Zürich: We squatted four houses in Altstetten today

Zürich. Switzerland. April 9, 2020. We (Für alle ein Zuhause – English: A home for all) have squatted four empty houses in Altstetten today to create a home and refuge for people from the virus. Like any emergency, this one hits hardest those for whom the circumstances were already difficult before.

To protect the population, the Federal Council appeals to everyone to stay at home in solidarity. While the majority in Switzerland has the privilege of being able to retreat into a house, those who cannot are left out in the cold. Some people have no papers, their rights are denied. They are illegalized, isolated and ignored. Many of these people are locked up in so-called asylum centres, prisons and camps. Their freedom and self-determination are denied to them. Again other people have “fallen through the cracks” – they do not fit into the meritocracy. Our society accepts the premature death of all these people, because protective measures do not seem to apply to them. This situation was intolerable even before Corona. Now it becomes even clearer that it cannot go on like this for one more day.
[Read More]

UK: Evictions held over, hotels for the homeless — Covid is upending housing

The legal situation has been changing so rapidly that even full-timers are struggling to keep up, but with the introduction of Practice Direction 51Z it looks like eviction proceedings are finally off the table for now and we have time to take stock of what is now utterly uncharted territory in British housing.

Minutes after I’d finished an article regarding the situation regarding squats and ongoing evictions in Britain the information became outdated, as emergency procedural changes were brought in by the government, in theory protecting everyone, squatters, renters, and the street homeless, from the risks of being out on the streets during this period. Let’s explore what each of these measures might realistically mean.

Up until this moment, the government had promised a three-month breather for mortgage repayments, and then – under pressure – caved and stated that tenants who fail to pay rent will be protected from eviction for the next three months. This does not mean a lot in practice, as the rent still needs to be paid, and agreements for doing so settled on. [Read More]

Berlin: 12 places squatted

#StayAtHome is not possible for everyone in times of Covid19. Especially if you are homeless. That’s why we squatted one Airbnb, 9 empty apartments and 2 houses in Berlin and gave them for those who need a safe place.
Solidarity will win!
#besetzen @besetzenberlin

Berlin: “We will squat…

… until we no longer have to.” That’s what we have always said. In times of “emergency”, this wording can be expanded to an appeal: “You have to join in!”

Covid-19 is hitting more and more areas of the world and it turns out that the so-called emergency is the rule. For, where people are called by the supposedly necessary and strict father state: “Stay at home!”, not everyone has a home. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the state itself has been pushing up for a long time the numbers of homeless by evicting them. At the same time, the state closes day-care centers that the homeless need for the measly bread of mercy and a little soap and water. In its brazen double standards, the state then exhorts patriarchally, “Pay attention to hygiene!”

“Avoid social contacts!” That’s what the governments demand. But where should refugees retreat to, when they are penned up in camps and deportation prisons at Europe’s external borders and the German periphery? With human rights – such as asylum, freedom of movement and housing – they were also deprived of the opportunity to effectively protect themselves against Covid-19. [Read More]

London: Squatting, Evictions, and the Coronavirus

Some days after granting a 3-month breather for mortgage payments the government caved to pressure and stated that renters who fail to pay rent will be protected from eviction during the next 3 months. This meant very little to squatters, and as explained later, still means very little to renters.

The Pie ‘n’ Mash Autonomous Cafe was evicted the morning of that same announcement, the same day that the cafe (having closed for safety reasons some days earlier) was to become London’s first Mutual Aid Centre, to complement the anarchist-instigated and autonomously-organised Mutual Aid groups that had sprung up around the city, and now the country. The council (who without a doubt had a hand in effecting the eviction of the Pie ‘n’ Mash) announced the very next day their own initiative of a centre to assist Mutual Aid groups in distribution of needed goods, co-opting the idea to suit their own agenda and save face in the eyes of the public.

Things have not gotten better for squatters by any means in the following days. Multiple evictions have taken place on buildings that have been awaiting bailiffs for weeks, seemingly a rush by owners and bailiff companies to do business in the case that the government prevents them from doing so in the future. [Read More]

Los Angeles: A dozen vacant homes reclaimed by unhoused tenants as calls for rent strike grow across US

On Saturday, March 14th, a group of supporters mobilized to defend several families, who launched an occupation of a two-bedroom bungalow in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Calling themselves “Reclaimers,” these new residents are demanding that housing owned by the California Department of Transportation or Caltrans, which for decades has laid vacant, be used to house the houseless in the face of the growing COVID-19 outbreak and continuing housing crisis. The group is inspired in part by Moms 4 Housing in Oakland, California, who led a successful housing occupation in January. [Read More]

Los Angeles: Reclaiming Our Homes

No one should be homeless when homes are sitting empty. Housing is a human right!

