SubRosa under attack for being an anarchist space

SubRosa needs your support– and I don’t mean financially, this time. We are getting blamed for the May Day dance party that resulted in broken windows in downtown SC. Individuals involved with SubRosa are having their physical well being threatened. People are using what was a huge dance party with a few acts of vandalism as an excuse to attack SubRosa and anyone in any way associated with it. There are accusations that SubRosa organized the May Day event, that the event started at SubRosa and a ton of other things that aren’t true. SubRosa had nothing to do with the event, except that there were fliers for it here, as there were allover town and allover the internet.

This is a time for us all to band together, to show support and solidarity with each other in the face of a police state that has always blamed anarchists for everything destructive, while actively trying to prevent people from exercising creativity that would create alternatives to capitalist relations. The people who make this town a fantastic place to be are far more important than the walls and windows of businesses that suck our souls away for their profit.

Most of the accusations leveled at SubRosa are coming from two places (which may actually be the same place). One is Take Back Santa Cruz, a group of white, upper-middle class, vaguely conservative people who wrote an almost completely inaccurate email to its email list conflating every DIY community event in Santa Cruz with the May Day vandalism. The other source of misinformation comes from the ever virulent Santa Cruz Sentinel online forums. There is a lot of inaccurate information posted there, partly due to inaccurate reporting in the Sentinel’s article and partly due to a bunch of ignorant jerks who get to write whatever they want without having to sign their name to it. A lot of the comments have been incredibly racist, and incredibly violent, calling for doing injury to SubRosa collective members, and even posting their addresses, or, even more offensively, blaming the vandalism on illegal immigrants, which just shows you the true ignorance of the people posting.

It seems incredibly ironic to me that people who are so appalled by “violence” done to buildings would call for physical harm to be done to real people.

This town does not just belong to the rich, the white, the business owner. It also belongs to the artist, the street musician, the worker, the homeless. It also belongs to the anarchist and the anti-authoritarian. We live in a place where business owners and the police try to control our every move, where you can sit, what you can say, and they give us nothing in return, telling us to move along so that the rich tourists who come to spend money won’t have their pure eyes tainted with the sight of our ragged clothes.

The SubRosa collective has created a space that challenges the commercialism and rampant capitalism of downtown Santa Cruz, and we have tried to balance that with setting boundaries towards people who come in to our space to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere for people to share ideas and create friendships and alliances. It isn’t easy and we do struggle with maintaining a space that feels positive for us all to be in. But the people who frequent SubRosa do not deserve less respect just because they don’t have a lot of money or drive fancy cars.

Let’s continue to show solidarity and support for each other and plan community events, because that is what actually makes this town worth living in.


Folk-punk at SubRosa! Sunday, May 2nd at 6:30pm

Folk-ish show at Subrosa this sunday! featuring two amazing local bands and two amazing touring bands from Canada. Doors at 6:30, show starts at 7 and ends at 10! Five bucks at the door, but, as always, no one turned away.


Nessie and Her Beard


Cud Eastbound

Pale Robin

Rita Hayworth and SubRosa Scavenger List

I read Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption when I was in high school.  Here’s how it opens:

There’s a guy like me in every state and federal prision in America, I guess – I’m the guy who can get it for you. Tailor-made cigarettes, a bag of reefer, if you’re partial to that, a bottle of brandy to celebrate your son or daughter’s high school graduation, or almost anything else… within reason, that is.

I was immediately taken with that.  I thought about it for years.  I wanted to be that guy.  Not end up in prison, of course, but the guy who could get stuff, get anything, through barter or trade or scavenging.

And so far, we’ve done pretty good here.  SubRosa Community Space was almost totally put together in 2008 from scavenged, donated, borrowed, and traded materials.  It was fun going to the dump to drop off a truck load of construction debris and coming back with an equal volume of useful stuff!

Anyway, here’s SubRosa’s current scavenging list, the stuff that we need around here:

x  redwood 2x6s for decks, tables, and benches
x  redwood 1×10 for book shelves
x  spoons!
x  coffee mugs
x  set of small glasses for wine at art shows
x  hand and power tools for the space
x  old skool rag mop
x  track lights (non-halogen)
x  metal folding chairs
x  electrical conduit
x  6 or 7 foot sturdy ladder
x  toilet paper, sugar, or soy milk

We were thinking of having a scavenger hunt for these things.  How would that work?  Intersting idea.

In the meantime, please keep your eyes peeled.  You are welcome to drop stuff off anytime.  Just ask staff where to put stuff.

