House Occupation News

Utrecht: Biltstraat 31 squatted and evicted

This year’s demo Rave voor de Rafelranden took place on 11 May. The building on the Biltstraat was squatted for the demo. The same night, the police evicted the squat and arrested 5 people.

On Saturday afternoon it was announced that the building at Biltstraat 31 in Utrecht has been squatted. The old hotel has been vacant since 2020 and is waiting for new permits that have been refused by the municipality. The squatters have chosen to announce the action today, as they drew attention to the frayed edges of the city today by means of a street rave through the center. With this action, the squatters would like to add a cultural space to the city.

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

Dijon: Lentillères Spring Festival, Commons Week

On May 31st, June 1st and 2nd, we will celebrate the 14th anniversary of the beginning of the occupation of the Quartier Libre des Lentillères!

Since 2010, from land clearing to self-construction, 9 hectares have gradually been occupied by gardens, fields, cabins, parks, orchards and collective places open to all.

After having snatched the abandonment of phase 2 of the misnamed “eco-city of market gardeners” (éco-cité des maraîchers) project in 2019, and started a dialogue with the city council for the last 2 years, we find ourselves once again threatened by the city’s appetite for concrete. An “ultimatum”, taken out of the mayor’s pocket on a Sunday morning at dawn, forces us to question the indivisibility of the 9 hectares that make up the neighborhood, to make way for an urbanization project on a strip of 1.14 hectares. This pressure undermines the trust and exchanges that we had tried to establish in recent months.

Here, an abundant diversity of lives and activities unfold: ponds and aromatic plants find their place in the middle of a BMX court, dragonflies twirl between petanque and basketball players, a sweet smell of baked bread comes out of the bakery while, at the other end, a team is busy in the kitchen preparing one of the free-priced meals in the La Chouchou canteen! A whole life has been created there for years, and continues to be invented according to the desires of each other. Because it adjoins the neighbouring eco-district, this space is crossed and permeable, used by the gardeners of Les Lentillères as well as by the neighbourhood, whether they are thirsty for a peaceful walk, extreme sport or moments of conviviality.

We need to bring this neighborhood to life, which is a refuge and gives a little air (effective and symbolic!) to hundreds of people. More than ever, we need unifying spaces of struggle in the reactionary, puppete, fascistic political environment that surrounds us. We reaffirm that the future of this neighborhood cannot be decided without the people who bring it to life on a daily basis!

And we need to feel together, sharing joy and fighting spirit, in a welcoming and supercharged spring festival!

From Friday noon to Sunday evening, in addition to the unmissable discussions, shows and concerts, you will be welcomed for tours of the neighborhood, open-air screenings at nightfall, an epic football tournament and other vegan meals. On Saturday afternoon, we will proudly bring to life the radical, anti-prison and intersectional struggles in the city, by joining the Pride and the actions of the anti-CRA movement (fight against the project of an Administrative Detention Center in Longvic).

We can’t wait to get together to celebrate the neighborhood, the struggle, and their countless facets!

Commons Week, May 27-31 2024: https://squ.at/r/aa1a

Before the Spring Festival, and to take advantage of the beautiful collective energy gathered in the neighborhood at that time, we organize a Week of the Commons!
Every day, from Monday 27 May, we meet in the courtyard of the Grange Rose at 9:30 am and in the afternoon at 2 pm to divide up the tasks: pimping up the wasteland, putting things away, tinkering, setting up the stage, cleaning La Grange / Le Snack / the common house, clearing the campsites, putting lights everywhere, creating cozy spaces so that everyone feels good and welcomed during the weekend.
To divide up the tasks during the weekend of the festival, let’s meet for a drink on Thursday, May 30 at 5 p.m. in the courtyard of the Grange Rose! See you soon

more info: fetedequartierdeslentilleres [at] lists [dot] riseup [dot] net

Quartier Libre des Lentillères
39 au 45 rue Philippe Guignard
21000 Dijon, France
tierraylibertad [at] potager [dot] org
https://squ.at/r/qjt
https://lentilleres.potager.org/

Some squats in Dijon https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/dijon/squated/squat
Evicted squats in Dijon https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/dijon/field_active/1/squated/evicted
Groups (collectives, social centres, squats) in Dijon https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/dijon/country/FR
Events in Dijon https://radar.squat.net/en/events/city/Dijon

Some squats in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR/squated/squat
Groups (collectives, social centres, squats) in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR
Events in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/FR

Amsterdam: Building squatted for Housing Day. Gravenstraat 26 resquatted

NO HOUSING NO KING

Today, April 27, we come together to celebrate Housing Day (Woningsdag), not Koningsdag (King’s Day). Instead of celebrating the monarchy, we will celebrate the resistance and bravery of everyday people. Kingsday is a day of hypocrisy, where we wear orange plastic crowns to pretend we are a king, while every other day we are struggling to make ends meet. While the royal family bathes in luxury we are struggling to pay for basic necessities like food, energy and housing. Nationalism and the celebrations of the monarchy we see today, work to create false divisions that do not serve us. It draws artificial borders over land and divides us, it breaks the natural tendency of solidarity between people and instead teaches us we should fear one another.

It is time to learn and reflect on our history. It is time that we refuse to drink the poison of nationalism and ask ourselves what we actually celebrate when we celebrate the birthday of the king. Kingsday is a day of wilful ignorance: where we forget the wrongdoings of the royal family, forget our problems and our daily search for stability and celebrate thoughtlessness and drunk excess. But today we are here to create a day of remembrance, that serves to remind us of the bloody history of the Dutch state and the complicity of the monarchy in colonialism and genocide. We are here to celebrate the solidarity of everyday people and their resistance against oppression. We are here to celebrate the beginning of the end of the monarchy. We are here to celebrate Housing Day, not King’s Day.

To kick of Woningsdag we have squatted this building. This building has been squatted before during the housing demonstration “Woonprotest” in September 2021 and was met with a eviction from the police which resulted in 61 arrests. We now squatted this building as a reaction towards this event and the ever increasing cost of housing.

Gravenstraat 26 was empty for four years and is owned by the CEO of YoungCapital Rogier André Leon Thewessen and real-estate speculator. Jerôme Anzola. They both earn their wealth trough exploitation of working class people and use their wealth to leave buildings empty in the midst of a housing crisis.

The task we have at hand is to fight back here, to build a revolutionary movement at home and attack the infrastructure of war and capital. It is with this purpose that we open this building today. On this day we refuse to celebrate this meaningless nationalist holiday. We refuse to celebrate a monarchy that leeches off our taxes to fund their empty villas. We refuse to celebrate a state that finances wars and genocides. For the liberation of all, against the parasitic ruling class.

Gravenstraat 26-28
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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

Berlin: Tuntenhaus update

What happened?

February 2024

The Tuntenhaus has been sold to persons still unknown to us.

The district of Pankow would like to use the municipal right of first refusal to hand over the Tuntenhaus to a non-profit organization. We are in talks with a cooperative.

March 2024

A large public and support for the preservation of the Tuntenhaus is quickly gained. Many discussions with politicians from the CDU, SPD, B90/The Greens and Die Linke are ongoing in the background. There is also a lively exchange with other house projects.

On March 21, the motion by B90/The Greens & Die Linke “Preventing the displacement of the Tuntenhaus” will be discussed in the Berlin House of Deputies. It calls on the Senate to create the financial conditions for implementing the right of first refusal. CDU and SPD express their support. The motion will be forwarded to the Committee for Urban Development, Building and Housing and the Main Committee (Finance).

The cooperative’s financing concept has been submitted to the Senate Department for Urban Development, Building and Housing. Even if all funding options were approved, there would still be a considerable funding gap that needs to be closed.

April 2024

The “Urban Development, Building and Housing” committee meets on April 8 and the main committee on April 10.

