Now London's Getting a Cat Café, Thanks to Public Funding

When will this become legal in the States? New York needs this

Now, relaxing with a cup of tea might also come with some kitten playtime; a cat café is set to open in London, inspired by cat cafées (and bunny cafées) in Japan.

According to The Independent, 30-year-old Lauren Pears decided to try launching a cat café after noticing the lack of coffee-plus-pets locations in the city, especially since Brits living in the city rarely have space (or time, or money) for a pet. The result: Going to Indiegogo to raise money for London's first cat café.

Pears has reportedly raised £100,000 (more than $150,000) from her Indiegogo venture, and is bringing in 10 to 15 cats from Mayhew Animal Home. Café visitors must pay £5 per visit (about $8), without any time limitations. "That way, people can stay as long as they like without feeling like they’re against the clock, which works for the cats because it takes cats a little time to get used to people," she told The Independent. VIP membership will reportedly go for £130 (a little less than $200), and the café will have a volunteer program so people can look after the cats overnight.

In the meantime, Pears has gotten more than 150 applications to work at said cat café; now all we need is a New York version. How do we get the permits for this? And can we do it with puppies instead? But also, maybe this will happen.

Oitij-jo Collective: needs your support to build a ground-breaking women & young people led café in London's fast-changing Brick Lane. Cooking & serving authentic Bangla home style recipes.

Oitij-jo Collective: needs your support to build a ground-breaking women & young people led café in London's fast-changing Brick Lane. Cooking & serving authentic Bangla home style recipes.

We need your help to get this off the ground and complete the first phase of work. Please pledge what you can, even £2 will go a long way to helping us hit our target! The first step to get the cafe up & running is to carry out surveys of the building to find out exactly what work needs to be done, & to work with architects, surveyors & other professionals to draw up designs & plans. TATI will be a non-profit social enterprise lead by BAME women & young people in Brick Lane. It will be a cafe inspired by Bangla food: home-made. TATI will source sustainable & organic food, developing & supporting existing suppliers. TATI believes in 'slow cooked' food giving time to our health & well-being. TATI wants to bring 'Bangla culture' back into the heart of Bangla Town/Brick Lane!

  • Survey of building by surveyors and structural engineers
  • Designs and plans for full cafe renovation work
  • Upon completion of the first phase, we hope to be:
  • Creating a training kitchen and cafe
  • Celebrating and learning from the women who cook Bangla dishes at home
  • Providing training and confidence in catering to women and young people
  • Providing a public experience celebrating Bangla arts and culture

Brick Lane is the central hub of London's alternative scene and the historical centre for London's East End British Bangladeshi community. TATI is a cafe where you experience Bangla home cooking wisdom by bringing together the women who cook family recipes at home with young people to train, teach and gain confidence sharing Bangla hospitality and culture. TATI: an enterprise that aims to engage BAME women and young people in London. TATI aims to develop creative collaborations in order to improve employability and entrepreneurship opportunities through a café & gallery environment. The social impact will be: People: Engagement & Culture: Working with BAME & young women and Knowledge Sharing Planet: Food: Responsibly sourced Energy efficiency Knowledge Sharing. TATI will be a multi-purpose space providing food/drinks, activities during the evening & weekends, talks/seminars, music & other activities. Some will be fee paying others will be free.

  • January 2019 - Workshops for women to bring family recipes out of the home and into Tati.
  • December - January 2019 - Carry out survey of 118 Brick Lane to finalise and confirm refurbishment details of premises
  • December - January 2019 - Complete & finalise refurbishment plans of premises and builders
  • February - April 2019 - Refurbishment & refitting of premises
  • Jan-Dec 2019- Project Management, Staff recruitment & Training, Menu development and training & support for new entrants
  • July 2019 - TATI Cafe -soft launch
  • August 2019- TATI Cafe fully open

TATI is innovative because it has supporting disadvantaged marginalised women as our core for the café training and working with young people within a setting targeting mainstream customers. Oitij-jo believes the women are skilled through their life experiences, knowledge and skills in cooking, managing a home and their children. TATI will be a professional kitchen and will be a positive safe environment for the women and young people to learn new skills, receive training and interact with wide range of customers who frequent Brick Lane.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

