Cologne: Elster squat in Ehrenfeld

German territory, July 19, 2019. Tonight, supporters of Cologne caravan spaces, Assata im Hof, the Autonomous Centre Cologne (AZ), the women of the 1006, the Socialist Self-help Mülheim (SSM) and other emancipatory projects for living spaces and open spaces squatted a house in Cologne-Ehrenfeld, Vogelsanger Straße 230, which had been unused for years. Concerts and a party will take place in the evening. For the coming days there is also a varied program with lectures, workshops and other things planned.

“We have joined together to revolt against failed urban development. The neoliberal exploitation policy of the City of Cologne does not meet the needs of its residents but prioritises economic interests. Affordable living space is given up in favour of luxury renovations or office space and self-organized (open space) projects are to be pushed to the outskirts or closed in order to create investment opportunities. We are fighting together against this sell-out of the city,” says activist Petra Silie.

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Utrecht: New squat!

Since a few days, a group of squatters has been occupying a building located at the Australiëlaan 18-22 in Utrecht. Since 1998, a family from Woerden had ownership of the building. The company Boxx Opslagverhuur wants to use the building as storage place, though their plan has been rejected by the municipality of Utrecht on November 12, 2018. So far there are no concrete signs the place will be used on a short term. That’s why we arrived!
The cops have been informed about the situation. This morning around 25 people showed up in solidarity. We are still waiting for them to come. The ambiance is nice and chill, and we will keep you updated in case the cops arrive or the situation changes. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Place squatted in Noord

Last Sunday, 30th of june, squatters occupied a vacant building in Amsterdam Noord.

First a pharmacy, then a pizzeria, and for a short while a bike storage, the building on the Statenjachtstraat 598 has been empty now since around 2015
In the end of 2015 it was already squatted, the owner at the time seemed a bit dodgy, the squatters were being harassed by workers.

In may 2019 the building has been bought by 2 real estate traders that have not been sitting still the last years, Axel Veldboom[1] en Frans Blom. Mainly active in Groningen and Enschede, together they own more then 300 buildings.
Axel started his real estate career in 2015, and managed to acquire 130 buildings in de the past 4 years. He is known from a scandal in Enschede, where he managed in a sneaky way to get permits to build a student flat in the middle of a neighbourhood. [2] Thanks to some neighbors that stood up for themselves, recently a judge decided that the flat needs to be torn down.
About Frans we don’t know too much, except that he owns 144 buildings in the Netherlands.
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Germany: Aachen is squatting again!

During the international climate strike today, we occupied the Bastei. Those who live in Aachen for a bit longer, probably know the Bastei. Between 1930 and 1990 it hosted a lot of different kinds of pubs and bars. Since 1994 the Theater K played shows there. 2014 the theatre moved out, since then the building is empty. According to the local press, during this time the Bastei was owned by the architect and investor Hans Kahlen. Although Kahlen was one of the main initiators of the Aquis Plaza shopping mall. More ore less 29.000 qm of living places were destroyed for this project and many little shops had to close or to move.

All over Germany its the same system: cheap living places get sold to private investors who raise the rents for their private enrichment. If there are new building projects, it‘s expensive flats for the rich or bullshit like the Aquis Plaza. While the ecological base of our lives is getting destroyed faster and faster, there is enough living spaces for all of us. Its just not well shared. Because our economical system is not based on the needs of people but on consumerism. It aims for a constant growing, while the fossil resources are not growing with it. So why should we build new houses, that again destroy landscape and need a lot of resources, if we can just move into the ones already existing and kept empty? [Read More]

Zurich: House occupied on Bachtobelstrasse

A house on the Bachtobelstrasse 102 in Zurich was occupied on 28 May. We ain’t moving and we would like to thank all those who came by or otherwise gave us solidarity.

The house is still under threat. The so-called owner wants to demolish it. We do not and will not accept this.

If you want to support us, please contact ambach [at] tutanota [dot] com or just pass by.

Wir bleiben alle!

Article on Barrikade, translated by PazTrez

Hannover (Germany): Squatting action at Klagesmarkt

On Wednesday evening a house at the Klagesmarkt was squatted. At one point 250 people took part in the occupation. The eviction by the police took place in the early morning hours of the following day.

In a world of rising rents and a lack of affordable housing, people have decided to squat a house that has been empty for at least four years. The shop space on the ground floor of the house was to be used for social and cultural activities to enrich the neighbourhood.

A varied programme with concerts and other cultural events was planned for the duration of the occupation. On Thursday, the neighbourhood was to be invited to develop joint plans for the use of the house with coffee and cake. Unfortunately, this idea could not be put into practice, as the owners preferred to file a criminal complaint and to have the house evicted by the police during the night. The squatters offered to talk about possible usage options but the owners rejected; apparently further vacancy is desired instead.
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Berlin: Squatted Bizim Bakkal store violently evacuated without eviction title

Today (April 6th 2019), after the Mietenwahnsinn (rent madness) demonstration, the empty Bizim Bakkal shop was squatted, which had been empty for 4 years. Berlin police evacuated without a valid eviction title, without contact to the owner and using massive force against activists, journalists and parliamentary observers.

Last year, we occupied several houses, apartments and shops, all of which were evicted by the Senate and the Berlin police except one apartment in Großbeerenstraße. We see ourselves as part of a movement that is defending itself against Berlin increasingly developing into a city for the rich. A city in which social participation and place of residence depend on income and in which every square centimeter is used. The city is losing its open spaces, and Berlin’s neighborhoods are increasingly shaped by tourism, consumption and property speculation. Despite many promises regarding housing policy, the Senate is only watching or even actively helping in this process of displacement.