As of today, it is still unclear whether the proposal will be dealt with here.

OUR DEMAND: By the end of APRIL at the latest, the Berlin SENATE must ensure that the PURCHASE and RESTAURATION are FINANCED. There is only LITTLE TIME left!

Source

Intersquat Ile-de-France

From April 27 to May 5, the Intersquat Ile-de-France festival returns for a new edition! We invite all those concerned, squatters and their friends, and others interested to an Intersquat festival in Pantin (93500). On the program, canteens, screenings, singing, discussions, workshops and festive moments!

In the context of the Kasbarian Bergé law and faced with the first building evictions, several squatters in Île-de-France called for a crisis assembly to organize against this shitty law. Called “anti-squat” by the media, this repressive law criminalizes squatters and will increase the number of evictions of precarious tenants.

Heraklion: Evagelismos squat threatened with new eviction

Evangelismos Squat is threatened once again, we will not surrender, we will fight back!

During the last few days we received information regarding an upcoming eviction of Evangelismos squat, just shortly after the evictions of the Kastelli Hill squats in Chania, in the form of a total attack against squats in Crete. The possibility of a new operation was something that was also indicated by the deal between University of Crete and National Technical University of Athens for a building survey, costing 744.000€. At this point, we have valid and specific information about this upcoming eviction as well, since counting 22 years of struggle, Evangelismos is part of the local society of Heraklion, with deep roots and networks within it, and we are in a position to know anything.

When need turns into history

On our part, we want to make it clear that we are prepared. We will wait, we will resist and we will reply at any attack we may receive. Whoever believes that this is just about a building and it’s residents, does not know the history of the city and it’s people, nor the history of movements and revolts. Evangelismos is not just a house, it is the center of the anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement of Heraklion and, as such, was, is and will be a concrete social barricade against authority and repression, against capitalism and the state. It is the history of the people that were and are hosted here, that were arrested here, that were injured by cops here, that took part in dozens of assemblies and actions that took place here. It is the history of the demonstrations that ended up here, many times with the riot police at the doorstep. It is the 2.500 protesters in Plateia Eleutherias (Central Square) the day of the municipal elections, when the cops understood that we were that many that they could not do anything and Kalokairinos and Karamalakis (both candidates running for Heraklion mayor) were holed up surrounded in their offices afraid to come out. It is the active opposition to the stupid logic of property that wants homeless people, homeless needs and desires in front of empty homes, fortified with steel and concrete. It is the righteous disorder and the chaotic situation in the tourist-filled city center after the eviction of September. It is twenty-two years of social struggle, a single snapshot of the never-ending class war. It is the war against fascism, the reason the neonazi party Golden Dawn never stepped foot in the city center, when the state, the deep state, mass media, the church and the capitalists supported them. It is a wall against touristification and gentrification, and the active support of the local environmental causes. It is the solidarity networks that were housed and will be housed here, and the acts of solidarity to migrants and their struggles. It is the start of the counter-demonstrations against misanthropes, racists and homophobes, that have found us against them no matter how many times they tried to claim space in the city. It is the feminist struggles and the daily battle to stop sex-based discrimination. It is the place where rage becomes a riot when cops kill, when fascists murder, every day that we come to understand again and again that if we do not attack, we will be led to misery, depression and poverty. It is the center of organization and the fight against the attack on all fronts on society. It is the need that turns into history.
Because it is all of the above, Evangelismos Squat is neither legal, nor illegal. It is the living history of the vanguard of the social movement of the city. And this is why it is being targeted once more. As, after all, other struggles that are developing in the streets, in the universities, inside prisons and workplaces are.
For twenty two years now, all kinds of common and celebrity cops, bosses of the city, prosecutors and snitches, people like Kontakis (Dean of the University of Crete) and Kalokairinos (newly elected mayor) have tried many times to attack us. Various shooting stars of authority that will disappear as soon as they appear to be replaced by others. But we will stay here, they won’t get the squat even if they bleed.
We call the struggling local society to embrace the struggle of defending Evangelismos Squat, as it has done in the time after its eviction. At the same time we will together strengthen the local social struggles that take place in different areas, such as that against the very much intentional dissolution of public hospitals.
This text presents, beside everything else, a call to every comrade in Greece to join us in Heraklion and strengthen with whatever power they have the defense of Evangelismos Squat.

EVERYBODY KNOWS IT – EVANGELISMOS DOES NOT SURRENDER, EVANGELISMOS FIGHTS BACK.
IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE EVICTED KASTELLI HILL SQUATS.
NOT A STEP BACK.

Evagelismos squat
Θεοτοκοπούλου 18
Heraklion, Crete
Greece
evagelismos [dot] squat [at] espiv [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/1q5l
http://evagelismos.squat.gr/

Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/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

Evagelismos https://evagelismos.squat.gr/?p=5458

London: “Why we squatted Gordon Ramsay’s pub”

Freedom News received this statement from the Camden Art Cafe squatters who have liberated Gordon Ramsay’s York and Albany Hotel restaurant in Camden, London:

We are occupying the York and Albany Hotel in Camden as the collective Camden Art Cafe. We aim to open our doors regularly to anyone and everyone, particularly the people of Camden who have been victims of gentrification and parasitic projects like HS2 [squat!net Stop HS2 archives]. We provide free food, drinks, and a space to display their art without the ridiculous red-tape galleries that require people to jump over. We believe all of us and our art deserves dignity.

Camden is a borough with one of the biggest wealth disparities in London, so it seems only fitting that £13 million properties that most locals would never be able to afford to visit should be opened up to all. The York and Albany is an iconic building in Camden since its opening in the 1820s; it has withstood wars and bombs, and despite what the media says, it will withstand the potentially short but hopefully long stay we squatters have here. At a time when Camden market has been bought out by a billionaire and many longstanding local businesses are being evicted from their units, it’s even more important that we all band together in all the forms of resistance that we know and can.

We extend our particular solidarity to the Palestinian people and the longstanding residents of Drummond Street and the surrounding estates who have had their whole lives upturned by HS2.

Contact us on Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/camdenartcafe/] to get involved, share your support or donate.

Source

Chania, Greece: Rosa Nera evicted for a second time, call for mobilization

The eviction of the Rosa Nera squat and the Rectorate squat on april 1st 2024 demonstrated Belvedere’s intentions to go ahead with its plans to turn the complex into a luxury hotel. According to a document that surfaced, the company has received the green light to start sampling work at the sites of the squat, despite the stated opposition of bodies, unions and associations of the city, even the city council itself, to the hotelization on Kastelli hill.
According to confirmed information, this work will start on Monday, April 8, by private crews that have been hired, most likely by Belvedere. We call on all struggling sections of the society of Chania not to leave Belvedere and its plans on a green branch and to block any work that is going to be done, starting Monday.
We call for mobilization on wednesday, april 10, at 7 a.m., outside the squat.

Nothing is over, everything is a common good
10,100,1000 (re)squats

Assembly in solidarity with the squats

Statment by Rosa Nera:

On the morning of April Fool’s Day, police forces gathered from three prefectures of the island proceeded to the new eviction -after 3 and a half years- of the Rosa Nera squat, arresting only 8 of its inhabitants, as most of them were at work at that time. The suppression of the occupation meant the attack by the State on a free social political space within the urban fabric of Chania and on the only essentially public square of the city, for the sake of the expansive and voracious hotel lobby.

Having fresh memories of the almost pandemic demonstrations in the aftermath of the previous evacuation, we consider it unnecessary to talk at length about what Rosa Nera meant and means, addressing the local community today. In a city that is rapidly turning into a glossy theme park for prickly tourists/consumers, those who do not reap the surplus value from the tourist business, feel even intuitively the loss as their own, feel the threat and the stakes: a fortress of freedom, a line of defense against the prospect of a city without inhabitants, without social fabric, An uninterrupted consumer zone, a galleon in which inside you will either consume on deck or paddle in the hold.

