House Occupation News

London: The Battle for Deptford and Beyond

In Deptford in south east London, local campaigners have occupied a 20-year old community garden to prevent it from being boarded up and razed to the ground by Lewisham Council and the housing association, Peabody. They are also highlighting the absurdity of proposals to demolish 16 structurally sound council flats next door to build new social housing.

What’s happening in Deptford reflects two pressing concerns in the capital today. The first is the prioritising of house-building projects over pressing environmental concerns. The second is the destruction of social housing to create new developments that consist of three elements: housing for private sale, shared ownership deals that are fraught with problems, and new social housing that’s smaller, more expensive and offering tenants less security than what is being destroyed.

The proposed destruction is part of a plan to build new housing not only on the site of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden and Reginald House flats, but also on the site of the old Tidemill Primary School, which closed in 2012. Peabody intends to build 209 units of new housing on the site, of which 51 will be for private sale, with 41 for shared ownership, and 117 at what is described as “equivalent to social rent”, although that is untrue. The rents on the latter will fall under London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s London Affordable Rent, which is around 63% higher than existing council rents in Lewisham.

When the council and Peabody put out these figures, they conveniently neglected to mention that 13 of these homes are replacements for those being destroyed in Reginald House, where tenants currently pay real social rents, and have tenancies that offer them far greater protections than their replacements. Three more residents of Reginald House are leaseholders, and, as is typical for redevelopment plans involving social housing, they will have to fight hard to try to get the developers to pay them market value for their homes.

In addition, the council has no interest in balloting residents, even though 80% of the residents of Reginald House recently informed the council and the GLA that they don’t want their homes destroyed. Although Jeremy Corbyn promised ballots to all tenants on estates facing demolition at the Labour Party Conference last year, and Sadiq Khan has endorsed this policy for estates whose regeneration involves GLA funding (as Tidemill does), Green Party GLA member Sian Berry revealed in March this year that Khan had stealthily approved the destruction of 34 estates — including Reginald House — before his new policy took effect.

Since 2015, shortly after the community was given a lease on the garden for “meanwhile use”, campaigners have been calling on the council to consult with the local community and to go back to the drawing board, increasing the density of housing on the old school site, and sparing the garden and Reginald House. The council, however, has refused to engage.

Instead, Lewisham Council’s cabinet approved the current plans last September, and terminated the community’s lease on the garden on August 29 this year. Instead of handing the keys back, however, members of the local community occupied the garden, and almost immediately secured a PR advantage when the BBC filmed a balanced feature about the occupation for the evening news.

The creation of the garden — designed with the involvement of parents, pupils and teachers at the school — began in 1997 and was funded by Groundwork, the London Development Agency, the Foundation for Sport & Arts, Mowlem plc, Lewisham College — and Lewisham Council, which invested £100 000 in it in 2000.

The investment paid off. In the years since, the garden has matured, and now contains 74 well-established trees. In August 2017, it was cited as a case study for the importance of “Children at Play” in the GLA Greener City Fund prospectus, and it also has the support of organisations including the CPRE and the London Wildlife Trust, and GLA members Len Duvall (Lab.), Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dem), and Caroline Russell (Green).

In addition, in 2016, before any planning application had gone before Lewisham Council’s Strategic Planning Committee, campaigners made an application for the garden to be made into an Asset of Community Value. Officers agreed that the garden was indeed an asset and said “the evidence provided demonstrates that the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden furthers social well-being or social interests of the local community currently.” However, the application was declined on the basis that the land was part of a key site for delivering new housing.

Nevertheless, by refusing to engage with the community on a new plan that spares the garden, the council, in its determination to proceed with its existing plans, is actively engaged in environmental destruction.

In 2016-17, data compiled by Citizen Sense, a science research project at Goldsmith’s, showed that the garden’s large canopy of trees had significantly reduced the levels of carbon emissions that are prevalent in nearby Deptford Church Street, where, on multiple occasions, the levels of carbon emissions have been up to six times higher than World Health Organisation guidelines.

The Tidemill campaigners hope to hold out in the garden until Lewisham Council and Peabody change their minds and go back to the drawing board. They have legally squatted the garden, and are also engaged in a judicial review of the redevelopment plans, for which they crowdfunded support.

There is something of David v. Goliath in this struggle — not just because plucky local campaigners are up against a council and a large housing association, but also because the struggle reflects what is happening across London and elsewhere in the country.

Housing struggles are being fought across the capital — most noticeably in Southwark, where the immense Aylesbury Estate is currently being destroyed by the Council and Notting Hill Homes, and in Lambeth, where tenants and leaseholders are fighting to save two architecturally-acclaimed estates, at Cressingham Gardens and Central Hill, as well as a handful of other estates.

However, few boroughs are free of the blight of regeneration. From West Hendon to Westminster, Hackney to Newham, estates are being destroyed and tenants displaced, by both Labour and Tory councils, to make way for new developments.

Campaigners across the capital recognise that what is happening is social cleansing and realise that tens of thousands of tenants and leaseholders (usually those on low incomes) will be priced out of the new developments unless the current crisis caused by regeneration can be stopped.

