On May 16th, over 1000 people gathered to participate in the occupation movement festival in Lund, which featured food, music, entertainment and of course SQUATTING! During Saturday two buildings, Bredgatan 4 and Observatory in the City Park were occupied, and during the night so were Sunday two unused buildings on the St Lars.
In addition to the imaginative tactics the activists used to outwit the cops, different blocks were subject to random and ordered police violence.
Making a comeback to street politics was the re-appearance of padded and white-suited protesters (Ya Basta-style (Italy) and Womble style (London) who use their block to push through static police lines. You can see these in action in the photo galleries.
Report from squatting festival in Lund, Sweden 16-17, May 2009
For many years in Sweden, squatting houses has been something not attempted very often, a lot because of the no-tolerance laws and practice by the Swedish state. The attempts during the last 15-20 years met heavy sentences and the interest in squatting sank to a low level. After the eviction of Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen many were inspired by the resistance and the movement that arose around the fight for a youth house, and the idea started to seem more real again. During the international squat days of action in April 2008 several houses were squatted in many Swedish cities, purposely during a limited time to make public activities.
The temporary squattings continued after the action days and in the October 2008 a house in Lund was squatted, later called “smultronstället” which lasted for about a month. It was publicly squatted and the squatters intended to live there as long as possible. As it happened the housing situation in Sweden in general was going towards an extreme level compared to the comfortable existence most people took for granted after years of social democratic rule in the supposed model society. Lund, a small town mainly based around its university, had reached a very difficult housing situation especially for young people from the area. It was even harder for them to find a flat than for students moving there from other towns. They quickly gained a big and broad support among neighbors and the people from town with their open and inviting attitude and many came by to visit. The local media also portrayed the whole thing surprisingly good. Negotiations were started with the municipality that hadn’t dared to give the eviction order yet as they were blamed for the housing politics. But after weeks of meetings and promises from the side of the politicians the squat was evicted without any notice before. The night of the eviction a big demonstration was held through the city center and shortly after, two new houses were squatted, though they were evicted the same day.