Greece: Repression and Resistance during the Pandemic

In coordination with the anarchist media collective Radio Fragmata, we present the following report from Greece about the ongoing efforts of the Greek government, along with business owners, police, and fascists, to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to intensify repression—and the efforts of anarchists, migrants, prisoners, rebel workers, and others to fight back and open up spaces of freedom.

These updates are adapted from Radio Fragmata’s monthly contribution to the “Bad News Report” podcast about the current situation in Greece. We hope to spread awareness about this situation and to bring more listeners to the podcast itself; we recommend the “Bad News” report and the Anarchist/Anti-Authoritarian Radio Network as a whole. [Read More]

London: Squatters are people. Don’t evict them from safety

In the wake of the global Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic everyone needs protection especially because it is critical to saving lives. The continued eviction of squatters and in some incidents renters puts everyone at risk.

But this is where we are. Abandoned and empty buildings matter more than the shared responsibility of keeping everyone safe. While the media is swirled with stories of rough sleepers being put up in hotels and hostels, the invisible homeless, the squatters are finding themselves on the streets due to evictions. During this dangerous pandemic, the police are teaming up with landlords to illegally evict squatters onto the street. During this dangerous pandemic when other evictions have been halted, the courts are still entertaining putting squatters onto the street. The state has taken the route of abandoning the well being of those under its protection including its own citizens. [Read More]

UK: Evictions make us sick!

Squat solidarity! This MayDay squatters from across the U.K. have come together to co-ordinate decentralised actions across the country to highlight our plight and address our needs. Both residential and commercial buildings have been occupied to provide housing for ourselves and the others left high and dry during this time of crisis, and banners have been dropped in support by squats not yet facing imminent eviction. Land has been taken to repurpose for clean open space and food, and food distribution is taking place to aid all who are struggling.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, emergency legislation was introduced and put a stay to all evictions for 90 days. However, it took just three weeks for the judges to surrender to the pressure from bailiffs, landlords and banks, and amend the law. Squatting cases will continue to be heard via phone, and bailiffs are now again smashing through our doors the way they always have – but this time we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and it’s scarier than ever before. [Read More]

London: Police officers assist business owner to carry out eviction in Hackney Wick

Occupants removed from the building despite ongoing pandemic.

Police officers assisted a business owner to carry out in eviction on Hackney Wick on 29 April, removing the building’s occupants despite government advice to “stay at home” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The incident at 5 Prince Edward Road on 29 April is the latest in a string of evictions carried out since the UK’s lockdown measures were introduced on 23 March.

Evictions have carried on, despite the government committing to a “complete ban on evictions” on 18 March. [Read More]

Madrid: The government evicts La Ingobernable taking advantage of the state of emergency

No matter who we tell, the reaction is always the same. WTF. The self-proclaimed ‘government of change’, the one that claims to be guided by the demands of the social movements, has consummated an eviction in times of Coronavirus. We would never imagine this reality of confinement, police state and restriction of most activities. Nor could we imagine that, in the midst of this situation, we would find out, while we were walking the dog, that we were being evicted by stealth. We don’t know if they have been more cowardly, more clumsy or more deluded. They have had the cowardice to take advantage of the fact that the social center is empty, and those who have recovered the space are being responsible by staying in their homes, to break out of their own confinement, kick in the door, take down the banners, and change the locks. They have had the clumsiness to do this by committing resources and security forces, at a time when no one will believe that this is really an essential activity. And, above all, they have been so deluded as to think that this will get us killed.

The Ministry of Justice, headed by Juan Carlos Campo Moreno, wanted us to believe that this procedure was part of those that the Royal Decree of the state of emergency calls “essential for the protection of the general interest”. They don’t give a shit: while we devote our forces and capacities to supporting health workers by printing 3D masks or supporting networks in our neighbourhoods, they dismantle a social center without even proposing an alternative use. Or perhaps, it’s only the continuation of five years of vacancy and neglect of a building in one of the most exclusive areas of the capital. And they call this “general interest” and “priority” in times of pandemic. [Read More]

Zürich: Another vacant house occupied

On Wednesday April 22nd, another vacant house was occupied in Zurich in order to provide people in precarious situations with a safe home and protection against the corona virus.

Already last week, friends from us with the same goal, squatted some houses. Not much has changed since then, so our concerns are still the same. The lockdown still hits hardest those for whom the circumstances were already difficult before. Many people are currently looking forward to the easing of the measures, have locked themselves in or isolated themselves. Others speaking out social-darwinist phrases or conspiracy theories. The last clapping for the hospital staff has silenced and the gift fence is empty. The word “solidarity” remains as the empty phrase to which it has deteriorated. But there are still people among us for whom the lockdown has led to constant stress and who could not deal with the virus in their own way, like we did. Our solidarity belongs to the people who have so far escaped the coercive measures but who have it harder than ever. We want to live solidarity and stand with them. [Read More]

Zürich: mobilisation and call for solidarity

While the city is being bombarded with the slogan “Stay at home. Please. Everyone.” calls for people to hide in their own homes, the squatters from the Juch are given an ultimatum of 4 days until they are kicked out on the streets.

