Brussels: new occupation of empty building

As of Friday, January 15, 6,936 square meters formerly used by Opel – located at 552 chaussée de Gand in Molenbeek – are occupied to rehouse some of the 200 people about to be evicted from their homes in Jette. The opening of this new squat in Molenbeek follows the opening of the Hospitalière, a former clinic in Saint-Gilles that has become home to 80 people since December 18. This action announces the launch of a campaign of “solidarity occupations”.

As collectives and associations of people with and without papers, actors of the right to housing, inhabitants of Brussels, we are organizing ourselves once again with our means to enforce the right to housing and to demand the regularization of undocumented migrants.

We will continue to open and occupy empty buildings as long as the public authorities do not provide sufficient structural responses to the social and health crisis. By launching this campaign, we affirm that we are determined to organize ourselves in the face of the absurdity of thousands of empty buildings while hundreds of people sleep outside in our city. The opening of about ten squats has made it possible to house several hundred people during the spring 2020 confinement. Today, we want to make this solidarity and self-organized response visible, while refuting the idea that this is a structural and sufficient solution. It is up to the public authorities to make it a priority. [Read More]

Ile-Saint-Denis (France): The Pavillon Solidaire, solidarity with refugees

Solidarity, not just a word

What do you see when you take a walk around L’Ile Saint Denis – along the river banks, under the bridges, through the squares, the park? Everywhere desperate people hiding in tents, in flimsy constructions of plastic and wood, in the bushes, in any hole they can find. Hiding from the freezing cold, and hiding from the police with their batons, dogs and choking gas.

Over the weeks before the occupation we checked inside the Pavillon Solidaire several times, we wanted to be completely sure no one was using it. What did we find? The doors left open, rubbish piled up, mould growing everywhere, building work unfinished, foul stench of food left to rot, the garden clogged up with leaves, the building literally rotting.

These days it’s a cliché to say we’re living in scenes from a zombie movie. But that’s just what it seemed like, an abandoned house whose inhabitants have fled the apocalypse. A house that could provide a shelter from the cold and fear outside – at least for a few people, at least for a little while. [Read More]

Nantes: New squat on rue Babonneau. You can’t lockdown people outside!

Every evening during the meal distributions the volunteers of l’Autre Cantine (the Other Canteen) meet single men, families with babies and children who have no accommodation. They are out in the cold, often in the rain with wet clothes and wet mattresses. In September they even saw their belongings being thrown in the garbage by the municipal police. They ask us where to sleep and if the state will shelter them.
Since last March we have been in a sanitary crisis due to Covid-19 and have been locked again for 4 days. But them, how can they lock them outside? Why don’t the State and the town hall plan anything? Neither masks, nor shelter, it is once again the most precarious who are voluntarily forgotten.
It is inconceivable for us to see a hundred people on the street, it is a heartbreak to which no one can remain insensitive. This is why we support the new occupation of an empty building, 2 Rue Babonneau!
L’Autre Cantine promises material aid (clothing, mattresses, blankets, food) to the building’s occupants until the state takes over. [Read More]

Lyon: evacuation of Collège Maurice Scève

Press release following the evacuation of the Collège sans frontières Maurice Scève by the collective support migrants Lyon Croix-Rousse, October 28, 2020.

The evacuation of the Collège sans frontières Maurice Scève on October 27, 2020 went off without a clash with the police, which is appreciable after the violent intrusion on October 6. We regret that, for what could only have been a move, such a police deployment was necessary (preventing in particular the supporters from being on the premises), stigmatizing these young migrants as potentially dangerous, whereas they are rather endangered by the lack of State support, but we note that all the actors on the spot did their utmost to ensure that the operation was carried out in good conditions.

The collective would like to thank the elected municipal and metropolitan officials and the mediators who came to the site despite the early hour of the morning, showing their commitment to ensure that everything went as smoothly as possible.

The collective and the inhabitants also thank all the neighbors who came in large numbers to show their unfailing support and their vigilance during the day, and who, since the opening of the place, have been able to see in these young people something other than the image that some try to convey about them, and have been able to integrate them with benevolence. [Read More]

Susa Valley: Call for demonstration in Claviere

The self-organized refuge ChezJesOulx calls everyone for a walk of resistance sunday 1st november at 11h from Claviere. The walk will be preceeded by a day of discussion on related topics such as: the border and the repression deriving from it, the detentions in the CPR, the exploitation connected to migratory flows in the Saluzzo countryside and beyond, at the occupied Casa Cantoniera in Oulx on the 31st of october at 11h.