Although a well-known story, we quickly remind you that behind it all hides a multinational and complex hotel group, which appeared here in 2017 under the name Belvedere Ltd, to which the then and current administration of the Technical University of Crete is eager to rent the building and courtyard of the squat, in order to turn the so-called “balcony of Chania” into a fenced ultra-luxury hotel for very wealthy customers.

And basically he has been renting it since then, if we believe that Belvedere Ltd. actually pays a monthly rent of 20,000 euros to the Technical University of Athens, for a project that has not even started for 3 and a half years. A rent defiantly trivial, if one has a faint idea of the place and size of the building, as well as the rents that generally play here.

The building of Rosa Nera, as well as the surrounding buildings that make up the monumental complex at the top of Kastelli hill, were granted to the Technical University of Crete in 1979 by the Ministry of National Defence, for an amount that had been donated by the Greek State, has been erected over the Minoan palace complex, fragments of which have been excavated on the outskirts of the hill. in some of the few plots that were left unbuilt until the late 70s. This fact, added to the monumentality of the building itself, constituted -until today- a serious institutional obstacle to the aspirations of the local economic and political elite, which also happens to rule the country through the Mitsotakis dynasty.

Because, as revealed in the local press, in a document posted in Diavgeia, this institutional pretext has now been removed. This document consists of the authorisation by a department of the Ministry of Culture (Department of Technical Research, Restoration and Specifications) to subcontractors (technical offices of private engineers), apparently leased by Belvedere Ltd. (which apparently avoids being named) to carry out a series of sample and exploratory works inside the building, under the supervision (i.e. assistance) of the local Ephorate of Antiquities and the Modern Monuments Service of Crete, with the stated ultimate goal of its redevelopment into a hotel.

This licensing makes up half of everything. First, it preceded the police operation, and is a prerequisite for it – otherwise it would make no sense. Then, it means that all the necessary compliments have already been made, assurances of the happy outcome of their case have been given at a high level, informal orders have been forwarded vertically to the entire relevant hierarchy, and pressure on any reluctant or reluctant state officials has now borne fruit. The samples will be sent to private laboratories also named in the document, and the local official recommendations will be addressed to the KAS (Central Archaeological Council), a body made up of scientific staff at the political choice of the government, which ultimately approves or does not approve (but to put it this way: it generally finds it very difficult not to approve…).

If it has not already been understood, all that remains is for them to enter tomorrow or the day after tomorrow in a guarded building and start to work. Besides, even in the document itself it is stated that it was the occupation that until now had hindered the execution of the works.

This development, if anything, is further proof (for the ignorant or bona fide) that beyond the sold out universities and polytechnics, even the state agencies supposedly responsible for protecting listed monuments and antiquities are no longer able to protect the public character and public use of buildings and sites within their competence. But they are practically “hidden” behind – or confronted with – decisions taken by higher state bodies.

State vs. society, to put it simply, for those of us who see society apart from the elites and their minions.
Now, a great struggle begins again for the local community that groans from the monoculture of tourism and gentrification. Either we resist or we collect our bottles little by little, all of us who do not make enough money, who do not find a house with bearable rent, who are thrown out to put tourists in, who do not have 4.50 euros for a coffee in the port.

With the primary aim of preventing the imminent works and regaining the squat, then claiming more and more public and profit-free spaces, until the overthrow of the “gentrification” loot and the social desolation of the city.

Gathering outside the Rosa Nera squat to block the work
Monday april 8, at 7 am

Squat Rosa Nera, Kastelli Hill, Chania, Crete, April 2024
rosanera [at] espiv [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/336f
https://rosanera.squat.gr/

Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/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

Belo Horizonte: european tour for the book Casa Encantada

Comrades from the Kasa Invisível squat in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, are now touring all around Europe to present the book Casa Encantada, the Enchanted House, “A Portrait of the Fight for Housing in Belo Horizonte Going Through the Pandemic”. The book brings together illustrations by Renato Baruq and photographs by Cadu Passos. During 2022 and 2023, two Brazilian artists and organizers documents almost 20 old abandoned houses in the central region of Belo Horizonte that became living social and cultural spaces for people in vulnerable situations during the pandemic. The work is accompanied by interviews conducted between 2022 and 2023, which tell the story of these properties and their inhabitants in their own voices.

Kasa Invisível is a house squatted by an autonomous and horizontal anticapitalist collective, since 22 march 2013, located in the downtown of Belo Horizonte. For a decade, people from all around the world have been visiting Kasa Invisível for discussions, workshops, movie screenings, concerts, classes, book fairs, and festivals. In addition to hosting events and meetings for unions and social movement groups, Kasa functions daily as a community kitchen, library, infoshop, screen printing workshop, and vegan food cooperative. During the pandemic and the period of social isolation, the Kasa collective started to organize regular actions to support homeless people and workers in the neighborhood against COVID-19. This involved gathering and donating food, clothing, blankets and hygiene kits alongside other forms of direct action and mutual support.

The book Casa Encantada documents abandoned houses in Belo Horizonte that have been squatted and transformed into homes and social centers. During the pandemic, we saw an explosion in homelessness in Brazil’s urban centers, which led to the emergence of a new wave of occupations of houses and smaller buildings.
The book documents this network of autonomous squats with illustrations by Baruq, phographs from C. Passos, and interviews with residents and activists in the squatting movement in Belo Horizonte.

During the discussions, the people of the Kasa Invisível squat will look at the contexts of the squatting movement and the struggle for land and living spaces in Belo Horizonte. The city is home to at least 100,000 people living in squatted buildings, houses or territories and is home to one of the largest land conflicts in Latin America. The discussions aim to foster international ties and solidarity.

To support printing and translation costs: https://www.firefund.net/casaencantada
The money will also cover the costs of printing future editions of the book for public libraries and social centers in Brazil. The book will be available at the infoshop and on the Kasa Invisível website as a free download.

Kasa Invisível https://kasainvisivel.org/
https://radar.squat.net/en/belo-horizonte/casa-invisivel

Casa Encantada book tour
https://radar.squat.net/en/casa-encantada-book-tour

30/03 – Sat – Disgraça, Lisbon, PT
01/04 – Mon – ESLA Eko, Madrid, ES
02/04 – Tue – Errekaleor, Vitoria, EH
04/04 – Thu – CSO Kike Mur, Zaragoza, ES
05/04 – Fri – Can Vies, Barcelona, ES
06/04 – Sat – Ateneu Llibertari de Gràcia, Barcelona, ES
09/04 – Tue – Le Local Autogéré, Grenoble, FR
10/04 – Wed – Quartier Libre des Lentillères, Dijon, FR
13/04 – Sat – La Trotteuse, Pantin/Paris, FR
15/04 – Mon – Hamburg, DE
17/04 – Wed – KØPI, Berlin, DE
18/04 – Thu – Fischladen, Berlin, DE
21/04 – Sun – EKH, Vienna, AT
22/04 – Tue – Prague, CZ
26/04 – Fri – A-Infoshop, Ljubljana, SLO
27/04 – Sat – Belgrade, RS
02/05 – Thu – Athens, GR
06/05 – Mon – Thessaloniki, GR
07/05 – Tue – Bitola, NMK
08/05 – Wed – Skopje, NMK
10/05 – Fri – Dortmund, GER
11/05 – Sat – Joe’s Garage, Amsterdam, NL

What are the Squatting Techniques in France?

