Montpellier: Families evicted, buildings occupied!

On July 10 2020, in front of associations, collectives, squatters and unions, while the préfet was reassuring about the squats situation during the summer, and was only talking about the “problematic” situation of the former Institut Bouisson Bertrand, he was actually preparing evictions for the 23rd. Evictions that affected two buildings in the city centre, putting around 50 vulnerable people and families on the street, and others in detention in CRA. The generous solution provided: 3 nights in a hotel and a return to the violence of the tent in the street.

Knowing the CV of the current préfet of the Hérault, Jacques Witkowski, we had not believed in his promise of the 10th, and therefore decided to squat this building owned by the council which had remained empty and walled up for too long, since 15 July, in order to rehouse the people that Jacques put outside during the heat wave, and during the biggest health crisis we have experienced since the beginning of the century, thus directly endangering the people concerned and the population of Montpellier. [Read More]

Zürich: new wagenplatz taken

Today 31 july, we have taken the space between Bernerstrasse, Aargauerstrasse and Depotweg to create a wagenplatz here. A home is now being created here, a non-commercial place where we want to live in a self-determined way. We also want to give a strong signal against the expulsion of the middle and low-income earners from the quarters and the city centre, which is actively driven by the city.

Zurich West now resembles a Lego landscape consisting of overpriced apartments, hotel complexes and office buildings. Living in the city is becoming increasingly expensive, affordable housing is scarce. The city of Zurich is actively driving this development, as was made clear with the example of the Juch eviction to make space for trucks to turn around.

We are not fundamentally against parking lots and trucks, but we do revive them! [Read More]

Zürich: Juch resists! New occupations

This evening June 20th, Grimselstrasse 18 and 20, Saumackerstrasse 67 and 69 have been squatted. The squatters* took these spaces in response to the Juch eviction on 23rd May.

If you evict one space, we* will open a new one!

Exactly one month ago today, the Social Department of the City of Zurich filed a criminal complaint and subsequently had the Juch area evicted by a large contingent of the Zurich City Police. This is only because the neighboring stadium construction site of HRS Real Estate seems to need more space to turn its trucks around and thus expand its empire as quickly and profitably as possible on behalf of the city. Marco Cortesi (spokesperson for the Zurich city police) also stressed in an interview in front of the freshly evicted area that the main thing now was to immediately make the area uninhabitable and then guard it with private security forces. Even the left-wing parties of the city of Zurich complain that it is extremely questionable and inappropriate to destroy residential and cultural spaces for a building site installation, and wrote in a jointly published media release: “For us it is clear: the demolition of buildings for the use of an area as parking space is unacceptable. Although no meaningful use was promised and a shady deal between the city of Zurich and HRS was settled without any transparency, the squatters* had to leave the Juch area. It cannot be said often enough: This is outrageous from the city of Zurich! We are furious! [Read More]

Dijon: Land occupation on Avenue de Langres

Statement from the June 17 Collective – Land occupation in Dijon as part of the June 17 appeal against the repeated intoxication of the world!

Today wednesday June 17th 2020, despite the rain, we were nearly four hundred people to demonstrate from the Place de la République to the abandoned plot located at 63 avenue de Langres. Armed with spades and pitchforks, the participants were able to clear the land to make gardens, set up new meeting and breathing spaces in the heart of the neighbourhood, plant vegetables, debate the common future on this land and beyond, or share a meal.

This land is threatened by a real estate project carried by the council which, with a great deal of “greenwashing” communication, is trying to impose yet another useless urban plan. According to the INSEE, there are more than 6000 vacant homes in the commune of Dijon alone. Except for the municipality – which wants to grow at all costs to establish its status as a “metropolis” – for whom is it a priority to have more new housing? [Read More]

Strasbourg: La Pigeonne, feminist and queer squat

Why are we squatting?

