The Old Market Autonomous Zone

The Old Market Autonomous Zone
The Imperial Dry Goods Building, home of Old Market Autonomous Zone

The Old Market Autonomous Zone, or A-Zone, was founded in 1995, in Winnipeg, Canada by local activists Paul Burrows and Sandra Drosdowech, who also co-founded Winnipeg's Mondragon Bookstore.[1] Its name is derived from "Old Market Square," the historic Exchange District in Winnipeg's downtown core area,[2] combined with Hakim Bey's notion of a "Temporary Autonomous Zone" (or TAZ). The Winnipeg A-Zone occupies a three-story building, originally built in 1899 and known as the "Imperial Dry Goods Building." Like many buildings in the area, it is classified as a heritage building by the City of Winnipeg. Since 1995, the building has been known locally as both the A-Zone, and sometimes the Emma Goldman Building.[3] Along with Mondragon, the A-Zone has become a focal point of activism and organizing in Winnipeg since 1995. Both the overall space at 91 Albert Street, as well as member groups such as Mondragon Bookstore & Coffee House have become a source of inspiration, as well as a travel destination, for activists, anarchists, anarcho-punks, vegans, and proponents of parecon and worker cooperatives across North America, and beyond.[citation needed]



The original aims of the A-Zone were to:

  • Bring together a diverse array of activists
  • Share common facilities and equipment
  • Network
  • Strengthen communities of activism
  • Foster a culture of solidarity and resistance to state-capitalism and other forms of concentrated power
  • Help inspire and fund new projects and worker-run collectives

Member organizations

The A-Zone supports worker-owned businesses, whether worker co-ops or sole proprietorships, as well as grassroots activist groups and collectives, and in turn been supported by them, since starting in 1995. Current member organizations include:

  • Canada-Palestine Support Network (ISM-Winnipeg)
  • Canadian Dimension Magazine
  • Junto Local 91 anarchist library
  • Mondragon Bookstore & Coffee House
  • Natural Cycle Courier
  • Natural Cycle Cycleworks
  • Rudolf Rocker Cultural Centre
  • Winnipeg Copwatch
  • The Boreal Forest Network
  • War on Music Records
  • Amphibian Design
  • Urban Eatin' Gardeners Worker Co-op
  • ParIT Worker Co-op
  • Spash Branding
  • FemRev
  • Cohort Custom Tickets
  • G7 Welcoming Committee Records

Past members include groups such as Food Not Bombs, Arbeiter Ring Publishing, Urban Shaman (Artist Run Aboriginal Art Gallery), Manitoba Action Committee on the Status of Women, Amnesty International (Winnipeg), Okijida Warriors' Society, Manitoba Women in Trades and Technology (MBWITT), Dada World Data (DWD), and others[1].

In 2007, the Rudolf Rocker Cultural Centre (r2c2) was founded on the third floor of the building, and according to the r2c2 website, functions as a "gallery and multi-purpose venue for social, political, and cultural events of interest to the anarchist, activist, and wider Winnipeg community."[4]


The A-Zone's core principles include a commitment to Participatory Economics (or Parecon), autonomy and solidarity, anti-colonialism "at home" and abroad, fair and equitable work, non-hierarchical decision-making, community economic development, and revolution [2].


Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 49°53′51.22″N 97°8′24.98″W / 49.8975611°N 97.1402722°W / 49.8975611; -97.1402722

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The 1 in 12 Club — refers to both a members club and the building in which it is based, in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Owned and run by its membership as a collective based upon anarchist principles, its activities include social and political campaigning,… …   Wikipedia

  • The Sims — This article is about the first game in the series. For an overview of the whole series, see The Sims (series). For games with Sim in the title, see List of Sim games. The Sims North American box art Developer(s) …   Wikipedia

  • The Hurt Locker — Hurt Locker redirects here. For the song by American Rapper Xzibit, see Hurt Locker (song). The Hurt Locker …   Wikipedia

  • Society of the People's Republic of China — The People s Republic of China, the world s largest society, is united by a set of values and institutions that cut across extensive linguistic, environmental, and subcultural differences. Chinese society, since the second decade of the twentieth …   Wikipedia

  • Jerusalem during the Crusader period — The Crusader period in the history of Jerusalem began with the conquest of the city by the Crusader army in 1099, during the First Crusade, as it is now known, Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom for the crusading Christians, these events …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Jews in Poland — The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over a millennium. [ [] ] Poland was home to the largest Jewish population in Europe and served as the center for Jewish culture, ranging from a long period of… …   Wikipedia

  • Outline of the Palestinian territories — …   Wikipedia

  • HISTORICAL SURVEY: THE STATE AND ITS ANTECEDENTS (1880–2006) — Introduction It took the new Jewish nation about 70 years to emerge as the State of Israel. The immediate stimulus that initiated the modern return to Zion was the disappointment, in the last quarter of the 19th century, of the expectation that… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Economy of the People's Republic of China — Economies of Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are administered separately from the rest of People s Republic of China. Therefore, the information below pertains only to mainland China unless specified otherwise. For the… …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of the People's Republic of China — Demographics of People s Republic of China Population of China, 1961–2008 Population: 1,339,724,852 (2010 census) (1st) Growth rate: 0.47% (2009 est.) (156th) …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”