An update from the No TAV campaign and thoughts on its relevance for Stop HS2

The No TAV campaign in northern Italy has been fighting an expensive, unneeded and corrupt high speed railway link for over three decades. The proposed mafia-linked freight train service from Turin to Lyon has been repeatedly exposed for its fantastical predictions and is slated by local people who see no reason to leave their homes for a white elephant. If you are already thinking about the similarities to HS2 here in England then you are in the right place. I will start by giving a very brief history of No TAV, then an update on recent events. In the second half, I will concentrate on what the Stop HS2 movement can learn from No TAV.

For those who have never heard of the No TAV movement, it is a campaign born thirty odd years ago to resist the construction of a 270 kilometre long high speed railway (Treno di Alta Velocita) between Turin (in Italy) and Lyon (in France). There is widespread opposition on both French and Italian soil, since the railway is a corrupt scheme proposing to transport freight based on fantasy figures and the people who live along the route see no benefit (the train won’t be stopping there). They argue that the already existing railway infrastructure should be improved instead. The resistance is greatest in the breathtakingly beautiful Val di Susa (Susa Valley), which stretches from Turin to the Alps for fifty kilometres. In summer, the valley is bright with colours, the blue sky and green grass bisected by the snow on the mountains. It has a unique environment, since one side sees the sun and the other does not. The train line would rip straight through it before entering a tunnel of 57.5 kilometres to France. This tunnel would be longer than the Chunnel and in fact would just squeeze in as the longest rail tunnel in the world, if it ever gets built. Local people are concerned that drilling into the mountains will disturb uranium and asbestos deposts, that mafia construction will lead to health hazards and that the overall economic case for TAV no longer stands up.
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Amsterdam’s lost FREE heaven

In 2019, after 21 years of occupation, one of the world’s most incredible free spaces was demolished, and its residents evicted, in order to make space to … nothing at all!

Our friend Anita, a member of Underkonstruction sound system and part of the amazing Nostruckture travelling stage, has been visiting the ADM community for several years.

We asked her a few questions about the past, present and future of ADM.

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Madrid: First attempt to evict the Ateneo Libertario in Vallekas stopped. The struggle continues

On September 16, it was again made clear that solidarity and direct action are the best weapon we have as a means of defense against the state and repression. About 150 people from Vallekas and other neighborhoods of the city gathered at the door of the Ateneo Libertario de Vallekas to prevent the eviction of the space. This is not just the eviction of a space, it is the defense of squatting as a tool of struggle in the social war, as a tool to create with our own hands, outside of parties and institutions, spaces of struggle, meeting and learning.

And we achieved this (thanks to all of you). We had a modest deployment of journalists, municipal police vans and the district commissioner. Due to the flow of solidarity, the judicial secretary had no choice but to pass by. Now, any day and without notice, the Ateneo can be evicted. [Read More]

Mexico City: Occupation of national human rights commission

Mexican women have occupied the headquarters of the national human rights commission (CNDH) in the capital Mexico City. They have promised to stay until the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Amlo) recognises the rights of women instead of allowing the high levels of sexual violence and murder to continue. Eleven women are killed every day in Mexico and 98% of murders go unsolved. Predictably, Amlo focused more on the hilarious vandalism going on than the activists’ concerns. Inside the buildings slogans have been painted and various paintings have been improved. Pictures taken by the only tolerated press photographer Andrea Murcia (Inst@usagii_ko) have lit up the internet. She has known the occupiers from the beginning and therefore is trusted by them.