Solidarity is under attack on both sides of the border, from the high valsusa to the briançonnais. In Italy, the Casa Cantoniera Occupata has continued for two years now to provide a free and self-determined space for all people who want to fight for their freedom of movement. The principles of self-management, anti-authoritarianism and direct solidarity guide our political project. As part of an investigation involving more than 170 people, 17 of them have received a residence ban from the border territory, the first time a precautionary measure is confirmed against an occupation.

In France, the occupied house in Gap, Cesai, was recently evicted, although this did not prevent the reopening of a new space, Chez Roger. In Briançon, the new mayor, Arnaud Murgia, declared open hostility to all solidarity initiatives, with the intention of closing the Maraudes and the CRS legal refuge,legally under possible eviction from the 28 of october. In addition, at the end of the summer, 60 new gendarmerie units were mobilized at the border between Montgenèvre and Claviere to increase the level of surveillance and pushbacks, with the support of the Italian police. But, as several cases already demonstrate, closing the borders, the places of association and struggle has never been a deterrent to migration. [Read More]

Nantes: what future for the Maison du Peuple?

After a year of hard work, the Maison du Peuple was able to meet its challenge: a place open to all, capable of accommodating those who needed it unconditionally. Hundreds of people, families with children in difficulty have found a place to rebuild (education for children, unconditional support by the State, etc.). But also to offer a meeting and gathering place to the inhabitants of the city, to set up solidarity actions, to let artistic and sports talents (painting, visual arts, music, dance, etc.) flourish. And yet, this place of life and mutual aid is now threatened with eviction.

There are many reasons for this: the Maison du Peuple is a squat and does not, moreover, meet the safety standards that would allow it to be a permanent place of accommodation. It does not matter that the Maison du Peuple was able to safely accommodate homeless people at the time of confinement: it must close! Supported by various associations of all faiths, the leaseholders found themselves obliged to disassociate themselves from the silence of the public authorities. The work that would have made it possible to rehabilitate the premises was not undertaken despite repeated requests. [Read More]

Bordeaux: the Free Zone squat under eviction threat

Alert, Friday morning, October 16, police officers came to the Free Zone squat (La Zone Libre) and began a census of the inhabitants, then abandoned it due to the absence of many (work, school, various activities). When questioned, they suggested that the eviction could take place on Monday morning, October 19th.
A support meeting to propose mobilization and response to this unacceptable eventuality took place at the Free Zone.
A concert in support of the Free Zone was planned for this Sunday at the Rocher de Palmer (a concert hall and loyal support for the Free Zone), in Cenon.
In addition, a rally will be held on Saturday, October 17, at 3:00 pm, Place Pey Berland, in support of the March of the Undocumented and against squat evictions.

The Gravelotte squat on September 25th, then Lajaunie squat on October 2nd, mass evictions of squats resumed in Bordeaux. Each time, hundreds of people, families, and children are thrown into the streets in a veritable “state abuse”.
The Zone Libre (also known as the Ramadier squat in Haut Cenon) with its 80 families, 300 people, and 100 children (80 of whom are in school), is threatened. [Read More]

Calais: the tension does not fall back

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, more than 400 people walk in the rain for freedom and human dignity.

Calaisians, activists, volunteers and migrants found themselves in the pouring rain and set off in a demonstration from the camp next to the hospital in Calais. In spite of the wind and rain, the migrants join the parade by dancing to the sound of drums, leading the march and parading with joy and determination in the rain.

At the arrival at the Place de Norvège, a few words from supporters and migrants alternate with music and hip-hop improvisation in all languages. In spite of the cold, it is a moment of euphoria and unity between people who don’t have the opportunity to mix in the city otherwise.
At the microphone, migrants testify to their fatigue and exasperation in the face of daily harassment by the police who evict, destroy tents and confiscate their materials, calling for them to be treated as human beings and not as animals. [Read More]

Calais: the ban on distributing food to migrants is maintained. Mobilization on September 26th

For the judge of the administrative court of Lille, 4 kms on foot to eat, that’s fine.

