London: Squatting, Evictions, and the Coronavirus

Some days after granting a 3-month breather for mortgage payments the government caved to pressure and stated that renters who fail to pay rent will be protected from eviction during the next 3 months. This meant very little to squatters, and as explained later, still means very little to renters.

The Pie ‘n’ Mash Autonomous Cafe was evicted the morning of that same announcement, the same day that the cafe (having closed for safety reasons some days earlier) was to become London’s first Mutual Aid Centre, to complement the anarchist-instigated and autonomously-organised Mutual Aid groups that had sprung up around the city, and now the country. The council (who without a doubt had a hand in effecting the eviction of the Pie ‘n’ Mash) announced the very next day their own initiative of a centre to assist Mutual Aid groups in distribution of needed goods, co-opting the idea to suit their own agenda and save face in the eyes of the public.

Things have not gotten better for squatters by any means in the following days. Multiple evictions have taken place on buildings that have been awaiting bailiffs for weeks, seemingly a rush by owners and bailiff companies to do business in the case that the government prevents them from doing so in the future. [Read More]

London: Eviction Of The Pie ‘N’ Mash Squat Cafe – We Must Push For No Evictions In This Crisis!

As I write this, I should have actually been emailing another article to the Freedom editorial team, announcing the shutdown of the Pie ‘n’ Mash Autonomous Social Cafe, and its rebirth as the Pie ‘n’ Mash Mutual Aid Centre (38-40 Deptford High St).

Instead, I write this from the lounge of a neighbouring squat, having been woken up by High Court bailiffs at 7am this morning. The day that we were to become the hub for sanitation of donations and distribution in the Deptford area, we were torn from our home, and left scrambling for our possessions. This despite a warning on the door that people in the building were attempting to self-isolate for the public safety – well-prepared bailiffs ascending the stairs kitted out in medical masks and rubber gloves.

Running with the momentum of the anarchist-instigated mutual aid groups that have blossomed in the South-East of London (and indeed across the country), a plan was set to set up the cafe as a centre for donations, which could then be sanitised, and those involved in assisting people who are self-isolating to be able to collect and clean gear before distributing. Recognising that the crona will affect the poorest the hardest, the plan was to also be able to provide basic household items to those who can least afford to ride out this wave. [Read More]

Rotterdam : 6 squats evicted in the Tweebosbuurt

In the early morning of the 6th of March, residents of the Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam were shaken awake by police forces. The entire neighbourhood was locked down for a militarized eviction of 6 squats. 6 houses of which the residents were put on the street with their right to a home.
Beyond these symbolic houses, which brought some life back into the emptying neighbourhood, it’s all residents of the Tweebosbuurt that are the target here. Since several months, life in the area has turned into a more joyful reality again, in which residents’ resignation in the face of the demolition of their neighbourhood was seeping away. The authorities have thus decided to destroy these sparkles of hope: no squats, no solidarity, no joy, no hope.
But let them know that the destruction of our living spaces will not suppress our desire for freedom.
Squatting goes on. [Read More]

Samone di Guiglia (Modena): Eviction of an anarchist squat and arrests

On 28th February a group of people occupied a country house in the Samone countryside, in the province of Modena. There was no welcoming, already in the early afternoon cops, firemen and ROS threatened the eviction. Some went up on the roof and others barricaded themselves in the house, resisting the constant pressure and insistent threats, until the shits went away. The following day they came back calling all their friends over. They managed to storm the house beating and hitting with truncheons. Meantime some of the squatters went up the roof. Ten people were taken to the prison in Modena and arrested on charges of resistance, violence and insulting, some were handcuffed. Five squatters resisted on the roof for eight hours, they took it well in spite of the cold and the Apennine landscape obfuscated by the shits in uniform threatening to arrest everybody as soon as they came down. After they were granted permission to take their personal belongings they came down from the roof. As soon as they got down, however, they were taken to police headquarters in Sassuolo to be charged but once there they were photographed and fingerprinted. After the usual, long disgusting hours waiting, the noise made by people in solidarity at the gates made the cops release the five – not before physical and verbal threats to them, even before there were any charges for resistance, occupation and trespassing. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Illegal eviction of Tweebosstraat 120

On the 26th of February, employees of Vestia came to the door of a squat on Tweebosstraat 120. They knocked at the door, introducing themselves as the police. Obviously the squatters didn’t believe them, and refused to open the door anyway. Vestia threatened them to call the police, so they gave them the following documents proving they were living here for more than a week. Those documents were stamped by the OM on the 19th of February to prove the authenticity of the date.
According to Dutch law, those documents mean that Vestia is supposed to do a court case against the squatters in order to get an eviction order. After 48 hours of occupancy it’s illegal to evict a squat without an order from a judge. [Read More]

London: Paddington Green police station squat evicted

The Paddington Green police station squat was evicted. The operation saw more than 60 bailiffs, private security and, of course, the cops themselves, storming the building just after 7am. The residents have managed to resist for long enough to secure the time needed to gather their belongings.

The notorious high-security cop shop, best known as a place where people suspected of terrorism were held and questioned, had been squatted since the night of 7th February. That’s when the Green Anticapitalist Front, alongside squatters and other activists, took the decomissioned and abondoned in 2018 building, intending to turn it to a community centre.

