Ghent: The verdict gives Pandemistes 8 days to leave as soon as the City sends the bailiff

An expected deadline. Because property rights are greater than the right of residence. Makes sense, right? That is certainly the logic of the rich. For those who do not have a home, this makes less sense. “But that’s their problem.” Among the Pandemistes there are effectively a number of people who will no longer have a home, but fortunately can go somewhere temporarily. This is less obvious to those who are undocumented. “But that’s their problem.”

We might have been able to get a longer term from the judge if we had put more effort into PROVING our positive impact on the neighborhood. But frankly, we much prefer to focus on BEING a positive influence on the neighborhood. By organizing countless events and giving people a taste of the freedom of such a place.

The battle in court is one that is walled by laws. A system created by those in power so that little to nothing changes. Because many of those laws are there to protect capitalism and its exploitation and not the people, animals, planet. We prefer not to participate in that system. We believe in direct action and continue to squat. Because it’s necessary.

And what happens to the Vredeshuis? That is sold to the highest bidder. Indeed, privatized. A sad thing for the inhabitants of Ghent. And certainly for the organizations that were in the Vredeshuis and still do not have a large space available. And so there are many other privatizations in Gent. We can only hope that the City will one day realize that their privatization policy is harmful in many ways. For the inhabitants but in the long term also for the City itself. Because she is now hastily looking for more money and therefore sells public buildings here and there. While the money will soon be gone again and they will only have less patrimony left.

And if that City, as it claims, is effectively open to our action. Then it could also wait until there is a new owner. Because we know that the City of Ghent is looking for a temporary use for the building. Why can’t we be? Are we too critical for their liking? Are we revealing too many truths? If we could stay here for a while, it would at least be interesting for the neighborhood and everyone who needs a place to feel free. And, of course, to take further action.

We also wish the Greens and the other Liberals every success in the elections. Politics is failing. And new anarchists are born.

The Pandemistes
March 20, 2023

‘t Vredeshuis
Sint-Margrietstraat 9
9000 Ghent, Belgium
pandemisten [at] riseup [dot] net

Some squats in Belgium
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in Belgium
Events in Belgium