Prague: Latest updates about fines, Klinika building and how we can all fight for the city

Fines and expenses
You may have already heard that a judge decreased the executor’s fee to “mere” 900 000 CZK (yes, nine hundred thousand, approx 36 000 EUR), which, thanks to your overwhelming solidarity, appears to have been mostly collected. However, this unfortunately is not the end to the repression and related expenses. We still need money to pay our lawyers because we are appealing the “executor’s fee” to the Constitutional Court.
At the same time we are being sued by the state and the State Railway Administration Company for allegedly using the squatted derelict building for profit and for denying the owners its profitable use. They are currently suing us in total for 938 000 CZK but the amount could in the end rise to 3 500 000 CZK. These lawsuits are, of course, absurd and we have already won at a lower court but we cannot be sure of the final result. We are also sorting out fines and legal expenses for people who defended Klinika on the roof. In short, money is still needed. If any money is left at the end of all these proceedings or if some of the already payed sums are returned we will put them back into future autonomous spaces. We are humbled by your incredible solidarity and see it as a signal that your are in it with us. [Read More]

Prague: Call for support from Klinika

In January 2019 Prague’s only political squat Klinika was evicted by a private executor (debt-collector) and a private security service. For four years this autonomous social centre had been a place for meetings of emancipatory social movements, neighbours and independent culture.
Klinika was one of the first centres of refugee help in the Czech Republic, and after this it was attacked by neo-Nazis and became a target of permanent pressure from Czech right-wing politicians.

The executor has claimed 1,600,000 CZK (62,000 Euros) as the costs for the eviction. He blocked the personal bank account of one member of Klinika’s collective who had signed the contract that legalised Klinika for one year in 2015. As a consequence, her wages go straight to the executor (debt collector) and she cannot use her bank account. We understand this as an attempt to exact the exemplary punishment of political activists. All this is happening in the context of the Czech Republic being discussed as an executors’ mafia state – which has brought almost 10% of the population into insurmountable, precarious life situations. [Read More]

Prague: Future of the Radical Library

Public plenary discussion about the Radical Library on 31.1.2019, 19:00

Let’s discuss together the future of the Radical Library, which is already for four years contributing towards a development of critical thinking. The aim of the library is to offer access to the literature that is oriented on theoretical background of left movements and on reflection of engaged approach within this field. Some of the books are not well distributed and so hard to reach. We are connecting the libraries of particular collectives on the base of shared on-line catalogue, that enable us to build decentralised web of alternative book’s collections. We are not just describing the reality, we are trying to change it.

Likewise it is possible to change the character of the Radical Library and it’s course. You are invited to the plenum addressed to the topic of the future direction of our library, what we can offer and what our goals should be. Beside the discussion you can use this opportunity to visit our space at Pobřežní 8, to meet others readers, or to return borrowed books and take new ones. You can surely become a new reader or involve yourself in the collective of the library. [Read More]

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.
[Read More]

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.

[Read More]