We understand occupation (squatting) as a tool of fight whose main purpose is far from the idea of shaping recreational places. It is an strategy to fight, theoretically and practically, against property as a key pillar of capitalist democracy. Occupation (squatting) is beyond merely logistic.
It brings partnership among comrades, builds affinity networks and solidarity, as well as create meeting points to discuss, share experiences or to make out some self criticism. Okupation is not and end but a mean that allows us to organize ourselves and conspire. It is a tangible expression of the notion of “Do it yourself”.
The power has done everything to erase any self-management projects since they prove our capacity to organize ourselves outside the system. For that purpose, many strategies have been deployed. From harsh repression; raids, arrests, police farce, to “kinder” strategies based on negotiation. Despite superficial differences, the final end of these strategies is the control and domestication (of our ideas and practices) of social movements.
For some time now, Madrid City Council, a so-called council “of change”, has deployed a warfare of harassment, threat and burnout against squatted social centres. They disguise their real purposes through a deceiver maneuver of fake dialogue, using blackmail to achieve the assimilation of these collectives. What is been sold as an exercise of tolerance and understanding, as an effort to strengthen social networks, is nevertheless an attempt of demobilization and devitalize those who don´t accept their imperatives. [Read More]
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]
”City Refuge Mukhayyam..bullshit hypocrisy”
At the end of one of the anarchist Mayday Marches last Sunday an abandoned city-owned listed building was occupied to be converted into a self-run social center for refugees called Mukhayyam.
Prospects looked good since the leftwing city council has banners reading ‘Welcome Refugees’ just round the corner. However on the Tuesday morning 200 riot police evicted the building (see video below). The mayor Ada Colau claimed she knew nothing about it and that the Catalan Govt (also left wing) had ordered it ( they weren’t city police).
Dozens of activists had occupied after the ‘anarchist and feminist’ demonstration of Mayday to remake it as a welcoming space for refugees (Spain has promised to accept only around 16,000 but a mere 18 have been cleared so far).
At eight o’clock on Tuesday vans of the Mobile Brigade cut off all the streets near the building in the Gothic Quarter. A squad of agents charged the front doors of the building and smashed in with a battering ram at 7.00 in the morning. It was a door with a high architectural value, included in the catalog of heritage of the City of Barcelona. [Read More]
Last Wednesday 13th of April, at 5 o’clock in the morning, the Mossos d’Esquadra started an operation in which they raided two houses and a social center in La Salut neighbourhood, «los Blokes Fantasma», where around twenty people that live in the building were detained for twelve hours.
In addition to the looting and destruction that comes together with a police raid, the operation ended with the arrest of a comrade that was already imprisoned due to the Operation Pandora, and who was under an European search warrant that was issued the 11th of April accused of participating in different bank expropriations in the German territory.
Last Saturday a gigantic 10 screen cinema was occupied as an autonomous social center in Barcelona. The abandoned building is owned by the City Council who had failed to find a use for it. The action began as an advertised 4 day series of debates and workshops, meals etc… with a whole range of strikers, squatters, immigrants, feminist struggles etc.. taking part.. all to be held in a local square, and beginning with a street parade around historic struggle sites.,.
The parade ended with the Cinètika occupation
The liberated area, with thousands of square meters and ten cinemas will become, henceforth, an open space in the neighborhood. The promoters of the project want to build a squatting assembly, feminist and outside the institutions. No alcohol will be sold at the venue, as the group believes that “alcoholism and drugs are a problem in the workers neighborhoods.” [Read More]
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]
Five years ago the Youth Assembly and different neighbours from Gros decided to occupy an old cork-manufacturing factory. We did it in response to a great need we had in our neighborhood: a self-managed and diverse cultural facility. Five years later Kortxoenea Gaztetxea is a meeting point for different cultural and political groups, music bands and theatre companies.
We can see a clear clash between two ways of understanding culture. In less than 4 months San Sebastian will become the European Capital of Culture, and we think it is a seriours error from the City Council to demolish such a cultural space. We would like to denounce the speculative and elitist policy the City Council is implementig in cultural and social areas. They are conducting house evictions while more than 11.000 flats are still empty. The same week they are opening Tabakalera (a cultural facility costing +50M€), the same year they have brought back the bloody bull-fighting, they are trying to demolish our Gaztetxe to build luxury appartments without offering any solution for us. [Read More]
53 PEOPLE on trial for OCCUPATION
original en castellano abajo Sign the Petition HERE
On Friday September 4th the first two trials take place, the first of 53 of which are due against people who lived in Utopia occupied in Seville in May 2012 by families who were homeless or about to lose their homes.
Max and Jesus will go to the criminal courts in Seville accused of squatting (illegal in Spain under the term ‘usurpation’) in May 2012 a building of Ibercaja Bank that had remained empty for two years. More than 30 families, many of them homeless or about to lose by failing to pay the mortgage, were rehoused in the building, which they called Corrala Utopia, and many continued giving the place life until it was evicted in April 2014…
read on here + en castellano: http://wp.me/pIJl9-6O7
The Audiencia Nacional (spanish special court) has ordered the release without bail of three of the five people that were still in preventive prison, arrested under the Operación Piñata last 31th of March. According to what was declared to Diagonal newspaper by one of the lawyers who represents the defendants of Operación Piñata, Daniel Amelang, they are now waiting that the court decides about the freedom of the other two persons that are still in preventive prison.