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Bloody eye sockets, defaced statues: the visual legacy of Chile's unrest

The Guardian | Protest -

Graffiti, toppled monuments and boarded-up buildings provide enduring reminders of the protests that have rocked the nation

I arrived in Santiago in December of 2019, some two months after the start of mass protests that have rocked the nation’s largest cities. The unexpected burst of anger and violence has left much of the country bitter and uncertain about its identity and future.

Related: 'Mentally, we're in crisis mode': protests leave Chileans living on their nerves

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Police and protesters clash on Greek islands over new migrant camps

The Guardian | Protest -

Teargas used against demonstrators on Lesbos and Chios who want migrants moved to the mainland

Clashes have broken out on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios, where residents tried to prevent the arrival of riot police and excavating machines to be used to build new migrant detention camps.

Police fired teargas to disperse the crowds that gathered early on Tuesday to try to prevent officers from disembarking from government-chartered ferries.

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Met upholds complaint of woman ‘deceived’ by undercover officer

The Guardian | Protest -

Police inquiry finds credible evidence of Andy Coles deceiving 19-year-old activist into sexual relationship

An internal police investigation has uncovered credible evidence that an undercover officer deceived a 19-year-old woman into a long-term sexual relationship.

Andy Coles has denied that he had an intimate relationship with the woman while he infiltrated political groups in the 90s, dismissing her claims as “lurid”.

Related: Cambridgeshire deputy police commissioner resigns over spy claims

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Can civil disobedience be seen as ‘good behavior’ in a time of climate crisis?

Waging Nonviolence -

Dozens of climate activists filled the second floor lobby of the Concord, New Hampshire District Court on Feb. 14 — only they weren’t there to protest. Instead, spreading out into a circle, they listened to their attorney, Kira Kelley, as she prepared them for a pre-trial hearing.

“This court has never seen this many people in a situation like this,” she said, referring to the 65 people currently facing trespassing charges stemming from a September arrest in Bow, New Hampshire. As part of an action dubbed “Bucket by Bucket,” activists with the #NoCoalNoGas campaign were trying to remove coal from Merrimack Station — New England’s last major coal-fired power plant without a shut-down date.

Previous Coverage
  • Blocking trains and removing coal, climate activists fight to close one of New England’s largest power plants
  • With discussions of plea bargains ongoing, when and whether any trials will take place is uncertain, but the #NoCoalNoGas campaign is nevertheless preparing for a legal fight.

    In addition to the hearing, which will continue later next month, the state also charged 18 of the defendants with violating the terms of their bail by participating in blockades of trains delivering coal to Bow in recent months. Following the Concord hearing, the group drove to Bow’s police station, where the newly charged activists turned themselves in. They were released once again, on their own recognizance, and told to return to court in March. Nevertheless, the activists perceived the state’s punitive action as an escalation, with Prosecutor Tracy Connolly on the side of the fossil fuel industry.

    Speaking to the circle of activists before the hearing, Emma Schoenberg of the Climate Disobedience Center reminded the group of their shared goals: building community, showing that active resistance is possible and shutting down the coal plant.

    “Almost a year ago we hatched this hare-brained scheme to shut down a coal plant and, being that we couldn’t do it alone, we knew the moment had to be transformational,” Schoenberg said. “So, here we get to create a new world, and we get to invite other people into it.”

    One participant in the September action accepted a plea agreement offered by Prosecutor Connolly. Discussions about possible plea deals for the rest appear to be ongoing, with Connolly determined to deter the activists from taking further steps aimed at shutting down the power plant.

    “Criminal justice is deterring bad behavior,” she said. But for the #NoCoalNoGas campaign, it’s Merrimack Station and the fossil fuel industry that’s guilty.

    “In 2020, when the high temperature in Antarctica was just measured at 69 degrees Fahrenheit and when the climate crisis is already causing disastrous flooding on New Hampshire’s coast, it is sad that Ms. Connolly is arguing that preventing further catastrophe does not count as ‘good behavior,’” said Alissandra Rodriguez-Murray, who was arrested at the September action and was among those charged with bail violations.

    Working with their legal team, the #NoCoalNoGas campaigners are still trying to determine their legal strategy. One option might be using their concept of “good behavior” as a defense before a judge at district court. Another option might be skipping trial altogether and instead accepting a verdict of guilty in order to bring their defense to a jury trial at superior court.

