Fueled by years of record-low interest rates, a new housing crisis is rearing its head from London to L.A. This time, however, it will not go uncontested.
Capitalism is a strange beast. Though incredibly resilient in the face of systemic crises and remarkably adaptive to ever-changing conditions, it never truly overcomes its structural contradictions. As the Marxist geographer David Harvey often points out, it merely displaces them in space and time.
The global financial crisis of 2008-’09 has been no exception in this regard. In fact, the very response to that calamity has already laid the foundations for the next big crisis. And just like its immediate predecessor, it looks like this one will be centered, at least in part, on a massive speculative housing bubble. [Read More]
Over the past month the Prime Minister, President, and pro-airport lobby have been increasingly vocal and clear about their desire to evict the ZAD [Notre-Dame-Des-Landes] and begin work on the airport as soon as they can. The time frame of January-March is recurrent in their public declarations. These are threats, not inevitabilities.
The anti-airport movement is strong and determined, but to avoid the hassle of an eviction attempt we need to show our force beforehand, locally and internationally, so the State understands that they’ll only fail again. You’re invited to make actions, spread the word, have big demos, show up at French embassies/consulates and offices/worksites of Vinci (the airport contractor), in a dissuasive phase- and also to plan in different towns and organizing groups what to do from the outside in case an eviction attempt goes through. [Read More]
By: dolph-l - October 24th, 2015 Filed under: Communique
The C.O.S.A squat in the city of Setúbal, which had its 15th anniversary this month, has received an eviction threat.*
During the night of October 20th 2015, and as a first response to this bad news, we hung a solidarity banner at the Athens Polytechnic School, on Patission Street in the centre of Athens, reading: Solidarity with the C.O.S.A squat in Setúbal, Portugal, threatened with eviction – Strength, comrades (A) [Read More]
In the last week we celebrated the release of the two Sweets Way protesters who have been held on remand since the evictions at Sweets Way on the 23rd and 24th of September. That the magistrates granted bail without the requirement for the two protesters to give their names or any other details is a victory and testament to the moral grounds for resistance against the eviction of the estate.
The campaign has been a tough one for all involved, and it would be wrong to say it has been a picture-perfect example of political resistance the whole time. The campaign is a constantly-evolving thing, and we have all done our best to move with the times as circumstances have changed. With many different groups with different agendas coming to Sweets Way, particularly in the final couple of months, it became difficult to maintain the original image that was portrayed all the way back in February. Certainly there were displays of behaviour that did not sit well with people involved in the campaign or with outside supporters and spectators. [Read More]
After an illegal eviction on Phibsborough Rd. in June much debate arose surrounding the legitimacy of the squatters and their rights to take over empty and unused properties and put them to use. This piece looking at the issue of squatting and property rights was written by a WSM member and an An Spreach member who was evicted on that day from the property.
—Personal Possessions & Communal Property v Private Property—
While one’s immediate reaction to using and living in an empty home or putting workplaces/land to use that is legally owned by another individual or company may immediately be that it is illegitimate or morally wrong, this article aims to deconstruct the argument that individuals, legal or real should be able to dominate and/or control property for their exclusive use, or to leave it rot at the expense of others. The ideas and justifications for private property go to the heart of the capitalist/statist system and its ability to control resources and the means to life to the exclusion, exploitation and detriment of the majority of the planet’s population. [Read More]
By: fawda - October 22nd, 2015 Filed under: essay, video
A new speculative bubble may be taking shape as global investment firms buy devalued real estate in Spain. Will they beat a new path of dispossession?
At the dawn of the twenty-first century, Spain was flying high. After extensive economic liberalization and adoption of the euro in the late 1990s, all indicators pointed up. Spain boasted the highest use of cement in the European Union, fifth worldwide, as close to a million houses were built in 2006 alone — more than France, Germany and Italy combined. Many were convinced that prosperity was here to stay.
But the boom was built on an asset bubble, where skyrocketing housing prices and unprecedented amounts of credit for developers and homeowners — and thus vast indebtedness — created the perfect storm. While more than six million new homes were built and house prices increased by over 200 percent from 1996 to 2007, in the years since then Spain has seen millions of vacant properties accumulate, housing production at a standstill, price declines of over 65 percent from their peak, and hundreds of thousands of home repossessions. [Read More]
Update 7.30 pm
The solidal picket beneath the Ex-Telecom building keeps growing in numbers, reaffirming that no one will leave without a satisfying solutions for all the occupiers.
Update 6.05 pm
After an assembly on the roof the occupiers deemed acceptable the proposal made by the social workers, that promise housing for everyone. They swore to debate as soon as they get down the roof in order to assess whether the proposal can be deemed satisfactory enough. Meanwhile the supporting picket that was called in front of the Ministry of Infrastructures in Porta Pia was charged. Water cannons were used in order to disperse the crowd. A youngster that fell ill was carried away in an ambulance, another one is at the hospital. The use of water cannons even destroyed some traffic lights. There were charges also against the supporting picket in Alessandria, in a day of struggle for housing rights that is getting recognized all over the country. [Read More]
An interview about the wave of occupations and evictions that took place in the first half of 2015 in Dublin. It includes Grangegorman, The HSE houses, Phibsboro Road, Dream House, The Bolt, Avocado Bastard, Firehouse squat.
Video includes footage from many of the places mentioned and some rather random photos for the segments where we lacked video or photographs. [Read More]
By: dolph-l - October 15th, 2015 Filed under: News
Update from Sweets Way Resists 15/10/15: “We can announce that today the 2 protesters were granted bail, and they retain their anonymity! We will therefore not be attending HMP Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday…”
Let’s make some noise for our friends and defenders of the Sweets Way Estate!
During the evictions on the Sweets Way Estate 19 people were arrested. 16 of those were in defence of Mostafa, the last remaining tenant. Despite being a passive resistance, they were arrested for obstructing the high court enforcers. We all believe these arrests were unjust, and 2 of the arrestees have asserted their right to remain anonymous. As a result, the state has incarcerated them, holding them on remand while the police take their time investigating their identities. [Read More]
By: dooozie - October 13th, 2015 Filed under: Communique
We have squatted a house! What happened?
We have opened the doors to the old Hauptzollamt in the Sonnenstraße 85 in Münster, Germany on the second weekend of October [Oct 9] for us and everybody! The building has been empty for several years. It costs, according to Westfälische Nachrichten (local newspaper), „several million.“ This is too expensive for us. But we would not give a single Euro for it either. We want the Zollamt to be a non-commercial space, for meetings, discussions and workshops, for art and music, a place for neighbourhood community and joint organisation. In short, this space is going to be transformed into a social centre – a space where everyone feels welcome. [Read More]