Canada, Toronto, Call to open the Pope squat. Saturday, July 27, 2002


  Canada, Toronto, Call to open the Pope squat. Saturday, July 27, 2002


Toronto is facing a serious housing crisis. Rent controls have been eliminated, the provincial government has enacted the blatantly pro-landlord law ironically named ‘Tenant Protection Act’, and landlords have been raising rent to levels that quite simply put the basic human need of shelter outside the reach of thousands of people. Throughout this crisis all levels of government; city, provincial, and federal have failed to adequately respond and build the tens of thousands of units of social housing that is required.

However, the housing crisis we’re facing hasn’t stopped the city from spending millions of dollars on the Pope’s visit to Catholic Youth Day 2002. These millions should be spent on providing basic necessities of life to Torontonians, not on a scheme to take huge amounts of public money and subsidize an event that will create huge profits for private businesses. We clearly identify our opponents in this struggle as the City, Provincial and Federal governments who refuse to build housing and not any of the Catholic youth, church or communities. In fact, we are hoping to work with many progressive Catholics that agree with us for the need to open social housing.

It is for these reasons that we are calling upon all poor and working people, Catholics and social activists to open an abandoned building on Saturday July 27, 2002, during the Pope’s visit when the world’s spotlight will be on Toronto, and create self-managed, social housing and a community center.

We are calling for the opening of ‘The Pope Squat’ (slang for occupying an abandoned building) because we feel that the Papal visit, the large number of Catholic youth delegates that will visit our city, and a wide show of support from social justice organizations and unions, will help create a political situation that will make the regular brutality the police show towards poor people and squatters very difficult. We see the Papal visit as an opportunity to literally get our foot in the door. After the Pope leaves we will rely upon the tremendous popular support that exists and we are working to deepen in our neighborhood.

As poor and working people we have decided that waiting for the city, province and federal government to open social housing is a waste of time. We’ve been waiting, agitating, protesting, lobbying and asking for social housing to be built for years. We have seen thousands of friends and family evicted. We have seen our rent shoot through our decaying roofs. We have seen hundreds of people die on our streets. We can wait no longer!

If the various levels of government refuse to build social housing in the amounts required then we have no choice but to open it ourselves, for ourselves. Not only do we intend to open social housing for ourselves we also intend to make the building a community center that will provide space to neighborhood organizations, events, and programs. Due to downloading and City cutbacks our community centers are not able to meet the needs of our neighborhoods. Again, we have no choice but to provide for our community ourselves. We will also use our building as a space to organize with other tenants in our neighborhood against slumlords and yuppie developers who want to either keep us living in holes to line their pockets or drive us out of our neighborhood all together.

While first and foremost is our desire to directly open up self-managed social housing and a community center, we also have modest demands that the various levels of government need to meet in order to even begin to address the housing crisis we’re in. They are: A massive drive to inspect and order repairs on all unsafe and substandard housing; A stop to economic evictions; Abolishing the housing tribunal, which has only served as a rubber stamp for landlords; Restoring the cuts to social assistance. Raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour; No unlimited rent increases on vacated units, restoring rent control; And building 2000 units of social housing a year in Toronto.

While this squat is being organized by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty we need vital support from other poor and working people as well as social activists to ensure success.

1. We need endorsements of the squat action. Please send your endorsements to OCAP by June 15th 2002. Show the city that we are united in our demand for social housing.

2. We need squatters. If you are interested in directly participating please contact us ASAP. Whether you can commit to a day, a weekend, a week, or a longer term you are needed for the Pope squat to succeed.

3. We need outside supporters & observers. Please bring your banners, flags, members, friends and family for a mass demonstration when we open the squat.

4. We will need cooks, artists, musicians, and performers of all types for a family-oriented festival to celebrate the opening of the building.

5. We will need both the donation of skilled and unskilled labour to transform an empty building into a livable, safe, and enjoyable social housing and community center. We will also require the donation or lending of tools, lumber, hardware, furniture, food, other equipment and monetary donations.

We plan to hold a public meeting for everyone interested in supporting this initiative, as well as community meetings and meals in our neighborhoods. If your social activist group, union local, tenants association, or other organization is interested in hearing more about this project and our broader housing campaign please contact us and we will supply a speaker for one of your upcoming meetings.

If the city won’t build social housing, then we will!

