Amsterdam: Violettenstraat 10-12 squatted

Neighborhood letter

Dear neighbors,

We are your new neighbors living in Jordaan. We are group of four young people, who are not rich enough to be able to find a roof over our heads in what is fast becoming “Disneyland Amsterdam”.

We are here today to bring life to an unloved, derelict place. We intend to collectively renovate a space left to rot by the squander of a profit hungry corporation and transform it into a quiet, cosy home.

The property we are squatting has been empty for 2 years. Libra International BV, a real estate speculation company, is the owner. This company owns more than a thousand properties in the Netherlands and is well known to operate in the area “between illegal and legal”; they perform house-price raising “property swaps” between their numerous shell corporations; they deliberately render buildings unlivable and leave them empty, degrading, in order to speculate on the land value; they deliberately refrain from their duties as a landlord, withholding their obligated basic maintenance of properties as a means to pressure renters who get in the way of their plans to leave. They render homes into mere sums of money to speculate over, making the city unaffordable, and unlivable for common people. [Read More]

Montreuil (Paris, France): About the demonstration “Let’s occupy the houses, destroy the prisons”

Friday, February 16, we met up at 19h at the Croix de Chavaux in Montreuil for a demo against rents, evictions and jail.
Some CRS and plain clothes cops are posted at the end of the pedestrian street. We set ourselves up anyway, some music, a few banners and little by little we are about 250 people. Talks are linked (why this demo, the Bara collective, a short account of the story of Alfidel, on the occupation at the University of Paris-8, the Gambetta collective, …). [Read More]

Biel (Switzerland): Reclaim The Streets against gentrification! Bahnhöfli stays!

The last squatted house in Biel, Wahnhof, is in danger of eviction! The property-management-department wants to kick out the squatters before the end of the year, to break down the house without any upcoming construction-projects. so it will be an empty place for many years again…
In the meanwhile we got a visit by the Director of public trade inspectorate. He told us that “Bahnhöfli” can stay for now. How long he couldn’t or didn’t want to say. We are supposed to get it written down.
This doesn’t change much so far. Gentrification is still going on in Biel and everywhere.
Therefore we RECLAIM THE STREETS against gentrification and the destruction of autonomous spaces.
Come all and support the struggle for more alternative spaces.

Saturday 25 november 2017
15:30 at Guisanplatz in Biel/Bienne

Bring banners, instruments, trailers, bikes, skateboards. Be creative!
Defend autonomous spaces!
For more squats and trailer parks! [Read More]

Portugal: Voices from an okupation. The assembleia de occupação de Lisboa

Ongoing reflections on an okupation in Lisbon (continuing a discussion) …

The essay below, which we share in translation, is by Tiago F. Duarte, a member of the Assembleia de occupação de Lisboa, a collective responsible for the recent occupation of a residential building in Lisbon’s centre. We share the essay not because we agree with everything that is stated therein – for example, its overly marxist reading of history, of the opposition of the city and the countryside, of class conflict, and its reduction of occupation to a means or tactic of anti-capitalism when it is as much an end and a strategy (that is, these distinctions are in the end not only meaningless, but problematic) – but because of its insistence in reading “okupation” as a radical politics. [Read More]

Montréal (Canada): Let them eat paint! De-gentrification action against “3734”

Just over a year ago, a masked crowd looted the yuppie grocery store attached to the “3734” restaurant on Notre-Dame street and redistributed the food to people in the neighborhood, one of dozens of actions against gentrification in recent years. The grocery store shut down several months ago, but we noticed that the 3734 restaurant was still serving business lunches and expensive dinners to local yuppies. So last Wednesday night we paid them a visit, breaking a window and covering the inside of the restaurant with paint, using a fire extinguisher. [Read More]

Squatting: the urban space as a common good

London_squatters_outside_the_Mayfair“Housing is a need, not a privilege”, “Housing for people, not for profit”. Banners with slogans like these hang from windows in any number of European cities. Across Europe, increasing social inequality is making some urban spaces inaccessible to those who used to inhabit them. Gentrification, corporatization and so-called “urban regeneration” projects are leading to the demolition of social and accessible housing, replaced by unaffordable apartments. This leads to the increased eviction and displacement of tenants from their homes and their relocation to the suburbs and peripheries.

Houses, once owned by councils or their occupants, have become investment opportunities for large corporations. With up to 200,000 living spaces intentionally kept vacant in the UK, houses are being stripped of their social value and becoming objects to secure the elites’ wealth. Workers in precarious positions, families, low wage households and students are being displaced or made homeless, while surrounded by vacant properties. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Future of the Torensluis. The city wants an exclusive Canal District

torensluisbrugLast night the Dagelijks Bestuur of the Central city district made a decision about the future of the Torensluis. The district wants to begin renovations soon, after which neighborhood groups will be abloe to sign a contract with them. As soon as the necessary permits have been obtained (which will probably be around May or June), the district will no longer tolerate us in the space.

The negotiations about a joint plan for the future use of the space were reaching their final stage in November 2016 when our negotiating partners, Stadsdorp 7 and Brug9buurt abruptly left the talks. It turned out that they did not want to sign our jointly devised plan because they wanted to submit their own proposal.

