangra will be running a drumming workshop demonstrating how to play our unique blend of hardcore Brazilian Samba with Bhangra Instruments and tuition provided. We play on demos and busk
in Piccadilly Gardens on Sundays. Rhythms of Resistance are an international network of protest drumming bands that meet and play very simple tunes at demonstrations and direct actions to create atmosphere.

The samba percussion workshop will be aimed at complete drumming novices. You don’t need an instrument, or even be able to play. All instruments will be provided on the day.

9-10:30pm Catastroika; A documentary about the shifting of state assets to private hands

The creators of Debtocracy, a documentary with two million views broadcasted from Japan to Latin America, analyse the shifting of state assets to private hands.
They travel round the world gathering data on privatisation in developed countries and search for clues on the day after Greece’s massive privatisation program.

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Mon 26th: Community Build, Electrics, Open Meeting and Didgeridon’t miss out!

What a fabulous weekend we’ve just had, and it’s the last week at OK Cafe Greenhouse already. Time flies when you’re having fun! But don’t worry – we have a packed programme over the next few days, so get stuck in while you can…

Today’s line-up:

1-3pm: Hulme Preservation Society – An Eco/community Build Project
We are the Hulme Preservation Society. We own half of the church of the Saint Marys in Hulme, with the aim of developing a sustainable community resource and permaculture garden. We’d like to invite people to look around the site and tell us what you’d like us to build, and how you’d like to get involved.

The church is best seen in daylight, so we’d like to meet at 1pm at the cafe to explain a little about the project for a half hour, and then travel to the church, on St Mary Street, Hulme, near Loretto College. Its not far and we should be able to provide some transport. Anyone who misses the intro can join us there from 2pm onwards.

4.30-6pm: Squat Electrics
Introduction to electricity & how to get it working in a squat environment. Want to learn anything from changing a plug to rewiring a house… come along & we’ll look at how to do it without giving anyone a shock (except possibly your mates who’ll be impressed with your new-found skills)! Don’t touch the live wire and keep your finger on the button….

6-7pm: Dinner Time at the OK Cafe – All welcome!

7.30-8.30pm: Open Meeting
The OK Cafe is run by the people who go to it… come along and help make the cafe happen and be part of decisions about how the space is used! If you are new to the Cafe or have never been to a meeting at the Cafe before, please go to the half hour session before the meeting to find out about how the cafe and the decision making process works.

8.30-10.30pm: Didgeridoo Workshop
The art of didgeridoo playing mixed with beat-boxing and progressive sounds.
Benjamin Lilley will teach the basic principles of didgeridoo playing and how to piece it together with new sounds like samba, techno, breakbeat and dubstep.

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Sunday 25th November

The freeshop is on again today and as today all day…. No need to bring anything feel free to just take stuff! Or just come and dress up and hang out in there… 🙂

On Sunday we also have….

Lunch at 1pm! Food food food.. We haven’t normally done lunches this time round at the OK Cafe, but there is lunch this Sunday!

Dinner at 6pm – Food Not Bombs are Cooking up a storm..
Every day huge quantities of good food are thrown away, while thousands of people go hungry. Food Not Bombs is a global movement which collects donations of food that would otherwise have been thrown away and cooks it into hot vegan meals to give away on the street to anyone who wants or needs it. To get in touch with food not bombs in Manchester see

7-8:30pm Film Screenings: “Everyday Revolution” and “Yayas De L´Élégance”
OK Cafe presents a film screening of two short visual anthropology films. Each film will be followed by a short Q& A / discussions and we will have one of the film makers at the Cafe!
Everyday Revolution by Andrea Goytre Cabrera
In the context of the Spanish crisis, people try to invent and put into practice new ways of fighting the established economic and political powers. Their proposals turn their lives into an everyday revolution.

The Yayas De L´Élégance by MariaJose Pavlovic
S.A.P.E is the acronyme for the Society of Ambience Settlers and Elegant People. The followers of this movement are called “sapeurs”; men devoted to elegant dressing originally from Congo-Brazzaville, West Africa. Part of a sapeur´s achievement is to settle in Paris, the fashion´s capital so there they can become a “yaya”, a lingala word to express an experimented, recognised sapeur. Through the story of Fuluzioni Di Aluzioni, Annick Bertin “General Firenze” and Chardel Matsanga, this film tries to reveal the main aspects of this congolese practice.

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**Okasional Cafe** Presents – Musicalala for the FUTURE!

Today we have an OK Cafe fundraiser with music all day…
If you enjoyed this Cafe so far, come on down to help us raise funds for the next one!

Music will begin from 2pm with Space Pan Man, and will lead on to a day of music with a delicious tea time break, and ending in the evening with the Yossarians. The following fabulous folks shall be there…. (timings tbc)

Afternoon Session

Evening Session

PLUS! You also get to play your part – there will be a Record player there all day, and we want everyone to bring their favourite vinyls to soundtrack our afternoon and evening!!

*£2 suggested donation*

While you’re here – don’t forget to check out our ‘Free shop-Swap shop’!
A Swap shop//Free shop is located in the first floor of our wonderful social centre.

Let’s get rid of things we don’t need and get what we need from others for free. Clothes, books, kitchen stuff, music instruments, decoration materials, furniture – whatever you think that others will use when these stuff are trapped in your cupboards, wardrobes, boxes…
This weekend and everyday from 3pm to 10 pm. Pop over anytime 🙂

See you there!
OK Cafe Crew

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It’s Friday!

Last night we had a smashing Open Mic night at the OK Cafe – busy as usual with a full audience! Keep that feeling going for our musical extravaganza coming up on Saturday…. We are also having another Open Mic night on Wednesday 28th Nov 8:00 -10:30pm, come then if you didn’t get a chance to play yesterday, just make sure you get there early as our list usually fills up!

The programme for today is:

5-7pm Poetry Circle
A non-judgemental forum to share any creative writing/spoken word…Bring your writings and have nice tea at the cafe.

6-7pm – Dinner at the OK Cafe! All welcome…

8-9:30pm – Open Space 2 – a space to talk about whatever you want!
This slot is left open for any discussions / questions that spring up during the cafe. We’ll have a board up with the Open Space time slots – please write your ideas here and come to the Open Space if you have something to talk about! The slot is meant for any issues that come up during the cafe, and can also be used for any discussions which are not quite substantial enough for a workshop, or if you have something to discuss but don’t feel comfortable organising a workshop. If something needs to be discussed further, it might be material for a workshop at this cafe if people want to take it on!

An artistic apocalypse from the Envirolution workshop on Wednesday!

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