France: Anti-squat law, the parliament triples the penalties and introduces a denunciation measure

The assembly triples the penalties for untitled occupiers and allows any person to refer the matter to the prefect about an expeditious eviction.

Droit au Logement denounces the tripling of penalties against untitled occupiers, voted on Friday morning in the Assembly, at the initiative of the rapporteur Kasbarian, with no other opposition than that of a deputy FI (E. Coquerel).
This punitive measure satisfies security obsessed people, such as deputy E. Cioti, who declares that he wants “squatters to sleep in prison”. The homeless who settle in a vacant apartment are thus labeled criminals, because the street brings them nothing but suffering and premature death.
These MPs, like all those who demand anti-squat measures, do not care about the tenants who are illegally evicted, while no prosecution is initiated, except in exceptional cases.
They are however much more numerous than the very rare “occupants of other people’s homes” that we have been receiving since the end of August.

This punitive measure pursues another goal: by raising the sentence to three years, the public prosecutor’s office can thus bring the occupants to an immediate court appearance, after having taken them into custody. It thus proceeded to expel them without involving the Prefect. [Read More]

Brussels: Festival du Coucou Puissant, 3rd edition

For the third consecutive year, the Festival du Coucou Puissant will be held in Brussels from October 8 to November 1, 2020. There are countless private, public or unclassifiable spaces, temporarily occupied in our big city. This festival wants to make visible the occupations and the interstices of creation, alternative housing, resistance and collective experimentation that tries to develop there. The Coucou Puissant wants to be autonomous and self-organized. We are aware of the diversity of places and practices (squat, legal ones with a temporary contract…). We are also aware that there are fewer and fewer squats in Brussels to the benefit of occupations negotiated in advance… This questions us and we wonder how to assert the dynamics of the squats? In the current context of “post” confinement and the eviction period coming back, we also want to affirm our support with the very young “anti-eviction front”. The nomadic program of the festival will be able to support places in peril. The festival wants to be a space of solidarity, meeting, debate, autonomy, celebration and emancipation. [Read More]

Winterthur: Zensur, a new occupation for a social centre

We occupied the building on Talackerstrasse 99 this Friday evening. After it has been vacant for more than 3 years, we want to bring life to the former Sulzer office building and establish a social and cultural center.

The building is currently “owned” by Implenia, which is a driving force in the development of Winterthur into a “City of the Rich” with major projects such as LokStadt and the gentrification process of Hegi.

With the ZENSUR we want to create a space that enables people to implement projects without a lot of money. So that everyone can afford to be creative, do sports, show films and organize discussions. Every person should be able to contribute to the ZENSUR with his or her suggestions and skills to fulfill and realize their wishes and ideas collectively. [Read More]

Netherlands: Actions after 10 years of squatting ban

10 Years On! And you still can’t live in a waiting list!

Today, October 1st, 2020 marks the 10 year anniversary of the criminalisation of squatting in the Netherlands through the Kraken en Leegstand (Squatting & Emptiness) law.
Despite the law, kraken gaat door (squatting continues).
On the face of it, the law was created to end both squatting and emptiness. It has done neither. Buildings are still empty and for many people squatting remains a necessity. After all, it is not the existence of empty buildings that leads to squatting, but rather the lack of accessible housing.
Whether you are squatting, renting, or looking to buy a home, finding an available (let alone affordable) house is a struggle. [Read More]

Paris: Squat Le Marbré, a new space to bring our struggles to life in Montreuil

Squat Le Marbré made itself known following the visit of the cops and the property manager on September 16 2020. Many people responded to the call for support that day and the following ones, and it was too much fun. Following a collective opening of the buildings and because we want this place to be self-organized, decisions will be made in a regular open general assembly of the place. We want to fight against all forms of authority and formal or informal hierarchies, both outside and inside the place. For us this means fighting all forms of domination and oppression.

This occupation is based on a refusal: the one of having to work and struggle to pay rent in the south part of Montreuil that is constantly gentrifying, whether to live or to organize. This space is part of a struggle against the capitalist valorization of the neighborhood, which always ends up pushing the poor away to make way for the richest and their small, uneventful meadow. No meadow, no precariousness!

Le Marbré wants to be a non-market place. Reflections have been initiated on the practice: operating at a free price, favoring moments of sociability without consumerism… [Read More]

London: Eviction resisted, we’d rather be squatters than scabs

On Thursday 24th September in Greenwich, London, an illegal eviction attempt on a squatted building was thwarted by a combination of self-organised defence and bloody minded stubbornness.

At 6.30am, high court enforcement agents in black masks used heavy tools to cut the locks on the gate and attempted to force entry into the building using threats of physical violence. The occupiers managed to hold the door, and by 8.30am a crowd of around 30 members of London’s autonomous community had gathered to support them as they besieged people inside. The defenders travelled from across the city in support, including members of the newly energised Eviction Resistance Network, a gang from militant trans activists NFA Queer Punx, and legal support from the Advisory Service for Squatters.

Spirits remained high as the crowd dominated the car park area in front of the building, gradually managing to squeeze the bailiffs and their hired goons back with a consistent tirade of obstinant resistance. The crowd sang “Well I’d rather be a squatter than a scab!”, and one activist was able to begin deliveries of food and toilet paper to those locked inside via the scaffolding.
[Read More]

Uppsala: Callout from Blodstensskogen

About a year ago, the forest-occupation project in Uppsala started [previously on S!N] after the municipality officially decided to clear a more than 200-year-old forest in order to build expensive high-rise buildings in its place.