#TATI- we have been busy cooking up an array of #Banglafoodwithatwist. Following the successful #foodtasting event in June, #TATI members in July went on to do cooking classes in a commercial kitchen setting with a professional trainer. Thanks to @IdeaStore, ShadwellCentre & @FarukMiah The learning in the #commercialkitchensetting was closely followed by attending further training to obtain Level 2 CIEH Certificate in Food Safety by 20 members! Extremely proud of the #TATI members and what they have achieved in this short time. In October, #TATI has been busy putting it in practice. How? Well we are now taking orders for external catering, planning our market stall / pop-up and supper club in/ around Brick Lane and Aldgate. #TATI also took time to do Food Memory workshop with @LoughboroughUniversity @MigrantMemoryPostColonial project. Most recently, we supported ATeamArts to celebrate #40thAnniversary with @TowerHamletsEvent. This was also celebrating #TATI's 1st #cateredevent. #Handmade #Homemade #Nankathai- #Bangla #Shortbread. Truly delicious. Must try. If you want this and more contact #TATI.

TATI UPDATE: TATI started its workshops in April 2019 with 4 workshops and over over 20 women. The workshops developed a menu to test and key design concepts for the space. We had wonderful help from Momtaz Begum who developed the sessions, along with Architect Abu Siddiki and PARAA Architecture & Design Studio, Bangladesh and photographer Chloe Rosser who documented the sessions. Also huge thanks to Kobi Nazrul and Brady Centre for accommodating the workshops. We followed up the workshops with inviting people to a 'taster' session of the menu developed in the workshops at #Trampery #Republic. The women made some wonderful food, see image. And we had great response from those who were invited to the event. We had an average score of 4.5 out of 5. comments included, 'When are you opening?' / 'The food was very tasty. Not like I have tasted before.' / 'It was a wonderful set up. Felt very comfortable. The women greeted us with warmth and talked about the food'. We could not have got greater encouragement. With such positive feedback, TATI had over 16 women who signed up to do Stage 2: Basic Cookery Skills in a Commercial Kitchen at Shadwell Centre, part of Tower Hamlets Idea Store. We had the wonderful Lois who over 6 sessions have taken the women on a journey of making savoury Choux pastry to Thai fish cake burger and salad alongside learning to be in and cook in a professional kitchen for the public. We have explored food from many countries and a variety of cooking skills alongside health, hygiene and safety issues. Stage 3: Pop up kitchen - we cook and serve to the public. A chance to say thank you to all and to get feedback from all our existing and new supporters and other well wishers. Before we do that in late September / early October, TATI will be ensuring the women participants have had the opportunity to obtain Level 2 Food Safety in Catering certificate. TATI is progressing and building on the strengths of the women. Your continual support is appreciated and needed. If you wan to volunteer with TATI. If you want to invest in TATI. Please contact us.

Looking forward to meeting up with all the women to explore design of the cafe space and developing the menu. We will also have the lovely #MomtazBegumHussain of @the_craftcafe facilitating the session and Abu Siddiki #architect working with workshop participants on #designing of the cafe. Can't wait. We continue to be supported by Mayor of London Spacehive City of London Corporation: City View Tower Hamlets Council and over 114 individuals. Thanks to all.

March 2019 has been a great time for TATI. We started with #IWD on 7th March @ #St Hilda's East Centre followed by event organised by #MohilaOngonAssociation. on 8th March attended discussion session organised by #TheAldgatePartnership followed by celebrations with #TowerHamletsHomes. Saturday 9th worked with women at #SpitalfieldsCityFarm to make chutneys from apples. Since then we have continued to meet women in community groups, schools, food making workshops all around the borough. TATI has organised workshops to explore further 'food culture' and the initial concepts of designs of the cafe. Do you: • Live in Tower Hamlets? • Bangladeshi woman aged 25+? • Enjoy cooking? Making things? • Have 2 hours (10am-12:00pm) to give? Then join us on Monday 1st April – Kobi Nazrul Centre. Other workshop dates are: Tuesday 2nd & 23rd April and Monday 29th April. Limited spaces please contact: [email protected] to reserve your place. Bring your favourite dish to share.