Earlier this year, campaigners in north London scored a victory in Haringey. The council’s proposal to enter into a £2bn deal with international property developers Lendlease was defeated when, under pressure from a well-organised grass-roots campaign, councillors in favour of the deal were deselected prior to May’s council elections, and replaced by new candidates opposed to the plans. However, even in Haringey, the new councillors are already under pressure to proceed with plans involving the destruction of estates.

Could a small corner of Deptford, where environmental concerns and social cleansing are both under the spotlight, be the next location for a significant victory?

The campaign’s Crowd Justice fundraising page is here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-reginald-save-tidemill/.

Andy Worthington is an independent journalist and activist, a member of the Save Reginald, Save Tidemill campaign, and the founder of No Social Cleansing in Lewisham. His website is: http://www.andyworthington.co.uk.

Source

London: Homeless Festival Was a Stark Reminder of How Bad Things Have Got

Immersed in the fun of Streets Fest, you could have been excused for forgetting, just for a day, how vast a crisis homelessness in Britain has become.

Unless, of course, your first sight after walking out of Finsbury Park tube station – towards the health and wellbeing festival for homeless and vulnerably housed people – was a rough sleeper, apparently lifeless and surrounded by paramedics, as mine was this Monday morning.

It was a brutal sign of the times and a stark reminder of why charities are tasked with picking up where those with the power to change the fate of thousands have fallen down. And it is happening in a country where more than 8,000 people are forced to sleep rough on any one night, and at least 300,000 face homelessness. This is an era in which grassroots organisations, such as Streets Kitchen, find themselves having to host a special event – by some cruel irony, in one of the nation’s homelessness hotspots – to offer basic services to vulnerable people. It seems we have reached peak austerity Britain.

Streets Fest, a one-day carnival in London’s Finsbury Park, staged to provide a “one-stop shop” for vital services for those most in need, is a radical move. It is believed to be the first event of its kind, but it is clearly needed. The turnout and engagement with support agencies is revealing of the colossal gulf between the provisions available in the mainstream and the true degree of demand at street level.

Organisations with clothing and blankets, as well as others offering advice on physical and mental health, substance use, housing, wellbeing, education and employment help hundreds of people throughout the day. Yet it is the stalls fulfilling the most basic of human necessities that are overwhelmed by the scale of the need. Two groups give out free meals to at least 300 people.

Rapid Relief Team, a volunteer-run not-for-profit specialising in providing catering in the wake of crises such as those following the Grenfell Tower fire and London Bridge terror attack last year, runs out of food less than three hours after the festival starts, despite bringing more than double the number of meals it expected to hand out. “We don’t know when these people last had a square meal,” says Ben Napthine, the organisation’s London and southeast team leader.

For others, it is the hope of a proper wash that draws them to Streets Fest. Friends Dan, 48, and Andrew, 41, sit on a bench with a cup of tea, waiting for their first hot shower in a week. They have travelled from Walthamstow. “We had a local homelessness centre where you could get a shower daily, but it closed,” says Dan. “Then we could go to London Bridge, but that has since closed too. Now we have a big problem with showers.”

More than 50 haircuts, 22 X-rays and 18 dental referrals are also given. StreetVet, meanwhile, sees a dozen dogs in its tent, with this service proving critical for people who say their pets are all the family they have. Stephen’s beloved staffy, who’s been his “best friend” for 14 years, receives a thorough check-up. “He got everything he needed,” the 50-year-old says. “Worming, flea treatment, checked his tag, gave us food, water bowl, toys, a new harness.”

The day, for some, is an opportunity to look to a positive future too. Lisa, 18, and her girlfriend are sofa surfing and have three months left in their current place. Stonewall Housing and the Outside Project gives them guidance on what to do when they find themselves on the streets again. “I can’t rent somewhere,” says Lisa, “I can’t even afford lunch at my college […] but [the organisations] gave us some good advice. They have a housing scheme, so we’d need to get assessed and it could help us into a tenancy.”

Also supporting Streets Fest is the local Haringey and Islington councils. They say they understand the disastrous situation and believe they know how to fix it. “We recognise the madness of Tory austerity continues, and looks like it’s going to continue for quite a while,” Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, says after a walk around the stalls. “We’ve got 14,000 people on our housing register looking for a home, rough sleeping has gone through the roof and it’s our job as councillors to be at the heart of resolving this. Anybody can find themselves homeless in this day and age; the safety nets are rapidly disappearing. Four words: build more council houses. That’s it [the solution] in a nutshell.”

Emina Ibrahim, deputy leader of Haringey Council, says it’s important to raise awareness of the growing problem of homelessness. “More and more people are dying on the streets in London,” she adds. “The reality is that central government needs to build more housing and recognise that there are multiple vulnerabilities that lead people to be sleeping on the street. What we’d ultimately want to get to in Haringey is no second night on the street.”

The art, jamming and dancing going on around us provides a little light relief, a welcome break from the melancholy backdrop to this event. A moment of solemn reflection ensues in the poetry corner as a mother delivers a profound spoken word performance recalling the moving story of how her son was stabbed eight years ago – an all too topical theme in 2018.