Many people resort to squatting at some time or another: the homeless or the poorly housed, travelers, activists challenging the principle of private property, precarious people in need of collective space…

Warning: under French law, “entering and remaining in a dwelling, commercial, agricultural or professional premises”, “degradation” and “home invasion” are offenses punishable by arrest, fine or even imprisonment. Inciting or facilitating squatting is also a crime, which is why this text is for information purposes only.

Spotting

In general, the longer a building has been out of use, the less likely it is that squatters will get into trouble by occupying it. So they look for houses, buildings, apartments or other premises that look as if they’ve been abandoned for a while: dust on the windows, overgrown vegetation, doors and windows sealed with wooden or metal plates, mailboxes overflowing with mail… Some people put pieces of paper in the doorways of different buildings to make sure that no one enters, then look later to see if the pieces of paper have fallen out.

Squatters sometimes use Internet tools:

  • GoogleMaps in StreetView mode allows them to see the evolution over time, to find out how long the building has been abandoned, and what it was used for before.

  • https://cadastre.squat.net/ allows them to identify the owner, but only for a public building or a company.

  • https://geoportail.gouv.fr/ the government website, on which some people create an account with a false identity to ask who the owner of a plot of land is, and generally get the answer by e-mail within a few days.

Often, before settling in, squatters seek out as much information as possible about a building and its owner: on the Internet, in letterboxes, on posters on the facade… Squatting in a private home or in a business premises is more risky: there’s a greater chance that the owner will find out about it, and that there will be legal proceedings for “trespassing”. If a renovation project is planned for the building in the near future, occupants are less likely to stay for long. On the contrary, squatting in a public or long-abandoned building can increase their chances of staying for a while.

Installation

To get in, squatters look for an opening: an open door or window, a place that’s easy to climb… They generally try not to break anything, or to make it as inconspicuous as possible, because if the police see anything broken they can charge them with “degradations” and arrest them. If there’s no way of getting in without breaking something, squatters try to break something that can easily be repaired: for example, by ripping out or drilling a lock, they can put another lock in its place, which also allows them to open and close easily. Often, if they make a noise, for example by breaking a window or an alarm, the squatters leave for a few hours in case the police arrive.

Sometimes there are alarms: some are noisy, others silent, some call security or the police, others not, some are indicated at the entrance or not… Most alarms are triggered when they detect a change in temperature. To avoid triggering them, some squatters move forward slowly, curled up on all fours and covering themselves with as many clothes as possible or a survival blanket.

When they set up, squatters usually choose a few entrances to the building that they want to use for their entrances and exits, then barricade the other entrances so that the police or other malicious persons can’t use them.

To be visible or not

Some choose to squat as discreetly as possible, hoping that no one will see them. To do this, they look for a place far enough away from other dwellings, with few neighbors. They try to avoid being seen or heard by neighbors, especially at night when there’s less noise and lights are more visible. For those who need to go back and forth between the inside and outside of the squat on a regular basis, they try to find discreet access: neighbors who see them coming in through a window or wall are likely to call the police. Others prefer to squat in small groups and only go in and out at night, to limit the risk of being seen.

Others prefer to make their squat visible. Trying to appear as “normal” as possible (e.g if the entrance is through a door and the building isn’t too dilapidated), some people pass themselves off as new tenants to the neighbors, hoping that they won’t call the police. It’s a bluff that risks precipitating the eviction, but may allow them to stay a long time without having to hide if it works. Sometimes, when the cops come, squatters make them believe they’ve paid to live there, e.g by showing them a false contract indicating the sum paid, the date, the address of the place and the imaginary name of the fictitious “lessor”! It’s not certain that this will work, but if the cops believe them, the squatters may be recognized as victims of fraud, and the eviction procedure may take longer. But it could also get them charged and convicted for “production and use of false documents”.

Another technique for making squats visible is to try and prove that the squat has been the squatters’ main residence for several days, e.g by posting on the door dated photos of their installation, testimonials from neighbors confirming that they live there, receipts for pizza delivered to the squat address in the occupants’ name (fictitious or real), a copy of an electricity contract…

Defense

In theory, in France, eviction proceedings are supposed to go through the administrative court, which generally takes several months, sometimes less, sometimes more. Before any court hearing, a bailiff has to record the occupation: by giving the bailiff one or more names, even a false one, the occupiers can be informed of the date and place of the hearing. Going to the hearing gives them information about the possibility of eviction. Those who fear that the bailiff will come in their absence put their names on the door or mailbox. When they receive a summons to attend court, some squatters even contact a lawyer: it is possible to save time with the court, by requesting postponements of the hearing and/or a delay that can be granted to people who are precarious and without housing.

Sometimes eviction attempts are made without waiting for a court hearing. That’s why squatters barricade themselves in and systematically refuse to open their doors to the police, bailiffs, landlords, workers or council officers. By preventing them from entering and giving them as less information as possible, this complicates eviction attempts.

In the event of eviction, some people move back into the squat, hoping that the police and owners will eventually give up. But sometimes the police and landlords reinforce the security of the building (alarms, barricades, surveillance, etc.) after an eviction.

Sometimes landlords who discover a squat agree to give the occupiers a delay before leaving: in this case, some squatters demand that they sign an agreement, to protect themselves if the landlord later changes his mind.

TO GO FURTHER…

This text is not very detailed. For a better understanding of how squats work in France, other documents exist on the Internet, often published by the squatters themselves:

  • The brochure “Le Squat de A à Z” (Squatting from A to Z) talks about locating, opening, how to get the water and electricity back on and legal procedures (but it has not been updated since the anti-squatting law of 2023).

  • Toutes les portes s’ouvrent” (All doors can be opened) teaches locksmith techniques

  • Le piratage de l’élec de A à S” (Hacking electricity from A to S) explains how to steal electricity

These brochures are only in French, but you can translate them by copying and pasting them into an online translator. They are all available at https://infokiosques.net/squat.

The ones available in English are listed here: https://infokiosques.net/spip.php?page=distro&id_mot=127

The text “What are the Squatting Techniques in France?” in PDF:
Booklet version
Page-per-page version

Amsterdam: Vossiusstraat 16 under threat – Removal of Russian oligarch Arkady Volozh from the sanctions list

The Russian oligarch and founder of Yandex, Arkady Volozh, the owner of the squatted building Vossiusstraat 16, was removed from the European sanctions list on the 12th of March 2024. This is likely to lead to a new court case and the eviction of the squat.

This statement begins with a legal overview of the Vossiusstraat 16 case, and then summarises the changes that led to Volozh’s removal from the sanctions list. Finally, we present reasons why his removal from the list should not have taken place.

General context

In October 2022, Vossiusstraat 16 in Amsterdam was squatted. This action took place in the context of the continually worsening housing crisis in Amsterdam, where prices keep increasing, making it tremendously difficult for anyone with a regular salary to find housing, and nearly impossible to live anywhere close to the centre when most work and social activity takes place. Since October, Vossiusstraat 16 has housed many people that spent some time there and otherwise would have been without a home at all. This statement was written by the current residents of Vossiusstraat 16. The two people who were involved in the two court cases about the building in fact no longer live in the building, yet are still being sued, as Volozh has attempted to fight this court case in the highest court.

The squatting of Vossiusstraat 16 was, and continues to be, a statement against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Indeed, the owner of the building is a Russian oligarch, Arkady Volozh, the co-founder and former CEO of the Russian search engine Yandex. In 2022 Volozh was put on the European sanctions list because Yandex was promoting Russian state narratives about the war in Ukraine and was accused of removing search results related to Russia’s involvement.

Being on the sanctions list has meant that Volozh has been restricted from travelling to the European Union. In addition, his economic assets have been frozen and he has been prevented from spending or earning money in the EU.

The freezing of his assets also meant that the renovations of Vossiusstraat 16, which were taking place in 2022, could not continue. However, even several months after the sanctions had been passed, construction was still taking place. In October 2022, the NRC published an article revealing that renovations were still going on, showing that the sanctions were not being properly enforced. Shortly after, the building was squatted.