    At the same time, if Connolly were to offer a more favorable plea bargain, #NoCoalNoGas activists might be willing accept it — whether it be engaging in community service or committing to “good behavior” for 24 hours, like activists with the Poor People’s Campaign did last year. Such discussions with the prosecution will continue at the next hearing, March 30, which is also when schedules for trials could be set.

    In the meantime, the campaign will be turning its attention to ISO New England — the entity that manages the regional power grid and just agreed to keep subsidy payments flowing to Merrimack Station for another year. As far as the climate activists are concerned, the campaign to shut down Merrimack Station won’t end at the courthouse.

    Greenpeace faces hefty fine after admitting defying court order

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Environmental group’s lawyers said they knew boarding North Sea rig was in contempt of court

    Greenpeace faces a heavy fine after admitting its climate activists boarded a North Sea oil rig in defiance of a court order last year.

    Transocean, the US-based drilling contractor, has asked the court of session in Edinburgh to impose unlimited fines on Greenpeace UK and consider jailing its executive director, John Sauven, for contempt of court.

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    Bank of England under pressure over board member's oil links

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Green campaigners seek to embarrass Bank over role of Tullow Oil exec Dorothy Thompson

    Environmental groups have called into question the Bank of England’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency while it retains one of Britain’s most senior oil company executives on its governing board.

    Greenpeace joined with Friends of the Earth and campaign group Oil Change International to condemn the role played on the BoE’s board of directors by Dorothy Thompson, the executive chair of Britain’s largest independent oil company, Tullow Oil.

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    London: New week of action venue. Welcome to GRASS!

    House Occupation News -

    While Green London is still holding strong in the former Paddington Green Police Station, we felt it was unfair to bring members of the public into a situation where they could be exposed to the aggressive and threatening behaviour of the police and bailiffs. We have therefore, while continuing our occupation of Green London, decided to open a new social space for our week of action: the Green Revolutionary Anticapitalist Social Space. GRASS!

    GRASS is located in the former George Pub near Holloway Road tube station. It is a warm and welcoming building which we are very happy to be using, and look forward to welcoming you in.
    Our new address is 9 Eden Grove, Islington N7 8EE. Just a stone’s throw from Holloway Station!
    We will be opening this Tuesday. Our openings hours will be 12.00-10.00 each day for the week of action. We have a full programme planned so check it out.

    If you want to get in touch our email is grassgreenldn [at] protonmail [dot] com.

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

    GRASS
    9 Eden Grove, Islington N7 8EE
    grassgreenldn [at] protonmail [dot] com
    https://squ.at/r/7q22

    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

    Source: Green Anti-Capitalist Front https://greenanticapitalist.org/new-week-of-action-venue-welcome-to-grass/

    Greta Thunberg to visit Bristol for youth climate protest

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Teenage activist will make her second UK trip in past year to join next week’s event

    Greta Thunberg will visit the UK next week to take part in a youth protest in Bristol.

    The 17-year-old climate activist, who launched a global youth-based movement when she began a “climate strike” outside Sweden’s parliament in 2018, plans to join protesters on College Green on Friday.

    Heading for the UK! This Friday, the 28th, I’m looking forward to joining the school strike in Bristol! We meet up at College Green 11am! See you there! @bristolYS4C pic.twitter.com/n1GOJqMUVQ

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    Groningen: Solidarity with 10 squatters

    House Occupation News -

    Call for solidarity with the 10 people who were arrested during the eviction of the Heykens-building in the Akerkstraat in Groningen in October 2019. They all are convicted for article 138a.
    The judge agreed with the demand of the prosecutor and all have to pay a fine of 300 euro. With legal costs of 150 euro per person op top of that, this amounts to high costs and they could use some support.

    Please donate if you can
    Solidariteitsfonds Het Zwarte Gat, NL41 TRIO 0391 0365 64, and mention “heykenspand”

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    Local news about the verdict

    Source

    How undocumented activists in New Jersey won driver’s licenses for all

    Waging Nonviolence -

    In December, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that will allow undocumented immigrants in the state to legally obtain drivers licenses by 2021. The victory was made possible by hundreds of undocumented organizers, who have been fighting for the bill for 18 years — often putting their bodies on the line and risking deportation in the process.

    Among those organizers was Li Adorno, a 27-year-old undocumented activist from Union City. For the past three years, Adorno has been working with Movimiento Cosecha, a decentralized immigrant rights group that has autonomous chapters across the United States. Cosecha’s name comes from the word “harvest” in Spanish — and their mission is to use the power of non-cooperation to leverage the power of immigrant labor and shift public opinion.

