May 1st, 2008
Last year, a call to decentralized actions in support of squats and autonomous spaces was issued, proposing to join forces in April, 2008, for a few days of direct actions, public demonstrations, building occupations, open celebrations of our struggles and counter-cultures… in a desire to bridge our energies, and use a common determination fighting our local situations.
The initiative was met with enthusiasm: up to 130 people took part in the coordination meeting that was held in Dijon late November, and the call was translated in 18 different languages. Thankfully, it appeared that we were quite many, those feeling that the diminution of “liberated spaces” locally was to be met with international solidarity, and that this struggle was not about isolated spaces, but about a movement without borders, crucial to anticapitalist and anti-authoritarian practices.
Moreover, the april2008 mobilisation has been an occasion to relaunch some “national” intersquat regroupings and gatherings, as in Germany or in the UK. So, yes, we did expect a handful of actions to make this April month special, both for us and for private property. Still, we must admit to be quite amazed at how successful the initiative turned out to be: events and actions were reported in at least 95 cities, scattered over 26 countries; mostly located in Europe, but also across continents, with reports coming from New Zealand or the US, Israel or Russia!
A great diversity of tactics were used, ranging from banner drops to sabotage actions, along with street theatre, exhibitions, food not bombs, parties and discussions. However, the april2008 week-end was predominantly filled with demonstrations, Reclaim The Streets and squatting actions! More than 30 new squats were opened, quite often in cities which lacked a squatted social centre, and/or where antisquat policies had previously made it harsh to occupy empty buildings. While some of them have been evicted already, some are still here fortunately!
While it has been absolutely great to see so many actions coincide and “make squatting a threat again” over a week-end, the most thrilling bit might be yet to come, with the imminent perspective of a european “interspace”, bringing together various squats & autonomous places to push the april2008 dynamic further, to build longer term connexions, hopefully, and shape new perspectives out of our commongrounds. More info on this Berlin late May event on http://interspace.blogsport.de/
Let’s hope that april2008 was nothing but a step in a broader process; it’s up to us all to make it so! This said, greetings and solidarity to everyone who contributed to these action days, proving that yes, indeed:
« We are everywhere! »
from the april2008 crew
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What follows is a summary of actions that took place within the april2008 framework. It is by no way exhaustive, as a number of actions were unfortunately not directly reported to us, and were found by crawling Indymedia networks. No doubt we’ll still learn about stuff that happened in the upcoming days; in any case, you are encouraged to check out the april2008 campaign website – http://april2008.squat.net/ – for more information, updates and translations!
Though they are summed up in a few lines only below, detailed reports, together with photos and/or videos are available for a number of the listed initiatives on the april2008 website. If you were part of an initiative that should be documented more thoroughly, please send your materials to april2008-www AT squat.net to get them published.
Please note that help is needed to translate this summary to as many languages as possible, so that the april2008 initiative gets a chance to inspire non-english speakers too. Please share your language skills by joining the april2008-translation team and its mailing-list:
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Note: the summary can be found on http://april2008.squat.net/summary/
A U S T R I A
- (11th) In Vienna some 300 people took part on a demonstration, afterwards a party started on a squatted area.
- (12th) The wagenburg-party which started after the demonstration on Friday on a squatted area in Vienna was finished on Saturday, 1pm without problems. But afterwards the police stopped and controlled some of the cars when they had left the place.
- (12th) The first Vienna “bim party” was celebrated from 4pm to 7:30pm.
- (12th) A building in Spitalgasse 11 was squatted around 8pm. The results of the negotiations with city authorities and police is that the police will stay away for now and new talks will start on Sunday 1pm. The owner is still unknown. The activists decided to stay and a party started…
- (13th) Early afternoon, police started showing up at Spitalergasse 11 and announced the coming eviction which eventually started at 7.30pm. At 9pm, riot cops made their way through the people, who blocked the way to the building, and started invading the house. It took three more hours to get the 50 squatters out of the house. Some 80 activists organized a noisy protest in front of the police station where one arrested person stayed in custody. After two hours the person was released.
- (11th) Meeting at Suedtiroler Platz for squatting. The goal was to establish the first autonomous center in Graz since the 80s, working title: “Projekt A-Z”. In the evening, a building in Annenstrasse 3 was squatted.
- (12th) The Project A-Z in Annenstraße 3 was still squatted. Some workshops and a party were organized.
- (13th) Several workshops and concerts took place at the Project A-Z
- (14th) A discussion with the squatters, representatives of the city council and the owner of the building, the housing corporation BeWo took place. There was a proposal to postpone the eviction if the squatters took over the operating costs of the house. The proposal was discussed in an internal plenum later in the evening.
- (15th) The squatters announced that they accept the proposal of the housing corporation to use the house for 30 days as an autonomous center. But it was also made clear that there is no perspective in using the house only temporary and to look for a new space afterwards.
- (18th) Promises made earlier by the owner were broken and the Project A-Z was evicted in the evening. It took almost two hours to remove everybody from the house but nobody was arrested.
- (11-12th) The second day of the squat action days, Saturday, April 12, 2008 started in Linz with the opening of the squat “Louise” at the Kaisergasse 17.
- (13th) The squat was left…
- (11th) A demonstration for autonomous spaces took place in the afternoon with about 250 people.
