The Autonomous Social Centre Klinika, which occupies the building of a former clinic in Prague, has attracted a large number of supporters and was awarded a prestigious prize. Yet its future remains uncertain.
Since 1987, the Charter 77 Foundation has annually awarded the František Kriegl Prize in the Czech Republic. The award is a reminder of the brave attitude of the Czechoslovak politician František Kriegl, who refused, as the only member of the political elite at the time, to sign the “Moscow Protocol” after the country was invaded by the armies of the Warsaw Pact in 1968 and so legitimate the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Soviet tanks. The current mission of the prize is to highlight exemplary courage expressed by individuals or civic institutions in the quest for upholding human and civil rights, and political tolerance. Its results are announced each year on 10 April, the day of František Kriegl’s birth. This year, the prize was awarded to the collective of the Autonomous Social Centre Klinika, located in Prague’s Žižkov district. Its activists now stand alongside figures such as the Czech dissident Jaroslav Šabata, leading Roma scholar Milena Hübschmannová, or anarchist Jakub Polák, who all held the award previously. It is undoubtedly one of the most telling proofs of the social necessity and importance of the Autonomous Social Centre. “Klinika lives, the struggle continues”, runs the slogan of the movement that arose around Klinika in the past year. But despite the award and the strong imprint that Klinika has left, the centre’s future, symbolically and physically connected with the building of a former healthcare facility in Prague’s Žižkov, is still not certain. [Read More]
Today we talked about the current squatting action on Bendigo Street in Collingwood where the Homeless Persons Union of Victoria (HPUVIC) and supporters are occupying empty houses owned by the state government, and briefly discussed the squatting history of Melbourne.
We chose a topic about spaces: there’s been a squat in Kaunas, Lower Šančiai have been filled with expensive stores for rich newcomers, the station district is getting another shopping mall which will push the poor out of the city centre. EU is trying to close its borders to immigrants who remind us of current and past “greatness” of colonialism and disciplined space. People move towards the centre- the centre tries to stop them by putting up barbed fences, enhancing the budget of the “Frontex” corporation which deals with border security, and creating refugee concentration camps in Europe’s periphery and around. [Read More]
London’s most famous eco-squat, Grow Heathrow, celebrates 6 years of inspired resistance. We go along to the party and talk to activists there about their struggles, their successes and our shared future.
Grassroots Takeover radio show: https://soundcloud.com/grassroots-takeover/happy-birthday-grow-heathrow
Last week a new squatter newspaper, Squatters of London Action Paper (SLAP), debuted online and today physical copies have started to emerge in squats and radical bookshops. Freedom caught up with a few of the authors to discuss the newspaper and squatting in London.
What is SLAP and what is it trying to achieve?
T: There’s been empty space for a squatting publication for a while now. It gives the illusion that there is less squatting activity in London – but this is not the case. SLAP is there to say: ‘There is still radical squatting activity going on in London. Occupations and resistances are happening all the time.’
A: There are loads of anarchist papers but not about squatting even though squatters are always on the front line of the fight for housing, free parties, against fash, whatever. So now there is. Also most of them are proper boring, you fall asleep trying to read them. So we wanted to do something that was a laugh. [Read More]
Monday saw an eviction without court order in Dublin involving Garda and private security / builders at Villa Park, Dublin 7. The house had been left abandoned for at least two years according to neighbours before being brought back into use last October by people who needed a home. One of them told us that it was a “Beautiful house that was to be demolished in order to make a new route to warehouse / bakery behind it but neighbours objected and planning permission was refused. The person claiming ownership seemed to be very wealthy and is listed as a director of over 28 companies.” [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]
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? [Read More]
What are the challenges and possibilities of popular self-organisation to reclaim our lives, our homes and our cities? At this years Dublin anarchist bookfair Jenny and Zoe looked at recent occupations in Dublin, including the Grangegorman Squat in Smithfield where resistance to eviction is ongoing [Read More]
By: dolph-l - January 25th, 2015 Filed under: Interviews
London’s venues are dying a grisly death. There are high-speed rails to build and cultural institutions to be redeveloped into luxury flats that nobody’s going to live in, and it’s the city’s nightlife that’s been selected to pay the price. Madam Jojo’s, The Joiners Arms, The Intrepid Fox and Vibe Bar – among a raft of others – have all already been forced to serve their last pints and shut up shop.
Last week, after an 18-month battle with the Crossrail project, the The 12 Bar Club on Soho’s Denmark Street closed down, too. The venue has been moved to a new location in Islington, so at least it’s still alive in one sense. But the story is the same here as it was when the Southbank Centre suggested moving the nearby 40-year-old skatepark from the “undercroft” to another spot just down the river; the Tin Pan Alley location was steeped in a history that’s a little harder to relocate.
On Tuesday, a group of protesters calling themselves The Bohemians started squatting the Grade II listed building, both in a bid to save it from demolition and to inspire others to unite to save Soho. After reading their manifesto – “Without culture, society cannot exist” – I walked in for a chat. [Read More]
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a group of squatters from East and West set out to build their own unified Germany. And, despite endless parties, questionable hygiene, and neo-Nazi turf wars, they pulled it off. [Read More]