Madrid: CSOA Casablanca evicted

Communique from the Casablanca Assembly immediately after the eviction Wednesday September 19, 2012

Today, at 7 am, the police have forcibly evicted without notice the squatted and self-managed social center Casablanca, situated at calle Santa Isabel 21-23, in Madrid, Spain.

This was totally illegal eviction. A magistrate’s court and the Provincial Court of Madrid firm filed the criminal case started building ownership. It is illegal to reopen the case, and it is illegal we have not been notified of the decision to evict.

In two and a half years, Casablanca has been a meeting place open to everyone in the Lavapies neighborhood and city, as well as creation and development of social and political consciousness. Working and creating a safe space and a benchmark of solidarity, mutual support, self-management, horizontality, autonomy, and asamblearismo care. The community center has been built from the conviction that another world is possible, rejecting the capitalist system and corrupt patriarchy.

In CSOA collaborate over 30 collective, developing projects related to: Creating and critical thinking: Casablanca has served as a meeting place for various groups working and popular neighborhood assemblies and student movements, through countless lectures, learning journeys, empowerment and social criticism.

Education: a project for living free and learning with children two to six years (“Tartaruga”), a cooperative project between parents for the care of infants under one year (“Common House”), a Spanish teaching project for migrants (“the library”), reading workshops, a management project loan of more than 10,000 books donated during the camp popularly Sol and exchange of textbooks, in which more than 200 people involved in situations of need every Wednesday (“BiblioSol”), the physical file Sol …
The self, as an alternative to the model of consumption: a sewing, construction, bicycle repair, silkscreen printing, photography, computer …
Art, culture and personal health: theater workshops (“Timbuktu”, “Impro theater”), dance (“Dance Lab”), yoga, queer culture (“Queer Tango Workshop”), swing, hip-hop, film (Casablanca Cinema) …
Social development: a project of support among people living with HIV (“HIV Madrid Critique”), a legal aid office to migrant groups, women’s groups, the Office of Okupación Madrid, theater group (“Dystopia” ) …
Alternatives to consumer model: free store, consumer groups (“Tomarte Rojo”, “BAH”), urban gardening, vegan dining, bike shop … It would be impossible to name all the people and groups who have been here for two years.

All this took place in a closed building, owned by the builder Monteverde SL, bought what was to become a college luxury homes. But came the bursting of the housing bubble and the crisis and were unable to continue speculating with it, the building being closed for more than three years. This company processes involved in corruption (Operation Malaya II), is part of the real culprits of the current political-economic context. Therefore, the proposed Casablanca has the legitimacy that they lack.

The political line of Casablanca, which has been developed for years in the occupied centers of La Escoba (the Broom; 2006), La Alarma (the Alarm; 2007), Malaya (2008) and La Mácula (2009), has become and remains a project of political struggle. This line has always believed and worked on the development and articulation of networks outside the mercantilist system. We believe in collective work as a means of achieving self-management of our lives and mutual support. We support the model of cooperation as an alternative to the model of competition and we continue to fight.

We realize that this eviction was not casual. It is the product of a process of growing repression of movement places arising from fear, and is closely related to recent calls for civil disobedience to demand the recovery of popular sovereignty. In this context, the eviction of Casablanca is now part of the strategy with which the elites of economic and political power face a new stage of social mobilization. Those of us who want to build a different reality have moved from a position of strength to a direct confrontation on September 25th, which will be a turning point. If you’ve come here because we have spent many months working, sharing, knowing, fighting, we are no longer fragmented people and groups. So this social center has been one of the areas where this has taken place, but the eviction is not the end of what has grown up here.

Another eviction, another squat.