The Old Market Autonomous Zone (or A-Zone) was founded in 1995. It occupies the three-storey Emma Goldman Building at 91 Albert Street in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District — an area of the city with a deep tradition of class struggle and anti-fascist organizing, going back to the 1919 General Strike, the 1930′s street fights between workers and fascists, not to mention the visits of well-known anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, and Rudolf Rocker.
Early in 2012, the Albert St. Autonomous Zone Co-op (formed in 2010 by the tenants of 91 Albert) purchased the four-level heritage building and is now working to manage and improve the structure and operations.
The simple idea behind the A-Zone has been to get like-minded individuals and organizations, activists, as well as alternative worker-run businesses, together under one roof. In addition to the obvious potential for more effective networking and coordination of activities, this has direct material benefits for all involved, insofar as member groups share costs for collective space and equipment. Equally important, however, the A-Zone seeks to enhance the activist movement by helping to nurture a community of solidarity and resistance, and by recognizing the inter-relatedness of all our struggles.