[Correction Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe was raided only, no eviction attempt]
On the night between Sunday the 22nd & Monday the 23rd of May three comrades were detained near the car park of South Warsaw police station. Cops claim to have found an explosive device under a police car. All three comrades were taken into custody at the station and one comrade was severely beaten. The comrades refused to cooperate and denied all accusations of ‘terrorism’ and attempting to bomb the police station. The comrades received support from the anarchist community and 3 squats from Warsaw (Przychodnia, Syrena, Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe) and were provided with legal representation.
The same day police raided Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe squat where one of the arrested comrades lived and search for evidence. According to the “Reclaim The Fields” website: “Cops arrived between 4 and 5AM. They invaded the squat area by cutting fences and demolishing the gate with a forklift. Six undercover police invaded people’s rooms. One friend woke up and found himself surrounded by cops questioning him about his identity. They then proceeded to search the entire squat.”
On the night of May 23rd, the police in Warsaw arrested three anarchists on charges of an alleged arson attempt of a police vehicle. The three were transferred to a remand prison where they are to be held in custody for three months, awaiting trial. They face up to 8 years in prison. Media frenzy broke out over the arrest in the past few days, with high-ranking politicians and experts on terrorism discussing the matter on TV. Photos and video reruns of the arrested walking with chains around their feet and hands are broadcast on public transportation. The text below is a translation of the statement that was sent out by various groups from the anarchist and wider social justice community in Poland, in response to these arrests.
Open letter in connection with the arrest of three anarchists in Warsaw
The mass media in Poland are releasing increasingly more absurd, one-sided reports about the arrest of three anarchists on Monday, May 23rd. We interpret this as an attempt to intimidate and criminalize social justice movements in Poland.
A refugee-housing squat as an example of how to fight social struggles together on a daily level and for another tomorrow.
„The City Plaza squat at 78 Acharnon celebrates its first month. The hotel now houses refugee families totalling 385 people, including 180 children. These include 22 single parent families, as well as people with disabilities. The nationalities that make up City Plaza include Afghans, Kurds, Syrians, Palestinians, Iranians, Iraqis and Pakistanis. The families being housed at City Plaza were selected on the basis of their previous “housing” arrangement as well as on the particular problems being faced by each one. Each family lives in a separate room of the hotel, while all inhabitants are provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as with hygiene products and other essentials. Nearly all are covered through solidarity offerings, while the few purchases that need to be made are financed through donations sourced from within Greece and from abroad.
In a framework of self-organization and coexistence, there are teams for cleaning, cooking, security, education and childcare, medical care, communications, reception, as well as regular assemblies of refugees and solidarians. Initiatives such as that of City Plaza, apart from granting obvious rights and needs, also put in practice a conception of everyday life which aims to, through self organization and “bottom up” emancipation, ultimately form a space of freedom and creativity, which will act as living proof of the society which we envision.“ This is how the call for an Open Assembly in the City Plaza Hotel in Athens starts. [Read More]
The vacancy crunch: The current housing crisis in the Netherlands and the repression of squatting
Recently, an opportunity to discuss the current housing crisis in the Netherlands was wasted. The government published a report evaluating a law realised in October 2010 which both criminalised squatting and suggested a few paltry measures to combat building vacancy (see “From Convicting to Condoning: Evaluation of the Squatting and Vacancy Act” [Dutch]). The report received a few mentions in the media but was accompanied by no real analysis. Whilst the Minister for Safety and Justice writes in a letter to Parliament that “this assessment does not require policy changes,” a careful look at the statistics produced by the report instead indicates that much more could be done (see “Presentation of report evaluating the Squatting and Vacancy Act” [Dutch]). The number of people needing to be housed is increasing, and the best way to solve this problem is to liberate the empty building stock, putting it back into use through both legislative measures and squatting.
We’ll try to enter again
May 27, 2016
Whatever might be said by the City Council about this conflict, it does not take place between private parts, it is a conflict between two ways of living: those who want a common life and to relate through mutual support networks, produced among equals, and those who defend private property – regardless of its use – and the supremacy of some over others.
[May26] These days are being very intense and this is why we’re having difficulties to spread informations as a collective. Within our capacities, we will add more detail to our version of the facts of these last few days and also our opinion on many aspects of the conflict that is taking place.
First of all, we would like to thank all the people that moved from solidarity to explicit engagement with the project of El Banc Expropiat.
WE WILL RETURN TO EL BANC
Yesterday, May 23th, El Banc Expropiat was evicted by the Catalan police, after more than 160 days of resistance (more than 100 during the first campaign, and 87 days this time). The first time, the City Hall secretly decided to pay over 65.000EUR to Manuel Bravo Solano, who owns the bank, in order to avoid another Can Vies before the municipal elections. After this shady deal was exposed, the City Hall justified itself saying that they believed that the Banc had an important “social” role. They then admitted that this rent was being paid to avoid breaking the social peace, because they knew that the eviction of El Banc would imply all sorts of responses. This is what finally happened yesterday. First of all, we would like to thank all the solidarity that we have received, a solidarity which has taken many different forms and that has also meant a form of support to all the other struggles which are currently taking place.
The ‘Expropriated Bank’, a self-managed occupied social center in the beautiful Gracia barrio of Barcelona, has finally fallen. Symbol of resistance to repression and austerity , colleagues called for the occupation of 1000 more banks.
Seeding Mutual Aid against Capitalism
The eviction was not an easy task, it took police more than eight hours, using metal cutters, etc., to extricate the last heroes. The police struggled all day to get them out of a barrel of cement, itself inside a safe, inside the basement with metal barricades.
Meanwhile, reinforcements gathered and marched from several pre-organized points in the city until by 9.00 pm at least 2000 filled the narrow streets, but the entire front of the Bank had been welded shut with iron plates.
An army of very aggressive riot police, masked and without ID plates and with a helicopter, moved into the crowds of young people. Only for good luck no one was killed. [Read More]
Today El Banc Expropriat in Gracia, Barcelona, has been evicted, in an operation lasting ten hours. A demonstration has been called for tonight.
The autonomous factory Rog is under threat of being evicted and destroyed by the municipal authorities which are pursuing their project of renovating the area into a centre for creative industries. Municipality plans to demolish 4 buildings at the end of may or beginning of june and then – depending on their financial capabilities – continue with the removal of all additions to the main factory building. For now, only one atelier is under threat of being demolished, but once the construction yard is established, the authorities can easily remove the skate park, a gallery, concert hall, circus space, social centre and other places. The municipality does not possess the financial means for the overall renovation and is pushing with demolition works only because the building permit issued for demolitions will expire on the 14th of june, 2016. We call for support for the autonomous factory Rog as much as you are able. You can help us in various ways: [Read More]
Today, there was the verdict of the court case started by the owner Bewi Vastgoed to ask the eviction of the Autonoom Centrum in Den Haag. The judge rejected the claims of the owner. There is no eviction of the Autonoom Centrum on the Harstenhoekweg in the short term.
Autonoom Centrum Den Haag
Harstenhoekweg 4, 2587SL Den Haag, The Netherlands
acdenhaag [at] riseup [dot] net