The James Connolly Social Club

What We Are

All social change must begin somewhere and social change is woven into the history of our small city. ​As developments rife with cursory nods to community are appearing, we ask: where are the spaces that provide freedom and liberation for all? Where are we supposed to hatch ideas that change the city? Where are we going to ​gather to ​review the politics of the day? Where ​can we come together to break bread? How are we going to carve out a little section of the city for ourselves? The James Connolly Social Club began as an answer to those questions. Rather than merely looking for a friendly business owner or like-minded non profit to allow our presence, we ​work to control a piece of the city in common. Rather than hoping that we would find a space to accommodate us, we would build one. Through demonstrating that this is fully within our power, we will​ show the city that if we fight for the spirit of Troy, we can win.

Why “James Connolly”?

The social club is named in honor of James Connolly, an Irish Republican and socialist who lived in Troy, NY from 1903 to 1905. During his time in the US, he was a member of the Socialist Labor Party, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and, helped found the Irish Socialist Federation in New York. In 1910, he returned to Ireland and he was a pivotal leader in the Easter Rising in 1916, a militant rebellion against English colonial rule that laid the foundation for the Irish war of independence and the establishment of Irish Free State.

Connolly was a fierce syndicalist and the social club borrows heavily from that revolutionary tradition. It aims to be a cooperatively and democratically run enterprise.

Creating the Revolutionary Spaces of Tomorrow Today

Harkening back to the Wobblies and other syndicalists organizations, we know it isn't merely ​enough to say 'a better world is possible' or to insist that someone ought to come along and save us. The fact that we know this is the right thing to do isn't going to bring a space worth having into being. The only thing that will bring a leftist social club into being is for those of us who can to put our pennies together and begin ​investing in the infrastructure for the radical leftist Troy we all want to inhabit in the coming years. So the axiom goes, we must build the new in the shell of the old. That process starts now. We a​re inviting you to be some of the first members of a brand new social club in the Capital District.

Who will use the club?

The answer is simple: anyone who wants to invest in its mission and future. We expect the Club will host gatherings, meetings, lectures, and many late night drinks. The rest is up to your time, desire, and talents.

We need a building and we need to get started now.

We need to raise at least $10,000 initially for the purchase and beginning of the rehabilitation of a place in North Central neighborhood of Troy. We have our eyes on a few buildings and know they need a bit of work before we can begin to organize inside its many walls. The funds will also go towards our incorporation as a non-profit, legal fees, closing costs and building inspection. We also know that the end goal is a place of mutual aid and common ownership. Your initial investment will enable the success of the Club. 

How else can I help? 

Not only are we are looking to initially raise $10,000, but we are starting a membership drive - to create base of sustaining members who will govern and shape the future of the Social Club. If you are interesting in becoming a member and getting involved in laying its foundation, contact us at [email redacted].

In solidarity,

James Connolly
(just kidding, it's Jenn Baumstein, Sean Collins, and Dan Lyles)

Donations

  • Sarah Podber  
    • $20 
    • 20 mos
  • Annie Johnson 
    • $20 
    • 20 mos
  • Colin Donnaruma 
    • $30 
    • 20 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 20 mos
  • melanie beam 
    • $25 
    • 21 mos
See all

Organizer

James Connolly 
Organizer
Troy, NY
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