There are more vacant homes than people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Some of these vacant properties are even owned by the state. We are taking this housing back for our community.
Impacted by the housing crisis, and feeling even more urgency in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are reclaiming vacant houses owned by the state to fight for housing as a human right. We the Reclaimers are calling on the city and state to immediately use all vacant properties to house people. We need all levels of government to make a massive investment in public and social housing so that everyone has a home during this housing and public health crisis.
In California, a person needs to earn $32.68 an hour to afford an average two bedroom apartment. It’s an outrage that the state and city are leaving homes and property unused when so many people need housing. We are holding them accountable and demanding immediate action. [Read More]

Samone di Guiglia (Modena): Eviction of an anarchist squat and arrests

On 28th February a group of people occupied a country house in the Samone countryside, in the province of Modena. There was no welcoming, already in the early afternoon cops, firemen and ROS threatened the eviction. Some went up on the roof and others barricaded themselves in the house, resisting the constant pressure and insistent threats, until the shits went away. The following day they came back calling all their friends over. They managed to storm the house beating and hitting with truncheons. Meantime some of the squatters went up the roof. Ten people were taken to the prison in Modena and arrested on charges of resistance, violence and insulting, some were handcuffed. Five squatters resisted on the roof for eight hours, they took it well in spite of the cold and the Apennine landscape obfuscated by the shits in uniform threatening to arrest everybody as soon as they came down. After they were granted permission to take their personal belongings they came down from the roof. As soon as they got down, however, they were taken to police headquarters in Sassuolo to be charged but once there they were photographed and fingerprinted. After the usual, long disgusting hours waiting, the noise made by people in solidarity at the gates made the cops release the five – not before physical and verbal threats to them, even before there were any charges for resistance, occupation and trespassing. [Read More]

Zwolle: 17 squatters arrested

Sunday night March 8th (technically Monday morning March 9th) 17 squatters were arrested in Zwolle, Netherlands.

The building was occupied by squatters after 5 years of vacancy. Unfortunately the police got wind of the situation and after a while they were at the door with all their might and power. Not soon after the police entered and the squatters were summoned to get down on their knees, with hands on their heads. The squatters were handcuffed and taken to the police station, where they were all detained for more than 16 hours. During the arrest, breaking tools were also found by the police.

All squatters are now free. They have all received a fine (€225) for trespassing, which is a strange situation for people who are homeless or barely able to pay their rent. During the arrest the squatters were not given the opportunity to pack their belongings, these things are still in the building.

After Sunday night there are two losers and only one winner: The police had to use violence and some of the squatters are still homeless. The winner is Janssen Vastgoed: his building (one of many vacant premises) is still empty and as far as we know the company is not being bothered by the municipality. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Sarphatipark 87-H squatted

This afternoon a vacant building in Amsterdam got new inhabitants

The vacant building, Sarphatipark 87-H, has been empty for a while now. It is owned by the recently deceased real estate owner van Zijl. An owner that had a lot of buildings in Amsterdam, known for being vacant for a long time.
At this moment there are no concrete plans for the building.
The action went smooth, cops came verified the house was indeed squatted, and left. Some hours later, some other cops showed up, told the squatters that they were caught red handed and that there was no house peace. They told the squatters to immediately leave the house.
The squatters did not comply. You can’t really say they are caught in the act, several hours after their colleges already verified that people are living there. Also, the lack of house peace is being disputed by the squatters. By that time there has been a nice dinner, people took showers, some took a nap. Pretty homy.
The police insisted that they want to evict the place. It looks like tonight that it is not going to happen. They drove by a few times but that was it.
The squatters welcome everyone to come and help with the occupation

Fight for your rights!
Houses for everybody! [Read More]

Madrid: La Ingobernable, we are still in the heart of Madrid

For our friends.
For the ones who fight every day.
For those who are gone.
In this month of feminist revolt, of organized rage, of joy and of struggle, we, the neighbors of Madrid, make public the recovery of the building in Calle Alberto Bosch 4, as a new common and open space in the heart of Madrid. Now, in this week more than ever, we must remember the role that social centers have had, have and will have for the feminist movement, as a space for convergence, construction and self-organisation. The attack on social centers is undoubtedly a direct attack on feminism, which we are not prepared to tolerate.
In recent years we have witnessed a lamentable spectacle in which a few people share out the city, selling it to the highest bidder or handing it over to friends while others are thrown out of our neighbourhoods. Recently we learned that the building of La Ingobernable (Paseo del Prado 30) was once again being given, in the style of the PP, to a foundation directed by the former mayor Gallardón to build a museum instead of the so promised endowments for the neighborhood that the current mayor, Martínez-Almeida, was advocating during the electoral campaign. This story is very familiar to us because some years ago the also ex-mayor Botella already gave it, for 1 euro and at 75 years old, to a foundation friend of the PP. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Tweebosbuurt callout for solidarity

For the freedom to occupy abandoned places, an eviction, 10 occupations!

In a few days from now, next Wednesday March 4th, 6 squats (3 of which officially and the rest very likely) are facing eviction, 6 homes people have been transforming and living in for months, whilst also fighting against the demolition and gentrification of the neighborhood. 6 houses whose residents will be thrown out onto the street with all their possessions by the police. The date of 4 March is decisive, both for the future of these homes and for the continuation of the battle here in Tweebosbuurt. We are therefore launching a call out to come and support us and to be present in solidarity during the evictions. [Read More]