    Adorno’s advocacy, however, began long before Cosecha and the driver’s license campaign. Though he grew up as an undocumented Mexican American, he didn’t always identify with activist spaces. His political awakening eventually started with Anakbayan, a Filipino youth group. “I started learning about Mexican culture and Mexican organizing through Filipinos,” Adorno said. They were the ones who taught him about imperialism and colonization. 

    From there, Adorno got involved in tuition equity campaigns, which secured in-state tuition for undocumented students in New Jersey. In 2017, Adorno became a member of the #Dream7, a group of DACA recipients who were arrested after staging a sit-in in the Capitol building, risking deportation. Once in jail, the group refused to give their names to police and went on a six-day hunger strike to demand that a Clean Dream Act be included in the spending bill. 

    I recently had the chance to speak with Adorno about how he helped mobilize the undocumented community in New Jersey to win driver’s licenses for all — as well as his vision for the future of the immigrant rights movement. 

    What does this victory mean for the immigrant rights movement?

    It’s something so simple — it’s honestly insulting to neglect a community like that, to not allow them to drive their kids to school and be seen as equal New Jerseyans. Winters in the northeast are hard, especially for people who live far away from the big cities. Transportation can get very difficult. They’ve been neglecting this bill asking for drivers licenses for 18 years — and for 18 years, they’ve been giving undocumented people tickets. They’ve been making money. They’ve been arresting people, taking people to detention centers, and there they make more money. 

    Since the victory, undocumented organizers in states like Massachusetts and Virginia are using many of the same techniques as Movimiento Cosecha and other groups from New Jersey for their own driver’s license campaign. What do you think made your strategy so effective?

    We had to break away from the narrative of “We are weak, and we don’t know what’s going on.” That’s what Cosecha’s main focus was: to stop depending on the people who keep oppressing you and to really take the fight into your own hands. When Movimiento Cosecha came to New Jersey, that message resonated with a lot of undocumented people who were tired of their families always being scared because of ICE. They welcomed that message with open arms.

    Previous Coverage
  • Undocumented immigrants plan statewide halt, escalating campaign for driver’s licenses in New Jersey
  • The bill got passed through the state legislature in a week. It wasn’t about politics or getting on people’s good sides and begging for change. It was undocumented leaders blocking streets. It was undocumented leaders doing hunger strikes, doing walks, telling people “Now is the time. We’re sick and tired of being the victims. And it’s time to demand the dignity and the respect that we deserve.”

    Cesar Chavez used to say, “The fight was never about the grapes. It was about the bigger picture.” I used to tell that to the people at the first meetings, and they would say, “Oh, that’s cool.” But they didn’t fully understand it. It’s been very heartwarming to see them approach me lately and say, “I understand the whole thing about the grapes now. It was never about licenses. It’s about the dignity and respect we deserve.”  

    The fight was led by ordinary working people, many of whom are undocumented. How did you approach mobilizing a community that has been forced to live in fear for so long?

    There is a risk that comes with protesting if you’re undocumented. In New Jersey, specifically, a lot of the undocumented leadership was scared to do anything against the law. Because they’re brainwashed to believe that the law is always right. They face that contradiction of, “Yeah, the law is always right. But I’m technically against the law, and I’m a person.” And so they have a moment of choice. “Are you going to follow what the laws say, or are we gonna push so the laws can be better?” It is a process for people to understand that sometimes civil disobedience is necessary. It was a magical moment I got to witness. It’s been powerful not only to see the hard physical change, but also the growth that comes with it. Even if we had lost this year, we still would have won, because we’ve gone through this process. And we’ve seen so many people become leaders in their communities. They’re like, “We’re not victims no more!”

    Also, a lot of people in the fight were middle-aged. They brought their kids around, so we tried to get their kids involved. They would enact scenes of what they lived in their life, when their uncle or family member got pulled over. They would give testimony about how they felt and what they feel should be done. One of our youngest leaders in New Jersey was named David Cuatle. He’s nine years old. He was key in bringing in other kids. Usually parents say, “Oh, you stay home. I have to go to this meeting.” But David was like, “Bring your kids, and we’ll play together.” That goes beyond the campaign. That becomes movement building. We chose to build a movement, a stronger community within immigrant people.

    Does Cosecha have any plans to engage in the 2020 presidential race?