- (11th) After the demonstration, the station of the old Hungerbahn was squatted. The police discovered the squat relatively late which gave between 100 and 150 persons the chance to gather in the squat.
- (12th) A meeting with a representative of the city council took place in the early morning at 2am. The discussion was relatively one sided and the only proposals made by the city were: leaving at 12 o’clock on the same day or eviction.
- (12th) After longer discussions between the activists and city officials, the squatters left the building at around 4pm. There were no controls. The future plan of the city for building is demolition.
- (11th) An open air concert at the building site Nonntal Unipark took place and there was a reading in the bus.
- (12th) A manifestation for a social center was organized at the Max-Reinhard-Platz in the afternoon and lasted until 8pm in the evening.
B E L A R U S
- (11th) An open air party took place in a park in the center of Minsk, where an exhibition on houses was displayed and a zine was distributed. Later there was a discussion on squats, followed by FnB distribution, samba band gig, independent theater performance and capoeira wrestling and drumming. The event was attended by about 100 guests.
- (12th) An open film night took place in a local university, with some 50 people, who watched movies on Rozbrat in Poznan and Zanon Ceramics. Discussion on squatting in London followed.
B U L G A R I A
- (12th) Free movie screening and discussion on the topics of squatting and precarity. Few people attended. It is to be noted that the action days took place a week after the heavily repressed anti-NATO protests in Romania.
C A T A L U N Y A
- (11th) Banner dropping in the city. Banners were mounted at 12 recently evicted squats.
- (12th) Around 200 people gathered in Plaza de la Virreina, Gracia, Barcelona at 7pm to walk through the neighborhood – putting flyers on details of up-coming events in the city (events against speculation, solidarity with the bus drivers strike etc.) and making pro-squat and anti-police graffiti.
- (12th) The demo arrived at Ronda General Mitre 9 (in the Plaza Lesseps) at 8pm and people succeeded in entering the long-empty building in good old-skool punk style! The new squat was then secured while people outside handed out flyers to those passing by, explaining the social, political and economic reasons for occupying the building. The new social center is called the Ateneo Mayo ‘37.
- (13th) Reclaim the Streets party and street theater
Vilanova i la Geltrú
- (11th) The L’Assemblea de Joves de Vilanova i la Geltrú squatted an abandoned building in order to transform it into a youth center.
C Z E C H R E P U B L I C
- (12th) In Prague, a Reclaim the Streets party has been organized. 400 people – some in masks, with sound systems, cheerleaders – gathered for a short march, two banners were dropped on the way. A squatekk took place in the evening – a party in an occupied house. An expo on evicted places and previous squatting actions was displayed.
- (12th) Ropice, a place squatted few weeks before April2008, organized a first gig, with photos, free shop, benefit materials.
The concert was ended by police intervention.
D E N M A R K
- (10th-11th) The citizen group – Citizens against privatization of public property – put FOR SALE signs on the facade of public buildings the night between Thursday and Friday. Libraries, educational facilities are, among others, endangered of being privatized in the Copenhagen of the future.
- (11th) The days started with a previously announced bicycle-demonstration in the streets of Copenhagen from the district of Nørrebro to Østerbro. Along with slogans such as; “Cars out of Copenhagen now!” and “CAR’ism is equal to industry and oil-wars” (it sounds better in Danish). The promise of a “Grand Surprise” at the end, made more than 300 show up, even though it was still early Friday.
- (11th) There was a deluxe vegan kitchen in “Folkets Hus” (the peoples house) under the theme ‘Everybody has a right for good food’. Afterwards followed by a screening of different political movies.
- (11th) When many lovely bikers pulled up near a compound which have been empty for more than 5 years, a bunch of activists unrevealed a small urban park they had been creating. The compound was surrounded by a fence and the park had been non-visible from the street, because of huge sheets covering it. When they were pulled of, the activists received the ovations of the crowd. The garden is supposed to be open for everybody and is run autonomously by the collective.
- (11th-12th) Friday evening the fun continued. After an extensive text message mobilization, an empty building, in another part of Copenhagen called ‘Amager’, suddenly was filled to the bursting point with several hundred partying people. In Denmark these parties are referred to as “Pirat-Parties”, which are basically a non-profit party in a one night squat – and therefore illegal. The party was well planned and different pieces of art, graffiti and of course a soundsystem was put up. The party kicked off at 23:00 with Slum’n’bass, hard break beat and revolutionary Hip-hop. From 1am on, the cops began making individual arrest and dogs were released on those who resisted. The cops were now extremely aggressive and brutal. Some people were bidden, others were beaten.
- (12th) In a part of Copenhagen called ‘Valby’, an old Café was squatted by “papersquatters”.
- (12th) In the suburban area ‘Vanløse’, a house was squatted for several hours. The action was dedicated to an independent and free Tibet.
- (12th) In a part of Copenhagen called ‘Amager’, a group called RAK (Revolutionary Anarchists in Copenhagen) squatted a house in order to create a new autonomous free space. Unfortunately the danish police were on spot as ever and surrounded the house. After a couple of hours trying to clear the streets the police left the scene. The house then again stood unused and empty. In total 10 people were arrested.
