A hot bed of social and political activism is reportedly shuttering on 23rd Ave. Here’s an update on the Wildcat from the Anarchist News:
As members of the Wildcat collective, we are both relieved and bummed to announce that everyone’s favorite too-tiny social center will be closing its doors by August 15.
Since opening in February 2012 near the politically-charged intersection of 23rd and Union in the Central District of Seattle, the Wildcat has hosted dozens of speaking events, dinners, and films. It also housed L@s Quixotes, a radical lending library with a great collection of anti-authoritarian books and consistent open-hours. We opened the space during the crucial ebb-time between the eviction of the Decolonize/Occupy Seattle camp at Seattle Central Community College and May Day 2012. Without the Occupy camp or the Autonomia social center, the city’s growing and loosely-formed anti-state/anti-capitalist network desperately needed a meeting place to continue to encounter each-other and discover new affinities. For a time, the Wildcat was exactly that. True to our mission, our three-room cubbyhole was “a springboard for comrades to meet and launch their collective struggles toward freedom.”
Throughout the spring of 2012, the Wildcat was a clearinghouse for posters promoting what would be an unforgettable May Day. The space bustled on summer weekends as folks circulated in from the Food for Everyone BBQs that took place down the street in front of the mostly-empty Horace Mann building, a site of historic contest in the Central District. Along with the Umojafest PEACE Centeracross the street, the Wildcat helped to spread anti-police and anti-gentrification sentiment in the neighborhood. Upstanding citizens complained about all the graffiti, posters, and demonstrations.
Unfortunately, developers are currently planning to destroy the southeastern block of 23rd and Union in order to build a giant apartment building similar to the ones on Capitol Hill. This development may ultimately destroy Umoja and the black- and brown-owned businesses currently located next to it. While we have no love for capitalist enterprise in general, we recognize that this development is yet another step in a process that is rapidly transforming Seattle into an over-priced, sterile, white-washed dead zone. In this context, it is really sad to see the Wildcat go. The yuppies would have really, really hated us.
According to city records, a permit to transition the building to restaurant use was renewed earlier this year. In 2010, CDN reported that a project called Burger Central was planned for the location.