We, women and queer people, feminists, precarious, exiled and marginalised on several levels, are occupying a building in Strasbourg that has been abandoned for several years. Since February 27th 2020, La Pigeonne has become a squat for housing and organization in a selected mix (without cisgender men*).
As women and queers, we are targets of physical, sexual, economic, social and administrative violence. We suffer more poverty and precariousness. We claim our unconditional right to have a roof over our heads. We find it aberrant to be on the street, to lack care or food while the wealthy one are wasting and continue to enrich themselves. Precariousness has never been a choice for anyone. It is the result of a political, organized and reaffirmed will of the dominant to maintain an exploitable class. Neither the institutions nor the bosses want our autonomy. On the contrary, they participate daily in our precariousness.
Therefore, our priorities are to protect ourselves, to build solidarity among ourselves, to denounce together a patriarchal society and an economic system that sacrifices the most vulnerable. For a social transformation and the emancipation of all women and queer people, we favour initiatives made by us and for us.
In the face of the incompetence of the state, the violence of its institutions, and its sexist, queerphobic and racist police repression that is increasingly violent and systematic, we organize ourselves. We are occupying the space we are being denied. [Read More]

Porto Alegre: Okupa Pandemia is born!

In times of global pandemic with a virus spreading around, an outbreak of resistance appears in the extreme south of Porto Alegre: the Okupa Pandemia. We have been occupying a snack bar, abandoned since 2007 (as far as we know), on the shores of the Guaíba, in the Lami neighborhood.
Moved by the immediate need for housing and the desire to confront the system that increasingly intensifies its control and repression in a subtle way, we decided to make the move even with few people willing to live in the place… Aware of the difficulties that implies, we have counted on the support of a few people since the occupation, but who cannot be physically present all the time.
The arrival on the site (on sunday May 25th 2020) was calm, given the conditions of easy access and without obstacles. There were no gates, chains, locks etc.!!
After almost three days of apparent disinterest, the owner appeared accompanied by a goon claiming to be a sergeant (Wednesday, 27) … The first contact gave the impression that they were buyers and were already negotiating the property, giving an ultimatum to leave. However, we stayed.
Then they returned in their true social figures, trying to intimidate and threaten us and, given the refusal to leave, calling the repressive apparatus of the State. The thugs arrived, with blood in their eyes and the typical desire to break something or someone. With the intervention of two neighbors, we managed to avoid the stick and were given a deadline of one week to leave. The first match won, we went on squatting the space. [Read More]

Lausanne: Occupation of a building to accommodate homeless people

On Friday May 29th at the end of the day, during the Critical Mass, we occupied the Place Bel-Air 4 building in downtown Lausanne with the aim of creating a place of welcome for people in need of housing, but also a place of solidarity, convergence of struggles, culture and sharing. The Municipality gave the order to evict and the building was emptied a few hours later by the police, but this event will be remembered and reminds us that autonomous, supportive and resistant places are more than ever necessary.

With the end of the lock down, Lausanne has reduced the number of housing units for the homeless. Friday’s occupation was made in response to the Sleep-In Association’s Appeal 212, which asked to do everything possible to ensure that the 212 beds that were provided during the coronavirus period would be maintained all year round, thus meeting the real needs of homeless people in the Lausanne region. The covid-19 pandemic has shown that many emergency measures can be put in place quickly and that immense financial resources can be found to support the economy and save multinationals. Why don’t we see a similar mobilization for climate emergency and social justice? [Read More]

Brussels: l’École 404, new squat in Schaerbeek

L’École 404 is a squat in Schaerbeek that opened shortly before the announcement of the lockdown. In this former school lives a mixed collective of about twenty people from different backgrounds.
During the period of the confinement, we did not open the space to the public. However, the school has been fitted out over the last two months to create work and meeting spaces intended primarily for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood and for militant networks.
You’ll find a wood and metal workshop, a lab for the development and printing of silver photography, participatory permaculture gardens, a sewing and drawing workshop, a craft beer brewing workshop, a projection room, meeting and reading areas, a multi-purpose gymnasium. All these spaces are intended to open gradually to the public after the confinement. We hope that the meetings and workshops that will be held here will not only be led by our initiative, but also by those of other collectives, associations and individuals. [Read More]