    We operate outside the lines of traditional politics. We don’t support any candidate. We really want to focus on building power with undocumented people. Because a candidate is not going to understand what it’s like to be undocumented. He’s never felt the fear of losing a loved one. There’s a big disconnect. And so if we want to change something, it has to come from people who understand it completely. That’s what we are seeing in our local campaigns for driver’s licenses. And it’s working out — people are coming out of their shells. People are becoming leaders in their communities. For us, that’s more important than supporting a candidate.

    What is something you believe the immigrant rights movement should approach differently going forward?

    Undocumented people are super criminalized, but right now, we’re only talking about criminalization on a surface level. We need to talk about where that criminalization comes from — the school-to-prison pipeline, the racism, all of that. We need to understand why there’s criminalization in the first place, and make sure that the future leaders who come after us understand who and what they’re fighting for.

    There’s a lot of narratives I want to shift, especially when it comes to DACA. When Jeff Sessions went on TV to get rid of it, immigrant rights groups wanted to make sure there was a narrative about people who were brought to the United States by their parents as children. That was a mistake, and we have to own up to it. It’s about everybody who is undocumented, not just youth.

    I am a DACA recipient and when there was a decision to be made to leave our family and move far away, that wasn’t my decision. My parents did that, and they were conscious of what they were leaving behind. I was just a kid. They were the ones who had a vision, like, “We don’t see a future for this kid here. We need to give him a better future. And I know that means sacrifice, but this is a sacrifice that we’re going to do.” And they did it. They didn’t know how to get to the United States. They didn’t even know where Mexico City is. But they took that leap of faith and came to the United States. And they dreamed this big thing. So when it comes to what people deserve, and the Dream movement, I don’t think it only has to be about those of us who came here as children. It also has to be about the people who knew what they were leaving behind.

    Environment and animal rights activists being referred to Prevent programme

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Types of ‘concerns’ identified include far-left and anti-Isis extremism, FoI request reveals

    Environmental and animal rights activists have been referred to the government’s controversial anti-radicalisation programme, the Home Office has admitted.

    Responding to a freedom of information request, the Home Office provided a breakdown of reasons behind referrals of individuals to its Channel programme, an arm of Prevent, for “other types of radicalisation.’’

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    Tasmanian anti-logging protesters banned from forests over 'unsafe behaviour'

    The Guardian | Protest -

    WorkSafe Tasmania has threatened protesters with fines of up $500,000, but Bob Brown says activists won’t stop

    Anti-logging activists from the Bob Brown Foundation have been banned from protesting in Tasmanian forests by the state’s workplace safety regulator over “unsafe behaviour”, and threatened with fines as high as $500,000.

    But the veteran conservationist said protesters would not be deterred and has flagged legal action against the restrictions.

    Related: Tasmania's flowering giants: 'We will never see such trees again'

    Related: Extinction Rebellion: elderly protesters arrested and charged in Tasmania

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    The infamous NSW pool Indigenous people say is pricing them out of its waters

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Moree swimming pool once banned Aboriginal people from entry. Fifty-five years on, it is accused of charging hefty fees beyond the reach of the town’s poorer residents

    It is one Australia’s most famous pools, a pool that 55 years ago symbolised a deeply segregated country, where Aboriginal people were banned from its waters.

    In February 1965, the Freedom Ride led by the Arrernte man Charlie Perkins travelled through western New South Wales to the town of Moree to draw attention to the open racism Aboriginal people faced.

    Related: Priced out of the pool: is this modern day segregation?

    I was literally covered in spit

    Fifty-five years ago was probably the closest you’d see to South African apartheid, that’s what Moree was living

    Continue reading...

    Rotterdam: The Squatting Info Hour Rotterdam is back

    House Occupation News -

    A search for “Kraakspreekuur Rotterdam” brings back some old memories from 2010 and 2005, which is quite a long time ago.
    Back to the now: Here in Rotterdam quite some things are happening in the squatting scene. De Tweebosbuurt, Wielewaal and de Burgemeester Roosstraat for example. But in a city like Rotterdam, you would expect more squatters, will you join us?
    The Squatting Info Hour Rotterdam has been started by several squatters from the Tweebosbuurt. Do you need a house and have found an empty place? Are you still green and can use some help? Don’t have a crowbar?
    We can help. You can reach us for the kraakspreekuur by appointment or if you just have some questions, via ksurotterdam [at] disroot [dot] org. To prepare for this, you could for example read/study the Rotterdamse Kraakhandleiding from 2009 – with quite some outdated information by the way – (use google translate) and research who owns on paper the building which you are planning to move into, using the Kadaster.
    If you have general questions about squatting vs anti-squat, issues with flex-housing and housing in general, you can also visit the Bewonersspreekuur Bond Precaire Woonvormen Rotterdam.