- (12th) Saturday evening another massive text message chain went around and invited people to come to a gigantic “reclaim the streets” party in the inner city of Copenhagen where around 500 people reclaimed a small street for three hours until the party was closed down by police.
- (12th) Several hundred participants moved from the reclaimed street to the streets with more traffic. Suddenly a spontaneous demo was formed, about one hundred people took the streets and walked though the city night. It was decided to walk all the way to the symbolic “Ground69″, where the now demolished “Ungdomshuset” was located.
- (12th) The legalized squat Bumzen had arranged a small afterparty for the actiondays. The mood here was chilled out, relaxed and above all a relief satisfied with a very successull and active weekend.
- (12th) In the city of ‘Svendborg’ a house was squatted and the cops had to break a wall down before they managed to get inside.
- (12th) Bannerdropping were made in the city of Næstved saying that they also needed an autonomous free space in their local area.
E N G L A N D
- Early April, a new squat was opened in London with it’s launch to coincide with the Europe-wide days of action in defense of free spaces and series of events took place in autonomous spaces around London.
- (11th) The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with a social meeting and info night with films and cafe at threatened rampART social center. There were also acoustic bands and performances at the nearby squatted NO:ID gallery.
- (12th) The newly opened social center opened it’s doors with an art-exhibition and films plus badly organized workshops and discussions. The space also hosted a free shop and very popular squatters estate agency with a display showing a number of empty properties around London along with details about their location, history and suitability for squatting. Available properties ranged for abandoned houses and flats, to pubs, shops and even government buildings. People could add details of other buildings or put down their contact details to meet up with others to go open buildings.
- (12th) Also on Saturday there was a demo at a homeless hostel and several hundred people partied at benefit gig for the Advisory Service for Squatters that took place at the Hackney Social Center (also threatened with eviction that month). Another benefit took place at the soon to be evicted Wominspace.
- The Old County Hall occupied as part of the international days of action. The Council sold it off in 2000 and it has remained empty for years. During the weekend people put this marvellous and significant building back into good use. Leeds
- In Leeds a closed down council housing advice center was squatted and reopened. Ironically the council had left a sign reading “The Housing Advice Center Is Changing.” and it certainly has – giving out advice on squatting, autonomous spaces, alternative housing advice and anti-gentrification info. A report said, “It was the most open squat i’ve ever seen – having the doors wide open on a busy Saturday right in the middle of the city center… Loads of people coming in for advice on squatting, to read some of the info, watch a film or just sit and drink tea.”
- Also in Leeds offices of Angel Group were attacked – slogans painted, and locks glued. 12 company vehicles damaged with paint stripper, spray paint, and had their tyres slashed. The group make their money by providing poor quality housing for asylum seekers, profitting from vulnerable people and racist asylum laws. This company were targetted as part of the days of action in support of squats and autonomous spaces because housing is a right, not a means to make profit.
- A vacant city center building, the Little Theatre in Colston Street, was occupied by homeless Bristolians as part of a co-ordinated day of action round the world.
- A temporary autonomous zone was established in Digbeth, Brimingham and became the venue of three days of workshops, talks and discussion on diverse themes: from the struggles of the indigenous peoples of Mexico, to the Disability Rights Movement in the UK; from 12v power workshops, to ’seed bombs’ and guerilla gardening; from public sector workplace organizing, to bicycle repair. Hot food was served each day with music in the evening and spontaeous sculpture and painting popping up around the building throughout.
- Manchester Space Invaders were really busy, months ago using the Archways squat as a hub for plotting towards the days of action intending to use it as the central venue but it was evicted before the weekend. Instead a spacious new squat in Hulme became the venue used for the weekend and Jackson’s Wharf pub was also squatted by a hundred people after a ‘free spaces’ protest in the city center on Saturday. It was turned into a drinking den again for a couple of hours but then abandoned. The big finale was supposed to be the large warehouse party in Ancoats but while 500 people made it in before 1am a large-scale police operation prevented 300 more from entering and the whole thing was shut down by 2am.
- A community garden was reopened, many people came through during the day, local neighbors expressed their support, there was a barbeque and a concert.
F I N L A N D
- (11th) In Helsinki around 150 people demonstrated for free spaces, and headed to house squatted on Sunday in Töölö district.
- (12th) GhettoExperience08 a two day seminar with discussions from city space and feminism to nuclear power, internet piracy and planning of future actions was announced.
- (12th) 250 people gathered for a Street Party in Tampere and squatted an old wooden house. In the evening, there was a house meeting and a party.
- (13th) House meeting and movies.
- (11th) Jokikatu, a new social center was squatted and a Free Culture Festival was held during the weekend. There was a puppet theatre, punk concerts, painting, writing workshops, movie screening and cooking. The city agreed to let the collective use the house.
F R A N C E
- (11th) In Dijon, France, a group of some 80 people gathered in front of the Préfecture (local representation of the state), blocked the road with banners (”Solidarity with illegal immigrants” & “Free Ivan & Bruno now!”) and filled the street with smoke-bombs, in solidarity with two activists, Ivan & Bruno, who are waiting for their trial in jail, accused of “terrorism” after being caught with smoke-bombs, on their way to an illegal immigrants’ solidarity march. After an hour of successful road-blockade and chanting slogans, demonstrators left. The police stood near throughout the action with a few vans, but didn’t make any move.
