[Spain] This is not a demonstration – Actions, constructions and revolutionary turns to save the world

From : http://takethesquare.net

In the past two years we have completely reinvented the way we try to transform the world into a place where life does not hurt. The old demonstrations, so grey and limited, become obsolete and useless, and have given way to an infinity of possibilities. We rethought the action, the complaint, the relationships, the public, the common, and our imagination has completely overwhelmed the space of what is possible, building already new worlds inside the old structure of this one. We collect here a list of dozens of actions and constructions that we have organized during these two years, sharing all of them that brightness of the new, that smell so special that returns us the confidence in us, and announces what is to come. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

[Original Spanish version of the compilation in this link]

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A Future for the Occupy Movement? Occupy Our Homes in the US, And People Before Profit in South London

As the Occupy movement signals its reappearance, many observers have been wondering where its focus will be. In fact, even before the coordinated wave of evictions of Occupy camps across the US last November, and the later eviction of Occupy London outside St. Paul’s Cathedral, questions had been raised about where the movement should direct its attentions next, and empty property had arisen as a regular focus.
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London: SQUASH Picnic Attendees facing SOCPA Charges

The following piece has been written by Ashleigh Marsh, one of five currently being prosecuted under SOCPA legislation for her role is taking part at a picnic and sleep-out on the 31st October 2011, in order to visually show the effect that the criminalisation of squatting would have on between 20-50,000 people in England and Wales, ie having to sleep rough. Ashleigh is active in her community, for example working to get a new skateboard park built for local people in Woolwich, one of most deprived areas in London. SQUASH fully support Ashleigh and all the defendants as they face disproportinate charges, from Monday 23rd April, under the draconian and anti-democratic SOCPA law. This is Ashleigh’s story…
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Edinburgh: Doors closed on the People’s Cafe

The proposed centre for ‘non-commercial activity’ re-opened its doors to the public on the 30th November last year with a programme of participatory events that involved other non-profit organizations, local residents, activists and members of the Bilston Glen community. The People’s Café website was set up and a mission statement clearly set out their simple objective; ‘Direct action has been taken to ensure that the space is not left unused but can be reopened for the benefit of the local community.’
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Australian Museum of Squatting

Established 2011

A celebration and documentation of Australians putting abandoned and disused property to good use.
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Sydney Squattocracy

Squattocracy is Housing Democracy. When there’s a gap between affordability and need Squattocracy fulfils that need.

A succession of failed Government policies ostensibly to address homelessness and culminating with the current failure “The Road Home”: Government programs are widely viewed with derision as opportunistic Government / NGO constructs to monetise the marginalised.
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UK: Protestor Offered Money to ‘Disrupt Occupy’

Bryn Phillips, who is a British political prisoner, writes the following:

“Next week I’ll be sentenced in Wood Green Crown Court for my limited involvement in last summers riot in Hackney. I threw a Muller light yoghurt at a Police officer in full body armour and pushed over an empty milk trolley.”
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Montréal, Canada: Police violence and retaliation

Since the last February14th, a vast strike movement is shaking the post-secondary studies sector (colleges and universities) in the province of Québec. This general strike movement, mostly lead by a left-wing coalition of student unions – the CLASSE (French acronym for Broad Coalition of the Association for Student Syndicalist Solidarity) – has set itself, as an immediate objective, the cancellation of the recent 25% tuition fees raise implemented by the neoliberal government of Québec, the second such raise in 4 years, after more than 15 years of tuition fee freezing. The movement is now 125,000 striking students strong and many strike votes will be held in the coming weeks by student assemblies. Many massive street demos gathering thousands of people, as well as blockade actions have been organized, triggering more and more police repression.
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Reading, UK: Lasting Roots

“Process to remedy Katesgrove ‘eyesore’ begins” read the Get Reading headline on 23 February 2012. The following article explained that “plans for a new community garden in Katesgrove could blossom” following a recent council decision to purchase a piece of derelict land. This news means a lot to the members of Reading L&S as it marks the ongoing victories of a land occupation they first began six years ago.

In late 2006, a group of friends squatting in a closed down women’s centre on a busy junction in the Katesgrove neighbourhood of Reading, hatched a plan. The three council owned buildings next door had been derelict for years and the gardens behind them had become a junkies paradise. The ‘secured’ gardens had long become unsecured and needles were strewn everywhere where any child could find them.
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Watching the value of property melt away – The increase in squatting across the U$A

Although it is hard to hear what is really happening on the ground in U$A, it appears that recently there has been an increase in squatting in cities across the United States. Obviously, squatting is often a covert activity, but it seems that a few factors have dovetailed to facilitate the emergence of a new, public squatting movement. This sWatching the value of property melt away –
The increase in squatting across the U$Ahort article will provide a background to these events and a report of the actions which we have heard about. Hopefully these are merely the tip of the iceberg….
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Occupying housing from the Pope Squat to Occupy Toronto

It was a sweltering afternoon in late July 2002 when the armoured vehicles of the Toronto Police Emergency Task Force pulled up in front of our building. Quickly we started barricading the door with an old desk, if they were coming to kick us out we weren’t going to make it easy for them. We waited tensely as the cops approached the door with submachine guns drawn.

Our crime? We dared to take over an abandoned building in the middle of a housing crisis.

We all survived that early raid and were eventually allowed back into the building where we lived for the next three months — dubbing it the “Pope Squat” as we occupied it during the pontiff’s visit to Toronto.
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Seattle: Informal Update On Situation

The Turritopsis Nutricula house (named after an immortal jellyfish), located on 23rd and Alder in the Central District of Seattle, has now been in existence for a month. Within the span of that same month, over a dozen squats have also sprung into existence in as diverse places as Bellevue and White Center. One of them has recently set up a screen printing studio. An informal network of people from Occupy Seattle consistently brings food and supplies to the house on 23rd and Alder. The food is free for everyone who comes through the house.

This account is the personal reflections of one irregular resident of the Turritopsis Nutricula house and does not reflect the collective as a whole.
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