As the sun sets on Streets Fest, while people squeeze in the final dance of the day, it’s impossible to overlook that this moment of escapism – and the warm embrace of an abundance of support and community solidarity concentrated in a small section of a north London park – is coming to an abrupt end for most of those here. Many are going back to tents and sleeping bags.

Only, they aren’t sleeping in fields, but atop cold, hard concrete under bridges, along roads and in bushes. And those inside won’t be staying there for a weekend with the promise of a hot bath and cosy bed after a few days of revelry. These are “homes” for the long haul. As another winter approaches, England’s homeless population once again prepares to brace itself for the cruel months ahead, mustering the fight to survive against the harsh elements and a system that promises little hope for permanent refuge anytime soon.

Jon Glackin of Streets Kitchen promises, however, that this Streets Fest is not going to be a one-off. “Hundreds of homeless people came,” he says. “Events like this are important. People are dying on the streets, I’m sick of going to funerals. We can do it [put this on again]. I’ve seen a lot of shiny, happy people with new haircuts, new clothes on and a spring in their step. People are asking, ‘When’s the next one?'”

Source

Dublin: Masked thugs evict Frederick Street

Masked Garda threatening people with batons in the aftermath of the violent eviction carried out by thugs in Dublin last night. Pepper spray, dogs and batons were deployed, there were 5 or 6 arrests and four housing campaigners required hosptial visits from injuries received in the course of the eviction of the Frederick St occupation [which is the second recent occupation].

The occupation was suddenly attacked by a gang of masked men who arrived in a van with no front registration plates, insurance or any other identifying details apart from a back plate which showed a UK registration plate. They smashed their way into the house using sledgehammers and industrial cutters. One housing activist who was outside and attempted to question them was thrown down the stairs and then arrested by the Garda.

Take Back The City – Dublin say “Gardai subsequently used force and pepper spray against peaceful protesters across the road” – our footage from about 20 minutes after the eviction shows masked Garda threatening people protesting the eviction.

The house that was occupied has been left empty for between 3 and 5 years and often had homeless people sleeping on the doorstep. Despite this, an injunction was rapidly granted against the occupation and when the occupiers resolved to stay in place we saw the violence of last night’s eviction.

It’s less that 1km from The Bolt which was evicted in 2015 and remains boarded up to this day. It’s 200m from The Barricade Inn which was also evicted in 2015 and also remains empty to this day. It’s less that 1km from the Debtors’ Prison which was evicted in 2015 and remains empty to this day.

Tens of thousands of buildings are left empty around Dublin, many of which could quickly be turned into accommodation for people. In other cities in Europe buildings being left abandoned was countered by the introduction of protection for squatters, allowing tens of thousands to house themselves. In Ireland they violently evict people who occupy buildings that have been left vacant for years, sometimes for decades.

Read this local residents account of the way she was treated by the Garda “When I asked him why he was wearing a balaclava he told me I had no right to ask that and to, I quote “fuck off ye stupid bitch”. He then grabbed my phone and put his hands on me. After I said he had absolutely no right to do so and he said he did. He then said “Ok, you are going to get arrested.” To be clear, this is on my lane way, where I live and I was asking a question.”

WSM

Dublin: Third building occupied by Take Back the City

Saturday 8th of September saw another building occupied in Dublin as part of the Take Back the City campaign, this is the 3rd occupation in a little over a month. The new occupied building is on 41 Belvedere Place as the video shows over 100 people gathered outside in support of the occupation.


The Take Back the city campaign activists had gathered at the GPO earlier that evening and then marched as a block up O’Connell Street to the site of the current occupation. At one point the chants on the march named the three largest political parties who have been in government this decade “Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fail’ with the response “Jail, jail, jail them all.” The Labour Party is now in opposition and doing its usual about turn to insert itself into struggles as if it was somehow not responsible for the policies being fought against.

Our footage moves on to some taken early in the week which shows the second building occupied on Frederick Street not far from the current occupation. The first building occupied on Summerhill Place was abandoned after an injunction was granted, power the decision was taken to hang onto Frederic street when that was injuncted a couple of weeks ago. So far the Garda have not dared move to enforce that injunction.

We then show a boarded up building, there was a previous round of occupation’s around 2015 all of which were evicted. Unlike the current phase they aimed to provide accommodation for people through the direct action of occupying and moving people in. In contrast so far the current campaign has activists taking buildings to highlight the number of vacant homes that have been left empty, with over 100 people volunteering to do shifts to keep them occupied.

This aspect is controversial as there is still much lower key squatting going on but it would be logical, as the current campaign builds, to turn the occupied buildings in to homes if and when the intimidatory effect of injunctions is removed. There are no meaningful ’squatters rights’ in Ireland which is why speculators feel safe leaving so many usable homes lying empty while huge numbers of people are caught up in the housing crisis. In other European cities as other times the presence of strong ’squatters right’ meant not only directly housing thousands of people but also meant speculators were far more inclined to rent out buildings rather than leaving them empty.

Our footage shows the Bolt hostel but this isn’t footage from 2015 this was taken last week, three years after the court ordered eviction when it still lies empty. The Bolt is a particularly strong example as the building was in a relatively good state and a team of volunteers were using it to provide emergency accommodation.

