Zürich: Juch area evicted

Statement on the planned eviction of the Juch area.
Thursday May 21st.

The city of Zurich maintains its ultimatum regarding the Juch area. Tomorrow, on Friday, May 22, 2020, at midnight, the squatters must leave the Juch area; otherwise the police will threaten the violent eviction announced by the city.

But there are still no reasons for the eviction. Although the city, under pressure from politicians and the people of Zurich, gave a “reason” for the eviction of the Juch area during the last eviction threat of one month – the space would be needed for building installations by HRS Real Estate – there is still no evidence that this justification is tenable. Neither the public nor politicians have any construction plans from HRS Real Estate which indicate that it actually needs the site right now for the construction of the adjacent stadium. Only a few months ago, there was talk of a long-term interim use of the site, mediated by the city. Then the AOZ (Zurich Asylum Organization) wanted to use the barracks itself. However, constructional deficiencies (namely the lowering of the ground, for which HRS is responsible) make this use impossible. This is where HRS comes into play. By disclosing the rent for the area through HRS, the city is creating a false impression of transparency with regard to the reason for eviction. But as long as no actual plans of the individual construction stages are available, this transparency is a farce. Only if it is possible to see in which construction phase HRS must necessarily include the site in its plans in order to be able to build can this justification be considered politically tenable. This is not the case. To mention a building installation site as a reason for evacuation is bold enough, but the fact that there is no concrete evidence for the necessity of this truck turning area makes the justification doubly a demolition in store.

There is nothing to suggest that HRS intended to use this site. From internal sources we have the indication that the initiator of the deal to rent out the HRS premises was not HRS itself, but the city council. The city had offered the site to HRS. It is obvious that the deal is related to the compensation payments that HRS owes the city because of the ground subsidence on the Juch site caused by the construction of the stadium. The contract between the city and HRS is open to interpretation, according to our sources. It is not clear what kind of contract there is, nor why it was made. It is clear, however, that Daniel Leupi (Greens) and Raphael Golta (SP), as the responsible persons, have the scope of action and the power to ensure that Juch as a cultural place and living space remains as long as possible. They did not do that! There would have been room for manoeuvre, but they did not use it because they did not want to! This despite the fact that they are politicians who supposedly stand up for “social cohesion, dealing with the weakest in society, affordable housing” (Golta), “for a mixed city with quality of life for all” (Leupi) and for the city as a place for “people with low income” (Leupi). Nevertheless, they have made the decision to get rid of Juch as soon as possible. The lack of transparency in the whole affair suggests that something is rotten in the deal between the city and HRS Real Estate. Internal political figures also confirm this. As the petition for the preservation of Juch with over 1600 signatures and various statements of politicians from AL, Greens and SP show, the eviction contradicts the interest of many people in this city.

The city of Zurich is pushing the Juch area back and forth in order to finally have a flimsy reason to evict it with the use by HRS. But the area is not empty and not unused! The squatters have turned it into a cultural free space, thus opening it up to the people of this city. Whatever is behind this contract, it is lazy! The soil of this city is not there for opaque deals. We don’t want to discuss urban policy issues! We’re not interested in your party political games! We want to stay!

unten [at] protonmail [dot] com

Statement by Migrantifa on the Juch eviction

The history of the Juch is a history that is closely linked with the history of racism in Switzerland. The Juchhof area was built as a shanty town for so-called “guest workers”: Workers from the European South, who – legally and socially strongly discriminated – were exploited by Swiss companies and Swiss society. They were treated as a commodity, not as people, who were to be got rid of quickly after the oil crisis as an economic buffer.
The Juch was then for 13 years the largest emergency shelter for illegal immigrants. Many of the undocumented fugitives were part of the right of stay movement, occupied churches, and from this the Autonomous School ASZ was born. The struggles specifically of undocumented people of the Juche-type should never be forgotten!
Before the emptiness, the Juch was used as a test centre for the federal asylum camps. The asylum system is a repressive, violent institute of the Swiss state. It is not designed to protect the fugitives, but to ward off and separate them. While the semi-captivity of the federal asylum camps, the internment of fugitives or their placement in inhumane bunkers form one part of state racist violence, neo-colonialist exploitation, imperialist wars and support for dictatorships in the Trikont form the other side of the same coin.

After the occupation a diverse and open space was created, which was also open for projects of People of Color and migrants. Examples are the office “Ping PoC” of the Left PoC to support People of Color and refugees, or a library with anti-colonial and anti-racist literature. We were able to form and develop initiatives in the Juch.
It should be emphasized that the Juch has always been perceived as a place open to People of Color, and a space where many initiatives with an anti-racist focus could be formed and developed.

Therefore, we as People of Color and migrants say: Juch remains!

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

sources: Juch https://juch.zureich.rip/petition-und-aktionswoche/
Barrikade: https://barrikade.info/Erklarung-der-Migrantifa-zur-Juch-Raumung-3543