- (12th) A temporary autonomous zone was set in the city center at 2pm, with a free zone, an infoshop with tons of leaflets and fanzines, music, vegan food, a billboard subversion workshop, and a photo exhibition on squats and social movements. A hundred people gathered to demonstrate in the streets, carrying banners against the eviction of the Mat-Noir squat, and in defense of autonomous spaces around the globe. Smoke-bombs were lit as pro-squat graffitis were being sprayed, slogans were being chanted, posters were being glued and advertisements were being sabotaged. The demonstration ended with the re-squatting of the Toboggan, a former squat that was evicted by the city council a year ago, and left empty since then.
- (12th-13th) Re-squatting: as some people had climbed up the roof, the police couldn’t do much. The garden was invaded and the walled doors collectively destroyed with sledgehammers to open the way. This action was aimed at show publicly the lies of the city council representatives, who had claimed a year ago urgent projects on the house and are now using the same kind of lies on a newly opened political squat “le Mât Noir”. On Saturday and Sunday, gigs, DIY pizzas and movies were proposed inside the “Toboggan 2″ and its great sunny garden. On Sunday evening a group of people from Dijon and other towns decided to stay in the house to live in and to organize regular activities. Le Toboggan and le Mât Noir are presently threatened with eviction and are calling for people to join them to build a collective resistance on both places.
- In Romans an action was organized by a group of people from “Le Mouton”, a squat evicted a year ago and then retaken, more or less in agreement with the owner. People from Le Mouton, infamous for their massive “eat as much as you can-pizza parties”, organized a “Fondue Belge” : they cooked a big pot of mashed potatoes on one side, tons of french fries on the other, masked themselves with balaclavas and ate the fries covered with mashed potatoes as in the traditional cheese fondue.
- (13th) Around 40 people occupied a piece of land in the village of La Borie, to create a potato field and a collective garden. After a day of work, the ground was ready to be used and people decided to meet weekly for gardening sessions. Let’s also say, even if this second event didn’t coincide on purpose with April2008, that on Friday the 11th, a public demonstration was organized at the front Florac’s justice court for the Trial of the Squat Del’ Pronc, a farm occupied by peasants since April 2007 with various agricultural and artisanal activities aiming at material autonomy, but also public events, debates and screenings. That morning around 50 people invaded the justice court and created so much noise that they made it impossible for the judge to fulfill his duty. In the end, he had to report the trial for the next month. Outside the court, some clowns then proposed a satirical trial, before a noise demonstration leading to the door of the State office.
- (13th) Some squatters called for a block party at the front of an evicted squat “Le Kawa”. In 2007, Le Kawa had been used during a few months as a house, but also as a daily open internet center, cafe, cine-club and free shop used by people from the neighbourhood, activists and migrants. On Sunday the 13th around 60 people gathered to share food and talks at the front of the still empty squat on the roof which two banners, one saying “We are everywhere” had been hanged from. The debates focused on the issue of the solidarity with Roma people and projects of new squats openings. Indeed, 72 Roms, including a lot of young kids had been evicted from a squatted building two weeks before, after a small fire. The various families had therefore been welcomed temporarily in various political squats in Villeurbanne, which increased the police and institutional pressure on some of these spaces. Linked or not, one of them “Le Boulon”, opened three years ago, was simultaneously threatened with trial and eviction. In the weeks before and after April2008, a few new squats have been opened to rehouse the Roma people.
- (13th) On Sunday the 13th, a night street party was organized, with music and discussions about free spaces and to reclaim the public space, through the (re)-occupation of Candolle plaza, place used by all kind of young, precarious, homeless or rebellious people to gather, create and party. It became a symbolic place for the fight against the gentrification of the city during the winter 2007, as Montpellier’s city council decided to forbid gatherings there and to install a camera. During months there were regular fights with the police, barricades established and illegal parties to keep the place.
- In Toulouse, people have been opening a huge squat, the “Brasil”, 9000 square meters in an old factory called MAP, in the middle of a business area. Activities have started there. They also organized a free zone in the town center.
- A new squat, La Chienlit, was opened during the action days, and it is ready to house new projects, e.g. a free shop, infoshop, workshops, concerts, exhibitions and other activities. They want to work on self-sufficient alternatives for electricity, rain water collecting and grow their own food. The activists were intimidated by the police, who came more than three times, one squatter was injured.
- Squatters from St-Etienne decided to contribute to the action days by broadcasting a radio program about the history and current situation of the squatting movement in their city, covering squats such as “Izmir” and “Rochetaillée”, as well as “La Poulaille” and “Le Frigo”, mostly through interviews. It can be downloaded from http://punkerzz.free.fr/numero_zero/
G E R M A N Y
- (4th and 5th) Small autonomous camp in the municipal park with the motto ,,Freiraum Manie Fest” on the 4th and 5th of April. It was an experiment to show that this kind of camp can be done between police stations and Public Order Office.
- (4th) The weekend kicked off on Friday with an info-presentation about gentrification in St.Pauli and surrounding quarters. About 300 people of all ages and and backgrounds came to listen about the consequences of and the resistance against gentrification.
