Montreuil: La Baudrière under eviction threat from august 21st

Why defend La Baudrière

La Baudrière is an anarcha-feminist queer* squat that opened in November 2021 in Montreuil (a city located in Paris’ suburbs). A lot of people meet here, they come for a few hours, a few days or a few weeks. They came there to live, to learn, to party, to organize. La Baudrière is full of their memories.
Now, eviction is looming, and for us, who use this place in so many different ways, it is time for us to defend this space.
We are calling any non-cis het men to colelctively defend La Baudrière, from the 21st of August onwards.

Here are some of the reasons why we want to resist. Down with the landlords and the evictors, down with the gentrifiers !

We want to defend the Baudrière to stop yet another gentrifying real estate project, and to slow down property speculation. Squatting is a way of fighting against private property, that induces financial insecurity, poor housing, social isolation and environmental devastation. Rents are booming in cities, neighborhoods are always more adapted for the rich, and the poor are pushed further and further away from the centre. The real estate project that is planned for the aftermath of the eviction of the Baudrière is a perfect example of the gentrification process that goes on in Montreuil : real estate agents plan on building a luxurious private residence, and extremely expensive shops, so the newcomers feel at home as soon as they arrive.
We want to defend the Baudrière to keep on having free, non-commercial spaces within the city. Squatting means not having to pay rent. It allows people who don’t have a lot money, or no money at all, to live in a decent, salubrious and large
space, without having to submit to the insecurity of having to rely on real estate agencies and landlords, who are often classist, racist, queerphobic, in the hope of -maybe- having access to tiny studios and flats.
Not having to pay to survive means not having to work to survive. It leaves time and energy to dumpster dive/recuperate potentially wasted food, to cook, to furnish, to decorate, to get involved in projects, to leave, to do the things we really want to do, without the constraints of time or productivity. Not having to pay to survive also means having more money to financially support our families, our friends and comrades, collectives that need it, to create stronger webs of material solidarity within our community and beyond, to buy things that we need or that we want, or to have an afternoon snack every day.
Having access to collective spaces where we don’t pay either rent or bills, and having time to recuperate food and to build what we need ourselves, rather than having to buy, allows us to create non-commercial spaces : every party, canteen and event is on a free donation basis. We also have a freeshop where we can get clothes for free. Also, it means that the money that’s made during the parties and the events can be integrally donated to the collectives that organize them. The donation-free/completely free canteens have given us the opportunity to meet and share direct material solidarity, amazing moments in which we’ve cut onions all together, chatted, listened to music, and had a lot of fun.
We want to defend the Baudrière to keep on having access to a space for political organization.
Organizing is hard when there’s no place to meet up, to cross paths with other collectives, to organize events, to meet up in order to go to demonstrations together. Political organization squats are places that give collectives a practical space in which they can grow, prepare projects or plan squat openings, so new spaces can emerge. In the Baudrière there are sleepings/dormitories that can welcome people from far away, there’s canteens, with everything needed to cook for large groups and to organize political meet-ups. There are also great spaces to have funding/support parties that can make thousands of euros to financially support collectives that are in need of money. We want the Baudrière to last even longer, because it would mean that we could keep a place that is materially practical and helpful for organizing. It would enable us to create continuity in our fights and struggles, to maintain and sustain solidarity networks, to develop solid and long-lasting bonds, but also to do better, because obviously, what we’ve been doing is far from perfect.
We want to defend the Baudrière because it’s a self-organized space for meeting up, learning and experimenting. It’s a space that is crossed by many people, mostly queer, and it allows them to meet each other, to create new bonds, to share know-hows that are sometimes seen as less valuable – cooking, hair-dressing, nail art…-, or in the contrary that are often kept away from us – electricity, DIY, construction, repair, first aid, hormonal transition and safe use…-. All of this while feeling more legitimate, capable, without being cis-het-mansplained. At the Baudrière, there’s been all that and more : gardening, a lot of construction, silk-screen printing, workshops and discussions around various themes. It’s also a space for experimenting and building spaces that really look like us : we can try things and it’s okay if it doesn’t work in the end ; we can break walls ; we can paint a wall just because we enjoy it, without having to pay the landlord back. Getting involved in a self-organized space, means evolving in a space that changes, transforms and varies ; it allows us to make mistakes, to challenge what we think is immutable, to try something new.
We want to defend the Baudrière because it’s a queer space. We’ve been repeating that over and over in this text : having queer spaces is so very important to us, because we can meet between ourselves, share our life experiences, party in a very stylish and flamboyant way, without feeling anxious, feeling collectively stronger, building a form of queer autonomy together. From this emerged a huge work on queer memories, with archives exhibits everywhere in the building, and several events centered around this theme.
