Prague: Notes from the eviction of Klinika

The eviction of the autonomous centre Klinika in Prague was announced to happen on Thursday, 10 January. Yet, on Friday, 11 January, it was still not over and Klinika was still breathing. There were still several people occupying a platform on the roof. We talked to an activist at Klinika.

The context:

The strategy used by the authorities in the eviction of Klinika differs from previous evictions in Prague. Usually, it is the cops who carry out the eviction. This time, a bailiff (“exekutor”) is in charge of the procedure, and a private security company that seems to recruit its personnel from the ranks of hooligans/fascists enforces it.
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Prague: We must defend Klinika, to be evicted on January 10th!

Callout to those who are not indifferent to the fate of this space.

Despite the promising ongoing negotiations about the future of Klinika with SŽDC (the railway administration), the police has decided to evict. In the fall, when the new SŽDC management started to open negotiations, we welcomed this initiative and we came together in a specific way to preserve the social center and to resolve the future of the house to a mutual satisfaction. Nevertheless, the State decided to use violence to kick us out. Evicting Klinika does not make sense because of the ongoing negotiations, SŽDC doesn’t not even want to demolish the building. The eviction would just lead to another empty and decaying house.

We don’t exclude the possibility of further negotiations, but we don’t want to put up with the fact that the state is trying to resolve the situation with violence and a demonstration of force. Indeed, the court’s decision does not force SŽDC to perform an eviction. This decision is a political one, apparently taken under police pressure. The eviction will take place on January 10th 2019. Therefore, early morning that day, we are calling for a solidarity breakfast, a protest gathering at Klinika. We’ll defend Klinika from an eviction as many times before. Show your solidarity to Klinika. [Read More]

Prague: Klinika under threat of eviction

On Tuesday 5th September 2017 the Prague municipal court by its decision opened the way for the eviction of Klinika. Our appeal was rejected as the court upheld the view of the state (owner of the house) that they were within their rights not to extend the contract with us. The collective is convinced that the autonomous social centre can remain functioning regardless of the decision. It is senseless to destroy a functional social centre visited by thousands of people for an uncertain and highly uneconomical reconstruction of the building into offices, whose approval alone will take a few years due to the need to change the zoning regulations which do not allow offices at the site.

Klinika started in November 2014 by occupying a former lung clinic, which had stood empty since 2009. It was evicted by the police after only 10 days but after months of negotiations the state agreed to a contract with the social centre for a year with the expectation that the contract would be extended. [Read More]

Prague: Squat action on Hybernská ends quickly

The Obsaď a žij collective has been kicked out by riot police from the building squatted on Hybernská 10, in the center of Prague. The building is owned by real estate company ÚZSVM. Video of the eviction is posted on June 10th. Reports of the action were posted on the Klinika blog on June 6th. [Read More]

Precarious housing in the Czech Republic

kuncovka_brno_czech_republicKuncovka, an apartment complex 10 minutes by tram from the centre of Brno, the 2nd city of the Czech Republic with a prosperous centre. A five year old girl is walking her “dog”, a broken DVD-player, on the field at the front door. The power cord serves as the leash. Inside a group of 15 sits in a 18m2 room, the largest room of the apartment. In between the meeting children play with cardboard boxes, no toy in sight. 4 chairs, 2 small tables and a mattress are all the furniture there is. Coffee and tea is made in the bathroom, there is no kitchen.

Julek is our host. He lives in 1 of the 48 apartments in the complex. He tells us the dilapidated apartments of 30m2, without kitchen, are rented out for 10500 crowns (roughly 400 euro) a month. Last winter the owner refused to turn on the heating. He wanted to make an even higher profit. He often extorts the tenants by switching off the electricity. For 750 crowns (30 euro) he puts the electricity back on for a day.

The tenants lack regular rent contracts. There are monthly contracts which are tacitly renewed by the owner, even though these are illegal according to the Czech law. If you criticize the owner, the extortion, or the atrocious state of the building, your contract won’t be renewed. When the owner has a bad mood he refuses to give a payment receipt for the rent, which causes you to lose your housing benefits. [Read More]

Prague: Don’t ruin Klinika, don’t ruin our city!

klinikaIf nothing changes, Klinika will likely get evicted in summer. We can turn the tide – come on 9th of April on demonstration for Klinika!

Klinika still vibrates from such relations, meetings and events that find themselves trampled upon and exiled out of sight in the rest of the city. An abandoned, decaying home, collectively rebuild, open for sharing of our experiences and knowledge, alternative culture and the organization of radical politics, both of which don’t back away before the brownish authoritarian swoosh around us.
However, we don’t want to advertise here, neither amaze with some overview of our events or convince you of our own diligence. Instead, we want to convey the experiences we have gained over the last two years. Prague needs its Klinika and the people, determined to fill it with life – here we have them plenty.
On every road there were many obstacles and many slips, never was it easy for the self-organized social center to exist. If it comes to its end though, it won’t be so much due to the naivete or impossibility of our goals, rather due to the diligence of people, whose deep-seated beliefs went unmoved by Klinika. The state institutions – Office for Representation of Government in Property Affairs (UZSVM) and the Railway Transport Administration (SŽDC), our current owner – finally came up together with a plan how to bury the social center. [Read More]

