UK: Plans to criminalise squatting in residential buildings

Amendments to the Legal Aid Bill announced by Kenneth Clarke (Minister of “Justice”) would make it a criminal offence to squat in residential buildings.

The response to the consultation on squatting came out today and of the 2,200 respondents, more than 2,100 were in favour of NOT criminalising squatting. Showing yet again that the 1% do not give a shit about the 99% (or, ok in this case, to use the real figures, it’s the 4% versus 96%), the Government is simply going to push through the law anyway.
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Manchester: OK Cafe social centre returns

Manchester’s OKasional Cafe has returned. The temporary squatted social centre project has occupied a disused old people’s home in Fallowfield, South Manchester. For three weeks the space will provide vegan lunch, dinner, workshops, events, gigs, parties, a library and more.

For an up-to-date programme of events see here.
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Madrid: Welcome to the Hotel Ocupa

Back in Madrid after a month in the USA, I find the indignados of the 15M movement have just taken a building nearby. The Hotel Madrid, at 10 calle Carretas is a long-abandoned former Best Western hotel. Now it is swarming with folks coming around to see what is up. The hotel is steps away from the Puerta del Sol, the center of Madrid and site of the original encampment of May 15th, 2011 that launched the Spanish movement which is the big sister of Occupy Wall Street.
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Amsterdam: Report from the Court Case

On Wednesday the 19th of October we presented ourselves at court. The Gemeente Amsterdam realizing they did not have a strong case, ours was a civil court case. In the current climate after the illegalization of squatting in 2010, this is quite unusual. Most of the times squatters have to open a court-case against the state to fight for their right of habitation.

On the plaintiff’s side, two lawyers and their clients were present. It was easy for us to figure out who was who at first sight – the meagre man on the left from us a City Council representative, in fact Mr. Van Dijk, coordinator of Real Estate Administration at the Stadsdeel Zeeburg; the stout man to the right the former renter, Mr. Drenth from Drenth Autoschade B.V.

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Amsterdam: Reclaim the neighbourhood

't Blijvertje

Demonstration, Sunday October 30th, 14.00 @ ‘t Blijvertje, with music, speeches, food and a mobile exhibition we speak out to stop the demolitionpolitics and to preserve a fun, diverse and affordable neighbourhood. In 2007, ‘t Blijvertje, a little neighbourhood centre situated in a squatted apartment at the Third Oosterparkstraat opened its doors. This action marked the beginning of a long campaign against the demolition of social housing, the displacement of tenants and the demolition of beautiful buildings. [Read More]

London: Defend Grow Heathrow

201110_Defend_Grow_HeathrowOn Thursday 17th November 2011 Transition Heathrow’s squatted community garden project ‘Grow Heathrow’ will be heading back to court. Despite no support from the local community, the local council and the local MP, the owners of the land at Grow Heathrow are going ahead with a third attempt to remove us from the site.

They trashed the land.
They were evicted by the council.
We cleared 30 tonnes of their rubbish.
We planted vegetables, fixed bikes and provided community space.
They want to evict us.
We want to stop them. [Read More]

Vienna: Epicenter of a coming movement

In Vienna, one day before the global day of action 15th of October, people started occupying a huge building. It has been opened as a social center named Epizentrum, for the neighborhood and the whole city, and it is right now in a humming process of being built up.

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UK: Whatever they say squatting will stay!

October 1 2011 marked one year since the Kraakverbod made squatting illegal in the Netherlands. However, hundreds of people still squat and will continue to squat.

With squatting in the UK coming under threat, join us to hear 3 squatters from Amsterdam talk next week in several cities across the UK about squatting before the ban, resistance to the criminalisation and what’s been happening since the Kraakverbod became law.
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London: Squat exhibition opening in Tufnell Park/Holloway

In response to badly biased mainstream media coverage, the threat of new laws criminalising squatting, and the Dale Farm eviction, a new squat exhibition will open this week to offer the public an alternative viewpoint and show the positive side of squatting, and its connection to providing solutions rather than causing problems.

In a perfect example of how squatting can be a positive experience, the organisers have held conversations and meetings with the current owner of the building and have not only negotiated a temporary stay with the opening of the exhibition to the public, but also the possibility of some rent-free space at a local theatre school to continue the exhibition on an ‘official’ basis.
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La Salamane (FR): Call for occupation!

CALL FOR OCCUPATION, La Salamane (40 min from Montpellier, France) The municipalities community of the Clermontais is planning to build a commercial area of 70 Ha on agrarian land between la Salamane and Clermont l’Hérault (40 min from Montpellier, France). About 30 Ha are already owner by Système U, a French supermarket chain, to build a gigantic center for storage that has already been classified under the French SEVESO rating as slightly environmentally dangerous. This area contains a few empty houses, some vineyards and some fruit trees. The land expropriations already started for the few owners that didn’t sell their propriety yet and the bulldozers are starting to tear down the vineyards. [Read More]

Bristol, UK: Against eviction and gentrification in St Pauls

For the defence of liberated spaces

We are people who live in or use the Factory Social Centre, the building on the corner of Cave Street and Portland Square. A company called the PG Group wants to develop the building we are occupying. They plan to turn it into luxury flats, offices, a cafe, an art gallery and a small health centre. Aside from the possible health centre, we don’t see their development plans as good for this area. Also, when all other information suggests that the NHS is cutting back on public outpatient nursing, we have doubts about what kind of heath centre it would be and if it will really happen.

We don’t want to be moved on and we don’t want this building to be developed. We are asking for your support.
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Bilbao: Flo and Rafi released from pretrial detention

As of today, Friday September 30th , our friends and comrades Flo & Rafi have been released on bail from their Basque pretrial detention . After versatile international protest and solidarity actions against their arrest -based on flimsy grounds- the Basque justice department decided to release both on bail for 1000 Euro per person. We are happy for our friends and comrades, but it’s clear that this is not the end of the repression related to the eviction of Kukutza III . Neither the accusations against Flo & Rafi, nor the accusations against all the other comrades, who were struggling for Kukutza III, have been dropped. Here as well as there, continuing threats , investigations and probably even prosecutions are to be expected. More info soon. (german and spanish) (german) (french)