The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.
517 College St. Suite 234, Toronto, Ontario,
ocap [at] tao [dot] ca




Canada, Quebec City occupation stay strong


  Canada, Quebec City occupation stay strong


May 28th — 11 days, and counting, the Quebec city occupation of an empty house (now full of “squatters”) to denounce the housing crisis stay strong. As always, the last couple of days were eventfull (how else could it be!) with lots of media attention and some developpements on the political front.

Friday, thanks to television yellow journalism, was our first “confrontation” with the municipal autorities. As I said in an earlyer report, the local TV channel did a special noon report on us to steer some public hatred. The thing completely backfire on them and we instead have a complete hour to present our point of view. We first had something like 20 minutes in direct (i.e. in real time tv) to present our point of view and our demands. Then there was various interventions from the city (who said they didint mind having us squatting there building, as they too wanted to have a coop there (!?!)), then an housing specialist (who coroborated our depiction of the housing crisis) and finaly a representative from the FRAPRU (who once again stress the seriousness of the situation and our demands). In between was a voxpop done during the morning with local residents and then a few calls from listeners. The funny thing is that, against all odds and to our great surprise, they where only able to find one yuppie to denounce us (only one, shit!). The same day, our occupation also backfire in the parliement with the “question period” solely devoted to the housing crisis (the opposition critics yelling to the governement “your inaction force groups of citizens to rely on civil desobedience to denounce the crisis”, that’s pure opportunism on their part, but hey…). The governement announce that he will announce something on june 5 (!!!).

While the weekend was quiet on the media front, wich allows the “squatters” to do some repair on the place, an anti-poverty demonstration nonetheless stopped by the house to show some support (there was something like 200 of them). The media cricus started once again on monday morning with rather long interviews (well, this means 5 to 7 minutes, but that’s an eternity on TV!) with the two other local TV channels (both did their first report after 10 days!) and a radio station.

Political developpements

While the provincial governement is not moving at all despite presure, the city is. First off, we’ve learned during the monday news report that they have autorised the building of 25 luxury condominiums on the site (shit!) but that they are also in negociation with a community group to have a project of 40 something cooperative housing units. After double checking, this is confirmed. The “squatters”, and the local coop, however find this completely disgusting, as this would mean building towers on the site (while curently there’s only 2 stairs) or cutting down the remaining trees on site. Another (huge) problem is also that the said community group does not seem to be interested in working with the surrounding community. The “squatters” counter-attack is to call a popular assembly tomorow to talk with the locals about how they see the developpement of the hood and what kind of project they would like.

Support continue to build

The huge petition visitor can sign is now 700 hundred strong, wich clearly show the level of support we have in the community (400 people had to stop by the place to sign it, the rest was collected by the anti-poverty organizers at a social forum). More and more cooperatives are also showing formal supports as well as housing groups all over the province. Some are showing direct, concrete, support (like the University student unions confederation who gave political support as well as a 1500$ check). We are also making the front page of Droit de Parole, one of the local lefty free community newspaper.

The occupation was started on friday may 17th by activists from the Comite populaire Saint-Jean-Baptiste at the end of a 300 strong support demonstration. The demands of the “squatters” are the transformation of the place into a selfmanaged housing cooperative supported by the community, a ban on any new condominium project and the building of 8000 social housing units a year Quebec wide.

You can reach the “squatters” at 418-522-0454 or compop [at] qc [dot] aira [dot] com

Nicolas Phebus



Canada, Quebec City occupied building safe, — fire departement


  Canada, Quebec City occupied building safe, — fire departement


There’s absolutely no security reasons that would justify the expulsion of the occupied house on De la Chevrotière street» said a representative of the Quebec City fire departement after a team of inspectors visited the Comite populaire squat this morning. The mayor commented that «as long as there is no security concerns and that we dont get complains from neighbors, we will not expel the squatters», adding that he is not in a «confrontation mood». This in itself get the local mainstream media upset, a local right-wing TV commentator said that this mean that «as long as it’s safe, you can squat any city owned building». The same TV chanel hope to stear some public hatred tomorow by broadcasting a populist show titled «should the city tolerate squatters». Your truly and a comrade will do it’s best to defend the squatters position…

Meanwhile, the city concilor responsible for housing said today that they are in negociation with community groups so that someone buy the squatted house and build a cooperative as soon as possible. He said that construction could beggin as soon as july! We didint have the time to check with our contacts in community groups, but that could be a good news (that is, if they abandon the idea of condominiums). More on this latter.

The squat was open friday may 17th by activists from the Comite populaire Saint-Jean-Baptiste at the end of a 300 strong march to denounce the housing crisis and demand social housings. The squatters have three main demands: that the occupied house be transformed into an selfmanaged housing cooperative; that a moratorium on any new condominium project be implemented until the vacancy rate goes up 3% and finaly that the provincial governement start a program to build 8 000 social housing units a year.

