Finland: Squat Kattila occupied in Helsinki

A small, cozy wooden house was squatted on 13 December in kivihaka, Helsinki, Finland on the corner of roads Hämeenlinnanväylä (E12) and Hakamäentie.

We all need space to live and be in. Space to sleep, cook, meet each other, perform mutual projects, study and develop ourselves, organize events, create new and to have fun. These kinds of spaces are not distributed fairly in hierarchically organized society. When some let their “owned” buildings sit empty, others are without communal spaces or even homes. Besides this, there are numerous places that are not safe if you’re something else than a white cis-hetero male or even open at all for poor people. This feels unfair and pisses us off. Something must be done! [Read More]

Athens: From Theory to Practice – An Initial Response – 15 buildings liberated

The entire state machinery of the Mitsotakis government, spearheaded by its repressive forces, is opposed to anything that challenges its impositions of normality. It uses the doctrine of “law and order” and the rhetoric of zero tolerance as a veil to cover and distract from its endless inconsistencies. It feeds its constituents the rhetoric of nation, security, legitimacy, and development while adopting models of polarization and paradigms of bygone eras. The purpose is clear: the attempted eradication of the structures of struggle and the destruction of the revolutionary movement, which stands against its development plans and any model of so-called urban gentrification. At the same time, there is a systematic effort to massively displace populations that do not “fit” into the increasing needs of capital and the bosses of the metropolis. The effort to create an ideal consumer environment of both a passive and easily controlled population that serves the private interest is high on their agenda. On the one hand, airbnb, entertainment hotspots, shop windows, and hotels aim at the spectacle-ization of neighborhoods and the profitability of the few, while, on the other hand, cameras, drones, enforcement of all kinds, and the ceding of control of every [public and private] space to the police state for consumer control, surveillance, and commerce.
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Bologna (Italy): former Sani barracks squatted by XM24

Give in to those who would like us to be extinct, exiled or forgotten: we may have little sense, but our imagination is infinite! Today XM24 reopens a place closed and abandoned for decades. What was once the Sani barracks begins a new life as a place of self-management, solidarity and aggregation. We are opposed to the abandonment of public spaces, regaining possession of the spaces we need to live and breathe.
For 17 years XM24 has produced sociality and self-managed culture in Via Fioravanti 24. A Self-managed public space that has also been the starting point of social struggles that have crossed Bologna and the entire country. A place where many activities have been able to escape the logic of profit, a place of human and political experimentation. [Read More]

Zürich (Switzerland): Voices from the occupied Juch

We, and all of us who have entered this space in the last few weeks, have seen what this was and must never be again: a prison. What is clear to all of us is that no one who has seen this space can allow it to be used again for the administration and imprisonment of people. It is inhumane that traumatised people who have fled in the Juch should again be crammed together and monitored.

The SVP says about this occupation at the local council meeting on 6 november 2019: “Apparently some people enjoy more privileges and are not equal before the law, according to the motto: for a few instead of for all”. We say: exactly, talking about tolerance, what about people who are categorized, imprisoned and administered. This state is so far for a few instead of for all – the camps in which people in exile are imprisoned are clear proof of this. The problem isn’t that the repression against a few people who are appropriating space isn’t big enough, the problem is that this system grants some rights that it denies others. The distinction is based solely on where the persons were born. [Read More]

Zürich (Switzerland): Juchhof squatted

Dear humans,

We occupied an empty area today to open up a free space.
Why are we doing this?
On the one hand, superfluous money always creates new spaces that are only accessible to a few.
On the other hand, even those parts of society that think they have something to offer investors play directly into their hands. Building cooperatives are nothing more than huge heaps of capital, and are not a suitable means against the fight against real estate speculation. Intermediate use companies such as Projekt Interim are instrumentalized to prevent occupations and at the same time financially exploit already percarious people. They are nothing more than a new way of regulating the space they monitor and control.

The situation looks bleak, but time and again people fight for and win real freedom. This is what we are doing today. We are not leaving Zurich to the rich without a fight. Together we want to create a place where every person feels welcome, a place where it is easy to join in. As of today, this space stands for freedom and equality. It is a zone for encounters and a foundation for another direction. This place stands for the fight for freedom. [Read More]

Groningen: Statement by Akerkstraat squatters to the council

Dear Councillors,

As the people who live in Akerkstraat 16a we are pleased to be able to speak at this needed debate about the housing shortage among students, mostly internationals, in Groningen. It is clear to us that this is a matter of urgency. Every year thousands of international students are lured to the city to come and study here. What should have been a wonderful time in a beautiful city turns out to be a tragedy for many of them, just as this year. There are not enough houses, especially ones that are affordable, in the city to accommodate all those students. At this moment hundreds of students are in the emergency shelter they are expected to leave at the end of this month. Most of them have not yet found alternative housing. [Read More]

Utrecht: Derelict buildings squatted out of housing shortage and protest against vacancy

Since last weekend, a group of young people have been living in the long since vacant houses at the Burgemeester Reigerstraat 48-53 in Utrecht.