- (5th) A street party with free food, concerts and informations about “how to squat St.Pauli and Wilhelmsburg” took place at the Hafenstrasse on Saturday. Later on, a punk rave joined the party and and in the evening, a crowd with a mobile soundsystem moved spontaneously to a nearby quarter and made noise between noble hotels and multistory buildings until the police came.
- (12th) Students mounted a banner on the west-wing of the main building at the University in Hamburg to declare solidarity and oncoming actions against closing of the self-organized “Philosophen Café”.
- (12th) The group “for an autonomous youth center” spread flyer with the demand for a youth center in the district of Hamburg-Altona. Flyers were distributed to almost all corners of Altona.
- (10th)The actions dayz started with pizza at the trailer park “der Schattenparker”
- (11th) VoKü and screening of “Freiburg – Polizeiburg” and a benefit concert for the action day afterwards.
- (12th) A Bike-Freespace-Rally ( Reclaim Freiburg 2) started with 15 people at about 1pm. After three hours of decentralized actions and putting up banners on empty houses, about 100 made a spontaneous demonstration through the city center to block the main square “just as if”. After speeches about the Action Days and local shit-politix, the crowd went further on, towards the Augustinerplatz. There, a new street party happened and the different groups could play the LPs they where carrying throughout the rally. They all won a dance, to different styles of music…
- (13th) On Sunday, people organized an open Day in KTS with lots of Workshops (Samba, Screen-printing, Dancing, Filming, Technix…), Infos, Films…
- (march) The Køpi gained an extension of their rental agreement for 30 more years. The cancellation of the old contracts has been withdrawn. However, the situation of the trailer park is still unclear due to non existence of a long-term contract and other projects such as Der Schwarze Kanal, Rigaer 94, XB-Liebig and Liebig 14 are still under threat.
- (8th) Several militant actions took place in this night to protest against the “valorization-process” of the neighbourhood: color beautification and window smashing at estate agency “Prenzlauer Gärten Immobilien”,”German Architectural Center” and at a Sparkasse Bank and several luxury cars have been burned down. A big event for publicizing the Media Spree project (revaluation of the area around the river between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, where many luxury complexes and offices of important companies have/are being built) was cancelled after the various direct actions in “fear of possible tumult” (as the organizers said in their press release).
- (11th) Pirate radio “squatted” the airwaves at 95.2 FM, broadcasting local information and international streams.
- (11th) 30 people protested towards the home of the caretaker of the Rigaerstrasse 94 building, Olive Rohn, beautifying his house and garden.
- (11th) In the night activists dropped a banner at a house in Neukölln to show their will to prevent the neighborhood from becoming another yuppie area.
- (11th) In the night a construction-machine went up in flames in the Dresdenerstr., Kreuzberg. It was involved in the building of luxury apartments.
- (12th) A street party was hold at Rigaer/Liebig. The crossing was occupied for several hours in support to threatened housing projects.
- (12th) A Spontaneous radical bike ride cycled around the Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg, and blocked for some time 6 main junctions and distributing leaflets. Flyer were distributed to watching people to inform them about the action days and the “we stay all” campaign of several housing projects in Berlin. About 15 cyclists made a spontaneous demonstration at the Danziger Strasse.
- (12th) The clowns army gave their two cents and soap bubbles and created a mobile free space. The space, which was surrounded by a yellow barrier band with the label “Attention Free Space”, moved to a park of the nearby threatened free shop. The clowns “freed” everything which narrow freedom in their opinion, like cars, trams and exhaust emissions
- (12th) Free-spaces-bicycle-rally through the city with different stations, where participants made the surveillance-cameras visible, painted banners, cross-dressing into a big store and more.
- (12th) A critical mass with about 40 participants and one mobile soundsystem moved through the inner city to the ,,Reclaim the Streets”-Party which started at the Rudolfplatz at 6pm. The party started with 70 people and grew to around 1000(!) which totally turned the city into a party zone for six hours. Various small actions took place in the streets and the atmosphere was great.
- (12th) A demonstration & Concert was supposed to be organized for a new autonomous youth center and band rehearsal rooms.
- (10th) Misleading leaflets about a street party confused the police and allowed 150 people to demonstrate in the city. Stopped by the police for a sec but continued strongly.
- (11th) There was a nice and powerful demonstration for free spaces and a new autonomous center with over 150 persons and 4 clowns in spite of a lot of rain. The demo moved through the city and ended at the Cafe Gegendruck where a peoples kitchen was organized.
- (13th) A group of 25 to 30 persons hold a Picknick at the Bismarkplatz. Later on, everybody move to the radio ballet which was transmitted by free radio Bermudafunk.
- (11th) At 4pm, about 40 persons gathered for an alternative sightseeing tour which passed by at current and past self-organized housing projects.
- (11th) At 10pm, a reclaim the streets party started with 100-120 people. The party moved to various spots in the city and ended at the cities market place. At this time, about 150 people had a nice time on the streets with soundsystem and fireworks.
- (12th) Breakfast, discussions and a film screening took place at place of the trailer park which will hopefully move soon to a fixed location.
- (11th) Banners were dropped on empty houses in Neustadt, Cotta and the Hechtviertel. Some of them survived the heavy wind on Friday and could be seen for a couple of days.