These occupations are taking place in the context of a terrible housing crisis that exists in Dublin and other Irish cities. In Dublin it’s probably the case that almost every worker is now affected by the crisis. Rents are skyhigh, so to are property prices but wages for most workers remain very low. A huge amount of workers are probably spending up to 50% of their income on either rent or mortgage repayments.

Ina addition the rental sector has no security attached to it at all. It’s easy to evict tenants, the legal protections are mostly a joke. All this needs needs to change

WSM

London: Queens in Furs guided tour of Brixton

In the 1970s Britain was saturated in political activity right across the board. Not just in the Labour movement, trade unions and the Left but also the new social movements were particularly active in challenging the oppressive established order especially the black, women’s and gay liberation movements. The environmental, countercultural, squatters’ and claimants’ organisations were also fully engaged in defending people against poverty, homelessness, the destruction of the environment and experimenting with ‘alternative’ lifestyles. Throughout this period the anti-apartheid movement, the Anti-Nazi League and Troops out of Ireland challenged the racist regime in South Africa, the growing menace of racism and fascism and the continuing military occupation of Northern Ireland. In the early 70s there were still lively anti-Vietnam war demonstrations. Much of this ‘crucible’ of radical activity provided the ingredients for how politics were practised locally in Brixton.

This guided tour, conducted by Ian Townson, will concentrate on the radical gay community and gay squats in and around Railton Road from the mid 1970s to 1981, the year of the Brixton riots, but will also include many other groups active in the area. Also there will be an account of more up-to-date contemporary events.

Join us for an exciting and illuminating voyage of discovery to uncover the lost aspects of the past that have become ‘hidden from history’. Will there be political lessons to be learned from the past of benefit to us now or will this just be an exercise in nostalgia and fond memories? Come along and judge for yourselves.

Start point: Herne Hill train station at 1pm
Date: Sunday 16th September
Duration: Approximately 2 hours.

London: Streets Fest on Monday!

CALL OUT TO ALL SQUATTERS / HOMELESS / TRAVELLERS
All Day Free BBQ / Hairdressers / Doctors / Vets / Showers / Opticians / Housing, Squatting, Boat Advice / Free Clothes /

#STREETSFEST #STREETSKITCHEN #FINSBURYPARK #NFAAF

Bringing together 50+ groups and services
Monday 10th September – Finsbury Park (2pm – 8pm)

Streets Kitchen
Haringey Anti-Raids
Showers
Opticians
Advisory Service for Squatters (ASS)
Museum of Homelessness
Outside Project
CBD Brothers
Refugee Community Kitchen
Action 4 Trans Health
Lesbians & Gays Support the Migrants
Street Vet
Finsbury Park Mosque
Guerilla Paramedics
Solidarity London
Mobile Library
Clothes For Causes
Women of the Well
London Fire Brigade
The People’s Film Club
Rapid Relief Team
Human Appeal
Simon Community
Gunners Pub
Islington Food Bank
Haringey Council housing workers
Islington housing workers
Find ‘n’ Treat Van
Stonewall Housing
Shelter
Shelter from the Storm
Pillion Trust
Caris Winter Shelters
Pathways
ISIS Drug Services

In addition, there will be several stages of live music, poetry and workshops, including special guests.
Best of all: IT’S ALL FREE!

There will be women’s spaces, beanbags and tents for chilling-out and CBD Brothers samples–so expect a surprise!

If you would like to volunteer or to appear as a performer or DJ, email:
getinvolved [at] streetskitchen [dot] org
or
psydchainmusic [at] outlook [dot] com

Twitter : @StreetsKitchen

Twitter : @NFA_AntiFascist

NFAAF

Amsterdam: ADM, an update on the actual situation

Upcoming fall, the largest cultural free-haven in The Netherlands, ADM, will be 21 years old. Since its beginning in 1997 ADM has been under constant pressure to a greater or lesser extent.

Especially in recent years we are involved in multiple legal procedures and we’ve put constant strain on the municipality of Amsterdam to purchase the site to prevent a financial loss of hundreds of millions euros. Unfortunately the fate of ADM depends primarily on the outcome of these legal- and political processes and not on the grand cultural heritage which ADM is giving to the city and the world.

After vigorous appeal three major legal cases have been lost by ADM in the last weeks. Mainly because in these lawsuits only a limited part of the entire case is dealt with, without giving proper attention to the overall perspective. This means that on legal grounds ADM can be evicted straight after the December 24th.

The ADM residents consider to start a new appeal in a case against Amsterdam, where ADM claims that Amsterdam must enforce the perpetual clause in the original purchase contract and thus prevents the public- and social interests of Amsterdam from being seriously damaged.

The ADM was bought by Chidda in 1997 with the proviso that Amsterdam always has the first right of repurchase and that only an authentic shipyard can be established on the 42-hectare terrain.

Chidda intends to give way to Koole Maritiem LLC, an asbestos contractor and demolisher, which has nothing to do with a shipyard !

If the municipality of Amsterdam approves Chidda’s plans, the destination restriction will effectively be removed and the ADM will increase more than 5 times in value.