Amsterdam: New Policy. No Eviction for Emptiness…

As a squatter in Amsterdam, looking back on the past year is painful. 2019 dealt heavy blows to a movement that didn’t seem capable of much more than taking the beating. The city has lost its largest squats and despite numerous squatting actions, hardly any new buildings have survived the end of the year. What’s more, politicians tried to introduce a law at national level to further criminalise squatters while the media reported time and time again how afflicted property owners are being deceived repeatedly by squatters. To top it all off, the mayor concludes the year with a report on a new policy designed to implement a more rigorous approach to squatting.
There’s not much left to say beyond 2019 having been a rather grim year, making it difficult to paint a hopeful picture for squatting in Amsterdam in 2020.

We look back on a year in which we, above all, lost a lot. [Read More]

The Hague: Short Stay? No Way! First week occupation summary

Here is a little recap of what happened in the first week of our campaign and occupation of the Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 in The Hague. The aim is to create an overview of what we’ve done and why, and list our victories as well as the things we want to work on in the future.

Friday 1st of May
The first steps are made in the squatting of the building. There couldn’t be a better day!

Monday 4th of May
Before we could start our struggle against the building of Short Stay apartments it was necessary for us to occupy and keep the building on the Waldeck Pyrmontkade successfully. Preparations were made to prevent an immediate eviction by the police, as is often the case in The Hague, and a possible reaction on part of the owner.
At 9a.m. some sympathizers, with whom we had discussed the strategy beforehand, called the neighbourhood cop in our name, to inform them of our occupation. Faced with the impossibility to reach the neighbourhood cop we decided to postpone the announcement to the next day. [Read More]

Hamburg: Alltuna squatted and evicted

Alltuna (Alle tun Alles) on Blücherstraße 7-9 in Hamburg Altona has been squatted and evicted on May 9th. Three people have been arrested. Statement made during the occupation:

Welcome back to the map of the squatters! Besetzenhaha
Another world is possible!

By this we do not primarily mean a world without covid-19, but a world where people deal with it differently. In which our lives, our community as people, our health is at the center and not the profit of the richest.

We opened the Alltuna because we think another world is necessary and we just wanted to start with it. Because another world is just around the corner.

We start and no longer ask: Squatting rocks! Open the doors! We don’t ask if we are allowed to create space, because we really haven’t got anywhere with that in the last years. Except into exploitative tenancies, which are now afflicting the entire cultural life in the city! Everything that has been put together through decades of painstaking, unpaid work by various actors is at stake: Because of the rents. Be it the SKF, the Centro Social, the Gängeviertel, concert halls, small theaters, Infoladen or our own living space. If we had just asked the question of ownership earlier. [Read More]

The Hague: Crush economic powers! Against the sale of the city!

Short Stay, No Way!

Recently we occupied the building at Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 in Den Haag-Zeeheldenkwartier. The ongoing corona crisis has not only exposed but also exacerbated the housing shortage and financial scarcity. The consequences of the crisis are certainly felt by us young adults.
The only things that are available to us are flex-contracts and temporary rents, which cause uncertainty and stress and offer no security.

At this time in particular, it is important for everyone to have a secure home. Especially women and LHBT+ young people, who are a target of patriarchal oppression and as a result often have lower incomes and precarious jobs, should have access to a safe and stable living situation. Even young people who have no choice but to enter into zero-hour contracts are now slaving in supermarkets and delivery services while their living situation is as precarious as their income. That is why we have taken action.

The property has been used for years by support organisations against domestic violence and for youth support. These organizations have moved because of the high rent. Now the property has been purchased by the Amsterdam investment fund RE:BORN real-estate. RE:BORN wants to transform this former office building into 30 luxury apartments, with a “short stay” construction. Short stay apartments are homes, where a tenant may stay for a maximum of six months. These apartments are therefore fully aimed at expats who are staying in The Hague for a short period of time. They often work in our city’s established multinationals and international organizations such as Shell, KLM, Total, Siemens, ICC, Europol and the numerous embassies. [Read More]