In 2018 we were successful, with your help, in raising funds through the Spacehive crowdfunding platform. We are supported by the Mayor of London, Tower Hamlets Town Centre Team and City of London Corporation and 114 other individuals. Oitij-jo Collective thanks all our supporters. We will be carrying out workshops to test the Concept with women starting in March 2019. The sessions will include: • Recipe & Design – food & design • Does this taste right? – menu development in a professional kitchen • Pop up breakfast/ lunch/ dinner – testing the menu with the public At the end we aim to publish a book of fine recipes and designs for the café. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please get in touch with Oitij-jo on: [email protected]

OITIJ-JO will be at Spitalfields City Farm on Saturday the 9th March celebrating International Women's Day. Come say hello and find out more about our upcoming OITIJ-JO project: TATI: Women Led Community Arts Cafe.

OITIJ-JO is celebrating International Women's Day with Tower Hamlets Homes: Her Story Friday 8th March. 5pm The Atrium 124 Cheshire Street E2 6EJ Come find out more. Please book ticket for event. Talk to us at OITIJ-JO about our upcoming project: TATI: Women Led Community Arts Cafe.

We at OITIJ-JO are celebrating International Women's Day with our friends at The Aldgate Partnership. Bring your biggest hat to this event! Come. Talk to OITIJ-JO about our upcoming project: TATI: Women Led Community Arts Cafe. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/international-womens-day-gue… 8 March 2019 - 12:30 – 13:30. General Assembly. The Relay Building, 114 Whitechapel High Street, London.

OITIJ-JO is celebrating International Women's Week with St Hilda's East Community Centre talking about our upcoming Oitij-jo project: TATI: Women Led Community Art's Cafe. Come join us at St Hilda's East Community Centre tomorrow 7th March, 11am - 2pm, and find out more.

Rita Ora on Sarah Stennett: 'She's got balls, and she's from Liverpool'

"She's got balls, and she's from Liverpool," says Rita Ora. "She speaks her mind and is not afraid of any powerful person in the male-dominated music industry." Ora is explaining why she credits her manager, Sarah Stennett, with making her a star – a relationship that began when Ora was an unknown 18-year-old, and has so far produced three No 1 singles and a chart-topping album. She's the only one of Stennett's clients who has time to talk to the Guardian, and then only by email, but her words would probably be echoed by Ellie Goulding, Conor Maynard and Iggy Azalea.

All are managed by Stennett's Turn First Artists, a west London management/development agency described by Sony Records chairman Rob Stringer as "the alpha-female music company". Turn First has just opened a New York office. "Iggy lives in LA, Rita is signed there – I've done 49 trips in the last four years," Stennett says, leaning back on a sofa in her office and still sounding Scouse to the core.

And there's more to Stennett's portfolio: she also co-founded the law firm SSB, which represents Adele, and set up the songwriting/production team Invisible Men, which includes her husband, George Astasio – they've co-written some of the biggest pop hits of recent years, including Jessie J's Do it Like a Dude and the Noisettes' Don't Upset the Rhythm. But what makes her notable is that there are almost no other women at her level in the UK music industry. There are female managers, female A&Rs and female lawyers, but Stennett is all three, and one of the very few to have a roster of top acts. One wall in her office is lined with platinum discs for Ora, Jessie J, Olly Murs and the Sugababes: she's either managed them or A&R-ed their records (the process of matching artists with the right producers and songs).

"In this business, sexism is rife," she says. "There is an undercurrent. I went to a swanky dinner recently, and I was the only woman there, apart from female artists." But it's not as if the music industry is any worse than others, she adds cautiously. "Once you get into the higher echelons of any business, women are absent."

True enough. Yet it says something that the only woman manager the public has probably heard of is Sharon Osbourne – who concentrates her attentions on The X Factor these days – while just a few others, such as the American hip-hop powerhouse Debra Antney, have more than one major artist. "That's because it's very tough. My success is attributable to the belief people have had in me, the support I've had."

Support – including funding from Universal Records to develop new artists – came after she proved herself as a talent-spotter. After qualifying as a solicitor, her first job was with a music law firm, which led to the forming of SSB with her colleague Paul Spraggon. But in 1998 she was introduced to the Sugababes, then scrappy 14-year-olds hoping to benefit from the Spice Girls-spawned fad for girl groups. After brokering their first record deal, she realised she had a knack for recognising raw pop potential. She launched a management company, and a decade later employs 25 people. Management takes up most of her time these days she's still a partner at SSB, but does no day-to-day work with its celebrity clientele.