Chidda is only interested in this profit and wants to cash, which means that around €100 million in community capital belonging to the municipality will go to this real estate entrepreneur.

The current attitude of the Council of Amsterdam is more in favor of the financial interests of a private party than for the public interest !

The consequences, both for the ADM and for the city of Amsterdam, are dire.

All this won’t stop the ADM residents from incessantly initiating actions and having talks with the council in order to change this unweighted current political track.

Why not press the pause button and investigate what Amsterdam loses when it turns its back on ADM and, until then, cherishes our cultural free haven?

We need your support to prove that cultural free spaces are vital for a diverse and open city.

We do not want to be chased, we want to be appreciated for our culture!

Contact us if you have good ideas or if you want to give a hand.

Beware: Holland’s most innovative- and experimental cultural festival is coming up in the 4th weekend of september !

ADM becomes 21 and changes into a mature and powerful adult !

ADM
Hornweg 6, 1045AR, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
https://adm.amsterdam/
https://squ.at/r/5g4

https://adm.amsterdam/article/adm-update-actual-situation

Berlin: We will #occupy again

We will #occupy again.

On the 20th May 2018, 10 houses were occupied in Berlin and the bordering city Potsdam. Despite positive feedback by neighbours and the public (aka media), all houses were violently evicted the same day. Despite promises concerning housing, the „left“ government had the police evict houses and beat up people. The protection of private property was yet again more valuable than the right to housing or the right to physical integrity. Nonetheless, the occupations were not just right but necessary. More than half of Berlin‘s population finds occupations legitimate. The need for space to housing and living however, remains.

Normalising #occupations

That is why we take space!

Just like the countless people in Spain, Italy and Greece, who, due to the so called „crisis“ have no legal access to housing, while thousands of of flats and houses are empty, have occupied these. Just like refugees, who no longer want to accept to live in the fenced-in camps they were forced to live in. Just like all those homeless people who no longer accept their homelessness and take empty houses instead. Just like those people in the cities of Halle, Aachen, Stuttgart and elsewhere, who have occupied houses that are empty for capital venture, no longer accepting the lack of self-governed space and housing. Just like all those homeless people, who, out of necessary occupy on a daily bases with their tents and mattresses public space.

Down with rent!

Instead of understanding housing as a basic need like water and food, housing is a commodity. Rent makes poor people poorer and rich people richer. The smallest amount of rent is put into the preservation of houses, the largest part of rent is simply profit at the hands of owners and investors. When housing and living space is handled like investments, tenants are reduced to a number in the book-keeping. Blind to the reality of our lives, all that counts is whether we bring owners and investors profit. Do we no longer produce profit, a simple scrap from their papers can mean for us the loss of our entire existence. But we are humans with needs, friends and a life, not a commodity one can play around with according to whether the book writes black or red numbers.

All houses in self-organisation

But the problem is not just houses that are empty for speculative reasons. The entire capitalist property market is the problem, in which profit rules over people‘s needs. Deutsche Wohnen, Akelius, ADO, Immeo, BWO, Padovicz, Mähren, CG, GMRE, Citec & Co ought to be expropriated without compensation. Communal housing companies such as Stadt & Land are far from being „social“ housing companys, instead acting equally under the logic of profit and “economic feasibility“. Intstead, all houses should be under cooperative and common control in the hands of those who house and uses them. Let us begin with that in those spaces in the city, that are empty. We need and alternative to the city of the rich.

Therefore #occupy!

#occupations are not an event, they are necessity.
This fall and always. In Berlin and everywhere. Until we no longer have to.

For a life free of landlords.
For a life in solidarity and freedom!

besetzen

Dublin: 34 Frederick street occupied

After an injunction was obtained against the occupiers of the evicted house on Summerhill they vacated it only to march to another vacant house at 34 Fredrick street and occupy that. At the time of writing an injunction has again been granted but this time the occupiers have said if there is sufficient support they intend to remain in occupation. Since lunchtime today when the injunction came into effect dozens of people have been on the pavement outside the occupation.

As the occupation of 34 North Frederick St. passed the week mark, those occupying on Saturday 25th August were made up exclusively of women and children. This was a deliberate action in response to the visit of Pope Francis to Dublin.

One activist on site has this to say: “Today we remember the broad oppression of Roman Catholic rule in Ireland, but in particular we commemorate the systematic oppression of women and children, for decades, in Catholic-run institutions such as the Magdalene Laundries. We also remember the role of the Irish State in defending Catholic rule, and also in defending landlord rule today, continuing oppression in different forms.”

The building was occupied last Friday with the purpose of drawing attention to Ireland’s severe housing crisis, following a first occupation in Summerhill.

It will be managed exclusively by women for the entire day.
This morning, after a 24hr social media silence, activists have dropped several banners from the roof of the occupied building. The statement’s emphasize the parallels between the abuse and exploitation carried out by the Catholic church in Ireland and the inhumane living conditions thousands of people endure under the housing crisis.

Activists are also wearing pieces of green cloth in solidarity with women fighting for abortion rights in Argentina (the home country of pope Francis), where the Senate recently voted against the legalisation of abortion.