Nicolas Phebus



Building occupation in Quebec City: The resistance continue


  Building occupation in Quebec City: The resistance continue


Yesterday was the fifth night of the Quebec City occupation of an empty house, wich everyone now call a «squat». The last couple of days where eventfull and people start to envision staying there much longer then planned, maybe even the whole spring and, who know’s, summer.


The power’s reaction [or rather lack of…]

The city made it’s position known on thuesday by way of a communique not specificaly aimed at the squatters but titled «Quebec City is favoring social housing». In fact, the social democrat administration is once again stating what everyone already knows: that it’s a pro-social housing administration and that they are among the «best city governements» in this province regarding this issue. In the past couple of years they where the only local governement in the region to invest in social housing, to the point where 90 % of all new social housing units build in the last 5 years in the area where within city limits. We already know that without more money from the provincial or federal governements, the city cannot do much more on the front of social housing. That’s why the Comite populaire and FRAPRU –organizers of last week wave of direct actions– never claimed the issue to be a strictly local one but rather a provincial and canadian one. The main demand to fight the crisis is the building of 8 000 new social housing units a year in the province (wich would mean 700 in the city). To get this done, both the provincial and federal governement need to put some money on the table. The only concession the city administration is making to fight today’s housing crisis is to speed up the construction of already planned social housing units. They already commit to build 1000 new units within 4 years, now they are saying they will have 700 of them done by july 2003. While that’s a start, the problem is that this is a «one shot deal». It is not even half of what’s needed to get the vacancy rate to a reasonnable level. What’s more, that’s about what we need build every years, not just right now.

We all know that the city cannot do more on this level, the problem is that they didint say a word about what they *can* do. The squatters have three main demands, and they are answering the only one they cannot answer! The Comite populaire is asking that today’s squatted building be tomorow new selfmanaged housing cooperative. This is not comming out of the sky, this is already the demand put foward by the surrounding housing cooperatives who year after year present a new project without ever getting the funding. Instead of acting on this reasonable demand, the city is stating that the place already have 21 social housing units (like if we didint know it, we are the one’s who fight like hell to get this done in the 1990’s!). Furthermore, they want to demolish the house and sell it to a promotor to build luxury condominiums. In short, they didint moved at all on this point. They are trying to hide behind the «there’s already social housing there» line to continue their policy of gentrification. The squatters third demand is precisely regarding gentrification: the Comite populaire want’s a moratorium on any new condominium project in neighborhoods with a vacancy rate below 3 %. While the city now have the legal power to enforce this demand, they choose to remain silent on that one. Considering Montreal already have a similar policy, with a much more right wing administration, we dont think this is utopian at all.

While I frankly dont know if this have anything to do with the occupation, probably not in fact, the provincial minister in charge of housing made a visit to Quebec City on wednesday and met with city officials to know the «need’s of the city» to confront the housing crisis. He too just play the old disc of «we are building social housing» and blablabla. However, since there’s a squat going on, we were able to trash it’s discourse on the news for a change. He said that his governement will make it’s «urgent measures» known on june 5th. That’s good since at the same date, there’s the FRAPRU conference in Quebec City. People are already talking about organizing a mass demonstration to confront him and the governement on their lack of action.

Building support

The occupation, wich is already supported by a wide array of groups ranging from the Ligue des droits et libertes to the CLAC, is slowly building support. First off, there’s a petition visitors can sign inside the building. In five days, more then 200 people sign it. The Comite populaire is also trying to build support among the local population. The support from the immediately surrounding tenants is almost 100%. After all, these people know us and they too want the place to be transformed in a cooperative. Kids from the hood come to play and really love to draw with the chalk on the building and street (one of them made a huge graffitti on the street saying «I may be small but I too am protesting»). Support also translate into all kind of concrete action. To generate more support from the population, the squatters also organize events inside the place. There was a well attend «soupe populaire» (communal meal) on sunday and a good debate on urban struggle and the place history on wednesday night (the place was crammed with some 50 people of all ages). People are now talking about enlarging this support base in the whole neighborhood (maybe with a petition?). As far as groups goes, housing cooperatives and tenants unions are starting to send letters of support, wich is good. Other are visiting from far away. For exemple, a group of 15 montreal activists, in town for the Germinal case trial, came to the squat (in return, the squatters made a banner saying «the squat is offering political asilum to Germinal» to go to the court when the comrades where all found guilty on all counts).