Three of her four co-directors at Turn First are female. "[Brit-soul singer] Liam Bailey called us the lionesses. He said: 'You're my fucking lionesses, looking after me'." Having a board consisting mainly of women "just happened", but it gives Turn First an edge in dealing with young, inexperienced performers. "It's a very scary business for solo artists, and [managing them is] a big responsibility," she says. "I don't know if it's a gender thing, but there are times when a female approach is successful. It's a maternal approach. If you're working with a 16-year-old artist, they're in a developmental state. People fulfil their potential when they're not scared and feel supported."

It worked with Ora, whom she signed in 2009, when the singer was competing to represent the UK at that year's Eurovision song contest in the TV show Your Country Needs You. Ora's mother thought appearing on reality TV would kill her fledgling career, and asked Stennett to meet her daughter. "We met in a café. She was sat at a table, chewing her hair," she remembers. "I looked at her and felt immediately there was something about her. I said, 'If you can sing like you say you can, I'd walk out of that show'. She rang me the next morning and said 'I've walked out'." (Ora emails: "Let's just say without her, I wouldn't have made the decisions that I made to get us to this point.")

Management is generally 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, with managers expected to be surrogate parents, therapists and gatekeepers. And now they're also forced to keep their artists relevant – increasingly difficult in an era when, thanks to the X Factor effect, a pop star's life-cycle is often compressed into six months of ubiquity, followed by what Smash Hits used to call "the dumper". Yet the much-maligned "big three" label groups (Sony, Universal and Warner) are still the most effective way to get a pop career off the ground, she maintains. They're the only ones with both resources and knowhow, "the huge strategic thinking and expertise" needed to get emerging talent the right sort of exposure. Yet even the big three now expect new artists to have done much of the groundwork themselves. "Before a major will commit, they want to see signs of life. If you've got a record playing in a club, kids will Shazam it, and that shows on the Shazam chart."

A large social media following also helps, presumably? "People once got obsessed over the number of Twitter followers, but some people have a blinding talent but no Twitter followers. Labels are looking for a Zane Lowe play [Radio 1's evening presenter is viewed as a crucial just-left-of-centre tastemaker] or a clip on YouTube that's getting a lot of views, so they don't feel so exposed."

To bypass the majors, which are perceived as too risk-averse to invest in new bands – something Stennett disputes – many acts are now crowdfunding albums with fans' money. She doubts it will take hold in a significant way. "I don't think crowdfunding will be a big force. As much as people criticise labels, it's very hard to break an act without label help." One of her own clients, the once hotly-tipped VV Brown, is self-funding her new album through sync deals (licensing tracks to ad agencies), but Stennett still has faith in orthodox label-artist relationships.

"If you can get your fans to pay, then people will do it, but most artists want to be signed to a deal. I like to work with artists who are as ambitious as I am, and that requires significant funding."

London’s small museums warn they might not survive

Major London museums and galleries such as Tate Modern, National Gallery and the Design Museum have all quickly adapted to online programming as a result of temporary closure. But while time and money at big institutions are invested in virtual tours, the BBC has reported that the city&rsquos smaller, independent museums, which are not backed by large grants or government funding, are facing a very real risk of closure.

Special-interest institutions such as Dennis Severs&rsquo House and the Charles Dickens Museum rely on visitor entrance fees to remain open, and while the city is in lockdown, they may not survive. The Florence Nightingale Museum, for example, receives 98 percent of its income from its admission fees, and was anticipating a landmark year for visitors with the bicentennial of Florence Nightingale&rsquos birth landing in 2020.

Photograph: Courtesy of The Florence Nightingale Museum

David Green, the museum&rsquos director said, &lsquo Our 2020 bookings diary was full with exhibitions and events. We enjoyed our busiest ever day in February half-term, but soon after the effects of the pandemic kicked in and numbers started to fall&hellip Prolonged closure and decimated tourist markets now threaten the future of the museum as we rely heavily on admissions income to support our small charity, which receives no core funding from the government or elsewhere.&rsquo

