Brussels. Belgium. L’École 404 is a squat in Schaerbeek that opened shortly before the announcement of the lockdown. In this former school lives a mixed collective of about twenty people from different backgrounds.
During the period of the confinement, we did not open the space to the public. However, the school has been fitted out over the last two months to create work and meeting spaces intended primarily for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood and for militant networks.
You’ll find a wood and metal workshop, a lab for the development and printing of silver photography, participatory permaculture gardens, a sewing and drawing workshop, a craft beer brewing workshop, a projection room, meeting and reading areas, a multi-purpose gymnasium. All these spaces are intended to open gradually to the public after the confinement. We hope that the meetings and workshops that will be held here will not only be led by our initiative, but also by those of other collectives, associations and individuals.
The 404 is intended to be a privileged reception space for precarious families and persons belonging to a gender minority: sex workers, isolated women, undocumented women. We have set up physically, emotionally and politically safe spaces that can be used as daytime shelters, for moments of sharing or even for a few days.
School 404 is also a base of organization and storage for the recovery and redistribution of goods of all kinds for people in need: furniture, household appliances, clothes, hygienic products, food (fruit, vegetables, bread etc…). The “big fund-rising” was set up during the confinement but will continue to exist after it. We have also set up a free shop open Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 14h to 18h.
As the 404 is a place of life, welcome and activities at the same time, we do not want it to be a place for night parties. The district and the layout of the space do not allow this to cohabit respectfully with the neighbourhood.
The bases of functioning and collective organization have been discussed and chosen by the inhabitants of the 404, they concern all the activities, events and distributions that will take place here, initiated by us or by others: free of charge, possibly free price if financial support is needed for certain initiatives.
We refuse to reproduce any form of commercial system within this place.
The organization of the place is non-hierarchical, anti-sexist, anti-authoritarian, self-managed to the maximum; decisions are made collectively by consensus during discussions.
Non oppressive place for all minorities who suffer daily in our system: gender and sex workers, racialized people, children, the most precarious…
These collective bases are not only a lifestyle choice, but also a stand, a daily way of fighting against any oppression we denounce in our capitalist and fascinating society. The 404 aims to be a place where we reinvent daily modes of interaction, sharing and cohabitation.
For any meeting or proposal we invite you to contact us at our email address.
Schaerbeek, Brussels, Belgium
ecole-404 [at] riseup [dot] net
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