The occupation is both a direct approach to a need for life – the young people are looking for housing – and a protest against the current housing policy. The action, part of a national wave, criticized Squatting and Vacancy Act from 2010 and the intention to tackle squatting even harder. “The residents are of the opinion that not squatting, but vacancy and housing shortage must be tackled”, according to a spokesman. The buildings on Burgemeester Reigerstraat have been vacant for more than five years. Owner Marcel Paping plans to demolish the four buildings and build four new buildings and retail space in their place. A parking garage is to be built under the buildings. He has the permits for his plan, except for the entrance to the basement. Many neighbours are of the opinion that a large underground car park will seriously disturb the peace and quiet in the street. Paping plans to nail up the empty buildings if the Municipality does not grant him all the permits. Half a year ago, the buildings were also squatted. Then the police went on a wrongful eviction. “Hopefully this time the police will be wise enough not to go for the owner’s trolley and go the right way”, says one of the squatters. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Oops we did again! Amstel 45 squatted.

Sunday, 22-09-19 we successfully squatted the building at Amstel 45. The owner of this building is the biggest real-estate owner of Amsterdam and an speculator. There have been buildings owned by Veldhuijzen squatted before, Amstelkade 20 (2016), Admiraal de Ruijterweg 76 (2008). Johannes Cornelis Martinus Veldhuijzen is the owner of 512 properties in Amsterdam, he has more buildings on his name than Prince Bernhard van Oranje Nassau! (see for details the Parool article mentioned below). We know the building has been empty for 2 years and currently there is a building stop, which means the owner is prohibited to work on the building any further and he also doesn’t have any plans for the building at this moment.
We are against vacancy, leaving buildings empty and left to rot, and we squat because of vacancy! During the first week of occupation, we didn’t have any contact with the owner. Wednesday the 26 of September, we received the court papers for a fast civil procedure. His story had a lot of inconsistency and no concrete plans and because of this and the new squatting law that is coming, we decided it’s a good time to fight back! We went to court on the 1st of October and now we are waiting for the verdict, the 15th of October. The owner himself did not show up in court and he still has shown no willingness to communicate with us in any way. Will keep you guys updated!
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Groningen: Former Heijkens building squatted by students

A few days ago, a group of students occupied the former Heijkens building on Akerkstraat. The youngsters who are looking for housing are trying to raise the issue of the national housing shortage. The squatting action is part of a national campaign in the context of the nine-year squatting ban. “During this time, it was mainly squatters who had to suffer, while landowners and speculators get away with vacancy. So the ban is not a solution to the housing shortage”, according to the students’ spokesman.

Since 1 October 2010, the Squatting and Vacancy Act applies. The purpose of this law was to reduce the vacancy rate in the Netherlands. However, research commissioned by the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Ministry of the Interior shows that the effects of the vacancy policy are hardly visible. At the beginning of this year, some 96,500 m² of office space was vacant in the city of Groningen, half of which is not even for rent or sale. The vacancy rate of office buildings in the Netherlands has almost doubled. [Read More]

Berlin: Tu Mal Wat! VilLA54 squatted

During the Tu-Mal-Wat action days, we squatted the old brewery in Lansberger Allee 54. Where old east berliner houses meet new and sterile luxury accommodations, is this beautiful building, that’s already empty since seven years. Instead of having a non-hierarchical, self organized neighborhood space, until now, speculative vacancy was overtaking.

This times are over now. Whilst city council for construction, Florian Schmidt, wishes to leave 10% of this complex for non commercial usage, we wont just wait until the politicians act and take the matter into our own hands. We are not interested in the profit logic of the big companies but in a place free from ruling, where everybody is welcome who wants to participate. Weather neighbors, illegalized or societal marginalized people, initiatives and groups which are looking for rooms and also just people who are curious. [Read More]

Utrecht: Squatting during national day of action – police proceed to unlawful eviction

The national day of action against the ban on squatting was also held in Utrecht today. A group of squatters has just added the vacant building at Reactorweg 164-172 to the housing stock. Help with the occupation is welcome, so come along!

The building, owned by De Waal Beheer, has been empty for quite some time now and plans for use by the owner seem to be lacking. While the CDA and VVD in their own-initiative law are working on new legislation to protect property owners even better against squatters, this action shows that squatting is still the only effective means for people searching for housing to combat vacancy. [Read More]

Magdeburg (Germany): Four at a stroke, solidarity greetings to Exarchia

In the night of 4 september 2019, we squatted four houses in different city districts of Magdeburg. We want to express our anger on the brutal attacks in Exarchia where more than 140 people have been jailed in refugee camps or directly imprisoned. At the same time, we want to show our solidarity with the free and rebellious spirits of the district here and of all other resisting places.

Today, several people in Magdeburg came together to appropriate different houses temporarily – with that we are saying: We can take the rooms if we want. Exarchia lives on!
It has been pronounced long time ago, but now Kyriakos Mitsotakis, newly elected prime minister and his riot police MAT striked with full violence. His aim was and is the autonomous district Exarchia in downtown of Athens. In this district which is shaped by self-organisation and the spirit of resistance, Mitsotakis wants to “tidy up”, as it depicts a stain for the gentrification project in Athens. They want to impose a metro station in Exarchia so it subjects itself to mass tourism and real estate speculation. So far they tried to harass the inhabitants of that district through repression, controls and expulsion, now the methods have been intensified. [Read More]