The Charles Dickens Museum gets no regular public funding, and also relies heavily on admissions, shop sales and café profits to keep the attraction alive. The museum had a record-breaking February for visitors, but when March hit, its income had halved. Since the museum officially closed on March 18, no money has been coming in at all, and there&rsquos no clarity on when it will be able to reopen. Cindy Sughrue, director of the museum said: &lsquoWhenever we reopen, we expect it to be a slow recovery because our audience will be greatly affected&hellip We don&rsquot expect overseas visitors to return for some months, probably not for a year in the usual numbers. Also, some of our visitors fall into the categories that may be asked to remain socially distant for longer.&rsquo

Museums can apply for Arts Council and National Heritage Emergency Funding, but it is highly competitive. Right now the focus for government funding, as Sughrue acknowledges, is &lsquoquite rightly&rsquo on frontline charities, so for now, the museum is focusing what the future will look like, in what she calls the &lsquorecovery phase&rsquo: &lsquoI don&rsquot expect to see any announcements about recovery support just yet, but now is the time to be planning for the recovery of the heritage and tourism sector that is so vital to London&rsquos economy.&rsquo

Dennis Severs&rsquo House. Photographer: Roelof Bakker

Dennis Severs&rsquo House, a time-capsule attraction in an East End Huguenot home which recreates life in Spitalfields from 1724 and 1914, is appealing for support by offering special vouchers visitors can use at the museum post-lockdown. For £60, you can get an &rsquoExclusive Silent Night Visit&rsquo where you can wander through the house&rsquos ten rooms after hours. The institution is run by a very small team, currently squirrelled away at home trying to find ways to keep the museum from slipping under. They assured us in a press release that their resident museum cat &lsquoMadge Whitechapel&rsquo is still being &lsquofed, watered and well looked after&rsquo.

In a BBC series praising small museums like these, Melvyn Bragg claimed, &lsquoto close a museum is to close down memory&rsquo. We need to do all we can to try and keep those memories alive, and ensure those eccentric attractions and lovingly preserved collections stored in London&rsquos creaky townhouses do not disappear for good.

Need some good Dickens news? You can book tickets for &lsquoA Christmas Carol&rsquo at the Old Vic this winter.

Find out how a London WWII vet has raised £13 million for the NHS.

We see you’re using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue is Time Out’s main source of income. The content you’re reading is made by independent, expert local journalists.

Support Time Out directly today and help us champion the people and places which make the city tick. Cheers!

Fiesta de Flores at NYBG

On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with Fiesta de Flores, a festival at the Botanical Garden’s Stone Mill commemorating the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The program entailed Rose Garden Tours, food and beverage tasting, live art, artisans, musical entertainment, and a Bomba dance ensemble.

One of the highlights of the evening was a presentation by Aaron Bouska, Vice President of Government and Community Relations, of the Public Service Award to New York City Councilmember Annabel Palma. The moment recognized and commemorated her dedicated service to the people and institutions of the Bronx and her leadership of the Bronx Delegation of the New York City Council.




Since 1985, Saatchi Gallery has presented contemporary art exhibitions showcasing the work of emerging artists. Exhibitions which primarily drew upon the collection of Charles Saatchi, led to Saatchi Gallery becoming a recognised authority in contemporary art globally. The Gallery acquired a strong reputation for introducing artists who would later gain worldwide recognition. In 2019 Saatchi Gallery became a registered charity and begun a new chapter in its history.


Saatchi Gallery exists as a registered charity to provide an innovative platform for contemporary art and culture. We are committed to supporting artists and rendering contemporary art accessible to all. We strive to present projects in physical and digital spaces that are engaging, enlightening and educational for diverse audiences.


Saatchi Gallery seeks to collaborate with artists in an open and honest manner with a primary aim of introducing their work to wider audiences.

The Gallery presents curated exhibitions on themes relevant and exciting in the context of contemporary creative culture. Our educational programmes aim to reveal the possibilities of artistic expression to young minds, encourage fresh thought and stimulate innovation.

As a charity, the organisation seeks to be self-funded and reinvests all revenue into its core activities to support access to contemporary art for all.

The Saatchi Gallery, London is registered as a charity with registration number 1182328, and its registered offices are in Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London, SW3 4RY, United Kingdom.

Artists mobilise to fight damaging cuts to public services

M usic and art have always been a vehicle for political protest: from Bob Dylan and Bob Marley to Billy Bragg. Now a new group of British artists and musicians are hoping to use art, song, theatre and words, as well as social media, to combat the coalition's austerity agenda.

