Paris: Against states and their borders

This text on the wave of sans-papiers occupations in Paris tells important lessons for those involved in migrant struggles on the strategies used by liberal democratic states to contain them. If we anticipate these moves, how can we pre-empt them? And what strategic targets are based near you?

Original French text in Lucioles #23 with the title ‘Against states and their borders: revolution’; roughly translated by Rabble.
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Their Law: The New Energies of UK Squats, Social Centres and Eviction Resistance in the Fight Against Expropriation

For anyone old enough to remember themselves as a teenager during the nineties, with fond memories of piercing their own ears (multiple times) whilst listening to the second album of The Prodigy ‘Music for a Jilted Generation’ [self-​piercing nostalgia optional], they will recognise ‘Their Law’ as the musical response to the criminalisation of rave culture’s collective enjoyment of ‘repetitive beats’ directly legislated in Section 63(1)(b) of the Criminal Justice Act and Public Order Act 1994. The metallic screams and staples pulsate into an abrupt “fuck them and their law” where the Braintree boys quarterise their angry sentiment against enclosing law, the voice of a radical resistance felt in lower frequency bass, vibration, body, the tribe, the people — rave terms.

I think of Their Law when I think of the energy and metabolism of many communities now fighting the heartbreaking effects of unabated private property acquisition in the UK, of the fierce passions contesting the market-​obsessed policies enacted through unapologetic and unconcerned legislative processes that are entirely ignorant of the difficulties people are facing on a day-​to-​day basis just to be. [Read More]

Now that it’s undeniable: Gentrification in Hamilton 2015

From The Hamilton Institute

Introduction

For the past several years, we’ve been talking quite a lot about gentrification here in Hamilton. In the current moment, as the vanguard of art galleries decisively give way to boutique shops and condos, as sections of town are repurposed into bedroom communities for people who work in Toronto but can’t afford to live there, what do we mean when we talk about gentrification? Two years ago, even the arts industry fucks could claim, without feeling too dishonest, that they were creating something local and durable. Now we watch their flagship galleries and favourite restaurants close while a Starbucks and McMaster satellite campus open in Jackson Square, with condos going up on all sides. You were the footsoldiers of gentrification – don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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Turkey: Gregor Samsa and Don Kişot fighting against windmills. Squatting in Istanbul as an attempt to resist neoliberal urban politics

Donkisot_serbesiyet_IstanbulOn the Trails of Don Kişot – Our Field Research in Istanbul
By the changing shape of the Istanbul skyline, the rapid growth of production within the city since the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) rose to power in 2002 is easily visible to the city’s inhabitants. Over the past two decades, Istanbul has undergone a neoliberal restructuring process (1). Progressing globalization and digitalization have not only turned the city into a site absorbing surplus value – an epicenter of the accumulation of capital – they have also formed a new urban space in which traditional national spatial arrangements engage with those of the global digital age (2).

As a research group, we were concerned with Istanbul’s economic, cultural and social transformation into a global city over the past 50 years as well as the various effects of this transformation. During our travel to Istanbul from May 23, until May 31, 2014, we conducted field research on squatting in stanbul. The political controversies regarding common usage of urban space in everyday life as well as the political struggles stemming from immense changes of social life culminating in the Gezi Park protest in 2013 were the most obvious links between the projects we visited.

In reference to David Harveys’ “Rebel Cities”, we call people’s occupation of Taksim Square “their right to the city” (3). In our field research, we intended to explore the political intentions of The Don Kişot Sosyal Merkezi, a squat in Istanbul German leftist magazines focused on, calling it a “follow up movement to Gezi.” (4) We asked ourselves in which way squatting in Istanbul is connected to the 2013 Gezi Park protest movement and how it relates to neoliberal politics and
urban transformation. [Read More]

Ireland: What Housing Crisis? This is a capitalist crisis

Ours is a society in which, in every field, one group of people makes decisions, exercise control, limits choices, while the great majority have to accept these decisions, submit to this control and act within the limits of these externally imposed choices. Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of housing: one of those basic human needs which throughout history and all over the world people have satisfied as well as they could for themselves, using the materials what were at hand and their own, and their neighbors labor. The marvelously resourceful anonymous vernacular architecture of every part of the globe is a testimony to their skill, using timber, straw, grass, leaves, hides, stone, clay, bone, earth, mud sand even snow. Consider the igloo: maximum enclosure of space with minimum of labor. Cost of materials and transportation, nil. And all made of water. Nowadays, of course, the Eskimos live on welfare handouts in little northern slums. Man, as Habraken says “no longer houses himself: he is housed” – Colin Ward.
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London: Regeneration Is Violence

