Amsterdam: No eviction for hotels! The squatting collective ‘De Mobiele Eenheid’ stays!

Building squatted
The squat collective De Mobiele Eenheid has squatted the Gedempte Hamerkanaal 86 / Spijkerkade 2 building a few weeks ago and has started a non-commercial social centre with a program of activities almost every day. After only a few weeks that the collective released the building from the control of real estate violence, an end to this freedom was threatening: The owner, Uri Ben Yakir, stepped to court because he intends to turn the building into a hotel.

The judge ruled yesterday, November the 20th, that the squat collective Mobiele Eenheid can stay until February 1, 2019. The collective demands action from politicians and considers to appeal the decision in court and oppose the eviction.

Overcrowded with hotels
Amsterdam is full of hotels and overcrowded with tourists. There is little to show of the so-called Hotel stop that announced the previous city council. The owner of the squatted building in the Gedempte Hamerkanaal 86 / Spijkerkade 2, a diamond merchant, also knows that real diamonds nowadays have two legs, enter through Schiphol and pull roll-up luggage. If it is up to De Mobiele Eenheid, no hotel in the city will be added. As long as politics does not succeed, squatting is necessary. [Read More]

London: Squatters digest- low tide. Next comes the flood

Welcome to the Squatter’s Digest, a new column for Freedom News, highlighting the ongoings of the squat scene in London and beyond, along with providing opinions on the politics of said goings-on. Quality and coherence are not guaranteed.

The 29th of October saw 150 high-court bailiffs and police descend upon the Tidemill Community Garden in Deptford, London, at 6am, pulling people from their tents, dragging them out of tree-houses, and laying waste to the entire occupation. Occupiers climbed the trees and refused to vacate, while outside fights broke out between the supporters and bailiffs (County Enforcement, well-known to squatters, see Corporate Watch’s latest article on them), who of course were protected by members of the Metropolitan Police force. At some point in the afternoon the last squatter was removed from the trees and the garden was all but lost. But this didn’t stop the people outside from trying for one last push to regain entry to the site. Rushing for the fences, people were thrown to the ground and detained by bailiffs and police, but also linked arms and refused to allow their fellow protestors to be taken to the arrest vans, defiant to the last. [Read More]

Amsterdam: 15 december, demonstration against the eviction of Amsterdam!

15 december 2018, 15:00, Daniel Meyerplein, Amsterdam

We are angry about the sale of the city: tourism, Airbnb, gentrification, sale of the social housing stock, segregation of neighborhoods and neighborhoods, the hunt on social centers and non-profit organizations, small businesses get into trouble because of extreme rents.  The city is becoming unaffordable. Young people and students can’t find an affordable place anywhere. Amsterdammers no longer know where their children should live. Teacher shortage because there is no affordable housing for new teachers, nurses, anymore. Tenants’ rights are being eroded. More and more temporary rental contracts, good housing disappearing from the social stock, waiting lists are endless. Properties are bought up to be used as Airbnb hotels. As the city becomes more commercial, free spaces disappear to make way for monoculture. All of Amsterdam has an interest in the preservation of the ADM, as the largest international sanctuary. 150 residents and countless small businesses and initiatives, unique events and festivals that cannot take place anywhere else in Amsterdam have to make way for a nonsensical and unrealistic business plan. But that doesn’t matter because once vacated, the land and port will increase in value enormously and that’s what it’s all about. Precisely to prevent speculation, the city council decided that only a shipyard may be built on the site, but now the city suddenly does not have a hard time. [Read More]

Amsterdam: De Mobiele Eenheid goes to court!

Three weeks ago, the collective De Mobiele Eenheid squatted the building Gedempt Hamerkanaal 86, Spijkerkade 2 in Amsterdam Noord. To counteract the commercialisation, mass-tourism and precarious housing market, we have created a social centre offering a weekly program. Soon after the building’s occupation in opposition to an all-encompassing property-based violence, the end is near. Following dangerous threats, the owner of the building is summoning the collective to court, based on his supposed plan to turn the building into a hotel.

Amsterdam contains a disproportionate number of hotels and is completely over-crowded. The hotel stop decreed by the previous city government, is hardly noticeable. But the owner in question, a diamond merchant and property speculator, knows that real diamonds nowadays have two legs, arrive in Schiphol and pull wheelie bags.