- (12th) A demonstration with around 300 people and soundsystems moved through the city center and blocked the traffic. After 4 hours, the demonstration ended in the Hechtviertel and there was also a radio ballet for free spaces.
- (12th) 26 cyclists met at 2 o’clock in the afternoon for a critical mass to the street party at the harbor. Nonstop bell ringing accompanied the critical mass until their destination. Over 200 people came to the street party at the harbor to pinpoint the gentrification process that takes place in the neighborhood. The party lasted only until 7 o’clock in the evening due to heavy obligations of the city council. Until then, a flea market and several workshops were organized, a samba band played, people made speeches and good food was served.
- (12th) A Radio Ballet with 60 people took place in the commercial center of the city.
- (10th) A banner that says “fighting for autonomous spaces coz the city is ours” was mounted at the former self-organized center “Komm”.
- (11th) The “Reclaim the Underground-Metro-Party” took place with 40 persons, carpets where put on the ground and hammocks in the air. The crowd drove through the city for about three hours.
- (11th) A party-crowd moved through the cities of Castrop Rauxel, Recklinghausen and Dortmund. Street theater was staged various times and flyer with the title “The Capitalism and You” were distributed to pedestrians.
- (11th) About 30 people organized a spontaneous barbecue in front of a house in the Alten Salzstraße, which people fight to open as a new autonomous youth center.
- (12th) A demonstration for a new autonomous youth center went through Leipzig Grünau. About 300 people participated and moved to the place where the future AJZ may reside. There, the demonstration turned into a street party with soundsystem, food and informations about the necessity of a new AJZ. The police was afraid that the house could be squatted and secured all entries of the building but eventually moved away as the demonstration and street party were officially announced in advance.
- (11th) About 50 people gathered for a spontaneous ,,Reclaim Your City” Party in the main station in Erlangen. It was decided to relocate the street party into the main station due to heavy rain. Banners were mounted, info material was distributed to pedestrians and the station and air was further beautified with balloons, streamers and music. Later, after the police closed the party, a crowd of 20 people moved further through the rain to reclaim public spaces.
- (11th) Some people occupied the children’s playground sitting on lawn chairs. Police checked participants’ IDs and a radio ballet took place afterwards at the Uniplatz.
- (12th) About 100 activists built up a living room including sofas and a table soccer in the middle of the cities market place.
- (12th) Monsterwalk through the city and street party with music, theater and information about the squatting days on Saturday with around 100 participants.
- (12th) People mounted the “squatter” banner at the Daimler Tower and at the same time, about 20 people occupied the Königsstrasse and build up a living room.
- (12th) About 200 people gathered spontaneously at the Friedensplatz as a kickoff for the “campaign for a autonomous center”. The party lasted about three hours until one o’clock in the morning.
- (12th) Further on, different small and creative actions such as playing in front of surveillance-cameras, water-battles and theater about police violence in the city, a walk in the city to make it nicer and a bicycle-flash-mob took place.
- (in the night of the 12th) There was a “Dance into the freespace”-Party with around 100 persons in a temporary squatted empty villa. The house was beautified with banners and graffiti. A chillout lounge, a bar and peoples kitchen were arranged and the basement was turned into a dancefloor. Later in the evening, the police came but left soon after they made sure that nobody could stay in the building which was actually a large deposit for all kind of waste. Even the neighbors were interested and joined the party in the eveneing.
- (12th) The office of the German political party “Die Linke” was beautified with graffiti.
- (12th) In the afternoon, a critical mass with about 20 people and two big banners slowed down the traffic in the streets, which was watched by interested pedestrians and doomed by the car drivers.
- (12th) Later in the evening, two fake occupations took place where banners were mounted to remember the city about the many houses which are empty and unused.
- (12th) About 50 activists transformed the pedestrian zone in the city center into a nice living room with “telepathic” writing garage, peoples kitchen, street artists, a video tower which showed contributions extra produced for this day, a rapper and a samba band. A public manifestation took place before.
- (12th) Spontaneous demo requesting the creation of free and autonomous spaces. “Dominique” anti-repression demo at the Freitreppen, with 200 people.
- (19th) The “Move Ya” demonstration with about 300 participants occupied the streets of Dortmund-North. There was also a public kitchen. The “AK Freiraum” group initiated a temporary occupation later in the evening at an abandoned railway building where a pirate party with 100 people took place.
- (17th) Eviction of silent occupation. The house was silently squated at the 11th April. The squatting action was meant to create a free space for a anti-racist-sexists-fascist and self-determined living for the youth in a city insensible to existing fascist nazi structures and with little interest in left-wing antifascist politix.
G R E E C E
- (11th-13th) Lelas Karayanni 37 celebrated its 20 years birthday. A festival was held from 11th to 13th April with theater plays, a concert, movies and discussion.
- Events in squat Prapopoulou were canceled due to a severe arson.
- (11th-13th) Days of public activities, including a bike ride, a demonstration, film screenings, concerts, and discussions.
- (11th-12th) Radio coverage of the april2008 events and discussions about the squat movement by the autonomous pirate radio 1431AM.
T H E N E T H E R L A N D S
- (5th) A demonstration in support of autonomous spaces and squats took place in Amsterdam, announcing the April2008 action days. Some 200 people took part, together with sound-systems, street theatre, and speeches.