The forest, Blodstensskogen, is located between two nature reserves and thus serves as a corridor for the many forest animals to move around. At the same time, Blodstensskogen has developed a strong and diverse ecosystem through its long existence. For example, there are deciduous trees and fir trees that are over a hundred years old, and it is home to many animals, including those that are protected (Red Listed Animals: different insects such as the longhorn beetle, musk longhorn beetle, scarlet fungus beetle, birds such as the black woodpecker and the crested tit, fungi such as the pine fire sponge, irpicodon pendulus, resupinate spurge and the beautiful earth stars, as well as three different species of bats that use the Blodstensskogen as hunting grounds and for reproduction).
[Read More]

Calais: the ban on distributing food to migrants is maintained. Mobilization on September 26th

For the judge of the administrative court of Lille, 4 kms on foot to eat, that’s fine.

In an order dated September 22, the judge of the administrative court of Lille rejected the request made by 12 local and national associations to cancel the order of September 10, by which the prefect of Pas-de-Calais prohibited any free distribution of drinks and food in certain places in the city center of the municipality of Calais.

The judge stated that the distributions put in place by the State were allegedly sufficient to cover the needs of all exiled people present in Calais, including those sleeping in the city center, considering that “the circumstance that in order to access them, migrants settled in the city center since early August must travel three kilometers is not such as to characterize undignified living conditions”.

This assessment is particularly questionable. Indeed, the humanitarian indicators developed either by the UNHCR or within the framework of the SPHERE project, specify, for example, concerning drinking water, that it must be accessible at less than 500m from where people live – the distances in question being in this case between 4 and 5km, which represents an hour’s walk one way, and that it is necessary to go to two distributions per day. [Read More]

UK: Calvert Reserve Protection Camp getting evicted

Rudely awoken this morning by NET 😞 Calvert is currently being evicted, support needed – Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve, Buckingham, MK182HE

UPDATE – With a heavy heart I have to say that today we lost Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve.
8 weeks ago we heard that HS2 were going to compulsory purchase the reserve and start destroying it to build an access road for the high speed rail line. We occupied the reserve, building homes and a community amongst locals and activists. We held the ground, held up HS2 and have helped inspire other people to stand up for their own beliefs.
We may have lost the reserve but there are positive ripple effects beyond our perceptions.
Today the fascists won but we aren’t done yet. We will be back at it at soon as tomorrow!
Thank you to everyone who has supported us this far. We could not have got this far without you and we will continue because of you.

Berkshire Buckinghamshire Oxfordshire Wildlife Trusts statement: “BBOWT is devastated that High Speed 2 Ltd have now taken legal possession of a large section of our Calvert Jubilee Nature Reserve.”

Berlin: Call for demo against eviction of Liebig34 on October 3rd. Chaos instead of eviction

Demo October 3rd – Friedrichshain – 9pm

We are angry! Angry that Liebig34 is about to be taken away from us. Angry that every attempt at a self-determined life is being tried to be crushed. We are fed up with all the harassment by cops in the neighborhood and everywhere else. We are fed up with their repression, the state and its servants, who make it impossible for people to shape the city they live in. We shit on investors for whom Berlin is nothing more than a Monopoly board on which they can move their houses around. We don’t give a shit about the yuppies who, with their new buildings and condominiums, are displacing the people who spend their lives here, for whom the street and the Dorfplatz is more than just the way to the co-working space.
We demand a city from below. We want to occupy houses. We want to decide for ourselves how we want to live. [Read More]

UK: Stop HS2 and Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion have finally decided to refrain from trying to take over control of the STOP HS2 protection camps between London and Birmingham, and instead they are offering to HELP the front line activists who actually live there, and to LEARN direct action from them, according to unconfirmed reports from the camps.
Some of the eco-warriors at the Harvil road and Denham camps in Colne Valley near Uxbridge invited Extinction Rebellion to join them at the protest sites last year, and HS2 Rebellion was the name that was eventually chosen to be used by the new recruits. Unfortunately a power struggle developed fairly soon, with HS2 Rebellion apparently insisting that they controlled some kind of hierarchy and were in fact the “leaders” of the climate movement, and all the protesters were obliged to take orders from them.

Extinction Rebellion released a statement about how HS2 Rebellion was becoming the umbrella organisation for all the protection camps and they listed their “criteria and values” which they claimed all the activists had to agree to and abide by. This was regardless of the fact that the eco-warriors had originally started the camps with the Green Party four years before XR came along to attempt to take them over and control them.
HS2 Rebellion started their own fundraiser with £32,000 being donated for the Colne Valley protest by more than 1000 people. The fundraiser stated that the money would be distributed to all the protection camps, but HS2 Rebellion refused to share anything with camps that did not agree to join Extinction Rebellion and obey their rules.
Two camps which agreed to join Extinction Rebellion and obey them were given £16,000 between them, but the Harvil road and Denham camps at Colne Valley near Uxbridge which remained autonomous and independent got absolutely nothing.
The STOP HS2 organisation which started the local residents protest campaign in their own local communities against the high speed rail link 13 years ago asked for financial support but HS2 Rebellion did not want to help them so they also received nothing.
[Read More]

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]