For the moment, there’s alway about 15 people sleeping there every night with a rotation. The occupation is open to everyone who share the demands and analysis of the Comite populaire. While some are more regular, there’s also activists who come to spend only a night in solidarity and there generaly is a rotation. While the majority of the squatters are anarchists – –most of them members of NEFAC or former CASA activists– and young, wich explain why the red and black flag is flying on the top of the building, the support base is diverse with people of all left persuasions and all age (but not of all class!). The place is open to everyone till 11pm, and then it’s closed to outsiders. There’s a meeting of the squatters every morning to share the tasks of the day and a general assembly of all squatters and supporters every other day.

Many are probably wondering why the city administration didint already send the cops. Well, they’ve said in the media that unless security or public health issue arise, the occupation can continue as long as it stay’s peacefull. They probably hope that the squatters will leave the place sooner or latter, exhausted. The city executive council already stated that it is they who will decide what to do and not the cops or the fire departement. This is so because on one hand the administration is a minority governement and, on the other, one of their electoral power base is in Saint-Jean-Baptiste. The local social democrat city councilor, who is a member of the city executive, was elected with 80 % of the vote in the hood. Most of the occupation local supporters that are not members of the Comite populaire voted for her and still support her. But at the same time, this part of the neigborhood is also the Comite populaire historical stronghold. A police intervention without good reasons would clearly alienate the electoral support base of the city councilor without having any tangible result on the right wing electorate elsewhere in the city. Because of contradictions in local politics, the occupation will probably last until someone, wheter the city of the squatters, give in.

Pictures of Friday march and direct action are available at Squatters can be reach at 418-522-0454 and compop [at] qc [dot] aira [dot] com

Nicolas Phebus. May 23th


Canada, Successful building take over in Quebec City


  Canada, Successful building take over in Quebec City


Friday afternoon, Quebec City. Some 300 angry tenants, housing activists, anarchists and other radicals are gathering in the “Parc à 10 millions” in downtown neighborhood of Saint-Roch. They are joined by a busload of tenants from Montreal and Sherbrooke who occupied various abandoned industrial buildings during the week to denounce the growing housing crisis now touching more then 17 cities across the province.

It?s not the average demo, people know that at the end of the march, a direct action will take place marking the beginning of an unlimited occupation of an empty building. It?s the end of a long week of actions called by the FRAPRU (Quebec largest reformist housing advocate groups federation), and the beginning of a long weekend. 12 occupations were organized during the week by various housing groups involving more then 1200 different people.

At 5:30 the march begin. No one, except for an hand-full of activists from the Comite populaire (the organizing group), really knows where they are going. Obviously it?s gonna be in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the last “working-class” neighborhood of the upper town, but where exactly, no one knows. The organizers choose the tactic of the “snake-march”, zigzagging into the small streets of the neighborhood, to reach as many people as possible and hopefully fool the police.

And it worked, we loosed the cops on motorcycles and in cruisers a few times by taking stairways and going into parks. At the end of one such instance of loosing the cops, we end up at the îlot Berthelot on the southern part of the neighborhood. The cops probably think we are going to the parliament or one of the big hotels because they are waiting for us two blocs away. But this is exactly the moment masked men choose to open the doors of an empty building on 920 De la Chevrotière street and smash the padlocks with an hammer. The crowd completely fills the small street, people cheer from their windows. Many locals have joined us in the course of the march (while other left because it was too hard to follow in the ups and downs of Quebec City).

Activists from the Comite populaire get into the house, which is a small two-story building so typical of the city. 2 banners are fixed on the building, one reads “Let?s take back our hoods” and the other read “The logic of profit is encouraging slums”. In the mean time, a food not bombs type collective was preparing a meal in a nearby park. Other peoples where distributing leaflets doors to doors explaining the action and the demands of the group. The demands of the activists occupying the place are three folds. First they want the place and the other empty building in front of it to be transformed into a selfmanaged housing cooperative for low-income families. Second, they want a stop to the transformation of apartments into luxury condominium (the city have the legal power to totally band them). Third, they want the government to finance at least 8 000 new social housing units a year in the province (which would mean 700 in Quebec City).