The court cases

In November 2022 a first court case took place, which the squatters won. This was followed by an appeal procedure in April 2023, where the judges also ruled in favor of the squatters, again due to Volozh being on the sanctions list.

During the first court case, the lawyers defending the squatters argued that the renovations were illegal under the conditions of the sanctions as they would lead to an increase in the value of Volozh’s assets. The lawyers also argued that the building could not be evicted as the eviction would result in emptiness, something Amsterdam has traditionally been against due to the ongoing housing crisis – although, under Mayor Halsema, this approach has rarely been upheld in practice.

The lawyer representing Volozh and the contractor who was leading the renovations argued that the renovation contract could be fulfilled as it had been signed before the sanctions were imposed, and argued that the building was intended to be used by Volozh’s family, who are not sanctioned.

The court concluded that even though construction would be a reason to evict under normal conditions, the sanctions require the renovations to end as they would indeed increase the value of Volozh’s assets. The court also concluded that the house was intended for renting after the renovations were complete and was not for private use as Volozh’s lawyer claimed.

The verdict of the appeal, in April 2023, confirmed these decisions. If you want to know more about the court cases you can read the verdicts.

The hypocritical statement against Russia’s war in Ukraine

In August 2023, Arkady Volozh issued a statement declaring: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is barbaric, and I am categorically against it.” He then acknowledged having a “share of responsibility for the country’s actions”. This statement is part of a wider strategy to distance himself from Russia and get himself removed from the sanctions list.

While Volozh renounced his position as CEO of Yandex as soon as he was placed on the sanctions list, he still owns shares in the company and has continued to develop Yandex’s international sector.

Like many oligarchs, Volozh has been collecting passports. He attained a Maltese golden passport, a passport you can buy without having to actually be a resident, and since 2014, he gained an Israeli passport. He currently lives in Tel Aviv and on his personal website Volozh describes himself as a Kazhak-born Israeli.

This angle of self-presentation is misleading given that Volozh lived in Russia most of his life and developed his entire business in Russia, and is well-connected to the Russian ruling class. It is well known that Israel commonly grants passports to Russian billionaires, but it is outrageous to see that it is possible for anyone to gain more legitimacy in the eyes of the West by becoming a citizen of a genocide-committing apartheid regime.

For more details, read our previous statement.

The deal

On February 5th, Yandex announced in a press release that a deal had been made between Yandex’s Netherlands-based parent company and a consortium of Russian investors. The main-money making part of Yandex will remain Russian and the international part will be based in the Netherlands. Volozh will keep hold of some of these international assets. In order to finalize this deal, the Russian investors will pay 475 billion rubles (€4.7 billion) to Yandex’s current shareholders, including Arkady Volozh.

The new owners

The investors include some well-known Russian financiers, such as the oil company Lukoil and a former top manager of Gazprom. The Russian independent newspaper The Bell points out that none of the investors are under Western sanctions and suspects that some of them are acting as intermediaries for sanctioned individuals. They base this suspicion upon the network of connections linking people who have shown interest in taking over Yandex’s Russian business over the past year and those involved in the current deal. This includes investors who were representing the interests of Russian businessman Yury Kovalchuk, a close associate and friend of Putin. However, all these investors fell under Western sanctions and could not join the deal anymore. Instead, two of Kovalchuk’s long-time associates and investors got involved.

The Bell finishes its article by explaining that it is still difficult to see whose interests are being represented in this deal, but that it is clear that it is bringing Yandex closer to the Kremlin. These changes are important to keep track of as the war in Ukraine has shown us what an important role a search engine and tech company can play in filtering access to information and shaping opinions.

The delisting

On the 21st of February, Reuters published an article announcing that Volozh would get removed from the sanctions list on the 15th of March. In fact, he was removed three days earlier, on March 12th. The EU has not issued an explanation on why the delisting has taken place. We can only assume that it is linked to him stepping down from his position as CEO of Yandex, as well as his statement criticizing the war.

However, this choice by the European Union makes it seem like one “anti-war” statement is enough to erase years of collaboration with the Russian government and the development of technologies which aim at increasing population control. When the war started, he was CEO of Yandex, a company that censored news of the war and promoted the official position of the Kremlin. He only left his position once he got sanctioned. This shows that he did not resign as a CEO for some moral reason, but only because of economic interests, both his and Yandex’s.

His years as CEO of Yandex, and his actions at the beginning of the war in that position, are enough to justify being put on the sanctions list. His recent statements and the changes within the company do not erase these years of political collaboration with the Kremlin and do not diminish his responsibility concerning the way Yandex has been and is still supporting war propaganda. His role as CEO for over two decades has strongly shaped the way the company is working and the narratives it is promoting. We therefore condemn the delisting of Volozh and find it shocking that one single statement against the war and stepping down from your position as CEO is enough to clear your image in the eyes of the West.

And how is all this related to the squatters in Amsterdam?

The past two court cases have been won based on the fact that Volozh was on the sanctions list. His removal from the sanctions list is therefore very bad news for the squatters as he is expected to start a new court case against them very soon.

More news to come, so stay alert!

Vossiusstraat 16
1071AB Amsterdam, Netherlands
vossiusstraat16 [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/91hd

Sources:
Yandex press release: https://ir.yandex/press-releases?year=2024&id=05-02-2024
Council implementing regulation by the EU: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg_impl/2024/849/oj
Russian independent newspaper The Bell : https://en.thebell.io/yandex-gets-a-new-set-of-owners/
Russian-English independent newspaper Meduza: https://meduza.io/en/feature/2024/02/05/yandex-parent-company-announces-5-2-billion-deal-to-sell-russian-assets
Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/yandex-co-founder-arkady-volozh-be-removed-eu-russian-sanctions-list-sources-say-2024-02-21/
Verdict of the first court case: https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/details?id=ECLI:NL:RBAMS:2022:6687&showbutton=true&keyword=Amsterdam%2Bkraken&idx=3
Verdict of the appeal: https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/details?id=ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2023:1058&showbutton=true&keyword=Amsterdam%2Bkraken&idx=4

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

Indymedia https://indymedia.nl/node/54515

Dear property guardians …

Print out and post.

We get it. You’re looking for cheap rent in an expensive world. A way to keep a roof over your head while having time and money to pursue your goals and desires. And hey, maybe you get to live in some quirky buildings and situations!

This is a letter to you all. To explain why we disagree with Property Guardianship and to propose something else.

Property Guardianship came about as an idea in the Netherlands in the ’90s. A company called Camelot started advertising their services as anti-squatter security services, using people living in buildings as protection from people … living in buildings.

Essentially, Camelot and the other companies that subsequently sprung up found a way to make an absolute killing out of a grey area of law. They charged owners for security and charged the guardians again for the privilege of living in a building with none of the rights afforded to renters. People were subject to moves with only 24 hours’ notice and given none of the freedom or privacy that the fee they paid should have entitled them to.

Things have moved on a little in 30 years, but while some things have changed, others remain the same. While your guardian contract now might offer a four-week notice period, this is still half the eight-week mandatory period for someone with a rental agreement, or lease. Non-exclusive use of the space means intrusion by the company or property owners without due notice, and you’ve probably had to sneak guests in because it goes against the terms of your agreement. And, of course, the rules usually require you to say if you intend to be away for more than a few days because, let’s face it, their only interest is the security of the building and their income.

Another firm, Dotdotdot, even requires people to “volunteer” 16 hours of community service a month to access their properties to appear “ethical” off the back of free labour!

But more than this, more than some of the issues you face day-to-day as a guardian, Property Guardianship is a political issue.

