The Rhizome House is a radical social center in Cleveland, Ohio. We intend to utilize anarchistic and revolutionary ideas to help individuals learn and organize. We aim to be a space that spreads horizontal modes of knowledge, labor, and life. We do this by opening up a space for encounters with political ideas, talks, film showings, and other events meant to expand our collective horizons for autonomous ways of being.
A space for...
We stand against fascists, racists, queer bashers, transphobes, misogynists, cops, feds, bureaucrats, city planners, real estate speculators, architects, politicians, economists, business students, animal abusers, and litterers. This scum is not welcome within our walls and we intend to escalate the fight against them wherever they show face.
Information as it relates to action is fractured. We are not a library, a place of passive and quiet knowledge. Analysis, whether political, cultural, or artistic is at the service of action. What is meant by this? We are overwhelmed on every front. Ecologically, socially, and politically, everyday life is seemingly out of our control. Overwhelmed by the disorientation of constant crisis, finding ways to effect positive change can leave us dizzied and disaffected. Many have found their desire for something different funneled back into the political machine. This machine is one of ballots and representation which reproduces the conditions of a world that we despise. To retreat and meditate on these matters does no good. Our ideas must be tools for collective resistance which we will use to liberate us, that we can pass on to our friends, allies, and neighbors. We believe an autonomous social center is a place to create these tools and learn to use them. If you, like us, are frustrated, curious, and feel the need for a new way to live, this is the place for you. Information as it relates to action is fractured, we aim to mend it.
Social movements in Cleveland have come and gone, but all contemporary movements have suffered from a lack of strong grass roots initiatives that allow an ebb and flow of activity and numbers. The demise of these movements cannot be blamed on infiltration nor repression, rather we place blame at the feet of those we call Opportunists. The opportunist is found singing the simpering songs of surrender. The establishment left and career activists believe this may make for a fantastic new chant. They might have us sing it as we march straight into planetary heat death with a permit and police escort in tow. These established organizers and soothsayers, armed with bullhorns and supported by NGOs, are not permanent. They arrive when you are angry and steal the words right out of your mouth. They define what victory means, when we have achieved it, and then they tell us all to go home. Having stolen our rage and dreams they buy themselves concessions and paid gigs as professional organizers. Have you ever wondered how there can be so many “social justice” non-profits in Cleveland, a place that lacks anything resembling justice? Opportunists, regardless of how loudly they preach and how comforting their words may sound, will always work to reproduce the norm. The Rhizome House is not an activist space for this very reason. We want total liberation and for people to define what that means by living it.
Autonomy is our highest ambition and it comes with a great burden. We do not defer our lives to the “expertise” of others. We believe it is the individual alone who knows how best to be the author of their life. Ours is a refusal to be subjugated by the schemes of politicians, the forces of capital, and the demands of professional activists. This world we inhabit is our responsibility and we must share it. The tension between the individual locked in struggle, and the collective consequences of action is where direct struggle emerges as a method of conflict. It leaves no room for surrender, forces freedom, and aims to maintain the autonomy that comes with freedom. Direct struggle invokes the spirit that elevates solidarity out of platitude and gives direction to action. It inspires self organization along horizontal lines and fosters engagement in active resistance. Autonomy, our highest ambition, comes with practice.