Wed, April 14 at 7pm: Microcosm Post-punk Extravaganza!

Microcosm Post-punk Extravaganza West Coast ‘010 Tour

Hey! Microcosm Publishing’s multimedia tour is coming down the west coast!
This April the Post-Punk Extravaganza tour will feature traveling vegan chef/author Joshua Ploeg doing a “cooking show” from his book In Search of
the Lost Taste
as well as making some interesting vegan snacks for all.
Joe Biel will be showing the Plan-It X Records documentary, If It Ain’t
Cheap, It Ain’t Punk!
, hosting a Q&A on DIY publishing, and setting up a
well-stocked zine/book table. Also, Mia Partlow and Michael Hoerger of the
upcoming Edible Secrets book and the brand-new  Curious Case of the
Communist Jell-o Box poster zine will be showing up with a mobile museum
and document library on the fascinating secret history of food and
espionage. Come on out and hang with us!  Plus, performances from friends
from Santa Cruz!

Wed. April 14 at 7pm
SubRosa, 703 Pacific Ave.
donation at the door and no one turned away.

Tues, April 6th: Music with San Narciso, Hosannas and Christopher Francis & Son

Another great show is happening this Tuesday, April 6th at 7pm. Shows at SubRosa are fun: coffee, paletas, good music and friends! Totally worth the trip to the south end of Pacific.

The last time HOSANNAS came to town, they were CHURCH. Now, after threat of lawsuit from a similarly-named band, an injustice comparable to the inevitable “Back to the Future” remake starring Shia LeBeef, they are HOSANNAS. Likewise, the last time HOSANNAS came to town, they played at The Church. Now, they’re playing at SubRosa, with Olympians CHRISTOPHER FRANCIS & SON, and locals SAN NARCISO.

I can adapt if you can.

HOSANNAS (Portland, OR)

SAN NARCISO (Santa Cruz, CA)

April at SubRosa!

It’s Spring! Yay!  Spring brings a lot of things to Santa Cruz: flowers, allergies, sunshine, warm days, tourists…

Sunny skies mean more SubRosa Work Days! We’ve got bookshelves to finish, decks to build and tons of general improvement projects to do. You can help! There is a list of things we need in a post below. Maybe you can help us find some of them.

We have been really excited about the vast amounts of events that have been happening around here. We had Peter Gederloos speak about the Spanish Squatting Movement in Barcelona; Elouise Brown talked about her struggle to stop the construction of a coal burning power plant in the Four Corners region of Arizona;  plus we’ve had lots of great shows like the return of the Hail Seizures, who played our grand opening back in November 2007.

Maybe you have an event you’d like to plan. We can make that happen. The EVENTS page of our website has new, updated information with nearly everything you need to know about having an event at SubRosa.

Now is a great time to peruse our selection of books and zines for sale. The Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair happened in March, and we brought back tons of exciting books, so come check them out.

We also now have a Zine Exchange box, hanging out over by the A-Library. The idea here is that people can share zines that they’ve made or are important to them by leaving them in the box so that new people can pick them up. Check it out!

Remember, we stay open because people like you give us small or large amounts of money. To help keep us open, donate here!

April’s Artist: Trenton Rembert

On Friday, April 2, SubRosa will welcome the art of Trenton Rembert to its walls. Trenton’s art is a unique intersection of seemingly opposed elements. The viewer is greeted by gritty and chaotic fields punctuated by enigmatic figures.

This mixture of realism and abstraction creates a contrast that exposes the subjectivity of living, exploring how emotions, fears and beliefs mold the way we perceive the world. Themes such as dreams, weather, death, the seasons, and apocalypse constructed from hair, leaves, trash, and other found objects juxtaposed with painted elements further suggest the question: what is real, what is created?

Trenton calls his process “a mixture of spontaneity and careful planning. I enjoy the discipline of realism and the expressiveness and freedom of gesture. It’s a kind of controlled accident or action-reaction.” His process allows him to accumulate layer after layer of acrylic washes mixed with raw materials, such as dirt or ground plants and wood, to build color and texture. The end product is somewhere between painting and collage.

Trenton’s works create a haunting feeling of loneliness and desperation, but also of magic and wonder. His work is influenced by the landscapes that Trenton has lived in: the Sierras of his childhood, the Santa Cruz redwoods he now calls home. Rather than landscapes, his pieces capture portraits both of the places Trenton has lived and the isolation of modern existence.

Trenton Rembert at SubRosa
April 1st-30th
Artists Reception Friday, April 2, 6-8pm
SubRosa: A Community Space, 703 Pacific at Spruce St