The occupied place is highly significant for the hood and the Comite populaire. In the 1970?s, during the great demolitions, 6 houses known as l?îlot Berthelot miraculously stand tall and where not demolished. Since 1970, the place is an outpost of resistance to both the destruction of the hood and its gentrification. The place was bought and sold so many times in the last 30 years that it?s impossible to keep track of the various owners. All of them, however, wanted to demolish the 6 houses and build eigther huge tower instead of luxury apartments (known as ?condo?). In the face of public resistance, they all sold the place to someone else who think he would be able to break the resistance of the tenants who successfully contested all rent increase during a period of 20 years. There was so much speculation on the value of the buildings and the land that by 1991, it had became the most expensive plot of land in the city. That?s also when the Comite populaire, a citizen committee active in the hood since 1976, and the social ecologist group Les AmiEs de la Terre de Quebec choose to move their offices in one of the house (910 De la Chevrotière). Their demand was clear: the wanted the take over of the buildings by a selfmanaged housing cooperative. Up until 1992, nothing moved, but then, the city announced a grant of 150 000 000 $ to help build Quebec City own Conference Center a few blocs away from l?îlot Berthelot. In response the Comite populaire asked that the same amount of money be spent on social housing. In the face of public opposition, the city tried to save face by buying the 6 houses in 1994 at the cost of 1 000 000 $ (that?s almost 10 time their 1970 value!). 4 of them where finally transformed into a selfmanaged housing cooperative, but the 2 southern houses where not. Up until this day, they are empty and the city hope to sell them to some promoters who would demolish them and build luxury apartment sold at 150 000$ each. Now, 8 years latter, in front of an housing crisis –only 0.8% of the city apartments are empty– the Comite populaire is back and so is the resistance.

Right now, the squatters, there are about 30 of them that are doing a rotation, are organized into a directly democratic collective with daily general assembly. The occupation is open to anyone who share the demands and analysis of the Comite populaire. Apparently the cops get the order from the city not to intervene as long as the occupation stay peaceful. So, after 3 days and nights, the squatters are still inside. It?s gonna be a long and hot spring…

Pictures of Friday march and direct action are available at Squatters can be reach at 418-522-0454 and compop [at] qc [dot] aira [dot] com

Nicolas Phebus. May 20th



Squat and anarchist news from Poland


  Squat and anarchist news from Poland


Excerpts from WARHEAD – May 2002 issue #16

Contact :
e-mail:soja2 [at] poczta [dot] onet [dot] pl

More trials against anarchists in Bialystok

There are already few people from local groups charged with various charges. There are also over 40 misdemeanour trials against anarchist from all over Poland who participated in support action outside prison for one of our comrades and few other actions. One of squatters from Bialystok, Jan Stolarski was jailed in Gliwice, after he broke conditions of his release from prison, where he was serving time for assault on a nazi skinhead. His release date is September 2003. Another activist from Bialystok is charged with assault and robbery after he participated in attack on nazi skinheads on a bus stop. Trial of “Rufik”, anti-fascist accused of assault with an dangerous item on a nazi skinhead is going to be finished at the end of May. “Lapa”- another anti-fascist accused of Grevious Body Harm is still waiting for his trial. Other trials also didn’t start yet.

New squats and some news about older ones!

There is a new squat in Czestochowa, in old monasteryJ . It is called “Little Mary”. As for now, no more infos about this squat. In Bialystok “DeCentrum” squat is preparing for some trouble, as city council sold ruins around the squat and all area will be better for investments. There are also plans to squat another building soon. Freedom in Wroclaw as for now managed with all troubles from city council and they are still in control of the building but no one knows for how long and their situation is still unstable.

Women’s Day Celebrations

There was an action in Warsaw as a celebration of Women’s Day. About 400 participants took part in march demanding equal rights for women, availability of abortion and against domestic violence. There was also strong anarcho-feminist presence.

In Bialystok squatters organised a street theatre in the centre of the city, gave leaflets and put banners with feminists slogans etc









2d meeting in order to organise the demonstration and other activities

Thanks to the great participation at our first meeting, we invite everybody to continue:

Tue., 14 of May, 19H00, At Bistr’OK (RHINO, 24 Bd des Philosophes, Geneva)

For your information, this invitation had been addressed as well to:






Addresses of squatters’ cafes etc.


  Addresses of squatters’ cafes etc.


You should find useful stuff at

The problem has been that these things come and go so much it wasn’t worth putting in print. Its even difficult to keep a web page up to date. Main difference is infoshops covers bookshops and stuff as well as cafes/food. Hope you find something there to help, and please let us know the website so’s we can put a link in to it. Also anyone else you know of who should be listed on our one.

savage <savage [at] easynet [dot] co [dot] uk>




Geneva: Rue Rousseau 5 is beeing evicted


  Geneva: Rue Rousseau 5 is beeing evicted


5 Rue Rousseau will be evicted in spite of the fact that the Geneva authorities canceled the building permit. The inhabitants received the order to leave the building.

