UK: HS2 High Speed High Tension

Over the last fortnight I have gone down a High Speed 2 research wormhole, sparked by the thought that I hadn’t heard much about what was going on lately with this bloated project. I started to google around and to read the media outside my usual reference points, which led to a fair few discoveries, some good some bad. This is a time of high tension, a time when the white elephant should be retired before it’s too late. With my head full of statistics and controversies, I chatted to friends and families in the park and at barbecues and received a fascinating range of opinions. There are protest camps going on and I visited some of them. There are reports from various groups, for and against, which I have read. I came to realise that Stop HS2is a huge socio-political issue which the mainstream media (and to be fair also the alternative media I tend to read) are simply not covering in all its complexity.

In this article, I’d like to draw attention to a few issues. The judicial review launched by Chris Packham has just failed on appeal and that’s a real shame, but the struggle is far from over. Various court cases are in progress and these people need our support, as well as the camps which are springing up to protect threatened areas of natural beauty. Nobody is against a railway in itself, but the story is far more nuanced than that.

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Berlin: Action Week for Leibig34, 07-13.09.20

International Call for the defence of Liebig34

Liebig 34 is being threatend by eviction. When state, cops and the owner want to evict, they will only have a desaster on their hands.
As an anarcha-queer-feminist selforganized house-project without cis-men, directly at the square „Dorfplatz“ in Friedrichshain, Liebig 34 is a place where resistive actions and collective moments are decided and organized. A place where self-organization becomes a dangerous word, where a project is becoming a starting point of struggles and not just a space of self-reference and alternative entertainment. The project itself has taken part in the planning of many of demonstrations, published numerous calls and texts and carried out various radical actions. But it is also a symbol of radicalization and empowerment for the antagonistic scene in Berlin and in Germany, as it shows how to fight various forms of resistance.
Liebig34 consists of a collective which is working with a focus to overcome more and more internalized structures of capitalism and patriarchy. In a world where patriarchy makes up one of the main pillars of the capitalist system, militant feminist groups and collectives, which make clear that the resistance and the fighting back is not a cis-men privilege, are more than necessary. In a patriarchal world, in which patriarchy and capitalism are intervoven, it is more than necessary to actually fight patriarchy and not have it be a side note in a text. Let us not be divided by oppression and let’s fight together in this for a liberated society. [Read More]

Birmingham: Report back from Jellytot StopHS2 courtcase

There are currently several courtcases going on prosecuting Stop HS2 activists, whilst HS2 Limited recently announced that their chief executive earned £659,000 last year, making him the highest paid UK government official. The board of directors got £1.6m remuneration in total … and this was all paid for by our taxes!? Instead of this greed and corruption being investigated, at the end of July young tree protector Jellytot faced charges at Birmingham High Court for allegedly breaking an injunction seventeen times. Defending ancient woodland in Warwickshire is the alleged crime!
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Berlin: Successful demo despite police violence

Press release of the Interkiezionale
Berlin, August 3, 2020

On Saturday august 1st, an angry and powerful demonstration took place under the motto “Get out of the defensive”. The demonstration was directed against the announced evictions of left-wing projects, such as Syndikat, Meuterei, Potse and Liebig34. It also wanted to send a signal against the shift to the right and the increasingly authoritarian state [1]. The demonstration of 3,000 people (count from 20:18) was attacked and dissolved by the police after a quarter of the demonstration route. Later, an angry spontaneous demonstration moved through Prenzlauer Berg, showing that the police could not stop the protests.

The Interkiezionale coalition of threatened projects and supporters considers the demonstration a success. True to the motto “Get out of the defensive”, the active participation of many soldiers made it possible to give the demonstration a resistant expression and not to let the police attacks take away the street. Instead, the demonstration drew attention to places of repression and brought their anger against the everyday structural violence by police and capital to the streets. Places such as the job centre, the SPD office or the luxury new building on Flughafenstraße were targeted. [Read More]

Zürich: new wagenplatz taken

Today 31 july, we have taken the space between Bernerstrasse, Aargauerstrasse and Depotweg to create a wagenplatz here. A home is now being created here, a non-commercial place where we want to live in a self-determined way. We also want to give a strong signal against the expulsion of the middle and low-income earners from the quarters and the city centre, which is actively driven by the city.

Zurich West now resembles a Lego landscape consisting of overpriced apartments, hotel complexes and office buildings. Living in the city is becoming increasingly expensive, affordable housing is scarce. The city of Zurich is actively driving this development, as was made clear with the example of the Juch eviction to make space for trucks to turn around.

