Prague (Cz): Squat Milada her_story

The story of villa Milada, one of the best known and longest existing czech squat, began 1st May 1998, when was squatted by group of people evicted from another building. Milada is situated in Holešovice district in Prague, north of the city center, near a river. On the place it stands was old villa quarter, which had to fall back on account of new colleges project planned in „communist“ regime. But from the college project are finally realized only three high-rised buildings. Milada also had to be demolished, but finally it was only deleted from the cadastre. Demolition never happened and since the time, Milada didn’t exist in documents. Squatters wanted to make an agreement with Institute for informations in education, the administrator of Milada and surrounding land, all the time, but despite this, unsuccesfull attempt to evict the squat followed soon. Eviction was unsuccesfull, also thanks to support of college students. In Milada took place concerts, annual Resistance feast (reminder of eviction attempt), Food Not Bombs cooking, projections….

In 2003, a large part of squatters left the house after disagreement and four years of activity decline followed, house served primary only for habitation. In 2007 was unsuccesfull tryout to squat a house in the Prague periphery. Squatters, who had idea to build an independent space with clear political direction, turned to Milada, where they decided to stay and revitalize it again. Since then, new collective organized, and helped to happen, hundreds of miscellanous events: in addition to concerts of many music styles also projections with freegan dinners, poetry reading, theater performances, DIY screen printing and other workshops, discussions, thematic benefit parties, fireshow…. It was not only about magnificient actions like celebration of International Women’s day „Toys for boys“ (an exhibition of paintings, theater, projection, squatters fashion parade, gig), Radical graffiti jam or week lasting anniversary of 10 and 11 year of existence. Milada was been valuable because it was a free space where anything was possible. Milada was place for meeting people and space for learning…. Place where we could do benefit concert if somebody got into hard situation, where bands, which haven’t money, could practice, where we cooked for homeless people, where we met lots of interesting and inspiring people, where we realized ourselves, felt free….

30th june 2009 squat Milada was evicted by private security group hired by Institute for informations in education. Since this day, Milada is posted into the cadastre again, legaly it is again existing house. Police assisted the eviction and didn’t intervened when security employees (lot of them were monitored nazis) were throwing furniture, computers and other stuff from windows, even when they endangered lifes of squatters on the roof, police just covered them. Before the eviction nobody told squatters to leave. After discussion with last squatters on the roof, when the house was already destroyed, cabinet minister for minorities promised to find new substitute space. Now, three flats and cellar in apartment house in centre of Prague (Truhlárská 11), which offered private businessman connected to this minister, are provisory place. Squatters accepted to use this space as a centre for further actions. Soon appeared information, that squatters have to force neighbours to leave. After the emigration of last apartments in the house, which should ensure the squatter, the house would be converted into a hotel. Squatters immediately started to communicate with neighbours, who were scared by negative media campaign. Now, we have good relations with our neighbours, they see we are friendly, active and thinking people – the opposite image that is presented by mass media. Squatters also didn’t want to live here, but use the room just for an action basement – now e.g. as place for cooking and meeting, infoshop, gallery, theatre, gym, storage and multifunction room.