Lausanne: Occupation of a building to accommodate homeless people

On Friday May 29th at the end of the day, during the Critical Mass, we occupied the Place Bel-Air 4 building in downtown Lausanne with the aim of creating a place of welcome for people in need of housing, but also a place of solidarity, convergence of struggles, culture and sharing. The Municipality gave the order to evict and the building was emptied a few hours later by the police, but this event will be remembered and reminds us that autonomous, supportive and resistant places are more than ever necessary.

With the end of the lock down, Lausanne has reduced the number of housing units for the homeless. Friday’s occupation was made in response to the Sleep-In Association’s Appeal 212, which asked to do everything possible to ensure that the 212 beds that were provided during the coronavirus period would be maintained all year round, thus meeting the real needs of homeless people in the Lausanne region. The covid-19 pandemic has shown that many emergency measures can be put in place quickly and that immense financial resources can be found to support the economy and save multinationals. Why don’t we see a similar mobilization for climate emergency and social justice? [Read More]

Brussels: l’École 404, new squat in Schaerbeek

L’École 404 is a squat in Schaerbeek that opened shortly before the announcement of the lockdown. In this former school lives a mixed collective of about twenty people from different backgrounds.
During the period of the confinement, we did not open the space to the public. However, the school has been fitted out over the last two months to create work and meeting spaces intended primarily for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood and for militant networks.
You’ll find a wood and metal workshop, a lab for the development and printing of silver photography, participatory permaculture gardens, a sewing and drawing workshop, a craft beer brewing workshop, a projection room, meeting and reading areas, a multi-purpose gymnasium. All these spaces are intended to open gradually to the public after the confinement. We hope that the meetings and workshops that will be held here will not only be led by our initiative, but also by those of other collectives, associations and individuals. [Read More]

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]

Berlin: On the closure of Kadterschmiede and our handling of open spaces

Wednesday, March 25th

Our lawyer told us that he should pass on a telephone threat from the police to us. The content of the threat was that the cops would enter Rigaer94 if Kadterschmiede would not close officially. After a due to timepressure admittedly short discussion, we then announced on twitter and our website that we would not open that day.

Already at 8 p.m. there were about ten team cars of a cop unit in the next vicinity and at the Wedekindwache (cop station in the south of Friedrichshain) the technical unit provided heavy equipment. For a large part of the evening the area of Rigaer Strasse, between Zellestrasse and Dorfplatz, was occupied or sealed off by police. In front of our door the new BP-unit (Brennpunkt- und Präsenzeinheit /“Criminal Hotspot and Presence-Units“ [1]) was stationed again. The usual yellow press and massmedia had been informed and was present on the street from early on.

A few days earlier we had published and postered a text with the title “Self-organization in a state of emergency – Why we still consider open social spaces important”[2]. Though we still politically think it‘s the right thing to do, we took a shot in the dark in two aspects. Neither had we considered the reaction of our enemy in the form of the state, nor had we removed all the uncertainties among ourselves regarding hygiene issues. So, because of our lack of a wider discussion and analysis around the topic of opening our own space we also seemed unprepared for the repression on that Wednesday. We had fallen right into the trap we set ourselves, as we would not have been able to defend any decision we could have made collectively. [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]