Berlin: International Call for Action and Discussion Days

International Call for Action and Discussion Days in Berlin 30.10.-01.11.2020
International Demo in Berlin 31.10.2020

UNITED WE FIGHT!
Connect Urban Struggles – Defend Autonomous Spaces

Over the last years we experience a global resurgence of reactionary politics. State and capital, in a constant process of intensifying exploitation and expanding repression, used the global capitalist crisis, which started a decade ago, as a chance to further restructure relations of power in their advantage. Their political answer is materialized in a shift to the right, with a political alliance of neoliberal economic policies coupled with strong nationalistic narratives and repressive policies against resistance and progressive movements. The new face of authoritarianism has unleashed an all out attack against individuals it considers unnecessary or those that choose to resist and collectivize against the ruin of their lives. In our current period, states the world over used measures against Covid-19 to extend repression, policing and surveillance against societies. At the same time, the failings of neoliberal healthcare systems have led to masses of deaths and increasing inequality due to access to healthcare. [Read More]

Spanish State: When squatting is a right

The peaceful occupation of uninhabited houses in an act of social disobedience to an unjust model of distribution of wealth that deprives more and more people of a dignified life. The demand for the decriminalization of this type of occupation is another step towards social justice.

This August the media have bombarded us with alarmist news about the growing occupation of inhabited homes, giving relevance to a phenomenon that until now has been a minority and getting the most conservative and reactionary voices to clamor for a supposed “anti-occupation law. On the reasons behind this campaign, I recommend reading Emmanuel Rodríguez; it is up to me to convince those who read me that the only legitimate debate on this issue is, at present, to demand the decriminalization of the occupation. [Read More]

Madrid: Imminent threat of eviction of the Ateneo Libertario de Vallekas

At the end of August we received a nice notification from the court that on September 16th the police and the locksmith would come to the space to proceed with the eviction. Our space, the Ateneo Libertario de Vallekas, has been serving for two years as a place for activities, debates, assemblies, gymnasium and a meeting point for various libertarian initiatives.

Thus we find ourselves in Vallekas, a neighborhood in the city of Madrid, a breeding ground for capitalist speculation, led by successive city councils, regardless of their political persuasion; the neighborhood is a breeding ground for real estate companies, banks, vulture funds, big landowners, journalists and the occasional submissive citizen. Vallekas has been through these speculative processes like gentrification, which have already devastated the center of the city and reached the working class neighborhoods of the periphery years ago. The idea is simple: to turn the neighborhood into an immense commercial center where the only possible relationship is that which is structured around consumption, which expels and pursues poverty, criminalizing it in favor of a new profile of inhabitant with greater purchasing power. The rise in rents is only the tip of the iceberg. The city of the rich is built on the expulsion, the precarization of life and the impossibility of free use of the street and space by its inhabitants. [Read More]

Berlin: Liebig34, another trial against our house!

On August 26, the default decree of June 3 was again confirmed in the Berlin Regional Court against the association Raduga e.V., which has left the house beginning of this year. The new verdict does not come as a surprise; here, once again, the court is acting in the interests of the owner and his capital interests, negotiating a living space as an object of speculation. In Padovicz’s sense, the Liebig is to be evicted as soon as possible. In addition, the property shark is to get 20,000 euros stuck in his throat. It took only half an hour for the Berlin judiciary to once again judge the fate of the people in the Liebig. Half an hour to decide whether people should be put on the street or not.

The association will appeal and bring the case to the court of appeal. We can still be evicted at any time, but Padovicz would have to raise a substantial „security deposit“ of 60,000 €. Not unlikely given his assets. [Read More]

Berlin: 30 years Liebig 34 – We never stop!

The Liebig 34 will celebrate its 30th birthday at the beginning of July. Eviction titles, media hype and annoying cops don’t spoil these days. Viva la Liebig!
Thirty years ago, after the fall of the Wall, people from a wide variety of backgrounds flocked to East Berlin to take advantage of the chance offered by the unresolved chains of command and the unspeakable vacancy. Entire streets and blocks of houses were occupied, redesigned and filled with ideas and creativity. The streets of Friedrichshain were full of life and very practical solidarity. At one corner there was a discussion meeting, in the next open-air cinema and there food was cooked for the whole street.
In these hours also lies the origin of our collective, which entered the rooms of Liebigstraße 34 in July 1990 and thus made the beginning of this project. In the following years a lot changed: the squat became a feminist house project without cis men. Through hard work and years of struggle it was tried to create a shelter and to offer an alternative to the cis-sexist everyday life.
Now, 30 years later, is the project to end? [Read More]

Wassenaar: Ivicke’s Zoning Plan, a Monumental Fuck Up

Enforcement of a zoning plan would suggest there is a plan. There isn’t.

The municipality of Wassenaar has decided to pursue our eviction from Huize Ivicke on the basis of the building’s zoning plan which designates its function as an office, not a residence.

Their reasoning for the decision appears to be that ‘Kantoor Ivicke’ must become ‘uninhabited’ once again in order to be ‘presentable.’ Strange, since we all seem to recall that Ivicke being uninhabited is what led to it becoming unpresentable in the first place.

The fact that it is a house, that it has largely been used as a house, that anti-squat guardians lived at Ivicke for several years under the current owner’s watch, and that many thousands of people are living “illegally” in non-residential (and often state-owned) buildings as anti-squat guardians across the country is apparently irrelevant.