WSM

Germany: Hambacher Forest Solidarity

In the course of militarized assault on the meadow on August 28, an activist from the forest was taken down off the kitchen roof after updating the outside on the situation in the meadow and arrested He was taken to the police HQ in Aachen, where he was identified. It was found that there is still an outstanding fines for previous acusations resulting out of actions in the Hambacher Forst. The police therefore threatened with a sentence of 150 days jail. The daily rates were advanced by a solidary private person who is no financial standing to cover the costs long term. As fines are an attempt to drain financial resources of the movement please help us gather funds to at least repa this sum. We ask you to carry together this penalty of 1500 € (10 € x 150 days) ! Please participate in this donation call. No JUStice – no peace!

The fines of 700 stood from the Defense of Remis tower in 2015 in which case trying to push the tower bulldozer resulting in the buldozer sustaining a broken window and the operator claiming that he twisted his neck when the window broke. Yes he did not as much as see a doctor and yet instead of vandalism an attempted assault charge resulted with already 3 months in jail with a 23 “Fuck You Pigs” hunger strike….

Second charge with contorted capitalist justice was a charge of vandalism, for street art operation of leaving a big Hambi Fist/Tree on a wall of a jail after cops realease 4 of us defending the Bonner strasse. Cops assaulted 2 people while undressing, one male one female bodied, and stole 170 of our donation money. Little reminder of actual People’s Justice and Solidarity was more than apropriate…

We already managed to gather 600 out of the 1500 and only need 900 more.

Account: Spenden und Aktionen
Reference (important!): Hambacher Forst – Jus
IBAN: DE29 5139 0000 0092 8818 06
BIC: VB­MH­DE5FXXX

And do not forget the prisoners!
Write letters to UP III (Samantha), who was sentenced to nine months without parole after a barricade eviction in February. Let us show that our solidarity goes beyond the prison walls!
All further information about UP III: https://abcrhineland.blackblogs.org/

Helsinki: Squat Kumma 2V Party

Squat Kumma celebrates its 2 year journey in august with a hardcore gig on saturday 25.8 and a DIY-festival on 31.8-2.9. At the DIY-fest there will be workshops about tattoos and “artvandalism”, food, gigs, art exhibition and more!

Two years ago a group of squatters decided to squat an empty house in Malminkartano, Helsinki and create a space for self-organized and free from oppression. Since then the squat has hosted numerous events; gigs, peoples kitchens, movie nights, workshops etc.

What does Do-It-Yourself mean for us?

DIY for us is anti-capitalism, squatting, taking back our lives, solidarity, direct action and many other things. It is not only a theory but an action that we want to spread right here and now.

We dont want to create a consume-based event but to create a space for sharing skills, learning from eachother, experience and emancipate. No-one has to be a expert to participate because DIY for us is also Do-It-Together.

More specific schedule and workshop info coming soon!

Welcome to Kumma in late august!

kumma.me

East Rand (South Africa): The Zikode Extension Land Occupation has Passed Three Months

The land on which the Zikode Extension Occupation was founded, which is between Germiston and Boksburg on the East Rand, was first occupied on 11 May 2018. We have now been on the land for more than three months. We are still resisting and we will continue to resist.

The police continue to come and destroy any structures that we build, and to burn the building materials. There have been five arrests and a number of assaults.

We held the land throughout the winter, often sleeping out in the open. We all got sick. We have been using a tent, and fires, to keep warm in the night but we can’t all fit into the tent. Sometimes we burn tyres just to keep warm through the night. There is no water at the occupation so we have to carry it in every day.

The occupation has been supported by comrades who are not themselves occupying. Our children have been cared for by neighbours while we struggle for land.

Threats are continuing from the local ANC. They are saying that they will ‘deal with’ us. Our movement is under attack all over the country. Our President is currently underground due to threats to his life.

We are now constantly in and out of court. Siyambusa Mpolase must appear in court again on 31 August. Nomnikelo Sigenu must appear again on 4 September.

We are fighting for land and freedom. We are not backing down. We will not leave this place.

Abahlali baseMjondolo, August 22, 2018.

Dublin: Leo’s Early Risers

Yesterday [9/8/18] the housing activist occupation at 35 Summerhill Parade entered its third day. Approximately 100 people attended the ‘Leo’s Early Risers’* event yesterday evening to show solidarity and support to the local community and all those involved in the occupation.

Speeches came from housing activists and residents in the local area to demand adequate and affordable homes for all and stress the need for direct action to take back housing from slum landlords – such as multi millionaire Pat O’Donnell who evicted over 120 people from five houses on Summerhill Parade in May – and all those who profit from the current housing crisis.

Since the occupation began on Tuesday, activists have been engaging in community outreach, knocking on doors and listening to members of the local community on how the crisis in housing is affecting them.

A family friendly event takes place today, Friday 10th Aug. which includes a talk from Thapelo Mohapi, General Secretary of Abhahlali Base Mjondolo – a South African, radical, grassroots organisation that campaign against evictions and for public housing.

