Prague: A statement on the provisory spaces

This statement is meant to declare our attitude concerning recent events and also to introduce our vision of the future. Since the eviction of our house, our collective is growing bigger and stays open to new people. This collective is based on the principle of non-hierarchy, without those who control and those who are controlled, and on self-organization. Everyone who participates on collective work participates also on collective decisions. The process of collective decisions is based on consensus. In opposition In opposition to the existing rules of society rules we work on principles of mutual help, equality and respect, our relations and needs are not calculated according to money or prestige.

We understand that spaces in Truhlarska street were given to us in a ridiculous way. Squatting activities at Milada or anywhere else were not meant to lead to something like this. The company of Peter Svinka (owner of the house) is at the head of a so called gentrification wave (process of moving people out from centres and replacing living spaces by offices and shopping centres). In general, it means changing structure of a city not according to needs of people, but according to needs of business. Squatting stands against this process. We have to admit that the complicated situation, in which we found ourselves after destruction of our functioning centre, hasn’t given much room for some manoeuvre. Yes, we could have said ‘no’ when deciding about this offer, but we would face a criticism anyway (but of a different kind).

In this situation, we were considering what we could do about this place. Split between a proposal of rejecting this space and a full usage as a living space, we finally decided, during a long discussion, that we will use this space in a subversive way. We will try to reverse the situation and use it unlike all expectations. All spaces in Truhlarska (including all flats that will not be used for living) should be used in a spirit of our activities: we plan occasional concerts as well as exhibitions, cooking for homeless people (Food Not Bombs), public workshops, lectures, squatting and gentrification advice centre, various artistic activities etc. We want to support our neighbours in danger of legal evictions from their sold houses, not just in this house but in the whole street. We will help them in practice and in theory and we will support all of those determined to stay.

By accepting and using the space in Truhlarska our struggle and activities do not end. We see a clear line between squatting and activity that will happen in Truhlarska. This space is a side effect of our efforts and this won’t change. We will try to fill this space with a positive content, but yet we won’t stop our effort to reach a free, autonomous (thus squatted) space.