    Kraakspreekuur Rotterdam
    ksurotterdam [at] disroot [dot] org
    https://squ.at/r/42qq
    https://network23.org/ksurotterdam/

    Tweebosbuurt
    squat-vestia [at] riseup [dot] net
    https://squ.at/r/7o21
    http://tweebosbuurt.noblogs.org/

    Some squats in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/NL/squated/squat
    Groups (social center, collective, squat) in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/NL
    Events in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/NL

    Brighton: DIY Kodak Update

    House Occupation News -

    Apologies for the delayed update – the past couple of days have been busy! For everyone wondering how the eviction went, we just wanted to let you know that we have managed to find some temporary storage solutions and no one has ended up back out in the streets.

    As ever, we fully intend intend to keep this project going and will keep you updated about our next steps.

    Watch this space…

    With love and solidarity,
    The DIY Kodak Collective

    Rotterdam: About police actions in Tweebosbuurt

    House Occupation News -

    We’ve been silently listening to lots of different people talking about squatters in Tweebosbuurt in the last few days. From the leftist parties supporting squatters and newspapers calling them “heroes of Tweebosbuurt” to far right activists calling them criminals and claiming that they should be jailed or kicked out of the country. We thought that most of what could be said about squatters in Tweebosbuurt has been said. But then Wim Hoonhout, head of communication of Rotterdam’s police, decided to give his opinion on twitter as well, and it says a lot about how this city works: “Anti-capitalists, anarchists and extremists from Europe choose Tweebosbuurt for their actions. Thereby threaten the safety of residents. This requires a strict approach. Police [is] committed to ensuring that safety. Violence must be proportional and subsidiary. These people seek to undermine the rule of law. Leon [a journalist supporting squatters] trivializes their behavior and condemns our action”.

    This is important and needs to be analyzed carefully.

    Let’s start with squatting: as you might know, squatting is illegal in the Netherlands and was considered a criminal offense. But you should also know that since the 2 December 2010, the state court has ruled that the law forbidding squatting was illegal. Since then, squatting is legally considered as a civil issue, a disagreement of interest between two private parties. It’s not a criminal offense anymore.

    Cases of squatting have to be brought into civil court, and it’s a judge to decide if and when the squatters should be evicted. The decision is made by comparing the need for the owner to use the house versus the human right of housing. Housing’s rights apply to anyone, Dutch or not, paying rent or not: if a house is somebody’s home, it’s protected by law, and only a judge can decide otherwise. The judge can also sometime make a decision in favor of squatters and decide that they can stay, if the owner of the house doesn’t have a legitimate motive for eviction. As long as an eviction decision hasn’t been made, homes are protected with “housepeace”.

    Housepeace is only for actual people, not companies. It’s different and unrelated to private property and requires someone living inside the house: you can have housepeace when squatting while you can not have housepeace for an empty house that you own. Housepeace protects privacy and integrity of housing. It’s the legal reason why random people (including owner, the police, or anyone else) can not come into somebody’s home without a warrant, whether it’s an administrative warrant or it’s from a judge. Without it, nobody can legally comes into anyone home without authorization of that person.

    That’s how law is in the Netherlands. Whether you agree with squatting or not is not the question here: law in the Netherlands makes squatting possible, and squatters have rights. Being a squatter doesn’t make you a criminal. You might be evicted by the court at some point (just as anyone! even if you rent or own your place), and as long as you respect that decision, you’re still not a criminal.

    The endpoint of this is that police doesn’t have anything to do with squatting. It’s not a criminal matter, it’s a civil case. As long as the police hasn’t be requested by the owner after an hypothetical ruling of the Court have been disrespected, squatting is not a police matter.

    This rises questions. Why is all of this happening? Why are some journalists, politicians and bureaucrats calling squatters criminals? Why is there a disproportionate amount of police in the neighborhood? Why have been there illegal evictions? Why does the burgmester keep saying that everything went according to procedure? Why did police bring a freaking helicopter to evict squatters? Why is the head of communication says that we threaten safety of residents despite multiple testimonies of inhabitants of Tweebosbuurt in the news saying they’re happy with squatters and reporting no feeling of threat or insecurity?

