Ottawa : more infos on the squat action


  Ottawa : more infos on the squat action


For more information and follow-ups on the “squat against the G8” action in Ottawa, please visit

Here’s some useful information (photos, sounds, texts). More is to come :
About 70 people were stading in front of a squatted house on Gilmore, between Metcalfe and O’Connor.
Pictures of the house
George from OCAP talks about the Ottawa squat action and plans for an upcoming squat in Toronto. Recorded in Ottawa, June 26th, 2002 at 4pm. 2:00a
Stefan Christoff from the CLAC talks about the J26 snake march and squat action. Recorded in Ottawa on June 26th, 2002 at 4pm. 3:08.
Pictures From Snake March and Squat June 26
from the Ottawa Squat against the G-8 in Ottawa
A squat has been opened in an unoccupied building at 246 Gilmour street in Downtown Ottawa, resisting the housing crisis and drawing the links between this crisis and the G8.
Thousands of rain-soaked demonstrators crowded in front of an abandoned house in front of the headquarters of the Public Service Alliance of Canada at 233 Gilmour Street and briefly occupied it.
Seven Year Squat is Open! autonomous direct action opens up squat for Take the Capital!




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Ottawa : squat against the G8 !


  Ottawa : squat against the G8 !


We are occupying this building because it is a battleground in the war against the poor in Ottawa, a war by governments and corporations based on privatisation, market expansion and profit. While 15,000 people use Ottawa?s overcrowded shelter system, our federal and provincial governments ? following marching orders from the IMF, World Bank and G8 ? allow landlords, developers and realty companies to evict and brutalize the tenants and residents of our city.

This boarded-up house at 246 Gilmour St. is local evidence of the coldness and brutality of capitalism. It has sat unoccupied (officially) for 7 years. Now the city has ordered it torn down so the landlord is selling it. This kind of neglect is criminal, when thousands are homeless, while rents skyrocket and while the waiting list for social housing in Ottawa is 7 years long. This is also the disgusting reality of capitalism.

This house is not new to squatting. Many street folks have done so in the past. When they do they are harassed and brutalized by police during regular sweeps. We squat in solidarity with people living on the street. The police defend private abandoned property against people in need of a place to rest for the benefit of rich absentee landlords. We occupy this space to oppose the agenda of the G8 and neoliberalism and to assert our rights to affordable and adequate housing.

The 7 year wait has ended. The occupation of 246 Gilmour St. has begun!


Because we’re tired of waiting! The housing crisis in Ottawa needs immediate attention. People in this city need housing while buildings sit abandoned or get demolished. It has got to stop.

This squat is one of many; we will continue to take direct action as long as people are without shelter and liveable space.

We demand government provide housing for all – or get out of our way so we can provide it for ourselves!


Rising rent, dwindling vacancies…

It is impossible to find an affordable, well-maintained apartment in Ottawa. In fact, in the year 2000 our vacancy rate was the worst in Canada: a measly 0.2%. Our bloodthirsty landlords responded predictably by harassing and evicting tenants to achieve a staggering average rent increase of 12% (also the highest in Canada).

Where does this leave us?

Homeless families required 71% more shelter bed nights from January to June in 2001 than during the same period in 2000. As a consequence, the number of households on the social housing waiting list grew to 15,000 in 1998, doubling in only five years. This doesn?t even account for 25,000 people who enquired but were too discouraged to apply. Families must now wait 7 years to have their needs addressed.

How did this happen?

Chretien’s Liberals stopped funding the development of new affordable housing in 1993. The provincial government followed suit three years later.

Then came the provincial Tories’ absurd Tenant ?Protection? Act:
· vacancy decontrol: no limit on rent charged to new tenants
· “fast-track” eviction: 5 calendar days
· rent increases up to 4%
· right to refuse to lease based on income

At the municipal level,an “Action Ottawa”plan was introduced in February of this year.It pledges to create -hold your breath – 250 units of ?affordable?housing. Three timesas many rental units were taken off the market each year between 1996 and 1998! Not to mention the 130 homes being bulldozed at Rockcliffe CFB this summer.

Destruction in Rockcliffe

This summer the federal government will bulldoze the homes of families living in Ottawa?s east end, demolishing an entire neighborhood for no reason.

Several years ago, the Department of National Defense (DND) allowed the city of Ottawa to house 50 families at CFB Rockliffe in former officer?s quarters. As these families moved on to other things, the city was not permitted to replace them. Now only 8 families remain, living in a neighborhood of 130 other empty homes.

These families are being evicted despite the fact the federal government has no plans to use the land. And the DND is demolishing the rest of the homes.

Fosiya Maful, who lives on the base with her husband and six children, recently told the Citizen, “I don’t know where we’ll go. Back to the shelter, maybe.” Why are these families being evicted when there are no plans for the land? Why is an entire neighborhood being demolished while 1000?s in Ottawa remain homeless or marginally housed?

In a city in the midst of a housing crisis, the bulldozing of a neighborhood and eviction of its residents by the federal government is an unforgivable crime.

