Cities are the location of economical constraints and repressive policies all over the world. But at the same time they are contested areas characterised by the fight for self-determination and participation. Presently, we are experiencing crises, social protests and new movements. In order to multiply these conflict lines on the city’s terrain, a day of action against capitalist urban development and gentrification is going to take place. The action day is to create an event which has its place wherever you are fighting and living and relating to squatted projects like Rote Flora in solidarity.
Defend Rote Flora!
A squatted autonomous centre, the Rote Flora in Hamburg has been the point of origin of political intervention and a meeting place for political groups as well as a non-commercial location for parties, events and self-help for more than 20 years. Currently, the project is once again threatened by sale and eviction due to the formal owner’s announcement to sell the property profitably. In consideration of a possible eviction scenario, we intend to develop resistance at all levels beforehand.
In order to defend Rote Flora, we are not relying on negotiations, agreements or so-called participation models. The focus of current and prospective conflicts is on the project’s disagreeability: We aim at the empowerment of the Flora as a politically disturbing factor which is intervening proactively in recent social conflicts and crossing the ?business as usual? of capitalist urban development. In recent months, solidarity events, various actions and an inter-regional demonstration mobilising more than 5000 people were taking place. In keeping with the slogan “Do city yourself” the struggle for Rote Flora has been linked to the fight for a right to the city. The focus was on the interconnection of local conflicts in the perspective of a socialisation of the city: A solidarity notion of society which is co-thinking the local and the global and is contrasting the logic of the state and private ownership with self-determined practice.
With its desire for disagreeableness, Rote Flora is part of manifold movements developing in every space where there are people self-organising critically against the apparent inevitability of capitalist constraints.
For the appropriation of life and urban space
In our view, squatted spaces are black holes in the order of ownership: They don’t belong to anyone but to the people using them actively. On the other hand, we are aware of our embeddedness in social power and inequality relations. We are part of an incessant production of goods, values and consumption needs. But exactly this starting point in the midst of given conditions enables us to sabotage those circumstances from within in order to confront oppression and the compulsion to participate with collective processes of subversion and appropriation.
In capitalism, cities, houses, things and ideas are turned into commodities. From our perspective, they are part of the common wealth created by all and consequently all are entitled to them. The objective of appropriation isn’t individual enrichment but expropriation resulting in collective re-distribution, an appropriation of a life beyond norms, constraints and the misery of wage labor. These struggles are taking place in metropolises as well as in peripheries and rural spaces.
A day of theory and practice of social struggle
The international day of action is to be an expression, a point of focus and an interconnection of these local but border-crossing fights. We aim at relating these ubiquitous struggles to each other and visualizing them as a general political conflict in the fabric of capitalist society without standardizing them. On the other hand, local struggles are reinforced by this reference, gain strength and political weight, shift power structures. Consequently, it’s a specific objective of the day of action to convey an impression to ourselves, but as well to potential investors, of the inter-regional and international resistance which will occur in case of e.g. an attack on Rote Flora.
We are calling all to take action everywhere at 17th of December 2011, to pick up local conflicts and to connect your local struggles with the fight for the political project Rote Flora!
In our view, possible links are, among others, the appropriation and defense of self-determined projects and the socialisation of contested spaces, protest against gentrification and neo-liberal privatisation, against repression and displacement of undesirable population groups, against racist police checks and deportation. ? The day of action provides an opening for various forms of intervention. Draw on the experience of social and political movements or think of something else entirely. Make yourselves the point of origin, be artistic and forthright, contemplative and angry, secretive and noisy, unpredictable and resolute!
Sabotage gentrification “defend squatted projects!”
For expropriation of private and appropriation of public assets!
Fight fascism, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and sexism!
Kampagne “Flora bleibt unverträglich”, campaign “Flora remains disagreeable*”
Networking, questions and suggestions:
*disagreeable means both being bad for the system and refusing to enter into any agreement