    Let’s drop some facts: There is no record of criminal acts in Teebosbuurt committed by squatters. Despite dozens of arrests, nobody got charged of any offense. Police call squatters anti-capitalists and anarchists but it’s not a crime, it’s an opinion. And even then, it’s an assumption of an opinion. They imagine squatters as a united radical organized action group, but that’s far from the truth. Squatters in Tweebosbuurt don’t even all know each others. They have no common political ground and have various backgrounds and reasons to be there. Police says squatters are extremists and choosen Tweebosbuurt to perform actions, but tell us: what actions did you hear about? Did someone burn Vestia’s office? Has people been assaulted in the street by squatters? Don’t you think that with all the media coverage that Tweebosbuurt is under, if illegal actions were conducted they would have been in the top of the news?

    We thinks it’s time to talk less about what squatters do and don’t do, and more about the other protagonists of this story. The situation is quite clear: the police action is only justified by assumptions about squatter’s political ideas and fake claims about illegal actions that would threaten other inhabitants. The Tweet we’re answering to is already an answer to a press article that says this:

    “The evacuation of Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam also deserves a critical consideration. According to the squatters, the authorities thereby violated the rules. Primary response: as if breaking in is so neat? No of course not. But that does not give the [police] the right to break the law. The law, rules and procedures must protect the citizen against the emotional reflexes of those in authority. No one – and certainly not an authority – may act as their own judge. Whether it is […] a squatter or whoever, it cannot matter in a constitutional state like the Netherlands. Everyone deserves the same, objective treatment and legal process. Regardless of the sentiments and mood of uncle cop and whether someone’s head is turned on or not.”

    That’s what happened in Tweebosbuurt. In 42 De La Reystraat, after Vestia’s employee tried to break the door (and housepeace) of the inhabitants, police granted themselves a search warrant to investigate on the suspicion of breaking of housepeace by the squatters (they claimed that they couldn’t know if the building was actually empty before it’s been squatted and they needed to come in to investigate if a crime has been committed by settling inside). That’s already absurd, as they literally witnessed Vestia committing a crime and didn’t’ react, but decided to investigate on the squatters instead. They did eventually come in, arrested everyone “for the time of the investigation”, and then concluded that there was no crime committed and released everyone. Legally, the place was not evicted. So according to the law, inhabitants of 42 De La Reystraat were totally allowed to come back in their own house, as the investigation concluded they didn’t break the housepeace of somebody else. Unfortunately, Vestia used the time the building was empty to seal it illegally, breaking squatters’ housepeace again. That’s also illegal, and that was also committed in front of the police, with their passive support. So, indeed, police didn’t illegally evict the place, but they played a key role in letting and helping Vestia to do it. And mostly, when inhabitants came back, police came back agin and evicted the place. Again. Without even showing a warrant to the inhabitants this time, so now nobody even knows what is now the legal status of 42 De La Reystraat. And they did it with a helicopter!

    This is very symptomatic of what we’re trying to talk about: police actions in Tweebosbuurt are not motivated by the enforcement of the law. Those actions are not only partial, they are political and they’re actually helping Vestia to commit criminal activities. The reason why those decisions are made is because police makes decisions as their own judge. They bypass the law and justice to take direct actions against squatting and squatters. That’s only one example of what they do. Harassing inhabitants, beating up people and other exaction they commuted are also a consequences of decisions made against squatting. Police and Vestia works together to organize a political repression against us, because they see squatters as a threat to them. Police in Tweebosbuurt is nor protecting law and order nor protecting inhabitants of the neighborhood, they’re fighting for Vestia’s private interests and through that for their own political opinions, because they are against squatting themselves. Why do you think they keep describing squatters as criminals knowing perfectly that squatting is not a crime and there’s no record of criminal actions? They try to convince public opinion that their actions are legally justified. But they’re not. They act and shape society as an independent political force, making decisions for themselves.

