Athens: Themistokleus refugee squat evicted

Athens. Greece. Statement by Notara 26 on yesterday’s eviction of the Themistokleus refugee squat.

Today (May 18, 2020) at dawn, the Greek state whose racism can not be bent neither by pandemics, nor by meteorites possibly, went ahead with the eviction of the refugee housing squat of Themistokleus street.
Dozens of people, mostly women refugees with children, lost their home again as well as the minimal protection they had found. They were moved on police buses to Petrou Rallli and then they were dumped in the middle of nowhere to wander the streets homeless and fatigued, with no place to go to.
At the moment they have gathered at Exarchia square with no access to food and housing. Amongst them many babies and children.
We are under no illusion. We don’t expect any kind of salvation from the guard-dogs and their superiors who have raised inhumanity and repression to the ultimate dogma.
Only solidarity can give hope back to those who have been deprived of it.
We call all the friends of Notara26 refugee – immigrant housing squat to support these people in the same way they have been supporting our community all those years.

“IN ORDER TO TURN THE REFUGEES’ JOURNEY TOWARDS SURVIVAL INTO MANKIND’S JOURNEY TOWARDS FREEDOM”

Notara 26, May 18, 2020

Via EnoughisEnough, originally published by Notara 26 Facebook page

Amsterdam: New Policy. No Eviction for Emptiness…

As a squatter in Amsterdam, looking back on the past year is painful. 2019 dealt heavy blows to a movement that didn’t seem capable of much more than taking the beating. The city has lost its largest squats and despite numerous squatting actions, hardly any new buildings have survived the end of the year. What’s more, politicians tried to introduce a law at national level to further criminalise squatters while the media reported time and time again how afflicted property owners are being deceived repeatedly by squatters. To top it all off, the mayor concludes the year with a report on a new policy designed to implement a more rigorous approach to squatting.
There’s not much left to say beyond 2019 having been a rather grim year, making it difficult to paint a hopeful picture for squatting in Amsterdam in 2020.

We look back on a year in which we, above all, lost a lot. [Read More]

Hamburg: Alltuna squatted and evicted

Alltuna (Alle tun Alles) on Blücherstraße 7-9 in Hamburg Altona has been squatted and evicted on May 9th. Three people have been arrested. Statement made during the occupation:

Welcome back to the map of the squatters! Besetzenhaha
Another world is possible!

By this we do not primarily mean a world without covid-19, but a world where people deal with it differently. In which our lives, our community as people, our health is at the center and not the profit of the richest.

We opened the Alltuna because we think another world is necessary and we just wanted to start with it. Because another world is just around the corner.

We start and no longer ask: Squatting rocks! Open the doors! We don’t ask if we are allowed to create space, because we really haven’t got anywhere with that in the last years. Except into exploitative tenancies, which are now afflicting the entire cultural life in the city! Everything that has been put together through decades of painstaking, unpaid work by various actors is at stake: Because of the rents. Be it the SKF, the Centro Social, the Gängeviertel, concert halls, small theaters, Infoladen or our own living space. If we had just asked the question of ownership earlier. [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: 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]

Brighton: Another illegal eviction

Yesterday (1 April) the DiY Kodak Collective (previously on S!N) were again illegally evicted from a building. This is the second time in a week. This time it was a squatted basement flat, part of the complex which used to be the Hostelpoint at Pool Valley coach station in central Brighton.

Three men claiming to be the owners came by at noon to threaten violence unless the squatters left by 9am on 2 April. They then came back at 7pm the same day with a sledgehammer and smashed their way in. While they did so, a passerby flagged down a police car. Instead of arresting the angry men brandishing a sledgehammer, the police entered the squat, quoting PACE 17 which is complete nonsense. The legal warning was on the door stating that anyone using force to enter was breaking the law. No-one wanted to stay and wait for more violence to come, so we decided to leave.
[Read More]

UK: Evictions held over, hotels for the homeless — Covid is upending housing

The legal situation has been changing so rapidly that even full-timers are struggling to keep up, but with the introduction of Practice Direction 51Z it looks like eviction proceedings are finally off the table for now and we have time to take stock of what is now utterly uncharted territory in British housing.

Minutes after I’d finished an article regarding the situation regarding squats and ongoing evictions in Britain the information became outdated, as emergency procedural changes were brought in by the government, in theory protecting everyone, squatters, renters, and the street homeless, from the risks of being out on the streets during this period. Let’s explore what each of these measures might realistically mean.

Up until this moment, the government had promised a three-month breather for mortgage repayments, and then – under pressure – caved and stated that tenants who fail to pay rent will be protected from eviction for the next three months. This does not mean a lot in practice, as the rent still needs to be paid, and agreements for doing so settled on. [Read More]

South Africa: Evictions mark first day of national lockdown

Even as police let loose with rubber bullets and beatings against shoppers yesterday in an effort to enforce the new national Covid-19 lockdown, in Durban they were turfing people into the street.

The eThekwini municipality evicted residents from the Ekuphumeleleni settlement near Shallcross in Ward 17 on Friday when, at 2pm, nine vehicles linked to Calvin Security arrived at the contested site, which was first established as a land occupation in October 2019, to tear down people’s homes. No court order was produced and residents say the evictions were illegal and criminal, as well as being in violation of rules governing the national state of disaster.
[Read More]