Today, 40,000 people took to the streets in a demonstration against rent madness and displacement. How have the demands, which were also supported by parts of the Berlin Senate, been put into practice and how have we begun to get our neighbourhood back? Many demonstrators joined this project on the spot in Wrangelstraße. [Read More]

Utrecht: Illegal eviction at Burgemeester Reigerstraat

The buildings are owned by Marcel Paping, who has multiple real estate companies. He was present during the action, being aggressive and annoying towards people supporting outside. We got a lot of support from the neighbourhood. Many of the neighbours are bothered by the empty, neglected, run down buildings and shops. Although a few neighbours expressed aversion to the situation, others mentioned being happy that people finally took action against emptiness and housing need.
The 5 monumental buildings have been empty for 5 years. The owner wants to demolish them to create new apartments, a shop, and a garage, but his plans are so intrusive that the neighbours are against it.
The squatters have had house peace since 2 days, so the police was acting in name of the owner once again. This resulted in an illegal eviction and damage done to the building. After the owner did not succeed to enter with the key, cops broke windows and kicked in a door on the back, neither without a warning or wanting to talk to the spokes people or the squatters. [Read More]

Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany): Mozart3 and Klara17 squats evicted!

Since the early morning hours the police have been clearing the two occupations at Mozartstraße 3 and Klarastraße 17. The fact that the owners, with the support of the police, are now putting an end to this is an expression of Freiburg’s misguided housing policy: the city supports profit-oriented companies in their activities, while the active design of open and free spaces and the use of empty buildings are criminalized.
Over the last few days, a free space has developed in both spaces which has been gratefully used by supporters, interested parties and the neighbourhood: Whether animated discussions, exciting lectures or simply coffee and cake, the programme was as varied as the people in it.
We feel that the fact that the owners are now putting an end to this with the support of the police is an expression of Freiburg’s misguided housing policy: profit-oriented companies are supported in their activities by the city, while the active use of open and free spaces and the use of empty buildings are criminalised.
We wish a broad public attention for both occupations during the eviction and refer here to the action “day X+2”, which will take place two days after the eviction. There we would like to make clear our support for Mozart3 and Klara17 and set a clear sign for affordable living space. [Read More]

Zeist (Netherlands): Callout for support in resistance to illegal eviction

Yesterday the police illegally evicted the recently squatted building at Utrechtseweg 86, Zeist. The squatters had written statement from a neighbour that he had seen them in the building for over 24 hours, but still the police claimed the squatters were ‘caught in the act’, and evicted on those grounds.
The police refused to arrest or ID anyone, even when they had to forcefully evict the building. One person refused to cooperate to the point that they were forced to arrest them, but they were released hours later without charge. This unwillingness to bring this case to court proves that the police know that they are acting illegally.
Today the building was re-squatted. After long discussion between the acting officer of justice, the squatters, and the police, the squatters were given until 18.00 to leave. We will not leave!
This is a call out for support inside and outside of the building. The police in and around Utrecht are increasingly deciding to ignore the house-peace of squatters, and are finding any excuse to evict squats in the moment which they appear. We aim to gather as many people as possible inside and outside the building, to make it as difficult as we can for them to do so.
We have a working legal team, the deadline for the eviction is 18,00 today. [Read More]

The Hague: Pand Egypte squatted and evicted

Today (6 november) a recently squatted house in the Archipelbuurt in The Hague was evicted. The building is owned by the Egyptian government and served for decades as the residence of the Egyptian ambassador. After more than 10 years of vacancy it is in a miserable condition. Instead of respecting the domestic peace established by the squatters, the police decided today to evict the building under false pretexts. It is already the 4th unlawful eviction by the Haaglanden police force this year.

This afternoon the squatters of Surinamestraat 20 announced to the owner and police that they have been using the building as a living space since Saturday. The Egyptian ambassador and his lads, not charmed by the action, used threatening language on the spot. They thought that the building would be on Egyptian territory and that therefore no Dutch laws would apply. The police, who had been informed of the action by a written notification and by telephone by the squatters, confirmed after consultation that the territory table did not give cause for eviction. Nor did a situation arise that made it opportune for the police to evict on criminal grounds.

Initially, a discussion between the embassy police, the squatters’ spokesperson and the Egyptians was started, but when the Hague police force started to interfere in the situation, it soon became clear that they would not be taking the facts and observing the policy line on squatting drawn up by the Public Prosecution Service so closely this afternoon. Out of sheer powerlessness, it was thrown back into a ‘red-handedness’, even though it was the squatters themselves who had informed the police of the newly started habitation. [Read More]

Amsterdam: ADM sympathizers squat in centre

ADM Sympathizers squatted out of protest a premises in the city center

On Sunday 28 October, a number of ADM sympathizers squatted a building in the Red-light district; Oudekerksplein 30.

The fringes of Amsterdam also belong in the city center

After hearing alderman Kock’s proposal to move the ADM to Almere in two years, many were stunned. One could not believe that the alderman had so little understanding of the social added value that Free-spaces & Fringes have for the city of Amsterdam. Recently, even in the media it was pointed out that the city loses its soul now that the fringes of Amsterdam are in Zaandam. Does Kock really want to move the fringes of Amsterdam to Almere?
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