London: SLAP! #5

Heads-up for the long-awaited Issue 5 of your friendly, local squatters’ paper.

SLAP! is a squatter’s freesheet first printed in early 2016. After a quick half-year of squat-hopping, sitting around and organising elsewhere, some of us involved in the previous four issues teamed up with others and knocked-together a fifth. SLAP! is back to support the flow of counter-info between London squats and act as a semi-regular message-board for squat happenings, updates and unapologetic ideas.
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Koper (Slovenia): Public call to DUTB to dialogue with the collective U.P. INDE

IndeThe Creative Platform Inde Collective is issuing a public call to DUTB (the so called: bad bank) to start a dialogue with regard to making arrangements to remove asbestos from the former factory Inde. We reiterate that the spaces which are in use by UPI have already been cleaned long ago and are in fact asbetos-free. We expect a response from DUTB so that in agreement with the cleaning contractors a temporary access to our premises during the clean-up will be arranged. There are several entrances to the UPI premises and we are sure it is possible to provide safe access to at least one of them. Also, the building which UPI uses is not covered with asbestos roofing.
We are willing to show the premises to licensed contractors to convince them that the cleaning of the area that we occupy is not necessary. We have also prepared proposals on how to facilitate access without hindering the clean-up. [Read More]

London: ANAL Belgravia squatters fight off fascist thugs

ANAL_Belgravia_squattersBelgravia squatters the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians (ANAL) report that they fought off an attack on the 28th from heavies wearing fascist-linked masks, who seem to have been trying to get them out of the mansion belonging to Russian billionaire Andrey Goncharenko that they squatted on Wednesday.
At the time of writing they are asking for more support to head down to 102 Eaton Square to provide solidarity and support for the occupiers. In a series of notes from their Twitter account, they said:
[The] fascists [have been] fought/scared off. Police liaised and content. We would still appreciate numbers here to display that we will resist … They smashed windows while children were in a peaceful occupation wearing fascist face-scarfs. [The] mansion [is] being secured from the inside after attack by fascists. Children [have been] moved upstairs. No reports of injuries.
ANAL are working to turn the Belgravia squat, in the heart of one of London’s poshest areas, into a homeless shelter for the cold weather. 25 people have been housed so far and there are plans to hold movie nights and other events at the venue. Goncharenko’s representatives, MCA Shipping Ltd, are seeking a possession order and a hearing is scheduled for January 31st. [Read More]

UK: Bristol Council and Camelot on back foot as property guardians fight for rights

Rat_infestationBristol Council’s decision to dive into the property guardianship game seems to be coming a cropper as several “guardians” have launched legal and direct action challenges demanding something be done about rat-infested and dangerous tenancies in its buildings.
Having closed public services across the city, the council has found itself flush with empty commercial and office properties, which it decided to make a few pennies on by jumping into bed with Camelot property management in 2013. The firm, along with another company Ad Hoc, now rents out much of its portfolio.

Camelot specialises in the gray-area rentals market of property guardianship, getting hard-up people needing a home to fork out anything up to £500 a month, plus deposit of £500-600, to stay in empty non-residential properties with few rights and eviction at a month’s notice. The firm has repeatedly been condemned as trying on dodgy practices, including initially only offering three weeks’ notice (breaching minimum guidelines) and using “pseudo-legal gibberish” to intimidate people they want out. [Read More]

Slovenia: Autonomous spaces under attack, support the struggle!

201701_Inde_Plataforma_KoperCall for solidarity actions for INDE squat in Koper, Slovenia

In the last few years we have seen new autonomous spaces emerging in Slovenia, joining the struggles of older squats all over the country. Along the Slovenian coast, two enormous buildings were occupied until recently. The occupations brought radical politics and different social relations to their environment. Both squats were always open to a variety of projects and initiatives, but had strong anarchist presence and activities as well. The spaces used to be factories, which were destroyed by the brutal privatization.

Right after New Years, ARGO squat in Izola was forcefully evicted. Eviction was preceded by a series of harassments from police and security company, that in some cases resulted in serious bodily injuries and fines for comrades there. The second coastal squat, called INDE, got an eviction notice just a few days ago. We are supposed to leave the premises on January 30. [Read More]

Dublin: Lessons from the Barricade Inn squatted social centre

The Barricade Inn was a squatted social centre in the centre of Dublin. During the peak of its activity over the summer of 2015 hundreds of people were involved in putting on events in the space that thousands of people attended. In this audio we talk to three WSM members who were involved in opening up and running The Barricade about what happened there and what lessons they drew from the experience.

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Koper (Slovenia): Asbestos leaving, Creative Platform Inde remaining

20170117_Inde_Plataforma_KoperThe Creative Platform Inde (hereinafter UPI) welcomes the planned remediation of hazardous waste (asbestos, used needles) in the former factory INDE. However, we are announcing that we are not consenting to emptying the already restored spaces which from October, 5th 2014 have been in the use of UPI. We believe that the cleaning of hazardous waste is perfectly feasible without interrupting the activities of the collective.