We are not fundamentally against parking lots and trucks, but we do revive them! [Read More]

Berlin: Syndikat call out. Get off the defensive!

Demo August 1st – 20 o’clock – Herrfurthplatz, Berlin-Neukölln

Times have been rough not only since the coronavirus. The fascisation of society is progressing. The danger of socialism and the hatred of everything left is evoked like a prayer wheel. The horseshoe theory enjoys great popularity. Under the cloak of totalitarian theories and far from any facts, a constant equation of two supposedly equal extremes against a hallucinated bourgeois “middle” is pursued. This liberal-bourgeois equation of socialism and fascism has a certain tradition in Germany, as does the collaboration of this bourgeois “middle” with fascism in order to take action against socialism, or against everything they perceive as a socialist danger. This is also the case with their anti-feminism, another interface between the “bourgeois-conservative middle” and fascists, which aims to maintain the conservative ideas of their system of rule by maintaining the binary gender order and, to this end, tries to turn back the achievements of feminist movements.

Fascist terror attacks in Hanau and Halle, right-wing networks that organize & arm themselves, armed fascists in the state apparatus that prepare for a civil war, secret service and state involvement in the NSU that are kept under lock and key. This list could easily be extended. The fascist danger is real. [Read More]

Berlin: Call for the demonstration on the 1st of August in Neukölln

The new phase of evictions has started. Not, as expected, with the announced eviction of the Kiezkneipe (neighbourhood bar) Syndikat, but with an attack from the cops.
An attack that was masked as a raid, with the plan for it to turn into an eviction of parts of our house. It was coordinated with some disgusting figures representing the so-called owner, in order to gain control of a space that is a thorn in the eye of a pacified european metropolis. On the 9th of July and the days that followed, we defended ourselves and reduced their filthy plans to ashes – taking back the evicted flat, pushing out the cops and bureaucrats and regaining control of our house.

This would not have been possible without the common fight and solidarity that goes far beyond our little rebellious neighborhood. Numerous people participated in the spontaneous gatherings in front of the house and nightly demonstrations in the richer neighborhoods of Berlin. While some people were cooking for everyone, others took part in the 24/7 shifts around the house. Many things destroyed by the cops were reconstructed almost immediately and different groups claimed actions in solidarity with Rigaer94. Showing once again, that solidarity in all its forms is our strongest weapon against the coordinated attacks from the state on the movement and its upcoming attempts to evict our spaces in Berlin. [Read More]

UK: Stop HS2 Update

Despite a media blackout, lots is happening in the world of HS2 resistance. High speed 2 is a corrupt scheme now predicted to cost over £100 billion which will both devastate areas of natural beauty and enrich Tory cronies and construction companies. Whilst the idea to have a superfast railway line connecting the north of England to London has some merit, since the south-east is over-crowded and the UK desperately needs to reduce carbom emissions, the implementation of HS2 is completely stupid. It’s a slow ecological catastrophe. Instead of building better transport links in the north, HS2 construction has started in the south and the midlands. Ancient woodlands are being trashed by contractors who have ignored the nesting season for birds and used hawks illegally to clear zones. Just the other day in Denham, a beautiful alder tree was chopped down and a tree protector was hospitalised.

The HS2 railway project is a bloated white elephant which needs to be stopped. The Woodland Trust estimates more than 100 areas of ancient woodland will be trashed, over 30 sites of special scientific interest lost and more than twenty nature reserves destroyed. The most recent reserve under attack is Calvert Jubilee in Buckinghamshire, which has been compulsory purchased and will be cleared by HS2 beginning Tuesday 28 July. HS2 had previously entered the site in January pretending to be the owner and had chopped down trees. You know that something is going deeply wrong when the Tory leader of Buckinghamshire Council tweets: “Absolutely dreadful. Have visited this beautiful Reserve many times. This is a crime against nature”

So where is the resistance? Currently there are several protest camps dotted along the proposed route. It’s hard to find out exactly what’s going on without using facebook and twitter, so there’s clearly a need for anarchist and alternative media to do more on this important issue.