    Nobody but the police decided to help Vesita illegally evict a house twice in a week, nobody but the police decided to harass people in the streets on the neighborhood by declaring it a “sensitive zone”, nobody but the police decided to close their eyes to Vestia’s criminal activities. They’re trying to make squatters’ life a nightmare not because law says so, there’s no law for what they do, but because they want to, because they’re afraid of what squatters could do, they’re afraid that squatters might change society and take political actions in a way they disagree with ; and they’re taking actions against that now because they can afford it. Give guns, power and freedom to break the law to a bunch of far-right people and trust them to not abuse their power to enforce their own opinion, how is that suppose to work? Nobody cares about squatters, nobody cares (or even knows) about their rights, and they know that most of them cannot afford to defend themselves in front of a court or to fill a complaint because it’s simply too expensive.

    That’s how Dutch society deals with squatters (and with poor people in general), it leaves them into the hands of the police and looks somewhere else. Police has so much power to decide how they conduct their actions and there’s literally no affordable way to defend against them. It leads to that kind of ridiculous situations: and helicopter and 30 police trucks to illegaly evict eight peaceful people from their own house without any legal motive, just because police disagreed with their ideas. They don’t even have to justify themselves when they make this kind of circus : all they have to do is to wait for the Burgmester to claim police is enforcing the law and everything is going according to the procedure. Then Police can even claim on Tweeter that the use of force was proportional and subsidiary because you know, they were anti-capitalists. And if you dare criticizing them, they would answer you make the squatters’ actions trivial. This is important: in the Netherlands, police is confident enough to openly confess on Tweeter that they abuse their power to strictly repress people based on their political opinions without legal motives only because they decided it’s dangerous opinions. If you don’t think that is a symptom that your society is silently rotting and drifting towards fascism, you need to think again.

    Call to donations

    We’re looking for donations in order to appeal our courtcase (total costs are around 2000 euros). Last wednesday the judge decided that 3 squatted houses in the Tweebosbuurt have to be evicted. Today we decided to start an appeals process. We do this because we think that Vestia does not ‘urgently’ need our homes, and that we do urgently depend on the roof over our head. Since the neighborhood won’t be demollished for at least 1,5 years awaiting Vestia’s appeal against the 17 neighbors that were alowed to stay, as decided by a judge on the 10th of january, it is unreasonable and unfounded to evict us now already. The first judge decided otherwise, but we bielive to have a chance to win with another one.
    But, an appeals process costs money. That is why today we also start a fundraising campagain.

    You can donate to:

    NL65TRIO0198013795
    steungroep NVDA te Utrecht.
    citing Tweebosbuurt.

    Donations that are left over after the appeals proces will be spend on electric heaters, toiletpots, and other stuff that Vestia has demolished.

    Contact: squat-vestia [at] riseup [dot] net
    https://squ.at/r/7o21
    http://tweebosbuurt.noblogs.org/
    OpenPGP Signature : C3E3 8AEA FB8A 58DD 5ED8 11CF 956E ADCD 4837 E212

    Some squats in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/NL/squated/squat
    Groups (social center, collective, squat) in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/NL
    Events in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/NL

    sources:
    https://tweebosbuurt.noblogs.org/post/2020/02/18/about-police-actions-in-tweebosbuurt/
    https://tweebosbuurt.noblogs.org/post/2020/02/12/call-to-donations/

    Justin Trudeau urges 'dialogue and mutual respect' to end rail blockade

    The Guardian | Protest -

    • Canadian prime minister: ‘I know patience is running short’
    • Indigenous activists are protesting against C$6.6bn gas pipeline

    Justin Trudeau has called for patience and dialogue as his government seeks a peaceful end to a rail blockade that has shut down freight and passenger traffic. But the Canadian prime minister is under increasing pressure from the Conservative opposition to clear the tracks.

    For almost two weeks, protesters across the country have taken up the cause of the Wet’suwet’en indigenous people of British Columbia in their campaign against the C$6.6bn (US$4.98bn) 40-mile Coastal GasLink gas pipeline project.

    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. 

    Related: Canada: protests go mainstream as support for Wet'suwet'en pipeline fight widens

    Continue reading...

    Paddington Green: inside the anti-terror HQ taken over by climate anarchists

    The Guardian | Protest -

    The Green Anti-Capitalist Front have occupied the closed police station to use as a base for week of action

    For almost 50 years, Paddington Green police station in London was the nexus of the UK’s anti-terror policing operations. Its 16 high-security, subterranean cells have held IRA terrorists, Islamist would-be suicide bombers and prisoners returned from Guantánamo Bay.

    But, in an extraordinary reversal, it is now anarchists from groups listed in controversial anti-terrorist guidance who hold the keys to its cell blocks. They have squatted the vast complex and intend to use it as a base for environmental protest.

