I've done some pontificating in the last little while about the importance of alternative community spaces.
I think they are essential because of both their vibrancy and their ability to act as agents for intersecting all sorts of activist organizing. I think we need that epicentre, in order to effectively harness the various webs of struggle and bring to life a culture of organizing that reaches beyond the day to day mundanities.
This isn't to romanticize the concept, stripping it of the blood, sweat and tears it takes to sustain both the energy and the finite resources demanded by it all. It's not easy, but Winnipeg's Albert Street Autonomous Zone collective (A-Zone) has been struggling with this since the 1990s.