In an order dated September 22, the judge of the administrative court of Lille rejected the request made by 12 local and national associations to cancel the order of September 10, by which the prefect of Pas-de-Calais prohibited any free distribution of drinks and food in certain places in the city center of the municipality of Calais.

The judge stated that the distributions put in place by the State were allegedly sufficient to cover the needs of all exiled people present in Calais, including those sleeping in the city center, considering that “the circumstance that in order to access them, migrants settled in the city center since early August must travel three kilometers is not such as to characterize undignified living conditions”.

This assessment is particularly questionable. Indeed, the humanitarian indicators developed either by the UNHCR or within the framework of the SPHERE project, specify, for example, concerning drinking water, that it must be accessible at less than 500m from where people live – the distances in question being in this case between 4 and 5km, which represents an hour’s walk one way, and that it is necessary to go to two distributions per day. [Read More]

Calais: a decree forbids associations to distribute food to migrants, humanitarians rise up

An order published Thursday by the prefect of Pas-de-Calais forbids associations not mandated by the State to distribute food to migrants living in Calais. L’Auberge des migrants and Utopia 56 insist on such a measure which they consider “shameful and scandalous”.

A new tug-of-war between migrant aid associations and the authorities in Calais, northern France. In a decree published on Thursday, September 10, the prefect of the Pas-de-Calais, Louis le Franc, announced a ban on “any free distribution of drinks and food [in about twenty streets, quays, squares in the city center] to put an end to public disorder and limit the health risks associated with undeclared gatherings.

“Non-compliance with distancing measures”

Insofar as the State has mandated an association, la Vie active, to provide “four daily distributions of meals”, that it makes available to migrants 38 water taps 5 days a week, including “22 accessible 7 days a week” and that water is distributed during meals, the prefecture considers that “the set of services provided makes it possible to provide migrants with sufficient humanitarian services with regard to the needs of this population, particularly food”. [Read More]

Caen: as long as there are people on the street, we’ll squat!

Demonstration Saturday, September 5, 2 pm.

Since last June 24th, the Calvados prefecture has evicted nine squats in the Caen agglomeration in which about 360 people lived, the majority of which were families with children. The squats on rue Bayet in Mondeville and rue La Varende in Hérouville-Saint-Clair were evicted during the extended winter truce on July 10 with a state of health emergency. Seven other squats have since been evicted: allée du Bosphore in Caen, route de Caen à Ifs, rue Pasteur in Mondeville, rue Desmoueux, Boulevard Guillou, rue Damozanne and rue de la Grace de dieu in Caen.

The Prefecture’s intention is to place a maximum number of people in CRA (Administrative Detention Center) or to assign them to residence, thus putting them under the permanent threat of expulsion from French territory. The policy of repression put in place by the state is intensifying, two Georgians were recently expelled following a squat eviction.

Currently, around 200 people do not have a permanent accommodation solution, some of them benefit from temporary solidarity, others live in tents or in their cars in undignified conditions. [Read More]

Angers: a look back at the demonstration in support of the Grande Ourse and the court case

On Tuesday 1st September, the Grande Ourse squat and its inhabitants were summoned to the judicial court by the owner, who demanded their immediate eviction. The collective having called for a rally at 1pm in front of the building and a support march, the afternoon was busy and lively. A quick look back at the mobilisation and the hearing itself.

About a hundred people finally gathered in front of the Grande Ourse. Time for a coffee and the departure was launched by the batukada. All dressed in pink, the percussionists cheerfully lead the march. As soon as the bridge is crossed, the cops lead the small procession. Three vans and a car just for us, the prefecture has spoiled us! The cops, recognising some people, allow themselves unnecessary words and some stupid remarks about their looks. They definitely don’t change… The demonstration then goes through the town centre animated by songs, hastily prepared that very morning (and it shows), drums or slogans about the right to housing. In spite of our small number, we make noise and the passers-by look at us with curiosity. The numerous banners then attract their attention. One can read: “less bourgeois, more roofs; “fuck the mayor and his evictions” or “it’s not the winter truce we want, it’s the truce itself”. [Read More]