We’ve always wanted chosen mixities to be, as good friends taught us, “without cis het men” and not “without cis men”, but the majority of the public events were mixed, even if, in fact, they were mostly crowded with queer people. Having times with a majority of queer people was precious, and allowed us to make unexpected alliances, for instance by being a space for the organization of the struggles in the neighbourhood, with many different people involved, in a space that was clear about its anarcha-feminist identity.
We want to defend the Baudrière because it’s a space for care and community support. A queer space is a place where care and support are key. It’s of utmost importance to have spaces for community support that are horizontal, that offer the possibility of giving and receiving support for administrative or medical procedures/paperwork, without having to face medical or social services. One example is the time devoted to gender transitions, especially around the “Instant T” by the FLIRT (the radical and intersectional transfem liberation front, a transfem community support collective), or “l’apéro transmasc” (a transmasc community support collective), but also in more informal ways, with knowledge, hormones and ideas sharing. There’s also been some emergency accomodation to help people out with finding temporary housing. All of this has created ways to try to emancipate each other from the rigid, violent and infantilizing institutional aid structures -as much as we can, somehow or other. We’ve tried to build bonds in different ways, to share our knowledge and skills, to create community, and to find solutions, big or small, when we don’t have family, money, housing or when we’re struggling to find some kind of support.
We want to defend the Baudrière because it’s a living space. Around fifteen people currently live in La Baudrière. It’s a house where we can live, sleep, eat almost or completely for free, where we can spend time in a big space with a garden, stock our stuff, have afternoon snacks all together, vegan barbecues, watch films in a cinema room, be sad without being alone, have festive and collective times, go to school without having to work for a wage at the same time, chat, chill.
It’s a collective space where many people can and have lived.
There’s always someone to talk to or to do things with, and that’s a huge difference comparing to the studios where we have to live on our own, making it more difficult to meet people or live with the people we want to live with.
The Baudrière is a space for human and non-human life. Two cats, mice, two huge chesnut trees, birds that nest there, woodlice, beetles, ants and snails, plants, flowers and vegetables in the yard and on the garden-roof : all of this is doomed to disappear under a thick layer of concrete. The end of the Baudrière means the end of a complex ecosystem where very diverse forms of living share the space in a lot of different shapes and ways.
We want to defend to Baudrière because it’s a really rad building. The building is big, practical, next to the Métro and well-located in Montreuil. A lot of people put a lot of energy into making it pleasant and beautiful, to decorate it and fit it out so we can feel at ease in it. It’s enraging to lose a building that is still usable and livable. The rooms are filled with memories and it’s heartbreaking to imagine them buried under concrete too.
We want to defend the Baudrière to be able to keep on squatting. This year, a new law was voted in France : the Kasbarian law. It’s going to make things more complicated for the occupations to follow, and it’s also gonna make poor tenants‘s evictions easier. So it means a lot to cherish the spaces that are already open, as long as possible. Defending the Baudrière shows that we want to resist and that we don’t just want to lose even more rights: we want more rights, but above all, we give ourselves the right to do what we want.
The Baudrière was opened almost only by very young queer people, because they needed spaces to live and to organize,but also to react to an activist environement that was often queerphobic and not very accessible. Along the way, the Baudrière was shown precious marks of solidarity -material, affective, festive solidarity-, from a lot of different collectives and a lot of different individuals, from the inter-squat networks and groups of Ile-de-France (the Parisian region), and from self-organized and/or squatted places in Montreuil and in Ile-de-France. It’s also thanks to all these aspects that it was able to open and to live this long. Thank you <3
We loooooove the Baudrière, and this is why we choose to defend it.
Come defend the Baudrière, its barricades, its houses in the trees and its beetles!
– We need people to come sleep from the night of the 21st onwards (without cis het men), bring your sleeping mat and your sleeping bag 🙂 (Do be careful though, there are judicial risks : come talk about it, we’ll give you precise and detailed info, we have prepared the anti-repression aspect well!)
– Let’s meet on the 21st of August at 10am, at the 65bis rue Voltaire 93100 Montreuil for the first-day-of-the-eviction-period breakfast!
– If the cops try to evict the Baudrière or if it’s evicted, there will be a demonstration the same night. We can meet at 6.30p.m at the place de la République 93100 Montreuil (for live updates, go to our blog).
– Come join us for the 3rd edition of the Digitales festival : if the Baudrière isn’t evicted yet, it will be a good way to join the defense of the space in one way or another.

* in French, we use “TPG” (Trans Pédé Gouine) instead of “queer” to label the Baudrière, that means Trans, Faggots and Dykes. Labelling the squat “anarcha-feminist” AND “TPG” includes cis-het women as well.

La Baudrière
65 bis rue Voltaire, Montreuil, France
la-baudriere [at] riseup [dot] net

Some groups in Montreuil
Some squats in and around Paris:
Some squats in France:
Groups (collectives, social centres, squats) in France:
Events in France:

La Baudrière