Since October 2014 we have proved through active involvement and massive response of visitors that this space is one of tremendous importance to the region. At the premises of UPI we are carrying out social programs (food for the socially disadvantaged, gathering supplies for the refugees, etc.), cultural programs (more than 300 concerts, roundtables, art exhibitions, film evenings, etc.), educational programs (lectures, workshops, practical training, etc. .), environmental campaigns, remedial actions, sports programs (skate park, dance workshops, self-defense, sporting competitions and sports days) and so on. [Read More]

Uk: People need homes – empty spaces need people! Oxford resistance

201701_Oxford_resistance_banner_dropThis morning Oxford residents and local homeless people dropped an enormous banner from the front of the old VW garage on Iffley Road declaring “People need homes, empty spaces need people” as a new petition gains momentum and puts pressure on the owners, Wadham College, to support the plight of homeless people this winter.

The building, which has laid empty for two years, was opened on New Year’s eve providing shelter for rough sleepers in response to the growing homelessness crisis.

A group, which included Oxford University students and alumni entered the building after finding, to their amazement, the front door had been left open. A member of the group, Sandra Philips said,

“We have made a temporary home for some of the homeless and rough sleepers of Oxford because council cuts have forced the closure of night shelters and homeless people are dying on our streets. This building lies empty whilst hundreds are without a home or even a roof over their head. We all have an obligation to do what we can to help this situation, everyone is affected by the housing crisis in some way.” [Read More]

Dublin: Apollo House – well worth fighting for

20170111_Apollo_House_HomesNotHostelsYesterday hundreds of people turned out to support the imaginative action which is known to all as Apollo house. Apollo House is the single point of light that emerged from an otherwise dismal year, a centennial year of significance, which gave us so little to be proud of. Homelessness, in spite of being a significant symptom of all that is wrong in our society, is both ignored and tolerated. Fortunately the sight of the homeless masses did not get in the way of the centenary celebrations of what a great little republic we have grown up to be.

The actions of the Irish Housing Network and the alliance of supporters which has become known as Home Sweet Home, has taken over an ugly brutalist building and former dole office on Tara Street, and gave homeless people hope of a fresh start. What it has also done is shone a light on the inhumane bureaucratic approach of this to dealing with people who live on the streets. Getting people who have no bed for the night, to phone a free phone number in order to secure one for a single night, only to be thrown back out into the dark pre-dawn streets to do it all again the next day. Apollo House is the golden lamp that emerges from 2016 – and that’s why it has touched the people of Ireland, and been so massively supported. It is an example of what this state should do to support the dispossessed, and would have been a far more fitting tribute than having parades or concerts. [Read More]

Athens: Exarchia, one Year Themistokleous 58 Squat

One_Year_58_SquatOn January 10th 2017, Themistokleous 58 Squat in Exarchia completed one year of activity. During this year our squat took a series of initiatives towards intensifying social war, and participated in numerous actions in support of projects and individuals targeted by repression of all authority.

We have put forward internationalist anarchic solidarity between rebels, believing that it can only be a reciprocal relationship aimed at building up affinity and complicity against the State, Capital and domination, and we continue to do so by factually tearing down phony divisions based on origin, language, gender, sexual orientation and religious or irreligious background of anyone in any way associated with our project.
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Dublin: Hundreds form protection ring around Apollo house as High Court demands evictions

20170111_Apollo_House_Homes_Not_HostelsHundreds of people responded to the High Court demanding the eviction of Apollo House by linking arms to form a protective ring around it. The judge refused the residents an extra week to find accommodation despite the housing minister failing to deliver what had been promised.

As the protest continued one resident told the Irish Times live feed that “We are not knocking on NAMA doors, we are kicking them in” People chanted ‘Homes not Hostels’, ‘Homes for All’ and ‘House the Homeless’ while a banner declared ‘Homeless people are not the problem, they are the result of the problem.’ Traveller activist Eileen Flynn who has volunteered at Apollo House told the crowd “We need to stand together … this is the best movement since 1916″

Speaking for Apollo House Rosie told the crowd about the betrayal of the minister and the treatment of residents who trusted his word but found conditions in the places they were brought to were “worse than prison”. She continued “They are treating us like dogs, they are treating us like fools, we are not taking it anymore, this housing crisis is going to end”. [Read More]

Dublin: Support & solidarity to Apollo House occupation

Ireland is in the depths of a severe homelessness crisis, with 7,000 people without a home. With the government refusing to act, some activists in Dublin did. Apollo House was occupied by Home Sweet Home Eire on the 15th December, to intervene in the housing crisis and to save lives.

There are around 190,000 vacant buildings in Ireland, that’s 27 houses for every homeless person.

The wealth divide is growing in Ireland and the lives of the homeless mean nothing to a government that values profit over people. For instance, Dublin is in the world’s top 15 for concentration of millionaires, something only intensified as the wealth trickled up after the financial crash. If it is shocking that the rich have become richer as the rest of us have gotten poorer, this is because of the class divide built into our society. When the capitalist class gains, the working class loses. [Read More]