Realising how easy it is to circumvent housing regulations, some properties are now being renovated to the minimum level that allows them to place guardians instead of bringing them up to a decent standard.

Consent for this type of housing denies some of the most precariously housed people in society the basic conditions they should be entitled to for what they pay. It allows Property Guardian companies to ignore health and safety regulations and profit from people’s lack of alternative options. It is a false answer to the housing crisis.

Tellingly, Camelot started to shut down in 2017 when a court decided that a guardian should be considered to have a tenancy. Rather than risk this happening across all their services, the firm was liquidated in 2019.

Courts suggested YOU should be entitled to the same rights as a tenant, and the company shut down in opposition to that. What does that tell you about how these companies think of you?

As anarchists, we’re not here to argue for more regulation, but while the government violently protects private property, it’s not like we can just take back these buildings…

A proposal to anyone living as a property guardian or who might be thinking about it:

Consider that, like so many things in today’s world, what is convenient might be damaging for others, whether that’s homeless people left outside because of the security you are paying to provide for the owner of an empty building or the surrendering of renters’ rights that is normalised as guardian companies are left unregulated to take advantage of yourself and others in your position.

At the very least, take these bastards to task and don’t let them exploit you more than they already are. Some guardians have gone through the courts to fight for their rights, and new cases are brought every year.

And if you want to look further, why not squatting? Take charge of your life, and take a building! Have autonomy over how you live. Explore living without the fear of a “head guardian” snitching on you. Paint the wall because it makes you feel better, for fuck’s sake!

So many buildings that would be on the radar for squatting are occupied by guardians. These companies make life more difficult for homeless people so they can line their pockets with middle-man money.

Visit the Advisory Service for Squatters; attend a Practical Squatters Evening; maybe you’ll find like-minded people, and it will be the beginning of something beautiful.

And hey, if it’s not for you? Perhaps when you’re made to leave your guardianship building, you might help the keys find their way into the hands of those who need them.

This article first appeared in the Winter 2023-4 issue of Freedom Anarchist Journal

Dear property guardians …

Amsterdam: Mokum Kraakt squats former windows in the Red Light District

Mokum Kraakt squats on the Dollebegijnensteeg in the Red Light District in solidarity with the sex workers and against the arrival of the erotic center. During a protest against the planned erotic centre, squatting collective Mokum Kraakt announced it has squatted a number of former sex work windows in De Wallen, Amsterdam’s red light district.

The squatters say the windows were squatted in solidarity with sex workers who fight against plans for an erotic centre on the outskirts of the city. Sex work has been a part of De Wallen for over 400 years and sex workers have clearly and repeatedly said they want to stay in the city centre. The people living close to the location of the prospective location of the erotic centre are also against it. And still, mayor Halsema is pushing through her plans.

According Mokum Kraakt, the planned erotic centre is in fact an erotic prison, in which the state has total control over who can and can’t sell, or buy, sex. In this, we see only the latest state attempt to control sex workers and restrict people’s right to sex and sexuality. Also, closing windows in De Wallen would force a part of the sex workers active there now into illegality, where exploitation and coercion are much more prevalent.

Although the municipality presents closing windows as a way to reduce mass tourism in the area, research shows that limiting sex work would barely have an impact on the number of tourists that flock to De Wallen. We previously occupied an empty hotel close to Leidse square to protest Amsterdam’s tourism policy and we say the municipality itself is to blame for out-of-control tourism. The municipality was never against mass tourism, and isn’t now. The real aim is for a different kind of tourist to come to the city, a richer kind. In the meantime, the city becomes more and more unaffordable for its citizens, sex workers are stigmatised and pushed away, and the large numbers of tourists stay as they are.

The former sex work windows have been vacant for nearly two years, and are owned by Stadsgoed NV, the real estate company responsible for introducing the maligned waffle shops to Amsterdam’s city centre. In the squat, we will create a meeting place for sex workers to organise. We demand more sex and less Halsema. We are against pushing out sex workers and against a prudish city. What’s fundamental for us is that inhabitants and workers decide what the neighbourhood looks like, instead of the municipality changing things unrecognisably from the top down. If it’s up to the mayor, De Wallen will become a sanitised shopping mall for the moneyed class. We don’t accept that and that’s why we will sabotage every step that’s taken towards the erotic centre.

Mokum Kraakt
Amsterdam, Netherlands
mokumkraakt [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/8g9h
https://mokumkraakt.nl/

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

Barcelona: the police install a camera to spy on a squat in the district of Gràcia

A camera hidden in a dark box on the roof of a restaurant monitored the activity of a squat house in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, at least since December 22 when it was detected. As disseminated by the group Ègida -Defensa Collectiva Anarquista, the video surveillance team focused directly on the door of the squat, which is why they rule out that it is the restaurant’s security system.

Neighborhood witnesses have told La Directa that during the last weeks they had observed the presence of “strange” individuals and vehicles parked with people inside the house all day: “I saw them in front of the house, I am convinced that they were plainclothes policemen,” says a neighbor. One of the managers of the restaurant, where the state security forces had placed the camera, told this media outlet that they have “nothing to say”.

The uncovered camera, which allows external control of the images, is a Dahua CA-HZ2030T and has been connected to the power grid and a Telefónica distribution box for real-time transmission of the recording. Through a statment published on Indymedia, signed by Ègid, they made public photographs from the camera and denounced the fact that “the state and private companies, in this case Dahua, profit at the expense of our limited sense of freedom, creating common enemies.”

In the text where they denounce the facts, they recall that the inhabitants of the squatted house under the spotlight were arrested on August 23, following May Day 2023. As detailed by the press service of the Mossos at the time, the detainees were accused of “damaging establishments with blunt objects” that day. Specifically, these would be ATMs and the headquarters of Zara, Primark and Starbucks in the center of Barcelona, among others. The Central Research Unit of Violent Extremism of the Mossos d’Esquadra was in charge of carrying out the operation. Those affected say that since then “the presence of members of the secret police has been seen in the vicinity of the building”.

Video surveillance of the Kasa de la Muntanya

It is not the first time that the anarchist and squatter movement has been spied on in Barcelona, nor specifically in the district of Gràcia. In July 2013, the installation of a chimney that did not draw smoke from the roof of the Turó del Cargol school with a hidden object inside raised suspicions. The object turned out to be a video surveillance camera that focused on the interior courtyard of the CSO Kasa de la Muntanya, in the La Salut neighborhood.

A few weeks later, a group of workers went up to remove the device, to reassemble it, days later, inside a false ventilation tube on the roof of the Hospital de la Esperanza. Facing directly on the façade and the entrances to the social center, the new perspective allowed the camera to record at all times who entered and left the building. Eventually, a group of activists dismantled the spy system.

Directory of squats in Barcelona: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/barcelona/country/XC/squated/squat
Directory of squats in Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC/squated/squat
Directory of groups (social centers, collectives, squats) in Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/XC
Events in Catalonia: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/XC

author: Gemma Garcia, La Directa

Belo Horizonte (Brazil): “Casa Encantada” book project

Hello comrades, how are you all doing? I wish everyone a happy new year filled with struggle, solidarity, and a lot of revolutionary construction.

I’m writing to friends and accomplices from various parts of the globe, whom I met during tours and conspiracies, those I visited or who visited our squat Kasa Invisível, and also who corresponded and cooperated with us at some point, to announce our campaign on the FireFund platform to launch my next book “Casa Encantada”, which documents 20 autonomous squats in our city, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. With this campaign, I hope to translate it into four languages and undertake a tour to release it in Brazil and Europe in 2024. The campaign is flexible, but I’m hoping to achieve the total amount to be able to print and cross the ocean for this tour and speak in different social centers and communities.

