Gay Lib Newsettes

Hampstead Squat

LONDON: A new squat commune has been formed and is living at 44 Parkhill Road, Hampstead. At present occupied by seven people, there will eventually be fifteen to twenty people living there. They are appealing for help with plumbing, furniture, electrical work, bedding etc.

Come Together

LEEDS: Gay Liberation Front held its first national ‘come together’ for some time, over the weekend February 17th-18th in Leeds.

It was dominated by the Marxist elements, who decided to hold a further conference in Warwick two weeks hence. In addition, the next issue of ‘Come Together’ the GLF paper will be produced by provincial groups who have felt very out of things.

Edinburgh GLF in particular were disgruntled, feeling that no-one realised the difficulties of being gay in Scotland, where the 1967 act doesn’t apply, so it was decided that the next think-in to be held within two months, will take place in Edinburgh.

Gay News caused some heated discussion. While London GLF seemed to dislike the paper and made vague utterances about us holding shares and making money!!! the provincial groups were generally in favour of us. About 40% of the people present at the think-in were women, and they expressed disquiet at the lack of women’s content in the paper, and talked of creating their own publication.

During the latter half of the weekend, the think-in split into small groups, which discussed such subjects as transsexualism, gay marxism, child care and gay country communes.

New Gay Centre

LONDON: The former AgitProp Bookshop at 248 Bethnal Green Road, E2 will re-open on the first of March as “Bethnal Rouge”, run by a collective of gay men from London GLF. They will continue to stock the wide range of books and political literature sold by AgitProp and hope to expand the coverage of literature pertaining to womens’, gay and childrens’ liberation. They hope the shop will develop as a gay centre where homosexual men, women and children, will drop in to talk and have coffee.

A Welcome At Challenge

Dear Gay News,

Re your article in GN8 regarding organisations who turn away lonely gay people when approached for information, because they are not members. We at Challenge agree entirely with your article. Several gays have phoned us having arrived from the provinces or abroad and have asked where they can find gay bars, clubs, and saunas. Also where can they meet other gay people since thev feel very lonely.

We are only too pleased to give them any information available, and gladly do what we can to help. We invite them to some of our Challenge meetings and have found that they they have returned many times. They immediately feel at Challenge that they are amongst friends. We make each visitor feel relaxed and encourage people to get to know each other. We have no time for the starchiness and aloofness one finds in most gay clubs and bars.

Challenge now has three groups in London, meeting in Marble Arch, Ealing and Hampstead. We are non-religious or political, but social and charitable. We arrange informal programmes also from time to time we have socials and parties.

I have enclosed a letter from an American who contacted us while in London. He was extremely lonely until he came to Challenge. I am sure our group would appeal to Philip (your letters, last issue), as we are a non-demonstrative group. We advertise on the back page of Gay News each issue.

Carry on the good work, Gay News and thanks again Denis, for coming along to our Hampstead Group to speak and making it such an enjoyable meeting.

Love and peace,

Sidney

Dear Challenge Members„

Please accept my sincere thanks for doing but one thing: existing. Your mere existence was a reassurance to me as a lonely stranger in London and your friendly concern was a joy. I very much enjoyed attending your meeting and social functions. Thank you. I would like to extend personal thanks to: Hugh, Frank, Sid, and Robin for their kind friendliness.

With my sincerest…

ED: Gay News is in no way affiliated with Challenge, although we wish them every success.