On the Trails of Don Kişot – Our Field Research in Istanbul
By the changing shape of the Istanbul skyline, the rapid growth of production within the city since the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) rose to power in 2002 is easily visible to the city’s inhabitants. Over the past two decades, Istanbul has undergone a neoliberal restructuring process (1). Progressing globalization and digitalization have not only turned the city into a site absorbing surplus value – an epicenter of the accumulation of capital – they have also formed a new urban space in which traditional national spatial arrangements engage with those of the global digital age (2).
As a research group, we were concerned with Istanbul’s economic, cultural and social transformation into a global city over the past 50 years as well as the various effects of this transformation. During our travel to Istanbul from May 23, until May 31, 2014, we conducted field research on squatting in stanbul. The political controversies regarding common usage of urban space in everyday life as well as the political struggles stemming from immense changes of social life culminating in the Gezi Park protest in 2013 were the most obvious links between the projects we visited.
In reference to David Harveys’ “Rebel Cities”, we call people’s occupation of Taksim Square “their right to the city” (3). In our field research, we intended to explore the political intentions of The Don Kişot Sosyal Merkezi, a squat in Istanbul German leftist magazines focused on, calling it a “follow up movement to Gezi.” (4) We asked ourselves in which way squatting in Istanbul is connected to the 2013 Gezi Park protest movement and how it relates to neoliberal politics and
urban transformation. [Read More]
On Tuesday evening Garda in Dublin smashed their way into a house in Phibsboro in Dublin in order to evict housing activists who had recently occupied it. The stories we published about it attracted a lot of discussion from our readers so we decided to interview one of the activists involved so they could explain their stance in relation to this specific occupation and the housing crisis in general.
Q: Could you give a bit of context to the particular house that was evicted?
Dear groups, individuals and collectives „Es ist besser unsere Jugend besetzt leere Häuser als fremde Länder“ (In our youth it is better to squat empty houses than foreign countries“).
Under this motto some young people started squatting houses in Rigaestrasse and in the rest of Friedrichshain in the early 90’s, creating places where they could collectively live, organize and resist.
Particularly in the following years many of the squatted houses were evicted or pressed to sign contracts as a result of the so called „Berliner Line“ (Berliner Linie) which aimed to push people into a capitalistic (consumptive) lifestyle. Even the contracts didn’t prevent houses getting evicted in many cases. Nevertheless a few of the originally squatted houses persist as active spaces.
Discounting these projects that have remained, with somewhat affordable rent – the rest of our Kiez has undergone drastic changes in rent costs and real estate prices that are obvious to see / hard to ignore, with formidable and unfordable prices for flats. [Read More]
Moving out and building something new // Parties and strolls
## Including on 11th July – exodus demo with carnival floats, trailers and sound-systems
This time we’re really going! Come and help with the last bit of moving out of and taking apart the first Tanneries, and then on to les Tanneries 2 to build some walls (using raw earth, adobe, as well as some more conventional techniques), plastering, decoration, electrics, plumbing… [Read More]
In Limoges, France, in the industrial zone of Magret, flames ravaged ten trucks and three sheds belonging to Eurovia, a subsidiary company of the Vinci multinational which is particularly involved in the construction of new prisons, as well as developing the devastating project of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport.
The vehicles were stationed in two storage areas twenty metres apart. Ignition devices were placed on the truck tyres. They consisted of a bottle filled with petrol with a candle and a fire-lighter. The damage is estimated to be at least one million euros, not counting the long delays at the construction sites as a result. Build cages, get back our rage. [Read More]
About the arrestees, convictions and those locked-up from the November and February ZAD demonstrations in Toulouse. A call for solidarity.
Whilst there is currently a campaign of international solidarity and also against the conviction of a single demonstrator from November, it seems important to us to sum up the verdicts and bring forward our modest point of view about the situation. And call widely for solidarity from all.
To recall, the November demonstrations started with the death of a young man [Rémi Fraisse, October 25th 2014]. On the ZAD of Testet there were people saying that one day or another the wild, legal and determined action from the state forces will finish badly. For many the emotion was strong, as we could have been in his place. The identification with him was not the same, when some days earlier, in the centre of Toulouse, a BAC cop [anti-crime brigade] killed a youth during a robbery. [Read More]
[From press] The Elephant & Castle pub at the corner of Newington Causeway and New Kent Road has been occupied by squatters.
Dear Friekfriends. We are very sorry but we have decided to cancel Paint&Beer coming Saturday. We didn’t get the permit and if we let it happen anyway, the city council will enforce the law and stop all negotiations considering new places. The graffiti jam will happen behind closed doors. PLEASE don’t show up coz you think there will be something anyway, it will put us in great trouble. We will try to document, film, register the whole “making of”, and we hope there will be a moment we can still show the results to you all for real, we’re working on it. Please spread this message as much as you can to help us. Luv Villa Friekens
Today [14/6/15], we are putting Amstelkade 43h back in use!
The building has stood empty for over a year. The owner is the famous notorious Libra BV. For more information about Libra check out www.speculanten.nl
The property was purchased for 18 million euros. This is for the whole house .
Law or no law squatting continues!
Residents Amstelkade 43h
Translated from Dutch Indymedia
Runnymede Eco Village lost the appeal in court yesterday, so now we’re waiting for papers to tell us our eviction date. This site of 24 acres (approx) has been squatted for 3 years [2012 update] and is home to around 40 permanent residents, including families with young children and vulnerable people.
We need your ideas for eviction resistance! We are in a forest, so lots of trees. There is a fence around the site with only three points of entry for us, so expect these to be blocked as soon as we’re off. (security can, sadly, still access the site at the top by the old buildings, and it would be impossible to fence them out).
Ongoing eviction of the squat Högdalens Folketshus in Stockholm. Police has surrounded the building (9000 sqm) and the decision is going against civil rights of the people residing in the building (legal right to reside after 2 weeks).
An attempted violent eviction was successfully halted in Dublin’s North Inner city this morning when residents used mattresses to prevent two men armed with sledge hammers smashing their way through their front door. Although the two men continued to attack the door they halted when Garda arrived on the scene.