On this first day of January, known as the day of “Universal Brotherhood and Peace”, it’s better remembered by us revolutionaries who dream of the end of capitalism and all forms of oppression as the day of the outbreak of the Haitian anti-colonial struggle in 1804, the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the Zapatista Uprising of 1994, and the declaration of autonomy of the revolutionary cantons of Afrîn, Jazira, and Kobanî in Rojava! It is on this day that we have chosen to spread the word about this campaign among our closest comrades and accomplices. The closing date is the famous March 18, the anniversary of the Paris Commune.

Please visit the link below to learn more about the project and how to support it. If you can donate any amount, please do so. But don’t forget to share it with other individuals and collectives who might be interested in supporting. Feel free to post and spread it within your networks. Also, in the future, please write to me if you’d like to help organize a talk between April and May in Europe.

Thank you very much! See you on the road!

Support the project: https://www.firefund.net/casaencantada

Contact me at: comofas@@@riseup.net

Brooklyn (NY): Skull Squat defense ongoing

For the past week, squatters and friends have defended Skull Squat in Brooklyn from shady developers and their goons attempting to break-in, lock out residents, and demolish the building. After forcing entry three days in a row with hammers and angle grinders, the developers have been turned away for the past two days by dozens of punks, anarchists, neighbors, and friends. The building has been squatted for six months by six black, brown, and white transgender anarchists.

The developers, two persistent and violent Israeli-American brothers, do not own the building. They forced long-term residents out years ago, allowed the building to deteriorate, and are hoping to reclaim it once it is foreclosed upon. They convinced the police of their claim to “management” with dubious work permits, who allowed them to break in and hurt those trying to defend the squat. Both their purported lease and permits have been found invalid by several civil authorities.

An affordable housing cooperative owns the three-story rowhouse and abandoned it years ago. It’s in a neighborhood we aren’t supposed to be able to afford. But we found it, did a little work, and live here. And we aren’t leaving it without a fight.

By defending our home, we directly confront the development machine that wants to take this building, raze it, and build another condo. The underfunded city agencies tasked with preserving affordable housing have long neglected to protect the building, so we’re doing it ourselves.

Last week, squatters at Skull woke up to construction workers in their living room. The equally startled workers called one of the developers, who called the pigs. Officers who showed up determined we are residents – and thus, that this is a matter for civil court – and turned away the developer and his workers.

Several days later, the other brother arrived with a new crew of goons. They shoved and kicked squatters and forced their way into the first floor, which they locked up. The pigs determined they had a right to be on that floor and stood by as they assaulted us with pipes and hammers. After they left we removed their locks and reinforced the building but on the very next day they again forced their way in. As the police again watched on, they demolished the first floor with sledgehammers and attempted to break water and sewage pipes in the basement. After they left we took the whole building back again, and spent all night strategizing and constructing barricades.

The following day, over sixty friends and supporters turned out on rapid response after break-in attempts resumed.

Today, they again tried to breach the front door with angle grinders and after a few moments they gave up and moved on to grind the lock off the bulkhead hatch to the basement. In the forty-year lineage of New York squatters, they were met with piss jugs emptied on them from the window. They gave up trying to force entry.

As I’m writing this friends from the local info-shop are laughing and talking around a grill and folding tables of food and drinks. Yesterday, squatters from a neighboring city played cards on the sidewalk before quickly linking arms to defend the doors from arriving goons. Old friends and squatmates have reconnected on the barricades and new connections have formed between comrades across subcultures and generations.

Tonight is the winter solstice. The goons had not yet left as the sun set. Tomorrow the sun will rise and the days will get longer and Skull Squat will still be here and will be for much longer.

Groups in the US: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/US
Events in the US: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/US

Ile-Saint-Denis: the Malvassé squat under eviction threat since mid-december

We are about twenty people who have been living in Malva since May 2022, a squatted building on Île Saint-Denis, at 62 avenue Jean Jaurès. The Malvassé has been under eviction threat since December 15, 2023 following a procedure that does not grant us any delay and abolishes the winter truce. (December 18, 2023 – the winter truce would be granted, “the owner having withdrawn his request to cancel the truce”).
Our place of residence is currently squatted, among others, by vulnerable people, families with children attending school in the same commune and in Saint-Denis. The neighbouring lots are also squatted by about sixty other very precarious people, including a dozen families with children, who also attend school on the Ile-Saint-Denis.
Le Malvassé, in addition to being a place of residence, is also a place of organization, solidarity and encounter. Since we have been squatting the building, we have set up regular and free food distributions in the neighborhood and legal and administrative assistances. We have also temporarily welcomed people fleeing war, LGBTQ+ people on migration and families with children, to compensate for the saturation of institutional emergency accommodation arrangements. This place of housing, mutual aid and solidarity, is a space that allows many people suffering the full force of the economic, social and political crisis, not to give in to despair in the face of administrative setbacks, the shortage of housing and work.
After several attempts at illegal evictions and a danger order issued by the town hall at the beginning of November, the court today confirms this political relentlessness with an eviction decision that was announced more than a week ago in the municipal newspaper. This eviction without delay and without winter truce in the middle of December is one example among many others of the consequences of the “cleaning” of the “neighborhoods” of the Olympic Village that is rampant in Ile-de-France. It is also in line with the gentrification policies that the inhabitants of working-class neighborhoods have been subjected to for many years. The city of Ile-Saint-Denis is no exception to this rule.
Instead of a building squatted by precarious and vulnerable people, excluded from accommodation structures and the common law system, the owner wants “the creation of business premises for artists, liberal professions, craftsmen or small businesses”. Similarly, for security reasons and with the idea of extending an “eco-district” destined to become a showcase for world tourism during the Olympics, the towers of the “Marcel Paul” district will be emptied of their inhabitants, with no guarantee of social housing adapted to their needs.
These processes of urban segregation and the repressive legal arsenal provided by the Kasbarian law, accelerate the exclusion and criminalization of poorly housed, precarious tenants or squatters.
We alert the authorities concerned to the irresponsibility of an eviction in the middle of winter. This brutal homelessness would constitute an imminent danger to the safety, health and integrity of the inhabitants.
We demand from the Commune of the Île Saint-Denis, the Prefecture of Seine-Saint-Denis, and the owner of the buildings:
– the maintenance of the inhabitants of Malvassé and neighbouring families in their places of residence for the duration of the winter truce.
– suitable alternative housing solutions for all residents, especially those in extremely vulnerable and precarious situations.

The inhabitants of Malvassé (December 2023)
62 avenue Jean Jaurès,
93450 l’île Saint-Denis, France
https://squ.at/r/a5nl

Refugees related groups in France https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR/topic/sans-papiers
Some squats in and around Paris: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/paris/country/FR/squated/squat
Some squats in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR/squated/squat
Groups (collectives, social centres, squats) in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR
Events in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/FR

Athens: demonstration in defense of Ano Kato Patission

Demonstration in defense of Ano Kato Patission, after the successful resquat of the steki on 9 december 2023. Sunday 17 december, at 12.00 pm. Pre-gathering at Steki Ano Kato Patission, Naxos 75.

Last summer, while Greece was experiencing the violent signs of the climate crisis (fires, floods), magnified by the unpreparedness of the relevant state mechanisms, the government adopted a classic recipe for decoordination for disasters: the eviction of occupied spaces.
At the same time that the state proves in practice that it is incapable of dealing with our problems, it is trying to gain some legitimacy in the eyes of the world by selling security and order.
But with tenacity and militancy, three of the evicted squats of the summer are once again in the hands of the community. After Zizania in Victoria and Evagelismos in Heraklion, Crete, it is the turn of Stekiou Ano Kato Patission to get its space back, to revive a debris building.
The contribution of occupied spaces to the transformation of society proves important, especially in cases where they do not function as an end in themselves of some ideological hegemony but transform the here and now of the entire neighborhoods where they are located.
By proposing and prefiguring another way of social organization, they recreate public space and change the architecture of cities.
In addition, they create social bonds of companionship and free coexistence of individuals. Perhaps, on the occasion of the particular case of squats and self-organized social spaces in general, we can talk about the contemporary problems of cities that seem to surpass us: individual immobility, the epidemic of loneliness, political weakening, environmental degradation, the commercialization of cities and neighborhoods
That is why on Sunday, December 17, at 12 noon, we support the neighborhood march to defend the occupation in Patissia. Instead of letting empty buildings fall into disrepair, we open them up to the whole society!