- (11th) On April the 11th the Tekenschool (part of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) was squatted by the April 2008 Coordination Group. The building was used for socials and workshops, hacklab and as a base for Indymedia NL. It was also the meet-up points for the Reclaim the Streets action.
- (11th) The Blijvertje in the Oosterpark neighborhood organized a neighborhood street lunch.
- (12th) In Amsterdam there was a Reclaim the Streets party with some 300 people. The atmosphere was great, not much trouble except one arrest. After 4 hours it arrived back at the Rijksmuseum, standing in the little street in front of the building, listening to bands and speeches.
- (12th) The recently squated Art-Galerie Schijnheilig hold an open day and people reclaimed free spaces with drawings on the streets.
- (13th) More workshops took place in the Rijksmuseum and the building was left in the evening.
- (14th) A demonstration under the moto “Slim Blijven”took place at the neighborhood office for the preservation of the Blijvertje and against the demolition of social housing apartments.
- (11th) During the days of action, the old postal building (TPG Gebouw) on the station square was squatted. A free shop, space for initiatives shall be provided and living space shall be created there.
- (23th) Vrijplaats “de Lastpost” (old TPG building) continues at least until 7th of may. Then there is a hearing at the court.
- (12th) In Rotterdam a bicycle tour showed that squatting is a part of the culture of a city. People cycled through the areas of ‘het oude noorden’ (the old north), ‘crooswijk’, ‘kralingen’, Center and ‘kop van zuid’ (head of south) and in almost every street they passed a squat, an ex squat or a hole where first a squat was.
Teuge & Deventer
- (12th and 13th) An open weekend was organized at the former Q8 terrain in Deventer. The weekend was used to inform about alternative ecologic living.
- (12th) Several squats and ex-squats opened their doors for information distribution, workshops and movie screenings. People could visit the Tivoli, a well known mainstream concert venue which started as a squat, the Ubica, one of Utrecht’s oldest squats, the ACU, a legalised cultural center and the Flying Puppy.
- (13th) A part of the new building complex “Dichtershof” was squatted by the group “Pand X”. The building will be used, among others, for a free shop and will provide free internet work places.
H U N G A R Y
- A house was occupied in Budapest, but the collective was very small and didn’t manage to keep the house. A banner was dropped out of the window, it said: Autonomous Space for Budapest!
I R E L A N D
- The Seomra Spraoi collective organized a weekend-long gathering in Dublin to discuss and inform about practical issues associated to running a social center, viewing social centers as a political project and how to further develop social centers in Ireland in the future.
- (11th) On Friday, the weekend was supposed to kick off with presentations of various social centers in Europe, a peoples kitchen and movie screenings with thematic cinema.
- (12th) Three discussion session were supposed to be held to exchange informations and experience in creating social centers and their meanings in different contexts.
- (13th) A fun and kid friendly picnic marking the privatisation of public space.
I S R A E L
- (11th) In Jerusalem, a banner was hanged over a massive bridge being constructed in the entrance of the city, saying “Free Space for Free People!”. Later that day, a street party took place inside a pedestrian tunnel in a park. Party was joined by radical activists from Tel Aviv.
I T A L Y
- (12th-13th) Seeds of resistance sewing was announced with two days wandering in search of green urban spaces against concrete.
- (12th) The birthday party of Al Confino squat, 8 years of self-employment and in full freedom.
- (13th) Initiative against election in the street, solidarity with occupations.
- (12th) At 15.00, an abandoned building in Milano was squatted for a temporary autonomous zone. The initiative was made to denounce the lack of space of aggregation in Milan. In particular, as students, people also denounced the lack of living spaces and prohibitive prices of the houses. Writing, techno and d’n’b party.
- (13th) Breakfast and an assembly were organized.
- (11th-12th) A free party open to all performers, artists, and free people was announced. And a squatting action was planned. Dell’Ateneo Squat was to celebrate its birthday with concerts and initiatives. A week against elections with posters in solidarity with the occupation.
- (12th) On the pre-election-day to renew the national government, a block of squatters, masked as politicians, brought 400 pounds of concrete wall and brix ruins of a former evicted squat in the front of the entrance of the Turin city hall. During the action some flyers were distributed, and a flag saying: “Chi vota paga e i danni sono suoi” (The more you vote, the more you pay-and the ruins are yours) was attached. The group got back quietly and no one was stopped.
L I T H U A N I A
- (11th) An occupied summerhouse had a photo exhibition, with free tea and sweets, discussion and spontaneous stencil workshop.
- (12th) A temporary autonomous zone was created in an open air space. Infoshop distributed zines, a library with alternative books was established, there were speeches, FnB, performances and a concert.
- (13th) Movie night was held in XI20 diy space.
- (11th) A demonstration was organized through the city along several empty buildings. See more a the photo-reportage.
- (12th) A street-squat concert was organized. See more a the photo-reportage.
- (11th) The youth center “Vartai” opened the photo exhibition “squats/autonomous spaces/culture of resistance”. One could also join interactive discussion, taste tea and sweets. In the evening, streets are becoming play yards with fire jugglers, music and games.
- (12th) Film screenings were hold in “Vartai”.