A solidarity and protest breakfast will take place the 6th of May in front of the house.




Wellington, New Zealand : repression against a “reclaim the building” action


  Wellington, New Zealand : repression against a “reclaim the building” action


Press Release [May 3 2002 : aotearoa / new zealand : wellington]

The WCC-owned building formerly known as Stagecraft Theatre was renamed the Te Aro Community Centre when it was peacefully occupied on Wednesday 1st May at about 5.30 pm. Over 70 people attended a Reclaim The Building party and gig in the community centre that evening. Performers were DJ Imon Star and anarcho-punk bands Hell Fuckin Rumble and Dead Vicious.

Around 7 pm security guards, who had not attempted to obstruct the occupation, issued a trespass warning which was ignored by most of the occupants. Two police officers turned up about half an hour later and issued a five-minute warning. After they left, the front door was barricaded by occupiers and some chained themselves to parts of the building.

The five minutes stretched to about 40 minutes and no police reinforcements arrived. After lengthy negotiation with the two police officers over whether they should be allowed in through a window or the front door, they were admitted via the door and told all occupants that they could remain in the building until 9 am on Thursday 2 May. This was conveyed as a decision of the city council.

The party continued after this interruption and some people stayed overnight. Others left and returned next morning before 9 am. Shortly after 10 am a goon squad of 20 officers, dressed in full riot gear with long batons, helmets, face masks and riot shields, effected a forced entry after a front window on the ground floor had been smashed in. They were later joined by acting inspector Paul Berry.

At first the riot squad adopted aggressive stances with batons extended, as if expecting to be attacked, while some of them searched the upper and ground floor of the building. This took a long time because of the numerous hiding places in the building. A large trapdoor in the main room was lifted and the hole searched. This required a ladder and took 10-15 minutes. Acting inspector Berry offered some occupants the opportunity to leave. Three or four people did so. A city council lackey was brought in to issue trespass warnings. Most of the occupants had handcuffed themselves to parts of the building and were in the main room. One person handcuffed himself to the roof. All were arrested in turn and their chains were cut with bolt-cutters. They were handcuffed and taken outside singly. Eight people were arrested, three women and five men, and charged with wilful trespass. They were taken to Central Police Station at about 11.30 am and processed. The last one was released at about 3.30 pm.

Publicity was extensive and one of those arrested was speaking to the media by cell phone before and after the police break-in and up to the time of being arrested. The occupation and arrests featured on lunchtime television news and the 6 pm TV One news, as well as on RadioActive, National Radio (up to and including the 5 pm news) and as a front-page item (with picture) in the Evening Post (the picture was updated in the second edition). E. Post billboards were about the bypass protests and arrests.

Those arrested have been charged to appear next Wednesday morning 8 May at 8.30 am in the District Court. They were also issued with trespass notices warning them to stay away from named premises for two years or face a fine or imprisonment. The properties/land named were 1-3, 2-4, 5,6,8,13 Tonks Ave, 274 Cuba Street and 13,15,17-19 Kensington Street.

All windows in the Te Aro Community Centre, including upper story windows, have been boarded up and locks put on the front door. The place now resembles a tomb and is likely to remain so for months and probably years while Transit NZ and the city council continue their futile bid to push through the Te Aro ‘bypass’ project.

The Wellington City Council used to be an organisation focused on service to the people living in the capital. It has become a monetarist corporation supported by a bureacracy whose main focus is council business and the collection of rates. Services have been largely contracted out.

Many councillors share this antisocial view of the people and community they are supposed to serve. Every three years they cynically attempt to get support from voters to continue as councillors, but less than 40 per cent of those eligible to vote actually do so. The current mayor was elected with about 20 per cent of the total vote, and thus is supported by about 10 per cent of the city’s adult population.

The Te Aro Community Centre in Tonks Avenue is owned by the city council and was bought with money derived from the citizens. Legally it belongs to the council but morally it is the people’s. Therefore occupying the building was legitimate, particularly as the aim was to restore a neglected building and make use of it after it was vacated by the Stagecraft Theatre Company at the beginning of the year.

These and other points will be made in any subsquent court proceedings, in defence of the occupation of the Te Aro Community Centre.

For more info phone Mark on PH3856728

“wellingtonimc” <wellingtonimc [at] hotmail [dot] com>