An adulterated portrait of Francisco I. Madero (pictured, 33rd president of Mexico) has received the most attention online. As well it should, it looks great now, gotta love the ACAB. The original artist doesn’t like to collaborate it seems, saying “The most outrageous thing is that they believe that losing respect for the characters who made our Mexican history will solve the lack of the kind of government that we all deserve.” In response, Yesenia Zamudio on of the occupiers said “If he doesn’t agree with us painting the painting, I don’t agree with that my daughter was murdered and that for five years nobody has helped me.” [Quotes]
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Two, Three, Many ZADs

A ZAD means a “zone to defend” (zone à défendre in French). These environmental protest occupations have recorded successes such as preventing an airport near Nantes and a dam in the region of Toulouse. This a roundup of recent ZAD news. In July this year, activists from ANV-COP21 and Extinction Rebellion occupied land in Besançon near to the Swiss border, before handing it on to anonymous occupiers supported by Gilets Jaunes. They are resisting plans to build a controversial “eco-housing” district, saying they prefer the wetlands which are now threatened with destruction. Despite being initially reluctant to use the term ZAD, they are now going by ZAD des Vaîtes.

Currently, there is a standoff of sorts. The mayor refuses to negotiate until a watchtower has been demolished (for the safety of the campers she claims) and the Zadists are digging in for winter, having already celebrated two months of occupation. Meanwhile at Roybon, a small village to the south of Lyon, the squatters have won! After a long struggle both in the courts and in the trees, Center Parcs Europe decided in July to halt their construction plans. They had planned to build a new waterpark and a thousand holiday cottages in a forest, sparking concerns about the amount of pollution it would have created. The Zadists have announced that after six years of occupation, they actually quite feel like staying, which has outraged the local mayor. She is calling for eviction and the story continues. More news on social media or at their website.

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Athens: Call for international solidarity for a trial on September 18

On September 18, the trial against two comrades from Berlin and two comrades from Athens will take place in Evelpidon Court in Athens. On November 26, 2017, the four persons were arrested during the eviction of Gare Squat, in the Athens district of Exarcheia. Among other charges, they are accused of trespassing, attempted serious bodily harm, refusal of forensic identification and possession of explosive materials and explosive bombs. This eviction was the first of three in which the four comrades were detained for 4 days. They were released on conditions or bail and now, almost three years later, have to appear in court. [Read More]

Berlin: Don’t touch Liebig 34! Eviction date on 9 october 2020

Today, on September 15, we received mail from the bailiff T. Knop. They threatened to evict Liebig34 on Friday, October 9 at 7 am!

We will not let that happen! How is it possible that an attempt to evict is being planned even though it is publicly known that a different association than the defendant is present in the rooms?
How is it possible that in times when a second wave of Corona and #StayHome is expected, a home is to be evicted by so many people?
How is it possible that especially now, in times of fascist marches and a shift to the right, a feminist, leftist and queer house project is being attacked so massively?

We are angry but determined. We will not easily give up the Liebig 34.
Support us in our struggle.
Come to the general assemblies, annoy politicians and homeowners.
Be creative! Let’s make the eviction attempt a disaster! [Read More]

Chania: Rosa Nera evicted, the struggle is just beginning

Rosa Nera is an autonomous, anti-authoritarian political collective and since 2004, has squatted and given its name to the historical building that was formerly known as the “5th Army Division”, declaring it, for the first time in its history, a liberated space.

The squatted building of Rosa Nera, was built around 1880 by the Turks as a palace for the local pasha. It continued to house different representatives of the authority, the latest being the local military command, during the military dictatorship of Papadopoulos.

In 1985 the building passes from the ministry of defense to the ministry of education, which offers it to the Technical University of Crete, under the condition that it would be used solely for educational activities. Nevertheless, from 1985 till 2004, the building was totally abandoned.

In June 2004, the building was occupied and revived. It was transformed from a ruin that was falling apart, into a political, cultural and social activities center, as well as a house. Everything was accomplished with collective work, collective will and collective financial support. That means that the people did it all, by organizing themselves through horizontal and non-hierarchical procedures. [Read More]

