Leipzig: Ludwigstraße 71 squatted

Press release – occupation Ludwigstraße 71, August 22nd 2020

The occupation of Ludwigstraße 71 has survived the first night. Activists are still staying in the apartment building. According to the LVZ the owner should come to Leipzig on Wednesday and be ready to talk to the activists. Until then the house is under police observation.

“We would be pleased if the owner would also contact us directly”, says Kaya from Leipzig Besetzen. Since the beginning of the occupation, the group emphasized its willingness to conduct negotiations on an equal basis and presented a utilization concept.

“We expect restraint from the police,” agrees Sasha, also from Leipzig Besetzen. The day before, there had been an increased police presence in the neighboring streets. In the meantime, police officers tried to gain access to the building from Mariannenstraße. To do this, the police blocked the front doors of adjacent residential buildings when residents left them. Additionally there were harassment of passers-by by police officers.

The activists thank for the solidarity shown by residents and supporters who came by.

During the whole night there were people in front of the house. In addition, there were solidarity occupations in the immediate vicinity.

Leipzig Besetzen continues to call on interested people and supporters to make their own picture on the spot and to stay in Ludwigstraße.

Luwi71 remains!

Luwi71 utilisation concept

The house at Ludwigstraße 71 was occupied on Friday, August 21st 2020. The house is to become a house project. The occupation is also intended to give emphasis to the demands for a shift in priorities in Leipzig’s housing and urban development policies. There are also calls for a criminalisation of vacant uses as well as an immediate stop to all forced evictions. East Leipzig is increasingly becoming a hot spot for gentrification. Rent increases and luxury renovations lead to the exclusion of financially disadvantaged persons. The East, especially the area around Eisenbahnstraße, is to be preserved and expanded as an attractive and culturally enriching district.
The property has now been vacant for over a decade and is not used. We therefore consider it to be optimally suited for our cultural and social use. The house consists of three floors and has a basement. The upper floors are each equipped with two apartments with several rooms. A garden belongs to the house. On the ground floor there will be space for a café/bar and a self-help workshop. A lot of space for the daily exchange with chilled or hot drinks for all people. In the self-help workshop there will be some tools and the possibility to repair bicycles and other things together and with the help of others. Self-help workshops are for us a place of self-empowerment and learning together, to which people have access regardless of their financial means.

We want the house to be a non-hierarchical, solidarity-based space, whose use and administration is self-governing and under independent management. As soon as all legal matters are settled, we will take care of the house. The building structure will be inspected and any defects will be remedied to ensure safety. We rely primarily on solidarity and voluntary help, but will also call on skilled personnel if necessary. The participation of many people is important to us. We see ourselves and the house as an open project in which social contacts can be maintained, new things learned and people can help each other. An emancipatory, solidarity-based approach for all people is the goal. The house is for us and future guests and residents a free space, which is urgently needed.

In any case, we are ready for negotiations and would be pleased to welcome you at Ludwigstraße 71. We call on the city of Leipzig to make affordable housing possible. This includes not selling real estate belonging to the city to private investors* and bringing former stocks back into municipal ownership. The rent cap should be further reduced. In addition, the residents should have a say in how the housing market develops and what the future development of the city looks like. Existing non-commercial open spaces are to be preserved and not have to give way to fitness and leisure parks. We want the City of Leipzig to support our project and approve the contract for the use of Ludwigstrasse 71. This contract is based on the concept of Leipzig Besetzen.

Press release – occupation, August 21nd 2020

Today, August 21st 2020, activists from Leipzig have occupied the house at Ludwigstraße 71. After there was already a mock occupation in the same building on May 1st, this time we came to stay!
“The aim of this occupation is to recapture public space and create free, non-commercial spaces and to highlight massive vacancies in our city. Rents are rising, living space is becoming scarcer, and the commercialization of urban space is advancing. Displacement and gentrification effects, as they have been seen in other parts of Leipzig, such as the southern suburbs, Plagwitz and Connewitz, have long been a sad reality in the east of Leipzig,” explains Sasha, activist in the group Leipzig Besetzen.
Today, urban space is above all an object of speculation and profit maximisation. The large number of buildings that have been unused for years, vacant or currently undergoing luxurious renovation prove this. This fact is an integral part of neo-liberal urban policy, which attaches more importance to the interests of entrepreneurs like the CG Group, Vonovia or Pears Global than to the needs of the people who actually live in the city.
Kaya from Leipzig Besetzen adds: “Also the eviction of Syndikat on 7 August 2020 in Berlin-Neukölln has shown that the economic interests of offshore companies are more important than the solidarity structures in the neighbourhood. The government and police have once again made themselves accomplices of aggressively acting investors.
The city of Leipzig now has the opportunity to do things differently and to show itself open to self-governing and solidarity-based city politics. We from Leipzig Besetzen are always ready to enter into negotiations with the city and landlords and hope for a relationship on equal terms without outbreaks of violence. As a basis we already present the city with a utilization concept, which among other things includes the construction of an event room, a café, living space as well as a neighboring community garden, which can also be used by day-care centers and schools as a school garden.
As a political project, we are striving for a solidary cooperation with the neighbourhood and therefore call on all interested parties to support the occupation, to get involved and thus to help shape the vacancy, the project that is being created.
The open space campaign Leipzig Besetzen is part of the nationwide campaign of occupation. As with our friends in Berlin and the other cities, the occupation will continue until it is no longer necessary.

Luwi71 remains!

Leipzig Besetzen
leipzigbesetzen [at] riseup [dot] net

Ludwigstraße 71
04315 Leipzig

Groups in Leipzig https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/leipzig
Events in Leipzig https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/Leipzig

Groups in Germany https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/DE
Events in Germany https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/DE

Leipzig Besetzen: