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Athens: Update from the trial for the eviction of Gare squat

House Occupation News -

Three were the accused at yesterday’s trial for the police operation of the 26th of August 2019, when the new wave of state attacks against squats begun. The charges were those relevant with illegal occupation, in another words the offense to private property, and the new package of prosecutions against squatters which is theft of water and electricity.

The accused, each with their own speech , defended the moral right to the use of an abandoned building for social and political work, on top of the “housing needs” and they denied entirely the responsibility of the charges . They referred to the open procedures, events, political and cultural which Gare squat housed, and to the public bath which was operating daily and in a self organized way by its users , the migrants, homeless and excluded.

The questions of the prosecutor focused entirely on the holy law of property, through the lense of the myopic bourgeois spirit… “Who gave you right to enter the building since you did not see the owner ?” In a nutshell the accused answered from the outset : An empty building offers by itself the moral right to each one of us to provide it for social needs. However the persistence of the prosecutor points to an attempt to come up with moral instigators to the “crime of squatting”. They didn’t manage it.

Moreover, what was tested in this trial was to load the squatters with huge debts for the use of electricity and water. The prosecutors, from the side of those acting as owners, were prepared with relevant documents from the water and the electricity company and they presented incredible amounts of several thousands euros as a debt for the period from the 2nd occupation in March 2018 to the last evacuation on August 2019. It is obvious to try to pin their own debt to the squatters. The legal defense argued that it is impossible to define the specific consumption of each of the defendants, whilst the comrades defended the use of those resources as self evident and necessary. In the end only one of the three comrades was convicted for these ‘thefts’ and only for the duration for which he declared he was resident, while the other two were acquitted as guests. In total, 3 months for disturbance of peace to the two comrades and 7 months for disturbance of peace and the theft of electricity and water to the third, all with a 3 years suspension.

We must mention the presence and witness account of the so-called owner Iacovidou. This heir demonstrated in all its grandeur the essence of the bourgeois owner : amoralism and hypocrisy, on the one hand to cover her own ass and on the other hand to serve state repression. Those who appeared as so called leftists, and with reference to the history of resistance, could not but defend their inheritance right with lies and tricks. These issues had already been answered in a text by the collective whose initiate was to open squat GARE (link: https://www.athens.indymedia.org/post/1564772/. Today, they came to slander the squatters by saying that they had kicked out the owner leaving the poor woman to take only but a few “souvenirs”, and that the building was open for everyone except for her, who could not even “pass by outside” , as well as that the squatters caused serious damages.

For history sake , the heirs, both of Iacovidou and of Dagli, had access to the building whenever they so wished in communication with the collective body of the squat so as to empty it from whatever was valuable to them, with the practical aid from the squatters in this housemove.

The mud with which all the medley of media, cops and owners likes to spred around regarding cases of squats, is that the barbarian squatters destroy buildings causing damages. Who if not those who use, live and become alive inside a squat have greater motive to take care of the building against the damages of abandonment? The building on Kalidromiou 74 was taken care of , cleaned and repaired by the dozens of people who found their “home” there bearing personal costs and labour. The Public Bath, a space with obvious structural damages from years of abandonment was taken care of daily by homeless migrants with the only gain, the provision of a valuable ressource to each other. Moreover, the space was maintained materially by the offerings of neighbours and solidarians, again at their personal cost and without any gain. All of this as well as the building itself, the cops broke into , smashed and looted not just once but three times. For these damages , for this pillage, not a word from Miss Iacouvilou. By the way we never saw miss Iacouvidou with a mop in her hand to take care of the space. Naturally why should she if there is no money coming in at the end of the day? Such is her culture. Built on indifference and disregard to solidarity. But it does not go a long way this culture .

Finally, let’s remind Miss Iacovidou that, indeed, the building was open to all , even to her on the condition that each of us sheds the decrepit culture of private interest and to work collectively for social duties – (which are none other that the liberation of humans from tyrannical authority.

EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE

Assembly of GARE
14/2/2020

Gare squat
Kallidromiou 74, Exarcheia, Athens
https://squ.at/r/2y9b

Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/squated/squat
Groups in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR
Events in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GR

Indymedia Athens https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1603065/

Extinction Rebellion protest at Gatwick and London fashion week

The Guardian | Protest -

Activists aim to raise awareness of sustainable design and the need to reduce emissions from flights

Activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) blocked traffic outside a London fashion week venue on Saturday and also staged a protest at Gatwick airport.

Dozens of demonstrators prevented traffic from passing through a busy intersection leading to the Strand in Westminster, where the fashion trade show was being held.

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Fighting the tyranny of ‘niceness’: why we need difficult women

The Guardian | Protest -

Today’s thumbs-up, thumbs-down approach to feminism is boring and reductive. It is time to embrace complexity

Difficult. It’s a word that rests on a knife-edge: when applied to a woman, it can be admiring, fearful, insulting and dismissive, all at once. In 2016, it was used of Theresa May (she was “a bloody difficult woman,” Ken Clarke said, when she ran for Tory leader). A year later, it gave the US author Roxane Gay the title for her short story collection. The late Elizabeth Wurtzel took “in praise of difficult women” as the strapline for her feminist manifesto in 1998. The book’s main title was, simply, Bitch.

The word is particularly pointed since it recurs so often when women talk about the consequences of challenging sexism. The TV presenter Helen Skelton once described being groped on air by an interviewee while pregnant. She did not complain, she said, because “that’s just the culture that television breeds. No one wants to be difficult.” The actor Jennifer Lawrence told the Hollywood Reporter that she had once stood up to a rude director. The reaction to the incident left her worried that she would be punished by the industry. “Yeah,” chipped in fellow actor Emma Stone: “You were ‘difficult’.”

In the name of inspiring little girls living in a male-dominated world, Rebel Girls doesn't so much airbrush Coco Chanel's story as sandblast it

Mothers struggled to understand why their daughters were desperate to have a big wedding and wear high heels

Related: How #MeToo revealed the central rift within feminism today

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School climate strikers join Valentine's Day protests across world

The Guardian | Protest -

In UK, students march on first anniversary of nationwide protests by young people

Striking students have joined Valentine’s Day rallies across the world as the protest movement attempts to ratchet up pressure on governments and companies before crunch UN climate talks in Glasgow later this year.

In London, the young demonstrators held banners proclaiming “Roses are red, violets are blue, our Earth is burning and soon we will too” and “Climate change is worse than homework” as they marched through Parliament Square on Friday to mark the first anniversary of nationwide climate strikes in the UK.

Related: Teenage activist takes School Strikes 4 Climate Action to Davos

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'We're not giving up': defiant Wet'suwet'en activists gain allies in pipeline fight

The Guardian | Protest -

Pressure on Justin Trudeau’s government grows even as some politicians decry ‘hard-left ideology’

As armed Canadian police officers advanced through snow towards their camp, the group of Indigenous women was absorbed in a drumming ceremony to honour the spirits of missing and murdered Indigenous women across the country.

Rows of red dresses hung from a fishing line slung across the road, and from pine and spruce trees in the surrounding forest – each one a memorial to the thousands of Indigenous women killed or disappeared in recent years.

The Wet’suwet’en nation have lived on their territories in what is now British Columbia for thousands of years. They have never signed treaties or sold their land to Canada. 

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School strikes give me hope, says head of Friends of the Earth

The Guardian | Protest -

Outgoing charity chief Craig Bennett says next generation ‘could not be more exciting’

The school strikes movement will ensure an exciting and dynamic future for environmental activism for decades to come, the outgoing head of Friends of the Earth has said, as students across the globe leave classrooms on Friday to demand political action on the climate crisis.

Speaking on the first anniversary of the movement in the UK, Craig Bennett said it was grassroots activism, not centralised politics, that was leading to change.

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Market economics has driven universities into crisis – and we’re all paying the price | Owen Jones

The Guardian | Protest -

When staff strike this month, they will be battling not just for the future of higher education but for our economy and culture

The trebling of tuition fees would unleash a new golden age for English universities, or so we were told. They would become financially sustainable, competitive, liberated from stifling bureaucracy and responsive to the needs of students. And yet, nearly a decade later, higher education is in crisis.

Tuition fees have formed part of a full-frontal assault on the living standards of a generation battered by a housing crisis, stagnating wages and slashed services. And with 83% of student loans forecast to never be paid back in full, the promises of financial sustainability are a nonsense. Both frontrunners for the Labour leadership have committed to maintaining the party’s totemic commitment to abolishing this punitive attack on aspiration, recognising that university education is a social good. But the issue goes much, much wider – and has profound implications for the future of our society.

According to the University and College Union, university staff’s pay has declined by 20% over the last decade

Related: Ending student quotas has been disastrous for higher education | Catherine Fletcher

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Rubí (Catalonia): Rally against the risk of eviction from El Mirlo community garden

House Occupation News -

Call out from El Mirlo community garden.

Saturday 15 February 2020, 12:00, rally in front of Rubí train station.

If the speculator persists, El Mirlo resists!

May 2016, we occupied the land on 44 General Prim Street, opposite the Ateneu Anarquista la Hidra, owned at that time by Arrels CT Finsol, a BBVA real estate company, in order to build a community garden among all of them. Since then we have been giving life to this space, making use of an abandoned land. El Mirlo (the Blackbird) and its plants have not stopped growing with the effort of all of us, day after day and in each of the open days to the neighbors that are organized every 15 days. We cultivate vegetables, medicinal plants, tubers and we do it all together to learn together and thus share knowledge. The garden is also a meeting place for people and groups, a corner protected from the asphyxiating pollution and asphalt of this city.

Now, El Mirlo is under threat by a well known enemy: real estate speculation. The construction company Domomarina S.L. is taking us to court next February 20th, they want to evict us to build flats. It is worth remembering that here in Rubí there are 3500 empty houses. It is nothing new that banks, construction companies, vulture funds, are carrying out a very aggressive housing construction campaign destroying historical heritage buildings, parks and green spaces in order to profit, making the inequality in our neighborhoods even more evident. Gentrification has been banging on the door of Rubí for some time now, we see how the City Council is spending money on a tunnel of lights, but this does not stop the rise in housing prices and rents in this city.

Excavators will come to destroy this space full of life. The machines will destroy the Blackbird’s eyes and the earth will be replaced by brick, cement and concrete, burying the ecosystem that lives in the garden. In its place, there will be a building that will end up like many others in Rubí: empty…

But we won’t allow it. We’ll keep moving. You’re gonna have to come and get us out of here, because we’re not leaving. They make a point of the walls, they make a point of the property. We give value to our ideas, that they cannot be evicted, we respect the land and we give strength to our hearts, which will not go out!

With the help and solidarity of everyone in the neighborhood we can stop them!
The Blackbird cannot be touched
Living neighborhoods, fighting neighborhoods!

February 20th at 10:30, rally in front of the Rubí courthouse

Hort Comunitari El Mirlo
Carrer del General Prim, 49
08191 Rubí
elmirlo [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/37h7

Ateneu Anarquista la Hidra
Carrer del General Prim, 47
08191 Rubí
ateneuanarquistalahidra [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/1jg3
https://ateneuanarquistalahidra.wordpress.com/

Directory of squats in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES/squated/squat
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC/squated/squat
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE/squated/squat

Directory of groups (social centers, collectives, squats) in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE

Events in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: : https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/ES
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XC
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XE

source: Radar https://radar.squat.net/en/event/rubi/hort-comunitari-el-mirlo/2020-02-15/rally-against-risk-eviction-el-mirlo-community-garden

London: Police Station is squatted! Join the resistance!

House Occupation News -

London squatters are organising an anarchist social centre in a notorious secure police station in central London. It is leading to a week of action for GAF, Green Anti-capitalist Front, from 24th February to 2nd March. Come and help with this once-in-a-generation opportunity to perfect barricading and organise towards the COP26 and more! We look forward to welcoming you to this liberated space for global resistance in a centre of international capitalism.

Green Radical Anticapitalist Social Space (GRASS) in Paddington

Was nice to meet Oli (and Rich!) from JOE.co.uk the other day! The GRASS (Green Radical Anticapitalist Social Space) was originally formulated as the result of a public assembly to come up with ideas to tackle capitalism in ways that not only ‘stick it to the man’, but demonstrate that it’s entirely practical and possible to build a new society. A society based on fairness, compassion, co-ordination and communal working and living. The sort of society where no one will be without a home or a chance to live a fulfilling life.

This isn’t about ‘fucking the system’ or rebelling for the hell of it. It’s about showing what people can do when they work together and cooperate – not because of some unjust, enforced hierarchy but with solidarity, mutual aid, and respect. It’s about showing you don’t need hierarchy to do that (we have no leaders, everyone is on an equal footing). It’s about creating a world where people of all races, gender identities, sexualities, and abilities can thrive, and don’t have to face the prejudice they do now. It’s about offering an alternative to what we’ve all been told is the only way.

If you think the system is working well, that thousands of people on the streets is normal, that giving the vast majority of your days to a job you don’t really like to make money for someone who doesn’t even know your name while the planet burns is how things should be, then deride this. Ignore it. Good for you. But if you see what we see, and feel there is something pretty wrong with how society is working right now, then join your voice with ours and help to build something better.

https:// youtu.be/QGbqf-w5dco

GRASS
2 – 4 Harrow Road
London
W2 1XJ
https://squ.at/r/7q22

Green Anticapitalist Front
greenanticapitalistfront [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/7on9
https://greenanticapitalist.org/

Groups in London: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/london
Events in London: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/London

Groups in UK: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GB
Events in UK: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GB

sources:
https://radar.squat.net/en/event/london/grass/2020-02-15/police-station-squatted-join-resistance
https://greenanticapitalist.org/green-radical-anticapitalist-social-space-grass-in-paddington/

'I've lost friends': the young climate strikers forced to go it alone

The Guardian | Protest -

Activism can be lonely in rural areas, but social media lets lone children’s voices be amplified

In a remote village in north Norfolk, nine-year-old Amelia Bradbury has been standing alone outside her school gates every Friday for months. Like hundreds of thousands of young people across the world, she is following Greta Thunberg’s lead and campaigning for action on the climate crisis – but, far from any of the big city demonstrations, she’s having to go it alone.

“I was quite scared the first time because no one was doing it with me,” says Amelia. “But I’m doing this because I care about something. I really want people to listen to me and to make a difference.”

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Zaragoza: statement by the CSO Kike Mur

House Occupation News -

If the Kike Mur falls, Zaragoza will rise up.

Greetings to anyone who feels identified with the values of freedom, self-management, anti-fascism and with the CSO Kike Mur . First of all, we would like to thank all the comments, communications and expressions of support that are reaching us from both collectives and individuals, they transmit a lot of strength and reaffirm our resistance, it is the people who really give meaning and life to space, who have managed to make this dream come true. It is because of all this that we feel strong, we know that we have the support and solidarity of the best people of this city and other places, and that is the best weapon we can have.
Kike Mur is a busy social center. A social center because we have given life, for more than 9 years and after having resisted an eviction, to a space as gloomy as an old prison where thousands of anti-fascists were executed. An endless number of cultural, social and political activities have been carried out, open to the Torrero and Zaragoza neighbourhoods. An enormous number of groups, both from Zaragoza and from other parts of the world, have also participated in the space, filling it with activity and building it together. Within these walls there has been room for ecological agriculture cooperatives, workers’ assemblies, consumer cooperatives, barter markets, toy exchanges, housing advice, social market and clothing collection for refugees. Guitar, English, sewing and school revision classes have also been given, all without financial benefit. More than 500 concerts, 200 talks, and hundreds of workshops. The space has the goal of creating a social fabric of solidarity and mutual support by and for the integration with the neighborhood and the city, it has spaces like a free shop, where anyone can come and take what they need and/or leave what they no longer use, a community garden, an anarchist library, a boulder, gym, exhibition hall open to artists, multipurpose room and cafeteria.
And it is squatted because we believe that squatting is one of the best tools we have to fight speculation and private property, indispensable pillars of capitalism, as well as to promote other forms of organization that allow both individual and collective development. We attack property because it is a clear symbol of social inequality and state domination. We choose to make use of a space that would otherwise only be used for speculation, economic performance or to be abandoned, and not to create a social and associative fabric.
The City Council, with Jorge Azcón at its head, and sticking out its chest to VOX, wants us out of this space as soon as possible, and it is not just a question of legality, but because with our mere existence we show that there are other ways of thinking, living and relating far from the dynamics of this capitalist system. We want to manifest that we are not afraid, that the CSOs are, have been and will be spaces of conflict and resistance subjected to the constant threats and repression of power. We also know that this system is only maintained through the use of physical and psychological violence and we are aware that in this case it is not going to be different. This is why if you touch the Kike Mur you will hear its walls rumble. If you touch the Kike Mur you will find us on the streets stronger and more determined than ever. This is not an attack on a building or a single group, but on all the people and groups of Zaragoza that have entered through its doors to organize conferences, workshops, talks, assemblies, concerts or exhibitions and everyone who has put light in the midst of so much darkness. We believe that it is vitally important to point out that our space is not the only one that is in danger, since the pitiful City Council that we have in Zaragoza seems constantly determined to destroy the social and associative fabric of the city. Any activity with a self-managed or grassroots tint seems to be the target of persecution and repression, but this is precisely what makes us stronger. If they want to kill the city, what we will do is fill our neighbourhoods and our spaces with life; if they want to dye our streets grey, we will light them up. Let it be very clear to you that we will not give you an inch, and that we will fight tooth and nail for what is ours and what is everybody’s.
We want to make a call for solidarity at all levels by any person or collective that feels a little bit of ownership of this space or the struggles that have taken place within these walls. Therefore, we encourage any action as a sign of solidarity and to be alert to the different calls that arise.

If they take away one CSO we will open a thousand more because we have the keys to all the doors. They will never sleep peacefully.
We will continue

Centro Social Okupado Kike Mur
Plaza de la Memoria Histórica
50007 Zaragoza, Spanish State
okupazaragoza [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/1ajp
https://okupa.noblezabaturra.org/

Directory of squats in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES/squated/squat
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC/squated/squat
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE/squated/squat

Directory of groups (social centers, collectives, squats) in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/ES
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XE

Events in the Iberian Peninsula:
Spanish State: : https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/ES
Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XC
Basque Country: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XE

[Communiqué published in Spanish on 5 February 2020 by CSO Kike Mur.]

Berlin: Whoever buys Köpi buys trouble…

House Occupation News -

Berlin is number one nationwide, when it comes to the rapid increase in real estate value. This is what the latest “Global Residential Cities Index” reveals. Therefore it is no surprise that after a few years of relative peace, the Köpi has once again become desirable to investors for its huge profit potential. This time the owner is “going big” and is offering Köpi and the adjacent trailer park as part of an almost 100 million Euro heavy real estate package. During times of casino capitalism and zero-rate policy, it comes as no surprise that there are already several prospective customers interested in this package…

The seller is a notorious figure – the ambitious real estate juggler Siegfried Nehls, CEO of Sanus AG. He is well-acquainted with the court system for various accusations including: the forgery of documents, the misuse of titles and fraud. Nehls likes to operate out of an opaque network of fictitious companies and subsidiaries, which is so confusing that he sometimes loses the overview himself. In 2007 he “forgot” to pay out his former fictitious agent, Besnik Fichtner, who was supposed to buy Köpi at an auction for him, accordingly. This is a man who had explained to astonished journalists that he wanted to build a marina on a piece of newly acquired property, but apparently had no time to take a look at the city plan beforehand…

The Nehls network appears to frequently cheat small craft companies and subcontractors out of their money, which even led to a major nationwide raid in 2007. Nevertheless, Fichtner officially became the owner of Köpi after the auction and concluded unlimited rental agreements for the apartments. In addition to this, the ground floor and cellar were rented to the residents. These contracts remain valid, even though meanwhile, the two rogues appear to have reached an agreement, and Startezia GmbH, based in Cologne, is now the official owner. However, this imaginary name is nothing more than a dodgy business front for the Nehls network.

The following is not only true for the dubious seller, but rather: WHOEVER BUYS KÖPI BUYS TROUBLE! For almost 30 years, it has not only offered affordable living space, but is also home to various self-organised projects. It is also one of the last places in the center without commercial motive, where people from all over the world can meet and exchange ideas. We live, work and party HERE and have maintained the house with a lot of effort over the years. We also do so consciously without having ever begged for a single cent from the state, city, political parties, landlords or other “benefactors”. Why should we? The Köpi belongs to us, we organize our lives by ourselves, and it will stay that way!

Since 1990 countless bands, theatre groups and political activists have conquered and intense friendships have formed with visitors and like-minded projects, far beyond the borders of Berlin and Germany. These are people who we know we can count on for their solidarity when things get serious, just as they can count on us. We never walk alone; and we have nothing to lose…

Even Nehls, who has the reputation of being an unscrupulous businessman in Berlin, has recognized this. For example, Sanus AG, located at Braunschweiger Str. 21, which is also part of the 100 million package, is sticking to their construction plans for luxury micro-apartments, despite massive protests by residents, the dream of a boat trip to a Köpi concert seems to be over. An attempt is now being made to get rid of the potentially conflict-laden site of Köpi and leave the risky new development to a potential buyer instead. But we will neither be impressed nor intimidated by a new owner.

Köpi remains venture capital!

Rozbrat zostaje!

KØPI
Köpenicker Straße 137
10179 Berlin
https://squ.at/r/d
https://koepi137.net/

Groups in Berlin https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/berlin
Events in Berlin https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/Berlin
Stressfaktor https://radar.squat.net/de/stressfaktor

Groups in Germany https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/DE
Events in Germany https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/DE

When the people lead, leaders follow — lessons from the fight to impeach and remove Trump

Waging Nonviolence -

Without hearing from witnesses or reviewing new evidence, the Senate declared last week that our Constitution does not apply to the powerful few — effectively granting this lawless president unrestricted power. The 52 senators who voted to cover up Donald Trump’s crimes accepted the argument presented by his defense team, which is that: “If a president does something he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.” As a result, these senators showed that their loyalty lies not with the American people but with a strongman. Their actions are not only a betrayal to you and me, but they put our rights and lives in danger by consenting to further abuses of power by this administration.

Previous Coverage
  • How a growing movement made impeachment politically feasible
  • While this is clearly a scary and dangerous moment, there are also many reasons to be hopeful and feel powerful. I say this as someone who has been organizing in the trenches of impeachment with By the People for the past year and a half. Despite the Senate voting to cover up Trump’s crimes, our movement for impeachment secured critical victories that will propel us forward in the longer battle for American democracy. Over the course of this campaign, we built an American majority across race, gender, class, generation, geography, and political party in support of impeaching and removing Trump from office. Through months of sustained grassroots pressure and hundreds of mobilizations, we won an inquiry, got two articles, and impeached this dangerous president in the House of Representatives — all by making it a political necessity for them to act. Then, after nearly three years of unaccountability, we forced the Senate to put Trump on trial for coercing Ukraine to interfere in our elections on his behalf, and secured the first bipartisan vote in favor of convicting a president in U.S. history.

    Although we didn’t attain the 67 votes we needed, all of the Democrats plus Rep. Sen. Mitt Romney voted to convict on abuse of power and thus denied Trump the partisan vindication he’d long been seeking. Throughout the impeachment contest, we forced the conflict between democracy and authoritarianism into the open and exposed the depth of the crisis in America. Millions of people now know which political leaders will side with their rights and freedoms and which politicians are willing to sell them out to dictatorship for their own personal gain. By rising up to stop what we could not tolerate, we demonstrated that when Congress is unwilling to enforce the Constitution, the people will.

    By the People held a rally near the Capitol Building as the final vote was taking place on Feb. 5. (By the People/Anthony Torres)

    Despite being told that impeachment was politically infeasible, we made it inevitable. Rather than waiting for others to provide direction and unite the anti-Trump resistance, By the People stepped up to make what is necessary possible. We believed in, and were committed to, building a campaign that could change the whole conversation of impeachment by showing that people were willing to fight for it in the real world. Images of young people being repeatedly arrested in congressional offices simply for asking their elected representatives to do their job helped attract and shape public and political attention. These actions created space for champions to respond to the calls of an increasingly vocal movement, such as when Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Al Green introduced the first House resolution to launch an impeachment inquiry alongside us just after we’d sat in at Nancy Pelosi’s office making that very same demand.

    In December, the day after we won impeachment, By the People led an occupation of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s D.C. office to demonstrate to the larger public that we were not done fighting. We also showed our allies and supporters that the best strategy for placing a difficult Senate trial on our terms was to leverage the threat of escalated mobilization. These successes and interventions created a snowball effect that encouraged many more fence-sitters to jump into the fight — contributing their resources, numbers and unique capabilities to the growing movement ecosystem. When By the People launched its campaign in August of 2018, there were few organizations actively pushing for impeachment. By February of 2020, we were partnering with dozens of national groups to demand his removal. To quote Star Wars Resistance hero Poe Dameron, “Good people will fight if we lead them.”

    Obviously, however, Trump is still in office, and there are many lessons and failures to wrangle with if we are to ultimately defeat this corrupt regime. For starters, while By the People and other groups — such as Remove Trump and Swarm the Senate — understood the potency of mass direct action, we didn’t do enough to make our mobilizations match the historic moment we were facing. They simply didn’t look or sound much different from more traditional protest tactics, and we didn’t escalate to a level of mass disruption and non-cooperation as much as we should have.

    By the People activists pose outside the Capitol Building on Feb 5. (By the People/Anthony Torres)

    The scale of mobilization for impeachment was in some ways limited by the unwillingness of some progressive or anti-Trump organizations to take the fight seriously. Every attack from this administration was confronted as a separate issue, rather than as a coordinated onslaught against our democracy. Too many leaders, funders and organizers on the left continue to view Trump’s abuses of power through a lens of politics as usual. This misdiagnosis denies the reality that Trump is actively eliminating systemic checks on his power and rigging the elections — our most basic form of asserting accountability and flexing citizen power — through voter suppression, and disinformation, as well as by coercing and soliciting foreign government interference. As a result, many saw the impeachment struggle as outside their purview and ceded the struggle in turn.

    Among the organizations that did eventually join the impeachment coalition, too many preferred to follow the narrow approach of House leadership rather than unite behind a powerful and cohesive message. This failure reduced pressure on the House to pass expanded articles of impeachment for the full range of Trump’s crimes and, thus, weakened the overall argument for Trump’s removal. The family separation crisis, the Muslim Ban, Kavanaugh, the threat of war with Iran — each should have been rallying cries for impeachment and removal.

    (By The People/Anthony Torres)

    Had the actual charges against Trump condemned the full pattern of corruption, racism, misogyny and criminality — as By the People, Free Speech for People, and Women’s March (among others) long called for — it would have been more difficult for Trump’s defenders to cast the Ukraine scandal as an aberration. What’s more, it would have set a stronger precedent against future presidents committing similar Trumpian violations. All that would no doubt have fired up the larger base of people who have been resisting Trump’s attacks for three years — enabling them to see the impeachment fight as not only a priority, but a decisive and compelling critique of everything Trump has done to put Americans in danger in pursuit of his own personal gain.

    Make no mistake: the acquittal of Trump shows the extent to which our institutions are failing, unable and/or unwilling to protect us from the ascent of fascism. We cannot expect action without major mobilization — when the people lead, leaders follow. Therefore, just as we did on impeachment, we, the people, must take responsibility for our lives, our liberties and our country’s future. Every American must make a choice: Will you fight for democracy or will you submit to dictatorship? Every day and every battle from this point onward is a struggle to defeat authoritarianism and to achieve a democracy that for the first time serves and represents all of us. The urgency and scale of the common threat we face requires us to continue to threaten Trump’s rule before the election and to be prepared to mobilize against him if he refuses to leave office.

    We still know and hold these truths to be self evident: Trump was and is guilty. Impeachment and removal remains the only pathway for stopping a tyrannical president. If we are to be free and safe, then we must remove Trump from office. This fight has never been about Democrats vs. Republicans. Our trajectory must be toward transforming this political system, and removing this president will allow us to move closer to making our country’s revolutionary promise of liberty and justice for all a reality.

    By the People built a grassroots campaign for impeachment and removal in service of a much larger pro-democracy movement. While the trial is over, our work remains to remove Trump and every one of his cronies and enablers from office. We will rise alongside Reps. Tlaib and Green, who responded early on to our calls to action and acted with moral courage, and we will replace those who violated their oath and betrayed their country. We will sustain our resistance to the abuses and atrocities that we cannot tolerate from this administration. We will be vigilant in securing free and fair elections. We will contest for power at the ballot box and in the streets. We will continue to call on Congress to pass articles of impeachment for all of Trump’s crimes. We will combat rising white nationalism. We will sound the alarm as Trump strives to expand his authority. The day we stop fighting for democracy is the day we lose it. Just as past Americans came together to defeat kings and Jim Crow, we will unite to make this country what it should be: a government of, by and for the people.

    Athens: Notara 26 attacked by cops

    House Occupation News -

    THEY DON’T INTIMIDATE US, THEY INFURIATE US!

    Last night at Notara26 Refugee/Migrant Housing squat, we were attacked for the third time in the past six months by the state uniformed bullies.
    Around 4:30 am – only a few minutes after one more attempt by undercover police to intimidate one of our comrades who was on her way to our squat- a riot squad, totally unprovoked, surrounded our squat twice.
    The first time they were flashing their torches and laser pointers into our lobby persistently trying to see our faces and how many we were. They then withdrew for about ten minutes but came back reinforced. Τhis time apart from torches and laser pointers, they tried to force our squat’s door open.
    These practices of the uniformed state terrorists DO NOT SCARE US! We are here, we continue our everyday struggle against fascism, racism and repression. We form strong solidarity and comradeship ties.
    The only result this kind of bullying can have is to bring us even more together and our ranks closer!!!
    There is only one thing to say…
    WE SHALL MEET AT THE BARRICADES

    Assembly of Notara 26, 10/2/2020

    Housing squat for refugees/migrants Notara 26
    notara26 [at] riseup [dot] net
    https://squ.at/r/1d8u

    Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/squated/squat
    Groups in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR
    Events in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GR

    Canada: arrests as protesters block ports and railways in support of Wetʼsuwetʼen

    The Guardian | Protest -

    • Indigenous groups fighting construction of 670km gas pipeline
    • Chiefs says they never ceded land and thus still control it

    Protesters across Canada have blocked access to road shipping ports and commuter rail lines in support of Indigenous groups fighting the construction of a pipeline on their traditional territory.

    Early on Monday, police arrested several activists in Vancouver, who were part of a group that has blocked access to four shipping ports in recent days.

    “You are not welcome here! This is #Wetsuweten territory! We are unarmed. We are peaceful... You! Are invaders!” Eve, holding an Eagle feather, stands off with RCMP tactical units at Gidimt’en checkpoint moments ago. RCMP appear to be moving in. #bcpoli #cdnpoli #WetsuwetenStrong pic.twitter.com/yg7ZPO5Nxr

    Related: Pipeline battle puts focus on Canada's disputed right to use indigenous land

    Continue reading...

    Athens: Hands off Exarcheia. New Democracy’s War on Anarchists

    House Occupation News -

    

    On July 8th, 2019, the New Democracy government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis assumed power in Greece, after campaigning on a promise to ‘clean up’ the central Athens neighbourhood of Exarcheia, and ‘take it back’ from the anarchists. Since then, the Greek state has launched a renewed attack against the anarchist and self-organized migrant movements, targeting squats and promising future raids. Against this threat, Greek anarchists have responded with characteristic resolve and determination.
    Featuring interview with Pangiotis Varthalis of the squat Lelas Karagiannis 37
    Translated by Boubouras (Act For Freedom Now)

    Lelas Karagianni 37
    https://squ.at/r/7aw5
    https://www.kinimatorama.net/place/501
    http://squathost.com/lelas_k/

    Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/squated/squat
    Groups in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR
    Events in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GR

    https://actforfree.nostate.net/?p=36400

    London: Paddington Green Police Station occupation in anticipation of our week of action

    House Occupation News -

    On the night of February 7th, a group of activists from the Green Anti-Capitalist Front, alongside squatters and other activists, occupied the abandoned High security police station at Paddington Green. The intention is to hold the space and turn it into a community centre, the activities of which will culminate in a week of action against capitalism.
    This is motivated by the belief that capitalism by its very nature will continue to destroy our planet and ultimately our civilisation. We chose this building because the police have time and again shown that they will gladly break their own laws to suppress any challenge to the entrenched, unjust, systems our society is based on.
    Only by moving beyond the inherent oppression of capitalism to a system based on co-operation and communality, can we hope to survive in any meaningful way to the end of this century.
    During the week of action the space will host workshops, skill shares, socials, planning sessions and a wide variety of other informative and entertaining events while also acting as a base from which to launch actions to reclaim our public space from corporations and government, and strike at the very heart of capital. We will show the mega rich and powerful that we will not stand for their greed and corruption.

    Green Anticapitalist week of action
    24 February – 2 March

    The British government has been elected and, with the Tories in power, it looks bleaker for the future of our planet than ever before.

    Now is the time to fight back.

    To show resistance to the ecocide being committed by the capitalist class and supported by many in Parliament, we call you to join us for a Week of Action! Every day for a week in February (24/02–02/03) we will be organising events and protests to let the leaders and the people of this country know that we are here to fight for the survival of our planet by facing capitalism head on.

    From reclaiming unoccupied buildings for our communities, organising workshops and social events to raise awareness and encourage self-reliance, to reclaiming public space for nature by guerilla gardening, and being loud and clear about our rage against profit-making by stockbrokers and their like at the expense of our planet and fellow humans – join our Week of Action, whether by organising yourselves locally or joining our actions, to let them know that even under Tory rule we’ll keep fighting capitalism for our planet!

    Email greenanticapitalistfront [at] riseup [dot] net to get involved with organising.

    Activists occupy Paddington Green police station

    On the night of February 7th a group of activists from the Green Anti-Capitalist Front (GAF), alongside squatters and other activists, occupied the abandoned high security police station at Paddington Green in London. If all goes well, the activists plan to spend the third night in the building today.

    The police station was best known as a high security detention place where people suspected of terrorism were held and questioned. It was closed and decommissioned in 2018.