N E W Z E A L A N D
- (12th) A Reclaim the Streets party took place in Wellington, after a protest against the Labour Party conference, around 30 people marched through town to Upper Abel Smith Street where a group of people was already setting up for the street party, outside 128 Abel Smith Street, a radical social center, raided 6 months ago. Banners and flags were put on the center. The police showed up very early and the fire brigade came to deal with one of the fires. Noise control found the party to be a problem and some stuff got confiscated. But the party was a big success, with DJs, bands, belly dancers and many people!
N O R W A Y
- (12th) An anti-gay demonstration was interrupted with noise, dance and love. Later a Reclaim the Streets party was held in front of the city hall with barbeque, beer and music. A new Opera-house was opened, and concerts were organized in the the squat Brakkebygrenda, that is under threat of eviction.
P O L A N D —————-
- (19th) A week after the international days of action in defense of squats and autonomous spaces, a demo under the same slogans took place in Poznan, Poland. At the Old Market Square there were samba drummers, Food not Bombs, fireshow, tallbike wars, speeches about squats and autonomous spaces, soundsystem and screening of videos from European squats’ evictions & slideshow about Rozbrat and squatting in general.
P O R T U G A L
- (11th) People hold a dinner to discuss the actions for the weekend and a banner with the slogan “We are here to say that the occupation and liberation of spaces will be one of the principal strategies in the fight for an equitable world” was mounted soon in the evening at the CasaViva as kick off in the action weekend.
- (11th) The zine Fankupa was published and distributed over the weekend.
- (12th) The day started with drawings on the street to create a bicycle parking space for the University Journal in front of their doors. The city council refused to give permission for a legal parking space, thus people did it by themselves.
- (12th) Later on, the public park “Jardim das Virtudes” which was abandonded and closed for the public, was taken back and new paintings has been made.
- (12th) A film screening took place in the evening to inform the people about the recent fight of CasaViva for the preservation of the public market of Bolhão.
- (13th) Breakfast was held in another closed area of the park “Jardim do Marquês”. This space was transformed into a living room with sofas, book, games, cancas, etc, in the course of the day. People that past by by incident were surprised but understood the reason of the protest.
- (13th) A conversation and plenum was supposed to be held with the movement of homeless people, o MASA, which are staying at the “Praca de Lisboa” but due to missunderstandings, the meeting had to be postponed.
- (13th) The banner that was mounted on Friday was finally removed.
R U S S I A
- A movie program and a discussion were held in Moscow. A Robert Hack and Jakob Proyer independent documentary on squatting “Table, Bed, Chair” was shown. Then the participants gave one another the benefit of their squatting experience and told of previously existing squats in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. The current state of things as well as the possibility to organize a legitimate social center in Moscow were also talked over.
S P A N I S H S T A T E
- (12th) Discussions were organized with topics on society, direct action and occupations, and there were other activities as cooking, thaibox and jiu-jitsu shows, movie on La Traba center and fiesta in the night.
- (13th) Debate forum took place in La Traba, topics: The struggle and the change of the meaning of social centers and social centers as places of debate, reflection, counterculture, self organization, anti-fascism, anti-patriarchy and anti-capitalistic political actions in general.
S W E D E N
- (12th) An abandonned floating restaurant was squatted by 50 pirates for 24 hours. Banner was hanged out and three floors above the sea level were cleaned up, different rooms/spaces were established. Cooking, soccer and fun on the roof.
- (11th) Tullkammaren, a house in the city center was squatted as a protest against the normalization processes in Sweden and elsewhere. Barricades were built and banners displayed, the action held by some 30 activists. A press release was sent out, later, police, journalists and supporters arrived, but this was a temporary occupation, people left around 11pm, four of them were subject to identification. Situation about possible charges in the future is unclear.
S W I T Z E R L A N D
- (12th) Two banners were dropped at a busy street and a fake occupation took place at an empty house.
- (11th) An empty house was squatted at the Vogesenstrasse 100 in the morning. An info-cafe was supposed to be opened but the police arrived quickly and evicted the place 2 hours later. 15 people got arrested and may get sued by the owner of the building.
- (12th) A massive free festival with 800 to 1000 people took place in the basement of the old Unions Printing Press. The festival was organized by “Aktion Freiraum”.
- (11th) The group “Aktion Hausgeist” organized a free party to call attention for the need of an autonomous center in Thun. The party took place in a former shelter for asylum seekers close to the central station. Banners were mounted, the atmosphere was good but the represantive of the city coucil, who arrive later, didnt understand the purpose of this action and forced the people to leave earlier as planned.
- (11th) A peoples kitchen was organized at the Waisenhausplatz in the afternoon. Esse wer wolle…
- (12th) An unannounced bicylcle demonstration with 40 participants and nice fireworxs was distorted by the cops who used pepper spray and beat the activists from the streets.
- Eight banners were mounted in the city as a response of the prohibition of a free festival which should have taken place on the 4th of April. The festival took place in the city of Wöschnau instead.
- (4th) The free festival which was supposed to take place in Aarau but has been prohibited there, just moved on to Wöschnau where 80 people celebrated with punx bands from Austria and Germany.
T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S
- (13th) Baltimore Anarchists created an autonomous space under a parachute.