Onto a list of the camps:
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Berlin: Renewed alarm at Rigaer94

Today july 13th, there are strong police forces, construction workers and securities in the area. Alarm, now it’s getting exciting! Mouth-to-mouth info:

It is now being decided whether the police will take responsibility for the Rigaer94 conflict, and carry out the eviction which began Thursday 7 july and will continue today. At 8 o’clock the so-called Lusche, the new dubious alleged property manager, arrived first. He and his lawyer Bernau wanted to gain access to the house by force, which failed because of the human chain in front of it. His physical attack was answered accordingly. Then immediately masses of cops arrived, who had already been in stand by in the neighborhood but avoided the street in front of Rigaer94. There are at least a hundred of them, if not two riot squads again in action. At the same time, construction workers and the security company arrived. The construction workers called on residents “one to one”. It was reported that some of them wear Combat18 tattoos. They and the cops had to register that there was a new, massive entrance door. So for the moment, the intrusion into the house was stopped. According to information obtained, the police command at the highest level, i.e. the police chief, is currently advising. Nothing will happen until they take responsibility. What happens then will bring clarity about the operation since Thursday. Was it a coup attempt by the middle level police or a well planned action by the political leadership in an attempt to make everything look like a coincidence. The lies will stop.

On the other hand, the anger against the attackers on our living together in solidarity is endless!
Prepare yourself for everything, friends, it is serious! [Read More]

The Hague: Housing Action Days, call for participation!

On Friday and Saturday 31st of July and 1st of August, Housing Action Days will take place in The Hague. The theme for Friday is social housing and precarious modes of housing, and the theme for Saturday is the selling out of the city and gentrification. During these two days we will make a collective fist against precarity and the housing shortage.

In the past couple of years the city has become the stage of a social struggle. Capital is increasingly controlling housing and public spaces. The city is transformed into a revenue model, a new apparatus for a select group to accumulate wealth. This has drastic consequences for many of us. De waiting lists for social housing are ever lengthening, rents are already way too expensive and the political unwillingness to take up these issues is stifling. In the inner city, one loft gets restored after another and only expensive private sector housing is built. Hip coffeehouses and their terraces are spreading like an oil spill. We don’t want a city merely for consumption but a city in which we can live!

Paired with the gentrification, the state’s net to control public spaces tightens. Concurrently to being forced to pay increasingly high rent for increasingly small spaces, we are being dispossessed of the streets: hanging out in the street is perceived as suspicious and will get you castigated for gathering. The only places where you can still gather in public are parks or sports field – but never without the supervision of cameras. Our living spaces are shrinking, we will no longer put up with this shit anymore! [Read More]

Amsterdam: Always Anti-Anti-kraak

Sunday afternoon there was a small action at a former squat in Amsterdam Noord. The squatters are angry, because in the evicted building is now an anti squat workspace. The building, that had been squatted already for 3 times, got evicted last summer. It turns out it got evicted for anti-squat. Below a statement of the squatters:

Today we are here to put the situation surrounding the building in the middle of your neighborhood under attention. The old pizzeria on Statenjachtstraat 598. Probably the recent history of this building is still known to you, but to summarize:
After years of vacancy, last year the building got bought by to rich real estate dealers, Axel Veldboom and Frans Blom. Last summer, the place got resquatted (it was already squatted 2 times before). It was clear for the squatters that there were no short term plans for the building. But the owners did have a plan. A pretty ambitious and unrealistic plan, to build an enormous building in the middle of the neigbourhood.
The state decided to start a procedure to evict the squatters, squatting is forbidden, and the owner claims to have a plan. The squatters decided to fight the state in court, to prevent the eviction. In a court case like this the importance of interests is being weighed against each other by a judge, or at least it should be. On one side the needs of the state for having the place evicted, and on the other side the needs of the squatters, to be able to have a place to live. [Read More]

Athens: Solidarity action for Dervenion 56. An international call for solidarity

On friday 26 june, in Exarchia, the Greek state evicted and sealed Dervenion 56 and the building at Dervenion 52. An immediate gathering of solidarity was held on Exarcheia square for several hours. In the evening of the same day, a solidarity march was held with the participation of 300 people. The march ended at the Dervenion squat, barricades were set up around the perimeter and then comrades broke the concrete blocks of shame. Police never came and after some hours the protesters left. Riot cops made again an operation the next morning, building again a concrete wall in front of the squat’s door. According to information, in the following days, various solidarity actions followed, a demonstration took place on the main shopping street of Athens, Ermou, where slogans were shouted, and apparently some people attacked multinational clothing companies in Ermou in the occupied -by the police-, center of Athens. Even the rich yuppie nephew of the Prime Minister, the mayor of Athens, Costas Bakogiannis, could not escape the anger caused by the evictions. The pioneer of violent gentrification and his bodyguards were attacked with coffees and other items by dozens of people at a local religious festival. In the following days a march was held again at Exarcheia where comrades demolished the walls of the sealed migrants’ squats at Themistokleous 58 and Spirou Trikoupi 15. All these days, texts of solidarity were written and banners were put in various locations in Greece. [Read More]