We demand that the following steps be taken by federal, provincial and municipal governments to address Ottawa?s housing crisis:

· Enact a “use-it-or-lose-it” by-law declaring that buildings vacant for over one year be converted into social housing
· Stop the harrassment of homeless people and panhandlers by Ottawa police
· Halt the eviction of residents and demolition of houses and convert CFB Rockcliffe into social housing
· Reinstate rent control
· Commence the building of 2000 units of social housing each year in Ontario
· Replace the Tenant ?Protection? Act with legislation that actually protects tenants
· Recognize that Ottawa is unceded territory and honour Algonquin land claims




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21/6/2002 After the passed two months, when in Turin were evicted many new squat and also ancient, today a new house has been opened, in the hills of Turin, in a chic place. For the moment the police didn’t nothing but we’re waiting in the next days. This is an answer to the city that wants to reduce the number of squat in the town, and to oblige the most radical to speak with the power. Today evening and tomorrow also there will be parties to support the new house. At the end of next week, saturday 29 june a street party will be organized in the center of the town to support new squats and fight against repression Everybody is invited




Torino (Italy): 29/6 Street party against repression


  TORINO: 29/6 Street party against repression


One month of repression in our city: 3 times new squats has been evicted, and a historical squat, la Cascina also has been evicted.After this lots of actions in the town, molotov, demonstrations, parties. The police and judges try to stop the hot situation with arrestations and menaces. After the next saturday action, the central place of Turin squatted by the people of the squats, in a big football match, surrounded by cops but with no fight. A new squat should be opened in the next weeks, but the most important public action should be the STREET PARTY at the end of June, the 29 Saturday along the center of the town. Everybody is invited, alone, or with his sound system… For info mailto: tutto [at] squat [dot] net




Dijon : 3 days of autonomy and freedom of movements against control and racist politics

— 21, 22 & 23rd of June 2002 —
smash patriarchy, crush capitalism !

— What’s this all about ?

This fest is generally organized to promote the squat and its different activities/aspects. This year, we decided to focus on the No Border Camp in Strasbourg. [Read More]

Canada, Quebec City, “The occupation is helping us” –housing coop chairman


  Canada, Quebec City, “The occupation is helping us” –housing coop chairman


May 29th– Today’s squatter “neighborhood assembly” was a smashing success in Quebec City. More then 40 people met in a park to discuss how the population see the future of the occupied house and neighboring land at l’Ilot Berthelot. All of the participants agree on the squatters demands and said that they don’t want any condominium on the site and wish to preserve the trees. Furthermore, the chairman of the neighbor self-managed housing cooperative told us that the balance of forces changed since the beginning of the direct action 12 days ago. “The occupation is helping us in front of the city”, he said.

The meeting started with a presentation by Marc, an old timer from the Comite populaire, the group that organized the direct action. He gave an historical overview of the struggles on the site. According to him, 30 years ago there was a market in the park the participants where gathering. The demolitions of the houses started in 1972, but thanks to the stubbornness of the tenants, especially a guy named M. Huard, 6 of the houses where not demolish. They led the struggle alone from 1972 to 1976 when the group that would latter become the Comite populaire was founded. He told us that there was an occupation similar to ours that occurred during 3 weeks in 1976 to save the youth house from demolition. The front was quiet until the late 1980’s when the city sponsored some horrible towers projects. In 1991, he recall, the Comite populaire moved office on site (in the building next door to today’s squat). We then asked for the houses to be repair and a cooperative takeover. We won a partial victory in 1996, when the city buy the whole site, just before the election (they wanted to shut us up). At the time we were forced to negotiate cooperative housing in only 4 of the 6 houses. Since then, it’s the current status quo, with a condominium project that never materialize until recently. “The issue today is whether we want condominium on the boulevard or not” he conclude, adding that “the current occupation completely changed the balance of forces, and while in 1996 we were not in a position to oppose the condominium project, now it’s different.”

Evelyne, from the Comite populaire and the occupation collective, then gave a short presentation on the context of the action. She said that in the last two years the housing crisis completely got out of control with a severe shortage of affordable housing in 17 Quebec municipalities. In Quebec city, only 0.8% of all the housing is currently vacant. This mean that tenants are forced to rent apartments that are too small, inadequate and too expensive. Indeed, close to 50% of them spend more then 30% of their monthly income on housing. She also stress that the crisis was not just conjectural, but permanent and that the root cause was the fact that housing is a good in our society (which is not good!). So landlords are making profits and are funded by the government who, in the mean time make cuts in social housing budgets. She said that for the Comite populaire, the solutions of the government are too little, too late. That’s why the group decided to carry direct action in order the force the authorities to consider our demands. She conclude in saying that “there’s something better to do then condominiums and that’s why we are occupying this house”.

A two hour long discussion then followed with the participants. According to Yves, that’s the chairman of l’Ilot Berthelot cooperative, who was the second person to speack, the cooperative have been asking the 2 houses for six years but the city only agree to give them a small plot of land to build a new house. For 6 months, they’ve try to meet with the city to discuss some of their problems but no one ever answered. Now, since the occupation, the city asked them to sit with a community group to develop 25 new cooperative apartments. “Thanks to the pressure of the occupation, the space allotted to social housing have been enlarged” he said, adding that “as soon as we threatened to take the street and openly support the occupation [which they did], the city agreed to sit with us”. “The main preoccupation of the 25 cooperative families is to protect our environment, to better our living quality and to have cooperative neighbors” the activist said.

The discussion then revolve on strategic questions such as “is it possible to completely oppose the condominium project” and what should we do next. People agreed that we should totally oppose the condominiums and ask social housing instead. People talked about different possible actions. Among other things, it was agreed to have more discussion on what we want exactly on site (next one is at the squat Monday at 7pm), to organize a demonstration in two weeks, and finally to have a barbecue on the site sunday.

Quebec city oldest community group join the occupation!

On a side note, the ACEF, Quebec city oldest community group (it’s a consumer union founded in 1966), decided to support the occupation and some of it’s activists and organizers will sleep there tonight. They said in a communiqué that “if each community group and trade-union took one day to occupy this house, we could show to the governments that there is still a network of solidarity able to denounce the injustices and the discriminations created by the race to profits.” They added that “housing is an investment and goods for the owners but represents before everything else an essential need for our fellow-citizens tenants, we can deprive ourselves of many things necessary to life but not to house ourself.” They also encourage other groups to follow their example.

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 conversion of existing housing into condominium projects 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 <nicolasphebus [at] yahoo [dot] com>