The normalization of actual offices and other business premises as anti-squat housing – operating in a ‘legal grey zone’ – demonstrates that Ivicke’s designation as an office is incidental; a handy bureaucratic tool the municipality can choose to use or disregard, depending on their interests at any given time. [Read More]

Berlin: Attack the city of the rich. Defend the projects

The gentrification in Berlin continues incessantly, and with it displacement. Not only people but also spaces are affected: Spaces of the radical movement, open spaces, safer spaces for people affected by discrimination, non-commercial spaces, spaces of subculture, of political networking and spaces where people try to live concrete utopias.

One struggle – one fight
In recent years, spaces such as the Liebig14 house project, the youth centre Drugstore , the community space Friedel54, the wagon places DieselA & Sabot Garden, the O-Platz occupation and the occupied school in Ohlauer Straße have already disappeared.
But it does not stop there. Many other spaces are currently under threat. The youth centre Potse, the house project Liebig34 and the bar collective Syndikat & Meuterei expect an eviction before the end of the year. Other spaces such as the house project Rigaer94, the house project Köpi137, the community house Lause10/11 or the community garden Prachttomate face a similar threat in the near future.

No spaces – no movement
All of these are spaces that live and fight for a different Berlin: a Berlin in which we know our neighbours, in which we create our houses and our neighbourhood together and jointly determine how public space is used. A Berlin where there is room for self-chosen living concepts. A Berlin in which we can try out alternatives to the exploitative and oppressive relations of wage labour, care work, educational system and on the basis of rent and ownership. [Read More]

Berlin: Syndikat Stays! New eviction date on August 7th

! Assembly / Rally !
Sunday, 14.06. | 4 pm | in front of Syndikat (Weisestr. 56)
Current information, dates & material and space for exchange and ideas. And, of course, make it loud and clear: Syndikat Stays!
Whispered translation is organized.

Corona’s over!? – The Senate is starting evictions again…

Corona has been an up and down of emotions for us so far. After the very sudden shutdown and the fear of having to experience the first evacuation attempt on April 17th without a proper conclusion, the cancellation followed shortly before. Thereupon a long hangover, financial worries and the uncertainty whether we would ever be able to open again in any form. Then, last week, the rather surprising news of being able to open again under certain conditions. Unfortunately, the joy did not last long, because on our 2nd (semi-)open day, we received mail from Bossin, the bailiff of the high court, again: the second first eviction attempt is now scheduled for Friday, August 7th at 9 am. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Ivicke Sales Seizure, First Step To Expropriation?

The municipality of Wassenaar is going to court to annul the recent sales of Ivicke by the owner, Ronnie van de Putte, to two of his newly-established companies.

Van de Putte is currently subject to an administrative order from the municipality of Wassenaar to carry out restoration works on Ivicke by July 20. Otherwise, the municipality intends to carry out the work itself and send him the bill.

Thing is though, this bill could quickly add up. And van de Putte isn’t known for paying his debts.

Ivicke’s restoration costs are thought to be around 500,000 euros but this can (and probably will) shoot up once the works begin. Especially since there has not yet been a full architectural assessment.

Kees Wassenaar, the city’s alderman for spatial planning, said the dispute over Ivicke has already cost Wassenaar hundreds of thousands of euros. A spokesperson for the municipality did not want to give an exact overall figure, but the city has incurred around 40,000 in legal costs alone.

These spiraling costs are what led the municipality of Wassenaar to ask the province of Zuid-Holland for help. In response, Zuid-Holland pledged a maximum of 500,000 euros from its monument restoration fund for 2020. We stand against this abuse of public funds for a project that does not meet the criteria set by Zuid-Holland’s own monument restoration policy, where there is no guarantee the money could be recouped, and which does not guard against a new cycle of neglect and decay. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Report on Ivicke’s ‘Emergency Repairs’

In January, following the court ruling stating that the owner must comply with the municipality’s order to carry out emergency repairs, a contractor began the works on Ivicke.

At the request of members of two monument protection organisations, we sent a report (below) to the municipality, with details about how the repairs were carried out. We didn’t receive a response. Instead, municipal officials announced they would inspect the building. We agreed to this and showed the inspectors and the contractor around, pointing out the issues we’d already raised in the letter. The officials barely engaged with us, and merely went around with a clipboard and ticked off boxes. The conclusion of the municipality was that the owner fulfilled the obligation to do emergency repairs. Yay! Win-win for the municipality, who successfully enforced their administrative order, and for the owner, who can keep them off his back (for now). [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]

Wassenaar: Huize Ivicke, Restoration Through Expropriation

Instead of unconditionally gifting half a million euros of public money to Van de Putte’s property portfolio, Ivicke must be expropriated before it can be restored. Only then is its future secure.

The province of South-Holland pledged to pay 500,000 euros for Huize Ivicke’s restoration if the municipality of Wassenaar is unable to recover the costs from the owner, Ronnie van de Putte.

This amounts to yet another handout of public money to a parasitic financial firm.

The move comes after the municipality of Wassenaar placed an administrative order on van de Putte last November which supposedly compels him to complete Ivicke’s restoration by July, 2020. Van de Putte contested this order in court, but lost.

In the event that van de Putte does not comply with the administrative order, the municipality of Wassenaar said they will arrange for Ivicke’s restoration and send him the bill. A spokesperson for the municipality of Wassenaar described this scenario as “unlikely,” but past experience tells us otherwise. Ask Amsterdam, Sluis, Noordwijk, or Leiden. [Read More]