* The name of the event came from remarks made some months ago by the Taoiseach (head of government) when he said the government sought to represent the ‘early risers’, a group that was presumably intended to exclude anyone not forced our of bed in the early hours for a long commute to a 9-5 job. In fact Leo’s party represents landlords, a group whose income entirely comes from the work of others because of their power to demand rent payments. We don’t know what time the average landlord gets out of bed but a lot of them don’t even collect rent themselves anymore, they get a company to do it for them.

Source

Amsterdam: Bajesdorp celebrating free spaces

Bajesdorp Festival 2018, saturday 11 august, 14:00.

We in Bajesdorp are keeping an eye out as our neighbourhood is rapidly getting a facelift by gentrifiers. We are doing our utmost to keep the spirit of Bajesdorp alive through these changing times. We have made a strong effort over the years to prevent vacancy and keep the neighbourhood habitable, and to make sure we have a beautiful, diverse place to call home.

Every year we are excited to share our picturesque neighbourhood with our friends, lovers, (chosen) families, and other earth dwellers when we turn our home into a festival ground for everyone to enjoy. This year is no exception! We would love to see you all in Bajesdorp celebrating free spaces that are becoming an endangered species in Amsterdam. Come enjoy delicious food, refreshing drinks, thought-provoking stalls, wide range of music and the general gezelligheid of the Bajesdorp Festival 2018!

Bajesdorp, H.J.E. Wenckebachweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
http://bajesdorp.nl/
https://squ.at/r/5y14

Kempton Park (South Africa): Brutal Attack on the Phumula Mqashi Land Occupation in Tembisa

30 July 2018 – Phumula Mqashi Land Occupation Press Statement

The Phumula Mqashi Land Occupation in Tembisa on the East Rand was founded on 13 February 2018. It has been coming under sustained, illegal and often violent attack from the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD). Shacks and people’s possessions have been repeatedly burnt.

We have taken the EMPD a lawyer’s letter informing them that their actions are illegal but it has made no difference. They returned today, at around 10:00, and stayed until 12:50. They burned 266 shacks and assaulted almost everyone. They used tear gas and rubber bullets. They even chased elderly people and pregnant women. Many of us are injured. One person has been very badly assaulted. They undressed him and then started beating him up. They burnt all our belonging including mattresses, clothes and children’s stuff for school.

This is a war on the poor. We will not turn back and we will continue to occupy the land. There is no future behind us. The future lies in front of us and our courage will take us there.

The registration numbers of the vehicles used by the JMPD in this illegal and violent attack are CP 15 ND GP, RF 23 PW GP and XTY 092 GO.

The Ekurhuleni Municipality on the East Rand is mobilising the same brutal repression against impoverished people who are occupying land as the eThekwini Municipality in Durban. They will meet the same resistance if they continue to choose violence over negotiation.

Siyhlala ngenkani.

Khethiwe Linda 083 899 1717
Fortunate Mahlangu 072 813 1416

Abahlali baseMjondolo

Amsterdam: Council of State wants the ADM gone within five months

On 25 July 2018, in higher appeal, the Council of State has announced ADM to be empty within 5 months, by 25 December 2018. A new court case started by the ADM against the city of Amsterdam took place on 23 july 2018.
The ADM festival 2018 is scheduled from 20 till 23 September 2018. The event is moved earlier and won’t take place around the ADM birthday on October 12th.
During the Jetlag fourth edition, on Sunday 22 July 2018, Hay Schoolmeesters gave a speech about the current ADM situation:

ADM
Hornweg 6, 1045AR, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
https://adm.amsterdam/
https://squ.at/r/5g4

Athens (Greece): Occupied gym evicted and demolished

On Tuesday morning [July 17th, 2018] a bulldozer (with agreement of the owner of course) demolished squat in Exarchia, Athens, which was acting as the only occupied gym in the city. No one was arrested. Workers worked on the building while riot police was on alert and protecting the area.

The squat was occupied last December, while the abandoned building was empty for last 10 years. Comrades organized in squat classes mainly in martial arts (box, Muay Thai, taekwondo) but also Latin dance and yoga. The squat acted also as a space for political debates especially on prison system, and showed a meaningful support for prisoners.

[Trespass – July 20th, 2018.]

São Paulo (Brasil): Call for an Independent Materials Fair – August 25th, 2018



CALL FOR AN INDEPENDENT MATERIALS FAIR – ACTIVITY OF THE SIXTH INTERNATIONAL WEEK FOR ANARCHISTS PRISONERS

In response to the call for a “Sixth International Week in Solidarity For Anarchist Prisoners” which will take place all over the world from the 23rd to the 30th of August, there will be a first winter fair of independent materials on August 25th.

This is an open call for anyone who wants to send us proposals with an anti authoritarian focus to add to the activity. In addition, it is mainly an invitation to participate in this initiative that will happen in the “Tia Estela Space” , a squat of homeless people located underneath the so-called “Alcântara Machado Bridge” in São Paulo. Any contribution to self-management of this space is welcome.