Αυτοδιαχειριζόμενο Στέκι Άνω Κάτω Πατησίων
Steki Ano Kato Patission, Naxou 75, Athènes, Grèce
anokato [at] espiv [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/9q0t

Des squats en Grèce: https://radar.squat.net/fr/groups/country/GR/squated/squat
Des groupes (centres sociaux, collectifs, squats) en Grèce: https://radar.squat.net/fr/groups/country/GR
Des événements en Grèce: https://radar.squat.net/fr/events/country/GR

Athens: Steki Ano Kato Patission resquatted

On saturday december 9, 2023, the Steki Ano Kato Patission was resquatted by 80 comrades. Then 250 people gathered in front to support the reoccupation. This gathering was attacked by cops and people were trapped in apartment buildings, in the adjacent dormitories and in the Steki itself. At the same time, teargas was thrown into cars, cops shouted at people that they would burn them alive, arrests were made, and people were beaten up. The cops also surrounded the Steki, teargas was thrown inside. People defended the Steki and kept it. There are seriously injured comrades, they are taken to the hospital. Around 19 people were arrested. On sunday 10, solidarity rally for those arrested during the Steki Ano-Kato Patission resquat at 11:00, Dikastiria (Evelpidon).
The Ano-Kato resquat took place on the nationwide day of action in solidarity with the squats, with a demonstration at Monastiraki in Athens. The attacks on our squats confirm once again that solidarity, self-organization and unmediated struggle are a formidable enemy for the state. The call out was made by Ano Kato Patission, ASP (Autonomous Polytechnic Steki), Evagelismos and Zizania.
STRUGGLES ARE NOT EMPTIED, IDEAS ARE NOT SEALED
SOLIDARITY WITH SQUATS

Statement from Steki Ano-Kato Patission:

We said that we are not leaving and we mean it

Today we are glad to transform our mottos into action and to have regain with persistence and confidence a fragment of our lives. The garden where we grew up and learned to live have returned to us through this action taken by tens of comrades, friends and solidarians. We are defending our place in the city by retaking this abandoned space for us and the coming generations. We light up the wood stove and the oven, transforming our fire into a message of resistance to the squatting movement. With our fists pointed to the sky we climb to the terrace of our squat, sending our warmest greetings to all those around the world who persist resisting.

We break the vicious cycle of fear reclaiming what is rightfully ours; we may not unconditionally support the civil rights provided by the State, yet we struggle against the law to retake what we consider to be ours within the city. Those things that we have built with our hands and minds, those things that are assumed dead unless capilitalised upon, like the thousands of empty houses and buildings in Athens. We choose to give life to the “dead” property, turning empty spaces into collective places of resistance. We creatively subvert the social context within which we assert value for these spaces: Not for profit making, not for real estate agencies, not for NGOs but in order to cover and transcend our collective needs and desires. We think of it as a laboratory, in which we build our collective relations of struggle, care and welfare, beyond the institution of the family, beyond religion and the State. This is the place where our visions come to life, where we come together imagining new potential worlds, against the normalisation of massacres and borders, against every god and every master.

We think of our political space in Naxou 75 and Krassa street (Koliatsou square in Patissia) as such a laboratory. For the past 27 years it has been the workshop where we express our subversive ideas and actions, against exploitation, oppressions and injustice. Those were 27 years during which this place was freed and open to the neighbourhood; hospitable to every dreamer, excluded proletarian, punks, to the world’s damned, to the crooked, the underground artists, musicians and poets, the freaks, the uncompromised spirits, the addicts and the young. During those 27 years we resisted against this fucked-up society: where racists and cops are violently killing our people, where pushbacks and “shipwrecks” at the boarders and femicides are normalised, where drowning people at the ports and “falling” from scaffolds is the “naturalised” condition forced upon us. During those 27 years we learned the ins and outs of collective living and discovered how to cross the pathways of struggling against power.

During those 27 years we ridicule the world of “private property”: we will be here as long as we have to, even if it means that we’d do it all again. This is our neighbourhood, where we went to school; this is where we firstly met with our friends, where we live and work. Where we formed bonds with our neighbours and where we hated for the first time the violence imposed by the rich. We struggle to take back everything that has been stolen from us. We are not going to let so easily the Papaoikonomou family, those rich inheritors living in the Northern suburbs of the city, whom own tens of properties in Patissia and in various islands, to steal it from us. We are clearly stating that it’s gonna take long until they rip us off. We are constantly spreading in this neighbourhood. We are swirling around the big cypress of the squat.

27 years squatting
27 years Ano Kato Patission
We are not gonna leave.

Αυτοδιαχειριζόμενο Στέκι Άνω Κάτω Πατησίων
Steki Ano Kato Patission, Naxou 75, Athens, Greece
anokato [at] espiv [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/9q0t

Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/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

Heraklion: Evagelismos resquatted

Today December 1, 2023, we resquatted Evagelismos, giving our final response to the repression and militarization of our neighborhood and the wider city center.

We are here, in the place where two months ago our comrade A. was almost found dead at the hands of bastards in uniforms when armed forces of ECM and OPKE invaded the building. In the same spot, where for two months all kinds of cops have been harassing passers-by and neighbors, afraid of sitting on the steps of the building. At the same point, which by order of the Senate of the University of Cyprus, the historic building of of Evagelismos was sealed and suffered numerous damages by the tons of cement they poured. All the above were considered “collateral” damage, according to the Rector, in order to return the building to its rightful owner, at the same time, of course, returning to its previous state, devastated and abandoned and far away from being a public space. Today -all together- we validate in practice, what the whole city knows: THE EVAGELISMOS SQUAT WILL STAY.

Over the past 21 years, the Evagelismos squat has accommodated the desires and needs of hundreds of people who have passed through it. It is our home, it is a meeting point, it is a symbol of resistance and struggle for the city of Heraklion. The people of Evagelismos, as part of the movement and the local community, have fought and participated in struggles and will continue to do so. We remain on the side of history, the oppressed and the persecuted, the rebels and the militants. Against individualization, misery and frustration. Against racism, fascism and patriarchy. Against the state and capital.

The Big House is back.

-21 years of history are not extinguished by an evacuation, just as the flame in our eyes and hearts is not extinguished by repression-

We call on people to support the solidarity rally at this time at the Evagelismos Squat (Theotokopoulou 18, Heraklion, Crete)

Solidarity with the struggling people of Palestine

Power to all antifascists who fought fascists and cops on November 1st.

Solidarity with comrade B.

The same story once again – the cops shot because they were Roma. We do not forget the state murders of Nikos S., Costas F., Christos M.

Good luck to comrade Paula Roupa and comrade Kostas Dimalexis who were recently released.

We send signals of resistance to all squats throughout Greece that have been or are threatened with repression.

Our thoughts with comrade A.

PS. A big thank you to the neighbors who showed us their solidarity, but also to all the people who stood with us all this time and brought each time today one step closer.

Reconquest is just the beginning!

Evagelismos squat
Θεοτοκοπούλου 18
Heraklion, Crete
Greece
evagelismos [dot] squat [at] espiv [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/1q5l
http://evagelismos.squat.gr/

Some squats in Greece: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/GR/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

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