Vitry-sur-Seine: Presentation of La Kunda, new autonomous social center

Since February 2020, we are about fifty people – precarious, undocumented, students – to occupy a plot of land with three buildings in Vitry-sur-Seine. This place, empty for less than a year, owned by the Val-de-Marne, was a home and the headquarters of a company of land shareholders in the department. We chose to call it La Kunda (the community in Soninké).
Why squatting it? The squatter responds first of all to the need, for some of us, to have decent housing and for others, quite simply, to have a home. We refuse precarious work in order to pay a rent that is too expensive, just as we refuse the blackmail of the real estate market and social institutions.
Some of us are undocumented, and follow long procedures that leave them on the street, without housing and without the possibility of working. Without the squat, it is the street, and everyone knows the difficulties of the street. Thanks to these places, some of us can go to school, move forward and have a place to live. [Read More]

Calais: a decree forbids associations to distribute food to migrants, humanitarians rise up

An order published Thursday by the prefect of Pas-de-Calais forbids associations not mandated by the State to distribute food to migrants living in Calais. L’Auberge des migrants and Utopia 56 insist on such a measure which they consider “shameful and scandalous”.

A new tug-of-war between migrant aid associations and the authorities in Calais, northern France. In a decree published on Thursday, September 10, the prefect of the Pas-de-Calais, Louis le Franc, announced a ban on “any free distribution of drinks and food [in about twenty streets, quays, squares in the city center] to put an end to public disorder and limit the health risks associated with undeclared gatherings.

“Non-compliance with distancing measures”

Insofar as the State has mandated an association, la Vie active, to provide “four daily distributions of meals”, that it makes available to migrants 38 water taps 5 days a week, including “22 accessible 7 days a week” and that water is distributed during meals, the prefecture considers that “the set of services provided makes it possible to provide migrants with sufficient humanitarian services with regard to the needs of this population, particularly food”. [Read More]

France: ZAD du Carnet

In just one week, the ZAD du Carnet has become a place of resistance, solidarity and welcome for all those who wish to join it. A welcome area raises awareness about the project for locals, cyclists and walkers. Every day we set up common living spaces thanks to donations of equipment and recycling and a free-shop offers second-hand clothing or other items. Self-built structures protect people from the rain and wind. A bicycle repair workshop allows bicycles to be repaired in order to be able to move around the site. The barricades still prevent construction machinery from passing, material and physical resistance necessary to prevent the continuation of the devastating works.
The ZAD obviously does not prevent walkers and residents from accessing the Carnet natural area, it only protects it from roadworks. We are a free zone where sexist, racist, homophobic and ableist oppressions (among others) are proscribed, feel free to join it.

IMPORTANT INFO

Come to join: http://zadducarnet.org/index.php/venir-nous-rejoindre/
Supporting the struggle: http://zadducarnet.org/index.php/soutenir-la-lutte/
Facebook: ZAD du Carnet
Twitter: @ZAD_du_Carnet
Mail: zadducarnet [at] riseup [dot] net
Receive the newsletter by email: https://lists.riseup.net/www/subscribe/info-zadcarnet
Receive urgent info by message: send ′′ hello ′′ to the number from Signal:+ 1 25 12 92 15 23
Reoccupation:In case of eviction in the next few weeks, we are already calling for a massive protest to reoccupy the site on the third Sunday following.

Via https://fr.squat.net/2020/09/08/frossay-44-bienvenue-a-la-zad-du-carnet/

Montpellier: Squat des Archives, towards an evacuation and a legal transition?

The Luttopia collective, who is coordinating the squat of the former departmental archives, met today with the Prefecture’s chief of staff, Mr. Smith, in the presence of representatives of the municipality, the Departmental Directorate of Social Cohesion (DDCS), the Communal Center for Social Action (CCAS) and the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII), to discuss the future of the building, which is subject to a judicial decision of eviction.

A change in the Prefecture’s discourse?

During this meeting, it would seem that the Prefecture has relatively changed its discourse regarding the eviction of the Squat des Archives, which Prefect Jacques Witkowski had announced last February. A certain awareness of the catastrophic situation of housing and social support in the department has obviously made it possible to envisage a common solution for the future of Luttopia 003, with a view to re-housing its occupants in a truly sustainable manner. [Read More]