Contrary to the proposal of our former negotiating partners, the Spinhuis Collective wanted to keep the space open for use by a range of groups. We therefore saw the necessity of submitting our own proposal, in which we articulated our vision about public space in the city, specifically in the Torensluis. We therefore went in search of other socially engaged projects for possible collaborations. Neighborhood center D’Oude Stadt and Stichting Het Gespuis, both of whom have been forced to find a new space because of the commercialization of the city center, indicated their willingness to work with us in the future. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Eerste Oosteparkstraat becomes another chapter in the gentrification of the city

201610_Eerste_Oosterparkstraat_114_116_AmsterdamOn the 22nd of September, the residents of Eerste Oosterparkstraat 88-126 were evicted from their homes. Construction work has started to demolish the buildings. It will be replaced by a new block of houses and businesses. We have lived here for three years in a squatted house and we have decided to speak up about what is going on.

The first step to gentrifying the neighborhood begins by evicting and demolishing existing homes and building new, often ugly block houses. House rents will increase and the neighborhood will fill up with rich yuppies. The original inhabitants will be forced to leave their homes and move out of town. The plans to renovate the neighborhood for profit forces people out of Amsterdam. This is social cleansing designed to eliminate social and cultural diversity, and further impoverish the low-wage workers, the unemployed, the homeless.

Owner of these houses is Stadgenoot, a public housing corporation. This corporation owns 40.000 houses, office spaces, storage spaces and garages. It is known for contributing to the nationwide decimation of affordable housing and tenant rights. They bypass tenant rights by using all kinds of flexible temporary contracts, anti-squat, temporary leases and campus contracts thereby by circumventing rent control, while at the same time decreasing the number of houses that used to be social rent. [Read More]

Utrecht: Two more houses squatted on Kanaleneiland

monnetlaan85_Kanaleneiland_UtrechtEvicting in neighborhood with 300 empty houses is useless.

Last weekend two new houses were occupied on the Monnetlaan in Kanaleneiland, Utrecht. Those homes were empty awaiting renovation in March. “It seems vacancy protector VPSitex considers metal plates a good way to protect vacancy, we think it’s not.” says one of the squatters.

The first eight houses, Monnetlaan 97-111 were occupied last April in protest agents racist policy of gentrification in this neighborhood. 1100 affordable houses would be demolished because renovation was impossible. Of the replacing new houses only 25% would be social rent. When the social housing corporation ‘foundation Mitros’ almost bankrupted itself and government took over financial responsibility, this megalomaniacal project was dropped. The local government nor the housing corporations knew what to doo with those 224 social houses where they already kicked out the renters. Ultimately they were sold for € 0,- to the Qatari- Swiss asset trust Aventicum. Interesting to note is that this company’s head of real estate is the west- Flemish prodigy Christophe Tanghe, yes the same one that run ING bank to the ground when he run real estate there. This asset trust will renovate the houses; well… they will replace the windows. After that you may buy a 70 square meter house for € 140.000,- with the obligation to finish the renovation within two years. Some of the houses may become open market tent, € 1.200,- a month. Non available for low income groups. [Read More]

Utrecht: Squatters protest against gentrification – New house squatted on Kanaleneiland

201604_Monnetlaan_kanaleneiland_UtrechtWednesday July 13, there is a court case in Utrecht about the squatted houses on Monnetlaan. The buildings were squated in April out of protest against the gentrification of Kanaleneiland. Everyone who has affinity with this story, or is interested in the courtcase, is welcome to witness the courtcase itself. The squatters and supporters will be in front of the courthouse from 8.30, the courtcase itself begins at 9 o’ clock.
Utrecht is finishing a large scale gentrification project that has wiped out 9500 social houses. Kanaleneiland Centrum is one of these projects, where 1100 sociale houses have been demolished. This project is now ending, the squatted have occupied the building which will be the last to be renovated. [Read More]

Germany: Berliners defy massive siege by police defending Rigaer 94 and autonomous revolution from market gentrification

rigaer-9418Rigaer 94 occupied center in Berlin symbolizes the struggle for a practical alternative to rampant insane predator capitalism. Police complained that more than 120 officers were injured on Saturday (one had a bruise on his arm) and some 86 demonstrators were violently arrested during popular defence in the German capital which mercenary police complained was ‘the most aggressive and violent resistance in the last five years’.

see also: Berlin: Rigaer 94 Action Day

Berlin state propaganda officials said in a statement Sunday that evil leftist protesters threw bottles, cobble stones and fireworks at the, attacking officers in full protective riot gear and hurt them with fists and kicks.

They declined to say how many brave demonstrators were hurt by the 1000’s of ‘overzealous’ fully armed hysterical police on overtime double-pay. The day’s headlines went planetwide on commercial media ..”Anarchist terrorists hurt over 120 nice innocent Policemen’‘. [Read More]

Ljubljana: Interview on the defense of the Rog factory squat

Autonomous_Factory_ROG_LjubljanaIn cooperation with Crna Luknja, the anarchist radio show on Radio Student in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, we produced the following interview on the ongoing struggle against the attempted eviction of Rog, a former bicycle factory and an active squat for 10 years now. The interview focuses on the resistance against the attempts of eviction by the city as well as Nazi attacks and also on the political framework right now in Slovenia.

Length: 11:55 min

You can download the audio at: archive.org (wav | mp3 | ogg).

Here you can listen to it directly:

Here is the website of ROG (with information in different languages). [Read More]