Prague: Repressions against social center Klinika

For the second time in less than a week the Czech police has invaded the autonomous social centre Klinika in Prague under the pretext of looking for explosive devices after receiving an anonymous email claiming to have planted bombs in the building.
After the first invasion on Friday 20, few activists managed to stay on the roof of the building while the police evicted everybody and handed the building to the representative of the state, the owner of the building. However, later in the evening Klinika was successfully occupied again.
Today’s invasion under the same pretext of looking for a bomb has led to arrests, activists on the roof and again, to an eviction from the building, occupied in late 2014. Paradoxically, today was the day when activists gathered in front of the office responsible for managing state property to pay the fine of approx. 40 € per day for each day of occupation after the one year contract expired early this year, amounting to a total of 40000 Czech crowns (over 1500 €).
In February Klinika was the target of a neonazi attack motivated mainly by the significant role Klinika has played in collecting and delivering aid to refugees on the Balkan route (mainly in Hungary and Serbia) as well as helping collectives assisting refugees in transit through the Czech Republic. [Read More]

Prague: You can’t evict ideas

Praha_Klinika_zostaneThe Autonomous Social Centre Klinika, which occupies the building of a former clinic in Prague, has attracted a large number of supporters and was awarded a prestigious prize. Yet its future remains uncertain.

Since 1987, the Charter 77 Foundation has annually awarded the František Kriegl Prize in the Czech Republic. The award is a reminder of the brave attitude of the Czechoslovak politician František Kriegl, who refused, as the only member of the political elite at the time, to sign the “Moscow Protocol” after the country was invaded by the armies of the Warsaw Pact in 1968 and so legitimate the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Soviet tanks. The current mission of the prize is to highlight exemplary courage expressed by individuals or civic institutions in the quest for upholding human and civil rights, and political tolerance. Its results are announced each year on 10 April, the day of František Kriegl’s birth. This year, the prize was awarded to the collective of the Autonomous Social Centre Klinika, located in Prague’s Žižkov district. Its activists now stand alongside figures such as the Czech dissident Jaroslav Šabata, leading Roma scholar Milena Hübschmannová, or anarchist Jakub Polák, who all held the award previously. It is undoubtedly one of the most telling proofs of the social necessity and importance of the Autonomous Social Centre. “Klinika lives, the struggle continues”, runs the slogan of the movement that arose around Klinika in the past year. But despite the award and the strong imprint that Klinika has left, the centre’s future, symbolically and physically connected with the building of a former healthcare facility in Prague’s Žižkov, is still not certain. [Read More]

Prague: The Autonomous Social Centre Klinika needs your support!

Call for international solidarity

The Klinika Autonomous Social Centre celebrated its first anniversary,running a space on legal loan in Žižkov, Prague. Activists occupied the house, which laid derelict and full of rubbish for five years, at the end of November 2014, and after police interventions and negotiations on the contract with the Bureau for Representation of the State in Issues of Property, the Centre, called Klinika, began its varied program in March 2015.

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Prague: Statement of Klinika collective about attack on the autonomous social centre

Neonazis attacked Klinika. One person was hurt, others were in danger. Activists assume there’s a link between islamophobic demonstrations that were held today and visited by thousands of people. Klinika collective is not afraid and is going to continue its activities. Klinika also calls on people attending such demonstrations to realize whom they are supporting by doing that.

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CZ: The situation of our comrades in prison

English info about the Fenix case in Czech Republic originally posted on 23/06/2015, updated 21/07/2015, still current

Non-vegan diet, isolation, boredom, 90 minutes of daylight, meeting people through bars and hardened glass. These are just some of the conditions our comrades experience whilst imprisoned. In this article we would like to describe the everyday reality of imprisoned anarchists and outline ways to support them. We call for support of all four defendants and especially for Martin an I., to whom the next few weeks may be critical. We also call for exerting pressure on the Pankrác prison to respect Martin’s vegan diet and towards improving prison conditions in general and Ruzyně prison to respect I.’s vegan diet.
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Prague: Klinika, struggle for autonomous space

20141212_Prague_Klinika_demoCzech republic is a country of „political stability“. In despite of general disillusionment in capitalism no social movements haven’t emerged yet. Whereas in other countries social protests and demonstrations underway at least, in the Czech republic demonstrations against neoliberal austerity can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Moreover even the radical left, anarchist and anti-authoritarian activities were in decline after anti-IMF and anti-NATO summit protests at the beginning of 2000’s and squatting practically disappeared.

The situation began to change slowly after the eviction the last squat in Prague in 2009. In the next years the squatting has become important repertoire of action of the small radical and autonomous milieu in Prague. In despite of police repression and quick evictions of the squats, activists used the squatting as a tool in struggle against real estate speculations, and as a symbolic challenge the dogma of private property as one of the cornerstone of capitalist ideology in the Czech republic. After 2012 only one squat (Cibulka) remained, but squatters brought attention to the issues of speculations. Besides this symbolic struggle there was long-term effort in autonomous milieu to open squatted social center as autonomous space for radical and anti-capitalists politics. [Read More]