The next day, the cops, whose egos must have clearly been bruised, unsuccessfully attempted to evict the space. They claimed it is a residential building (and therefore illegal to squat) and, reportedly, that not allowing them to come in and use a toilet is a breach of their human rights. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Tweebosbuurt callout for solidarity

For the freedom to occupy abandoned places, an eviction, 10 occupations!

In a few days from now, next Wednesday March 4th, 6 squats (3 of which officially and the rest very likely) are facing eviction, 6 homes people have been transforming and living in for months, whilst also fighting against the demolition and gentrification of the neighborhood. 6 houses whose residents will be thrown out onto the street with all their possessions by the police. The date of 4 March is decisive, both for the future of these homes and for the continuation of the battle here in Tweebosbuurt. We are therefore launching a call out to come and support us and to be present in solidarity during the evictions. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Squatted house evicted within a day. Nocturnal dialogue with Vestia

Police and Vestia think they can do anything with impunity again!

The police evicted a squat in the Tweebosstraat in Rotterdam-Zuid on Wednesday evening. Squatters had entrenched themselves on the balcony and the roof. Four arrests were made. A group of squatters entered the empty building earlier in the day. The police were present with many officers to remove the group. The houses in the Tweebosstraat are on the nomination to be demolished. Earlier, there were also houses squatted for a short period of time in the neighbourhood to protest against the current vacancy.


The Hague: A nocturnal dialogue with Vestia.

In the night of February 25th a nightly visit was made to the Vestia office at the Loevesteinlaan in The Hague. Several windows were smashed and paint bombs were thrown on the building. Vestia is a mafia embraced by the state. The housing corporation is well known for its malpractices and its total disregard for tenants. After the 2008 crisis, the company continued to cheerfully raise rents, sell out social housing and postpone crucial maintenance of social housing. People were struggling with leakage, moisture and mold problems, and Vestia didn’t seem to care.
Now Vestia is once again demolishing more than 500 social housing units in the Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam. The corporation will only rebuild 130 social housing units, the rest will be business premises and owner-occupied houses. Vestia’s project in the Tweebosbuurt is one of brutal gentrification. [Read More]

Rotterdam: About police actions in Tweebosbuurt

We’ve been silently listening to lots of different people talking about squatters in Tweebosbuurt in the last few days. From the leftist parties supporting squatters and newspapers calling them “heroes of Tweebosbuurt” to far right activists calling them criminals and claiming that they should be jailed or kicked out of the country. We thought that most of what could be said about squatters in Tweebosbuurt has been said. But then Wim Hoonhout, head of communication of Rotterdam’s police, decided to give his opinion on twitter as well, and it says a lot about how this city works: “Anti-capitalists, anarchists and extremists from Europe choose Tweebosbuurt for their actions. Thereby threaten the safety of residents. This requires a strict approach. Police [is] committed to ensuring that safety. Violence must be proportional and subsidiary. These people seek to undermine the rule of law. Leon [a journalist supporting squatters] trivializes their behavior and condemns our action”.

This is important and needs to be analyzed carefully.

Let’s start with squatting: as you might know, squatting is illegal in the Netherlands and was considered a criminal offense. But you should also know that since the 2 December 2010, the state court has ruled that the law forbidding squatting was illegal. Since then, squatting is legally considered as a civil issue, a disagreement of interest between two private parties. It’s not a criminal offense anymore. [Read More]

Athens: Koukaki fell heavy on them

Since 2017, the Koukaki Squat Community (Matrozou 45, Panaitoliou 21, Arvali 3) set up a different competitive example of communal life in the center of Athens. Through horizontal procedures, collective work and persistence, it set up open and social projects of communal housing, public bath and laundry, clothes sharing, spaces for public events and a multilingual library. Operating in an area which has been transforming from residential neighborhood to first-class tourist resort, the Koukaki Squat Community raised an embankment against the repressive and economic policies of the state and the bosses, against fascism, racism, and patriarchy. A living hearth of resistance, it also actively supported and connected with other struggles, political projects and public assemblies [1].

Such an active community of equality and solidarity could not go unnoticed. As many other squats and political projects in Athens, the squats in Koukaki were targeted multiple times by the state, both by syriza and nea dimokratia governments, as well as through fascist attacks [2]. Facing evictions and repression, the comrades resisted and defended their community by retaking the houses and through dynamic interventions. [Read More]

Athens: Hands off Exarcheia. New Democracy’s War on Anarchists

On July 8th, 2019, the New Democracy government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis assumed power in Greece, after campaigning on a promise to ‘clean up’ the central Athens neighbourhood of Exarcheia, and ‘take it back’ from the anarchists. Since then, the Greek state has launched a renewed attack against the anarchist and self-organized migrant movements, targeting squats and promising future raids. Against this threat, Greek anarchists have responded with characteristic resolve and determination.
Featuring interview with Pangiotis Varthalis of the squat Lelas Karagiannis 37
Translated by Boubouras (Act For Freedom Now) [Read More]

Rotterdam: Illegal eviction currently at De la Reystraat

Since 15:30 today there is a big police operation at De la Reystraat in the Tweebosbuurt. One squat is threatened with illegal eviction again. You can join there to just witness the scene, it would be really supportive!
Kraaken in ze abyss!

Contact: squat-vestia [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/7o21
http://tweebosbuurt.noblogs.org/
OpenPGP Signature : C3E3 8AEA FB8A 58DD 5ED8 11CF 956E ADCD 4837 E212 [Read More]