The struggle for freedom is impossible without fighting against prisons.These disgusting spaces are surrounded by walls, violent forms of control, security devices and constant vigilance. Without such a structure it would be impossible for any state or any government to remain in power. It is necessary to see prison not only as the main tool of domination against the subversive people who prefer war to the passivity of the masses, but also as a laboratory of the system and one of the main means to perpetuate slavery and work.

A battle was lost but even behind the bars the struggle goes on. Within jail, in a contained and continuous way, are the conflicts against the juridical apparatuses of the nation states and all moralistic society that supports it. This reality prolongs the journey towards the destruction of civilization, the predatory machines of cybernetic and industrial world, all the grids, walls and borders that slaughter life on earth.

For these and much more, it is a lot necessary to support the anarchist prisoners, to not leave them alone and with this, to turn our eyes upon the pillars that give shape to the enemy.

“To live anarchy contains the risk of ending in prison” – Marco, Alexandria prison.

A full schedule will be available on August 23rd.
Send a message, send a contribution!

Anarchic Winter
invernoanarquico@@@riseup.net

[Contra Info.]

Turin: Police attack Askatasuna social centre

A massive repressive operation took place on Friday 13 in Turin. 15 precautionary measures were notified at dawn, against university students, antieviction and notav struggles’ militants: 9 of them were put under house arrests. The social centre Askatasuna and the people’s space Neruda were raided, too. The operation is linked to Mayday 2017, when amongst the general bewilderment the police charged in order to prevent the social bloc from entering the demonstration’s conclusive square, out of fear of protests against confederal trade unions and the Democratic Party.

We have been through a lot, but what it is written in the decree is beyond belief for the explicitly political character used in order to justify the arrests. We read in the documents of the public prosecutor Rinaudo that as evidence against our comrades there was to “remark their extraneousness to the demonstration and the values expressed therein” by forming a bloc separated from the one of the unions. We strongly claim that the unions’ bureaucracies and the Democratic Party are those extraneous to the workers’ holiday and to its values. We wonder how is it possible in our country for a bloc made of precarious workers, students and families under eviction to be charged in cold blood, in order to prevent them to express their dissent. Against those who, in these years, sold the youth and the workers’ rights with the Fornero social security law, Jobs Act law and school-to-work transition? In which State who has the arrogance of calling itself a democratic one is the Police Department to decide who can enter a square and who can’t? We also smile as we see the prosecutor Spataro and the chief prosecutor Saluzzo – that on last thursday were daydreaming about boats of refugees at the Murazzi riverside and steadfastness against xenophobic hate crimes – to endorse a repressive operation against the only bloc in which immigrant workers and families who chose to participate to the cortege could be found.

If these are the accusations, we claim them with pride. On that day our only goal was to enter the square in order to make heard a dissenting voice and avoid the Mayday demonstration to be the monopoly of organizations which have nothing more to do with the safeguard of workers’ rights. If the alleged crime is to not bow down in front of the bullying and arrogance of the institutions we are guilty. It seems to us that many are realizing it in these years of crisis. The criminals are those who sat in the halls of power, dismantling workers’ rights and stealing everybody’s money, certainly not those who were in the front line in the strikes, in the antieviction pickets and fighting a state which is weak with the strong and strong with the weak.

We are asking to the rank-and-file militants of the unions to make a desperate bid for dignity in front of the umpteenth operation which wants to destroy even the mere possibility of expressing a dissenting voice against the anti-people politics of the latest years. We are asking to everybody concerned by the evident authoritarian drift this country is taking to stand against this umpteenth operation against militants that generously gave their best in these years on the side of students, workers and victims of the crisis.

CSOA Askatasuna

Infoaut

Dijon: large refugee squat evicted

Yesterday (10/7/18) early morning French police, with assistance from border police evicted the XXL Squat in Dijon, where about hundred asylum seekers lived. During the eviction, twenty-four people were detained by the border police. The eviction was enforced despite of the ongoing negotiations with the property owner.

The building have been occupied since August 2016. Apart for providing home to many people, it also hosted a number of projects, including French language classes and legal assistance group, medical and social spaces.

Since May, the activists from local migrant support collective Soutien Asile 21 were negotiating the purchase of the building with its owner. The authorities had been aware of this fact since 20th June.

Soutien Asile 21 issued a statement:

Once again, the state and the government force asylum seekers to be extremely precarious (confiscation of their belongings, sorting and selection for relocation offers, atomization of the forms of self-organization of everyday life, risk of being left homeless, endangering minors …).

This occupation was part of a Dijonese movement of support for migrants, which has been working since the opening of the first place in November 2011 to offer temporary housing in buildings which have been left empty and abandoned.

These gestures of solidarity to migrants address the inadequacy of institutional accommodation arrangements and the urgency of often dramatic situations experienced by people in exile who cross our territories. (…)

Faced with the hardening of the national migration policy that is translated to almost systematic refusals of asylum, in the face of the regular and growing stigmatization of migrants, we reaffirm our total solidarity with all migrants and our undisputed will to will to suppier and welcome them.

The newly homeless people were temporarily hosted by two self-managed spaces: Des Tanneries and Free District Lentillères, until more permanent space can be found. The local activists plan to requisition more buildings to house the evicted.

From freedom news, originally on dijoncter in french

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