His presented plans are not only problematic, but also highly questionable. In 2006, the building was squatted for the first time and already then, the plan was to build a hotel. Besides an environmental permit in 2013, the owner has undertaken little to no action hinting at reconstruction of the building. Overall, the greatest part of his property has been standing empty for many years. [Read More]

Madrid-Barcelona: Estate agents attacked in solidarity with the CSOA La Gatonera and the CSO Ka La Trava

Thursday September 27, the windows of estate agency Tecnocasa in Vallekas were shattered. The agency was also covered in paint. This action aims to encourage the comrades of the CSOA La Gatonera (Carabanchel-Madrid) and Ka La Trava (Gràcia-Barcelona), as well as all the people who struggle in defence of squats as a revolutionary tool.
Neighbourhoods are being transformed by capitalist speculation, gentrification being a tightening of screws in a cyclical process that affects all the cities of the world. Real estate agencies and other capitalist entities such as banks and speculators are responsible. Let’s spread the attack against them and build bridges based on solidarity and attack.
Refusing to negotiate with the State, the town hall or private property and resisting the scoundrels and the police must have an echo of solidarity in the form of seeking and spreading the struggle. This is only the beginning and we call for the reproduction of the attack, overcoming any path of mediation and negotiation with power. We do not negotiate with the State and capital. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Mobiele Eenheid, new collective on the Gedempt Hamerkanaal in Noord

Press statement, 17 october 2018

Today, the Mobiele Eenheid, a collective of involved Amsterdammers, occupied the old Gedempt Hamerkanaal 86. The building has been empty for over a year without any concrete plans for use in the near future. We plan to transform this badly maintained building into a non-commercial social center; a space by and for people to come together, exchange ideas and skills, work collectively and actively influence the developments in the city.

We oppose the current developments in the city. Over the last 5 years the average price of a house in Amsterdam has gone up by more than 80%. Due to high rent many inhabitants have been pushed out (of their homes) and the city. Many are forced to give up their tenancy rights and live in anti-squats, currently a conventional alternative to renting, even though it enables real estate speculation. In addition, gentrification and tourism are changing Amsterdam. Space for people with a small wallet or non-profit initiatives have basically disappeared. The last free-spaces are currently under threat. Amsterdam is increasingly becoming an expensive, predictable, individualistic and exclusive city, whereas we want to live in a city that is diverse and inclusive. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Gedempt Hamerkanaal 92, Spijkerkade 2 squatted

Yesterday 14 October 2018, the building on the Spijkerkade 2 and Gedempt Hamerkanaal 92 has been resquatted. Not much happened there since it was for a first time squatted on 17 December 2006. [Read More]

Berlin: Liebig34 must stay!

We are Liebig 34, a self-organised anarcha queer feminist house project in Berlin-Friedrichshain made of different collectives: the Infoladen Daneben, the-queer-feminist living-project Liebig34 and the queer feminist eventspace L34-Bar. 40 people from all over the world with different backgrounds and gender identities collectively live together whitout cis-men, trying to create a “safer political space“ without hierarchies, a space where we try to develop, extend and exert anti-patriarchal practices, where we reflect power structures, privileges and where we empower each other.
Liebig 34 was squatted in 1990 and later legalized like many other houses in east-Berlin. After the failed attempt to buy the house collectively, a contract was made for 10 years.

Now, december 2018, our contract is coming to an end.

Our house, like over 200 others around Friedrichshain, is owned by Gijora Padovicz and his company Siganadia Grundbesitz GmbH, famous for the systematic buying, eviction and destruction of houses and houseprojects for commercial profit in detriment of affordable housing spaces for all. [Read More]

London: The Battle for Deptford and Beyond

In Deptford in south east London, local campaigners have occupied a 20-year old community garden to prevent it from being boarded up and razed to the ground by Lewisham Council and the housing association, Peabody. They are also highlighting the absurdity of proposals to demolish 16 structurally sound council flats next door to build new social housing.

What’s happening in Deptford reflects two pressing concerns in the capital today. The first is the prioritising of house-building projects over pressing environmental concerns. The second is the destruction of social housing to create new developments that consist of three elements: housing for private sale, shared ownership deals that are fraught with problems, and new social housing that’s smaller, more expensive and offering tenants less security than what is being destroyed.

The proposed destruction is part of a plan to build new housing not only on the site of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden and Reginald House flats, but also on the site of the old Tidemill Primary School, which closed in 2012. Peabody intends to build 209 units of new housing on the site, of which 51 will be for private sale, with 41 for shared ownership, and 117 at what is described as “equivalent to social rent”, although that is untrue. The rents on the latter will fall under London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s London Affordable Rent, which is around 63% higher than existing council rents in Lewisham.
[Read More]

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]