The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Building lasting radical institutions: The AKA Autonomous Social Centre in Kingston, Ontario

On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, organizers Khatija and Madeleine talk about their work as part of the AKA Autonomous Social Centre in Kingston, Ontario.

So many of the changes that need to be made in the world are urgent. So many people are suffering and struggling valiantly to survive. So many aspects of the natural world are being destroyed. As a consequence, many formations of people working together to create change exist in a cycle of constant urgency, turning from one campaign to another without pause for breath or thought. Such work is certainly important. But what if some of us decided to take a different approach? What if we decided meet this urgency not by deliberately working faster, but by turning to projects that meant working slower, being intentional, turning a more deliberate eye towards the long-term? What might be gained by investing some of our energy in building lasting organizations and institutions, in doing the unglamorous work of building what Toronto activist Alan Sears has named "infrastructure of dissent"?

The AKA Autonomous Social Centre in one experiment in doing just that. Khatija and Madeleine talk to me about the co-operatively owned and run space and the interlinked collectives that constitute the project, the broad array of groups and events from the wider community that animate it, the possibilities that the Centre supports, and their thoughts about why this kind of slow, deliberate, long-term work must be one element in overall struggles for social change.

For more information about the AKA Autonomous Social Centre or to inquire about holding an event in their space, email germinations[at]

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

You can also learn more about ways to listen or go to the show's page on To learn more about suggesting grassroots groups and organizations for future shows, click here. For details on the show's theme music, click here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.