Political scientist Ondřej Slačálek has informed the Czech Press Agency that the famous Czech anarchist and defender of the rights of Romani people, Jakub Polák, passed away yesterday. The activist succumbed to cancer just after turning 60. In the months before his death he was engaged in the case of the evictions of people living in the buildings on Přednádraží street in Ostrava-Přívoz.
Jakub Polák was born on 1 September 1952 in Karlovy Vary and became involved in public life in 1968, as a result of which he was forbidden from enrolling into higher education. He was part of the dissident and underground movements in the years after 1968. In 1989 he was a co-founder of the strike committee and actively contributed to the events of the Velvet Revolution. However, from the beginning of his public life he advocated for alternative political stances, which led him to join the ranks of the “Left Alternative” (Levá alternativa – LA), where he was active as its executive secretary. There he became a member of the anarchist wing of the LA, which later left the LA to become the Czechoslovak Anarchist Association (Československé anarchistické sdružení – ČAS). In 1990 Jakub Polák co-founded the first squat in Prague on plk. Sochora street. Together with people from ČAS he began publishing the A-Kontra magazine in 1991, which became the main publication of the anarchist movement as it came into being during the first half of the 1990s. At that time he was considered the unofficial spokesperson of Czech anarchism. [Read More]
The Prague’s renowned squat Villa Milada, which was evicted three years ago after being one of the most important places for Czech autonomous underground scene, had been occupied by approximately 30 people on Saturday June 30th to commemorate the bleak anniversary by an improvised hardcore punk gig. Even though the authorities were informed that this is a one-off event which is not an attempt to reoccupy the squat for good but a symbolic pointing out of a passive approach of a Czech state to take care of unused buildings and of the oppression against alternative culture, the police reacted with a massive police operation including an aggressive attack against the non-violent concert-goers, which resulted in many bloody injuries and in a temporary arrest of tens of people. [Read More]
Yesterday we made a little action in Prague to support the struggle against the criminalisation of squatting in UK and to send our love and solidarity to our friends and comrades from Orange Fence and The Factory.
Our attempt to occupy the British embassy failed but we at least managed to block the front door with our banner and spread some English/Czech flyers.
On the night of 6th and 7th February the web pages of the first Czech squatters’ real estate agency were launched. At the same time, the supporters of the squatters’ movement were hanging out several dozens of banners from Prague’s houses that had been unused for a long time and had been falling into disrepair.
The goal of this action is to point out the paradox that is typical for the capitalist society in developed countries of Europe: in every bigger city there are thousands of people who (because of various reasons) do not have a place to live and who are left to live in the streets. The very same streets are filled with uncared-for empty houses, whose owners do not show any interest in taking care of them. This is not just an issue of the homeless people. Except few privileged ones, this concerns practically all young people and students who would like to become independent from their parents, but they cannot afford to pay overcharged rents. The same problems are also encountered by artists who are looking for a foul territory for their creations: an acquisition of a studio in Prague remains an unreachable dream for most of them.
Nevertheless, it is required so little: to have a group of similarly thinking people and to have a desire to extricate from the experienced stereotypes and to start experimenting a bit. Anybody can try to make a deal with the owner of an empty house about its use for a symbolic rent or for maintaining it, and who will feel like it, can omit this part and move in straight away. We should not be beseeching anybody for the one of our primary rights – the right to housing. Nowadays housing policy and financial crisis make squatting completely rightful.
The project of squatters’ real estate should help everybody who will choose to take their life into their own hands. It is the time to come out from the isolation of your prefab flats, to say good bye to the terrible day-to-day job and to start looking for alternatives.
This way the life is more fun and fully lived than if we unceasingly have to pay for it to somebody.
A call for ACTION: After six year of occupying the most famous and oldest squat in Czech Republic – LADRONKA, there is serious danger of eviction.The city of Prague sold the squat Ladronka to company Sante s.r.o., who wants to rebuild this house to luxury hospital for elite. Last chance to save this place is to do interational actions of solidarity
Squatters are calling for actions at Czech embassy all over the Globe. There is growing represion in Prague, becouse of meeting of IMF and World Bank next year (2000) in Prague. Please support our struggle. [Read More]