Created specifically to campaign against the government's cuts to public services, charities and the creative industries, the Artists' Assembly Against Austerity, launching today, is a grassroots alliance of more than 200 creative artists. Signatories include actor, Maxine Peake, fantasy author China Miéville, poet and writer Blake Morrison and artist Peter Kennard.

In a letter published in the Guardian today, the group calls on anyone involved in the creative arts to organise and campaign against cuts in public and voluntary services introduced by the coalition government.

"As we see it, artists have as much to lose as many other groups as a result of a dwindling public sector the Artists' Assembly will provide a space in which we can mobilise to affect real change," says the letter.

It calls on politicians to make healthcare free at the point of need, to create more affordable homes and studios by building and capping rents, to scrap all tuition fees and to reverse the arts cuts introduced since 2010.

"The coalition's austerity measures are a violent programme of cuts," says Season Butler, a writer and academic at Goldsmiths, University of London and coordinator of Artists' Assembly Against Austerity. "The cuts are affecting artists as much as they are the public – many artists rely on benefits. Cuts to education mean it's harder to find work as an art teacher. Artists have been a bit shy recently of working on social justice issues but, now, we're seeing more come out in opposition to the broader austerity programme."

Katherine Araniello, a performance artist with spinal muscular atrophy, is angered by the austerity programme. "As a disabled person who relies on government-funded income, I am appalled by the benefit cuts," she says. "Someone like me requires 24/7 support. My funding hasn't kept pace with inflation for the past five years – I'm having to pay my care workers at the minimum wage."

Billy Bragg, a singer with a long history of mixing political activism and song writing, believes that the nature of protest has evolved since his campaigns against Thatcher's policies.

"In the 80s, music was the sole medium. There were great projects like Red Wedge and Live Aid." But now, he says, there are many more ways to organise and protest against the cuts. "It's a lot more disparate – people are getting information from Twitter and Facebook – but also there are fewer filters. I can get my own music up online within seconds of recording it."

Bragg emphasises the positive effect music can have on social justice. "I didn't learn about the civil rights movement in the 70s by watching Blue Peter, I learned about it by listening to Motown," he says. "Look at how music was used, around the same time, as a way to break down the barriers around gender."

Singer Grace Petrie, following in the footsteps of Bragg and Dylan, has written widely about cuts to public services. Her songs include Maggie Thatcher's Dream and London's Burning, a dry take on coalition cuts to fire services. She is also very concerned about the housing crisis. "As a 27-year-old, I'm feeling it," she says. "Everyone in my generation is – the whole system is tipped too far in favour of private landlords. I can't see a good future for housing in this country."

Petrie shot to internet fame in 2010 when she performed a song about education cuts in front of Nick Clegg's constituency office in Sheffield, where Petrie went to university.

"In my view he lied about tuition fees – people said it's your fault for believing him. That was the moment I realised politics was broken, that politicians are cynical, and we get no choice about what they do."

The artists are not just opposed to budget cuts – many are also campaigning against any further outsourcing of public services. "Privatisation is now a serious threat to our public services, so it's time to mobilise," says Butler.

Araniello worries that NHS privatisation will jeopardise the well-being of severely disabled people. "I can't see a way in which a private company is going to sustain the costs that enable disabled people to live in society with adequate support," she says.

Some want more fundamental reform of the UK economy. "My art is about what capitalism does to your heart, and the inner child in you," says Rob Montgomery, whose works was recently displayed at the Louvre. He has worked with the international protest movement Occupy to challenge economic disparities and social injustice.

"Our whole idea of a fair, free, civilised and modern society in Britain is under threat from these cuts," he says. "Social security, the NHS, housing benefit and fair education took generations of good thinking and hard work by all sections of society."

Peter Kennard, whose acclaimed photomontages have included a grinning Tony Blair taking a selfie in front of an enormous explosion, which was a collaboration with Cat Phillipps, believes art is an enabler for protest groups. "Art can really enlighten social movements and get people thinking critically," he says.

Artists are naturally also concerned about cuts to the dramatic, performing and visual arts.

On a practical level, the Artists' Assembly will challenge the government's austerity agenda through online activism, marches and art. "We're not going to tell artists to make certain pieces of art," says Butler."That will be their choice. But art can be a powerful tool for social justice."