Published on Southwark Notes Feb 21 with lots of images

How is it in London in 2015 that people who reside in public housing can be subject to such extremes of subtle and unsubtle violence? When we use the word violence what do we mean? Well for starters we mean the slow burning, long-term violence done to those who are being forced out of their homes in the name of ‘regeneration’ with it’s routine accompanying upheavals, anxieties, stresses and affects on physical and mental ill health.

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Dead city: torturing squatters for a cleaner Barcelona

Note: Regarding this article, it is important to also read the comment about problems with the film and also two texts written as a response, currently only on es.squat.net, “Comunicado de Juan Pintos, detenido/encarcelado/condenado por el montaje del 4F” and “Cuando una imagen no vale más que mil palabras“.

Ashes, blood and orujo mingle with the rain, showering the crowd in front of Barcelona’s city hall. Diana Torres has mixed her beloved Patri’s remains with the eye-watering grape liqueur — famous for its use in invocations — and her own vital fluid. She sprinkles the concoction over just some of the thousands who have gathered in solidarity. “I want vengeance and retribution, that word we inherited from the witches,” she says over the PA, as Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ reverberates throughout the square. Then she calls for a minute of screaming, and the plaza erupts.
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A Squatters Guide to Belfast

“You can’t squat in Belfast. Why? Because you… well you just can’t.” – Les Enfant Sans Souci

Draconian laws. Psycho cops. Paramilitaries. Hoods with petrol bombs. Squatting in Northern Ireland presents us with its own unique set of challenges. The very existence of these challenges has been used (and is still used) by generations of hippies, anarchists, punks and autonomists (traditional overt squatters) as an excuse not to bother trying. Not that Northern Ireland is particularly bad in this regard; in every thriving squat scene in Europe, from Amsterdam to Barcelona to London, people report the hardest bit was overcoming the initial fear and pessimism. In Helsinki, Dublin and Belgrade people are just beginning to take part in overt political squatting again and are encountering much the same nihilist apathy, at least initially. [Read More]

Spanish State – Operation Pandora: Democracy imprisons 7 more anarchists

On December 16, Operation Pandora was unleashed. The State’s security forces burst into different houses and squats in Barcelona and Madrid, and eleven anarchist comrades were kidnapped.

This kidnapping—and it couldn’t have been done any other way—was coordinated with the media, who helped justify and legitimate it with heart and soul, spreading the news that the police had carried out an operation against international anarchist terrorism. This kidnapping of eleven comrades set off a multitude of rallies and demonstrations that same day in different cities—Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Zaragoza, for example—thousands of people coming out in solidarity with the kidnapped comrades and showing rage and hatred towards the State’s new repressive operation against the libertarian movement. [Read More]

Pandora’s box and the hotchpotch of Spanish anti-terrorism – about the recent raids

Text written a week ago about Pandora’s police operation in Spain against anarchists

The morning of Tuesday the 16th of December has surprised us with a wave of house raids and arrests. Surprised us? We are not going to lie. Let’s start again. The morning of the 16th of December has NOT surprised us. The autonomous Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, and the Guardia Civil and judiciary powers of the Audiencia Nacional stormed more than ten houses and a few anarchist spaces in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa and Madrid, with house raids, arrests, confiscation of propaganda material and information, to also use the occasion to enter and plunder, with the entire riot police team of the Mossos d’Esquadra, Kasa de la Muntanya, a squatted place that has existed for 25 years. [Read More]

Berlin: Our Own Private Germany

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a group of squatters from East and West set out to build their own unified Germany. And, despite endless parties, questionable hygiene, and neo-Nazi turf wars, they pulled it off.
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London: Frestonia Squatters Who Declared Independence from the UK in 1977

From Vice Magazine by Harry Sword

In 1977, squatters on Freston Road, Notting Hill, in London, declared independence from the British state. Facing eviction by the Greater London Council (GLC), the community figured the best way to evade the constraints imposed on them was to just free themselves of those constraints altogether. So they lobbied the UN and established a 1.8-acre microstate-“The Free and Independent Republic of Frestonia”-complete with its own postage stamps, visas, and passports. [Read More]