    Continue reading...

    Rose McGowan says she regrets Natalie Portman Oscars dress comments

    The Guardian | Protest -

    McGowan tweets that she ‘lost sight of the bigger picture’ after calling fellow actor a ‘fraud’

    Rose McGowan has expressed regret for her attack on Natalie Portman over the latter’s Oscar dress “protest”, which took aim at the exclusion of women from the best director Academy Award nominations.

    Related: Rose McGowan: Natalie Portman's Oscars dress protest 'deeply offensive'

    Continue reading...

    Athens: Koukaki fell heavy on them

    House Occupation News -

    Since 2017, the Koukaki Squat Community (Matrozou 45, Panaitoliou 21, Arvali 3) set up a different competitive example of communal life in the center of Athens. Through horizontal procedures, collective work and persistence, it set up open and social projects of communal housing, public bath and laundry, clothes sharing, spaces for public events and a multilingual library. Operating in an area which has been transforming from residential neighborhood to first-class tourist resort, the Koukaki Squat Community raised an embankment against the repressive and economic policies of the state and the bosses, against fascism, racism, and patriarchy. A living hearth of resistance, it also actively supported and connected with other struggles, political projects and public assemblies [1].

    Such an active community of equality and solidarity could not go unnoticed. As many other squats and political projects in Athens, the squats in Koukaki were targeted multiple times by the state, both by syriza and nea dimokratia governments, as well as through fascist attacks [2]. Facing evacuations and repression, the comrades resisted and defended their community by retaking the houses and through dynamic interventions. Their strong resistance came to become a central political issue on 18/12/2019, when the police evacuated all three squats, and on 11/1/2020, with the spectacular police operations to evict the houses of Matrozou 45 and Panaitoliou 21, both of which had been retaken by comrades earlier that day.

    Retaking and defending the squats was an action against the fear which state repression subjects us to … a reasonable response to the irrationality of a financial system which violently throws people in shit holes, streets and concentration camps, while thousands of buildings remain abandoned and empty [3]. Through their strong resistance, the comrades responded to the violence enforced on all the squats and struggling people through evictions, arrests, terror and fear. Through their collective resistance, the comrades gave a symbolic answer to the state and capital’s attack on labor, healthcare, education and housing, the neoliberal plunder of natural resources and the necropolitical management of lives. A symbolic answer to the all-pervasive violence that state powers sow daily in cities, local communities and borders, from the prisons of Moria, Petrou Ralli and Korydallos, to Skouries, Agrafa and the Aegean.

    The hatred with which the police attacked the comrades of the Koukaki Squat Community, as well as local residents and comrades in solidarity, came as no surprise. The state is well aware that collective resistances and solidarity must be hit relentlessly, so that they won’t become an example to follow for all those who (may) deny and challenge the individuation and the wild competition of the free market, an example to follow for all those who resist to take their lives in their hands. Yet what they will always fail to grasp is that our collective bonds, struggles and ideas are not confined to walls and cannot be evicted. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our comrades, with all those who resist in the social struggles that unfold. Because the fight is neither legal nor illegal, it is just.

    SOLIDARITY TO THE SQUATS AND POWER TO THE ARRESTED
    ALL IS OURS TO TAKE BECAUSE ALL HAS BEEN STOLEN
    SQUATS IN VILLAS AND ABANDONED HOUSES
    FOR A WORLD OF SOLIDARITY, SELF-ORGANIZATION AND FREEDOM

    Dervenion 56 Squat, February 2020, Athens
    https://squ.at/r/1lps
    https://dervenion56.espivblogs.net/

    [1] More about the Koukaki Squat Community https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1602457/ | https://athens.indymedia.org/author/Κοινότητα Καταλήψεων Κουκακίου/
    [2] Evictions on 12/3/2018, 18/12/2019 and 11/1/2020, and fascist attacks on 26/02/2018 and 14/03/2018.
    [3] Text for the re-taking of Matrozou 45 and Panaitoliou 21 on 11/1/2020 https://en.squat.net/2020/01/12/athens-matrozou-45-and-panaitoliou-21-resquatted-et-again-evicted/

    Koukaki Squat Community
    Matrozou 45, Koukaki, Athens
    m45community [at] riseup [dot] net
    https://squ.at/r/43uf

    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

    Sources:
    https://dervenion56.espivblogs.net/2020/02/08/to-koykaki-toys-epese-vary/
    https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1603125/

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