So, in the shadow of the Corona crisis, people are driven from their homes and cultural freedom is destroyed. This happens without giving reasons, announcing plans nor showing a building permit. The last weeks have probably caused some wet dreams among authoritarian forces and so it is not really surprising that a hard wind is blowing against us right now. Nevertheless, we are speechless about the impudence of the city government, which on the one hand rambles about solidarity and at the same time imposes completely counterproductive, repressive measures against a left-wing project. Last Saturday, the Corona argument was used to try to nip the pandemic-proof demo “Safety for all refugees” in the bud. Although all the precautionary measures recommended by the Confederation are being implemented, it is not possible in this city to take to the streets during a protest. However, it seems justified for the Social Department to put residents of a squat on the streets without giving any reason? [Read More]

Zürich: Juch eviction threat

On April 20, we received mail from the city of Zürich regarding the possible uses of the Juch site. The letter from the Department of Social Affairs informed us that Juch is to be prepared for potential future use from Monday, April 27. Reconstruction and demolition work is also scheduled to begin on April 27. Thus we, the squatters and users of Juch are requested to clear the area by midnight on Friday April 24. So we are supposed to clear an area within four days which we have built up over half a year.

The city of Zürich is calling for the evacuation of the area with the slogan “Stay at home. Please. Everyone” the population to stay at home. The people who live here have no second home. Their home is the Juch-area. If Juch is evacuated, there will be several dozen people who have no place to go to protect themselves and others. [Read More]

Madrid: The Government wants to evict La Ingobernable in 24 hours despite the state of emergency

This Tuesday, April 14, we learned through publication in the BOE (Official State Bulletin) that the Ministry of Justice was giving us 48 hours to leave the new open space occupied by La Ingobernable in Calle Alberto Bosch, 4.

The deadline is today. And we are not only faced with a new demonstration of the absolute lack of interest in dialogue between this Ministry and Minister Juan Carlos Campo, but also with a particular use of the right of an administration that has decided that its priority in the midst of the quarantine is to resume a process such as the eviction of La Ingobernable, omitting even the right of allegation, all in order to deprive Madrid of a self-managed space. In this case, there are several reasons why it seems to us to be a particularly shabby move.

Firstly, we cannot even remotely understand how this government has set as a priority in the current context the resumption of the administrative process for the eviction of this social center. A place that, as we already defended in our previous communiqué, will be essential, like the rest of the social centers, for the post-quarantine scenario. [Read More]

Zürich: Update from new squats in Altstetten

On Thursday we occupied four houses in Zurich Altstetten. This action is a sign of an inclusive solidarity. Soon the first house will be handed over to people who are constantly excluded from society and forgotten. The current situation varies from house to house. We experienced solidarity reactions from the owners, as well as incomprehension and rejection.

We are often asked why we occupy and do not choose the “legal” way:

1. we stand up for the fact that all people can live self-determined. That they themselves can decide where, how and with whom they live. We have occupied these houses in order to occupy our privilege to share with people who cannot do so themselves due to repression. [Read More]

UK: Don’t believe the hype. Evictions continue despite moratorium

The ban is a lie. Despite the UK government declaring a “complete ban on evictions” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in the last 24 hours an autonomous homeless shelter in Brighton and an occupied space in Peckham have been illegally evicted by people claiming to be bailiffs, allegedly with the full support and cooperation of the Sussex and Metropolitan police officers in attendance.

The government’s no evictions claim is really just the abdication of due process and the scant judicial protections formerly afforded to tenants, squatters and the under-class in general.

Get ready. The bailiffs and their bosses are taking the law into their own hands, with the police in full support. [Read More]

Calais: Coronavirus, housing and deportations

For more than two weeks now, France has been on lock-down. With most French people unable to leave their homes, migrants in Calais are still being evicted from theirs. Human Rights Observers in Calais have counted 45 deportations since March 17th. A police union, Synergie-Officiers, has called for an end to these daily deportations, but the department and prefecture still insist they continue. The PAF (Police Aux Frontiers) have stopped carrying out these daily deportations in the city, initially retreating to their work in the detention centre. This just means different cops do them (CRS and Gendarmerie).

The crisis that is the states’ response to the coronavirus pandemic does not show any signs of letting up. Additional powers are being granted to states from now. As one example (stay aware of others) of the state using the pandemic to meet its goals that could not otherwise be easily achieved, Greece used it to justify evicting many families from the Politechnio squat.

In Calais, health and sanitation have already been used as excuses for deportations. Despite a later ruling against the closing of shops and restaurants in the jungle, armed police seized food, water, gas, cigarettes in 2016, under pretext of “sanitary control.” Calling it a humanitarian intervention, in 2014, the state evicted about 650 people because of scabies and sanitation. Neither then nor now, the state took responsibility for creating these conditions for people or gave solutions. [Read More]