Zürich (Switzerland): Voices from the occupied Juch

We, and all of us who have entered this space in the last few weeks, have seen what this was and must never be again: a prison. What is clear to all of us is that no one who has seen this space can allow it to be used again for the administration and imprisonment of people. It is inhumane that traumatised people who have fled in the Juch should again be crammed together and monitored.

The SVP says about this occupation at the local council meeting on 6 november 2019: “Apparently some people enjoy more privileges and are not equal before the law, according to the motto: for a few instead of for all”. We say: exactly, talking about tolerance, what about people who are categorized, imprisoned and administered. This state is so far for a few instead of for all – the camps in which people in exile are imprisoned are clear proof of this. The problem isn’t that the repression against a few people who are appropriating space isn’t big enough, the problem is that this system grants some rights that it denies others. The distinction is based solely on where the persons were born.

A former resident tells the following: “When I applied for asylum in Switzerland, they put me in a camp. We call it Juchhof. Then I discovered that it was not a camp, but a prison, disguised as a camp. The rules were the same as in a prison. We were prisoners and not fugitives. I can tell you some of the rules: We couldn’t get out after 5 pm, we didn’t have a kitchen where we could cook for ourselves. They fed us like animals and the food was inedible. We lived together in 4m2 rooms and they sold us everything we needed. I remember that once I wanted to repair a piece of clothing. They had a sewing machine and rented it to me for 1.- per 5min. The safety system was very strict. There were many alarms and cameras. The police came at least 3 times a day. All the personal problems and problems with the people running the place and the daily threat from the police were horrible for me and I will never advise anyone to go to a camp”.

This place can and wants to counter this. All the events that have taken place here so far have been a time of reflection. In two weeks, we have created a collectively administered space on this site, met, grown, organized exchanges, performances, exhibitions and concerts – we are reviving this space in a self-determined way. We are here, we stay here. We will continue to meet, organize and make the space what it should be: in solidarity, open to all, free from control.

We oppose every administration of people, every prison, every inequality. It will take a lot to turn this prison into a place of encounter – only an overthrow of spatial conditions, who controls it and for what purpose – can make this possible at all.

Juchstrasse 27
8048 Zürich, Switzerland

Some squats in Zürich: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/zurich/country/CH/squated/squat
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in Zürich: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/zurich/country/CH
Events in Zürich: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/Zurich/country/CH

Some squats in Switzerland: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/CH/squated/squat
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in Switzerland: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/CH
Events in Switzerland: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/CH

[Barrikade: https://barrikade.info/article/2880].