This article was amended on 27 August 2014 to credit Cat Phillipps's collaboration with Peter Kennard on the photomontage of Tony Blair's selfie.

Exclusive–Wilcox: How Soros Money, Radical DAs Are Killing Our Cities

9,195 Francois Mori/AP Photo

Proving that even a broken clock is right twice a day, it turns out the establishment media was right about that whole interference in our elections thing. There is indeed a lot of it, but not necessarily from where the media told us. Not only does it threaten the integrity of our elections, but it is likely to get innocent people killed.

This particular election interference comes not from the Kremlin, but from the ample bank account of billionaire investor George Soros. Like a Bond villain stroking a white cat, Soros has big plans for America and the world. He has become a household name in political circles, thanks to his lavish underwriting of numerous left-wing political causes and candidates.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Soros is notorious for alleged currency manipulation, his efforts to defeat the Brexit movement and his considerable influence on the European Union. More recently, Soros, a native of Hungary and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, has found a cause that would make Ernst Blofeld envious: pump millions of dollars into the campaigns of radical leftist district attorney candidates in large cities throughout the country. Once elected, they can wreak havoc on the country in innumerable ways.

The plan has been a fiendish success, as hand-picked candidates have ascended to power throughout the land. My organization, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), recently conducted an investigation into several Soros-funded DAs. The results, from both the amount of funding Soros provided and the way those DAs are shielding illegal aliens charged with violent crimes from deportation, are disturbing to say the least.

Larry Krasner was elected district attorney of Philadelphia in 2017 and received nearly $1.7 million in support from Soros via an independent political action committee (PAC), Philadelphia Justice & Public Safety, that aired pro-Krasner television ads which helped him win the Democratic primary.

Upon assuming office, Krasner immediately created the new position of Immigration Counsel and hired longtime associate Caleb Arnold, a former immigration attorney. Arnold consulted on approximately 300 cases in the first year with the goal of reaching “immigration neutral” outcomes. Arnold advises prosecutors in cases where the defendant is a non-citizen. Of the roughly 300 cases, 120 were recommended to be changed to plea agreements. Arnold has also published a sanctuary policy while in office.

IRLI’s investigation exclusively learned that Arnold has consulted with non-citizen defendants who have been charged with rape, murder, rape of a child, forcible rape, sexual assault, unlawful contact of a minor, attempted murder, among other crimes. Initially, Philadelphia tried to conceal these charges from IRLI, but the state appeals board overruled Philadelphia and allowed IRLI to obtain and disclose this information to the public.

Krasner’s actions as district attorney are consistent with what has become a clear anti-borders position at the highest levels of Philadelphia city government. Mayor Jim Kenney received national attention and criticism in June 2018 when a video surfaced of him dancing in celebration when a court ruled in favor of the city’s sanctuary policy to shield criminal aliens from deportation.

Kimberly Foxx of Cook County, Ill., is another Soros-funded district attorney in the investigation. Illinois State Board of Elections records show Soros donated over $400,000 into the Illinois Safety & Justice PAC in 2016. Foxx was the only candidate they supported that year.

Like Krasner, Foxx hired a legal advisor who works “to ensure that non-citizen defendants do not face unnecessary immigration consequences, particularly for misdemeanor and low-level offenses,” per a Cook County Attorney statement on July 11, 2019. This means lowering charges for non-citizen defendants in order for them to avoid apprehension and deportation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Predictably, the Soros initiative gets mostly glowing praise from the media because it claims to seek racial equity and social justice in the legal system, hitching itself to the movement that sprung up in the wake of George Floyd’s death last summer. Given the track records of Krasner, Foxx and other DAs put in office by Soros, however, it isn’t hard to see the true motives. They include a breakdown of law and order in general, and a contempt for federal immigration laws.

There are those who may say that all of this is just high-level political squabbling that has no consequences in their own lives. That assumption would be wrong. The result of this grand plan is more dangerous communities and more violent criminals on the streets. Those shielded from ICE by these district attorneys should be given a one-way plane ticket back to their country of origin. Instead, they will stay here to clog up our legal system, and too many will return to society thanks to a concurrent agenda to reduce the prison population.

One only needs to look at emergence of Angel Families , whose loved ones’ lives were taken by foreign nationals who had no legal right to be in the country. It is a group that no one wants to be a part of, yet whose membership will continue to grow thanks in part to these reckless, agenda-driven district attorneys. For the integrity of our elections and the safety of our communities, this toxic initiative must be called out and stopped.

Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute , a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

How to Start a Cafe

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Opening a small, cozy, "cute" neighborhood cafe may be the most common dream of the prospective small business owner, but "cute" doesn't pay the bills. [1] X Research source [2] X Research source Cafes run on tight profit margins, require a significant initial investment, and demand long hours and many headaches of their owner-operators. Before abandoning all hope, however, do your homework regarding the steps required to start a cafe. With the right planning beforehand, your cafe will stand a fighting chance of success, and of becoming the small business of your dreams.

How can I set something like this up in my area?

There are a number of different models you can follow. The Restart Project was founded in 2012 by Janet Gunter and Ugo Vallauri. Between them, they have over 15 years experience of working with technology in the developing world. Troubled by western attitudes to technology – “where people discard devices because they run slow” – the pair realised that the only way to change things was “to simply roll up our sleeves and get started”.
With no funding, they began to throw “restart parties” –
free, London-based community events that empower participants to extend the lifespan of their electronics by learning fundamental repair and maintenance skills. They host two three-hour parties a month and are actively expanding their community of volunteers and participants.

“Restart parties are a collaborative learning process, not a free repair”, stresses Gunter. “We are not competing with professional technicians by offering a better deal.” That said, if you are thinking of throwing your own restart party, the participation of local repair professionals is encouraged – by contributing, they can also promote their own activities. Events require a minimum of three to four committed repair volunteers (or “restarters”) who can stay for the duration of the event. One person should host and organise a list of repairs. “Skill-sharing and empowerment are absolutely essential,” says Gunter. “Repairs should be always done together, explaining the steps as you go.” Lastly keep it friendly. “Offer a few snacks and beverages, and play some good music while people learn. They are called parties for a reason.”

Brighton Repair Cafe was co-founded by Victoria Jackson-White in 2012 and is a community of “designers, tinkerers and fixsters” sharing their skills in repair work. Monthly events held in cafes and at events and festivals offer local people the opportunity to bring broken items along to a place where the appropriate tools and expertise are on hand to repair possessions and prevent them ending up as landfill. “It is a fun, social way to combat the general frustration with wasted materials, resources and a loss of skills,” says Jackson-White. “More than that it’s a community, a space for empowerment and the site of transformation where people’s relationships with their things shift from consumer to owner.”

The Repair Cafe Foundation supports local groups around the world and has published guidelines on setting up your own repair cafe. For a one-off fee of €45 (£35), they can provide a digital start-up kit with step-by-step advice on everything from finding local repair experts, choosing a suitable locations, collecting the right tools, generating publicity and funding your project. “Really the most important thing is to have a team of dependable and enthusiastic volunteers who are willing to give up their free time and offer their skills and tools to help others learn how to repair their things,” says Victoria. “If you have that, your repair cafe will soon grow.”

The Remakery is a community workshop space in Loughborough Junction, south London, that supplies reclaimed materials, affordable space, and access to tools for reuse and for upcycling projects. The project has received capital grants totalling £210,000 to enable the refurbishment of a 1,000 sq m space (a former derelict car park that was a local troublespot), transforming it from garages into workshops, offices, social space and storage for reclaimed materials. It includes spaces for woodwork, sewing and upholstery, bike repair, sculpture and printmaking. “It began life as a project of Transition Town Brixton,” explains Hannah Lewis, co-founder of the project. “They spotted the opportunity to make use of the large volumes of waste furniture, wood and other materials that are discarded on the streets of south London, to create opportunities to share practical skills, build community and grow new enterprises.”

“If you’re taking on a large space, don’t underestimate the time it takes to get the building work done with a largely volunteer workforce,” says Lewis. “We’d suggest getting something going on a smaller scale first, such as a regular event or a pop-up shop, to build up the momentum, the mailing list and a crew who want to help.” And if you are relying on donations from the public, be conscious about building up your capacity before you publicise the project widely, warns Hannah. Otherwise you might get overrun with more offers of materials than you can handle. “There’s just so much waste out there and people love to send it to a good use rather than to landfill.” Be as specific as you can about what types of materials you are able to reuse, and plan how you are going to organise the space. “Come and talk to us if you want to learn more about what worked and what didn’t!.”