    According to GAF’s press release, “the intention is to hold the space and turn it into a community centre, the activities of which will culminate in a week of action against capitalism. This is motivated by the belief that capitalism by its very nature will continue to destroy our planet and ultimately our civilisation. Only by ending capitalism and finding a new system, immediately, can we hope to survive in any meaningful way to the end of this century. During the week of action the space will host workshops, skill shares, socials, planning sessions and a wide variety of other informative and entertaining events while also acting as a base from which to launch actions to reclaim our public space from corporations and government, and strike at the very heart of capital. We will show the mega rich and powerful that we will not stand for their greed and corruption.”

    Yesterday, the police attempted to illegaly evict the space, claiming that it is a residential building (and therefore illegal to squat) and, reportedly, that not allowing the cops to come in and use the toilet is a breach of human rights. This eviction attempt was succesfuly stopped by the activists.

    Currently, the police station is being turned into a community space: Green Radical Anticapitalist Social Squat aka GRASS: a move GAF London described as “the first time since it’s construction that this police station has been put to good use!”

    Paddington Green Police Station occupation happened at the same day when the group of activists known as BP or not BP took over the British Museum to protest BP’s sponsorship of a Troy exhibition. The British Museum occupation ended after more than 50 hours.

    Green Anticapitalist Front
    greenanticapitalistfront [at] riseup [dot] net
    https://squ.at/r/7on9
    https://greenanticapitalist.org/

    Groups in London: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/london
    Events in London: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/London

    Groups in UK: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GB
    Events in UK: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/GB

    sources:
    Green Anticapitalist Front https://greenanticapitalist.org/paddington-green-police-station-occupation-in-anticipation-of-our-week-of-action/
    Radar https://radar.squat.net/en/event/green-anticapitalist-front/2020-02-24/green-anticapitalist-week-action
    Freedom News https://freedomnews.org.uk/london-activists-occupy-paddington-green-police-station/

    Drive-By Truckers: 'We have redneck in us. No one tells us what to do'

    The Guardian | Protest -

    The band are shocking their fanbase with new album The Unraveling, full of fury about the state of America – from school shootings to caged kids. We meet the angry Alabamans

    Mike Cooley has a gift for aphorism. “Paranoia’s like pulled pork,” he says, in his deep Alabama baritone. “It’s on menus all over the world, but in the American south it’s special.” That one is the final line of a riff on guns and why southerners like weapons, one of the subjects that crops up on Drive-By Truckers’ 12th album, The Unraveling.

    Cooley and Patterson Hood, his fellow guitarist-singer-songwriter in the Truckers, are eating lamb meatballs on a chilly afternoon in New York, on the day The Unraveling is released. The title seems apt. A few hundred miles south, in Washington DC, Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is stalling in the Senate; across the Atlantic, as we speak, the UK is leaving the EU. “Unfortunately, we kinda saw it coming,” Hood says of the release date. “Things are so crazy right now, you never know what’s gonna happen next. You just know it’s gonna be ridiculous and shitty.”

    My daughter got locked in a closet with 27 other kids for 20 minutes – to prepare for someone shooting up their school

    I don’t want these people to think I’m walking away because they said mean things about me

    Continue reading...

    Madrid and Berlin: brochure from squatters and resisting spots

    House Occupation News -

    A sea of possibilities in the concrete desert: Territory, city and insurrection’ – Madrid & Berlin

    This publication is a compilation of texts that emerges from the discussions and the work we started in the wake of the event “A sea of possibilities in the concrete desert. Territory, city and insurrection” that happened in Madrid during June 2019 in la Emboscada and Local Anarquista Motín. Is the product of a joint work of some comrades from Berlin and Madrid, that does not finish with the publication of this pages and pretends to extend the discussion that we have shared.

    What does it mean to take territory against the State and Capitalism? How can we take it through our struggles? How does it work domination in the territories that we inhabit? Does it mean our way of living in a territory a conflict with the system?

    December 2019,
    Madrid and Berlin.

    La Emboscada
    Calle de las Azucenas 67 – Tetuán
    28039 Madrid
    laemboscada [at] riseup [dot] net
    https://squ.at/r/76as
    https://laemboscada.noblogs.org/

    Local anarquista Motín
    Calle de Matilde Hernandez nº47
    28025 Madrid
    localanarquistamotin [at] riseup [dot] net
    https://squ.at/r/2mow
    http://localanarquistamotin.noblogs.org/

    Some squats in Madrid: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/madrid/squated/squat
    Groups (social centres, collectives, squats) in Madrid: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/madrid
    Events in Madrid: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/Madrid

    Groups in Berlin https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/berlin
    Events in Berlin https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/Berlin
    Stressfaktor https://radar.squat.net/de/stressfaktor

    https://actforfree.nostate.net/?p=36380

    Activists try to occupy British Museum in protest against BP ties

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Environmental group puts pressure on museum to end its partnership with oil company

    Dozens of activists have coated themselves in plaster and are trying to occupy the British Museum overnight in a bid to pressure the institution to cut ties with oil corporation BP.

    About 60 protesters were taking part in the defiant act of impromptu sculpture making as the museum in London attempted to close its doors at 5pm on Saturday.

    Continue reading...

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