Prague: Empty houses

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.