News from squat.net

Uk: Squatting, Evictions, and the Coronavirus

Some days after granting a 3-month breather for mortgage payments the government caved to pressure and stated that renters who fail to pay rent will be protected from eviction during the next 3 months. This meant very little to squatters, and as explained later, still means very little to renters.

The Pie ‘n’ Mash Autonomous Cafe was evicted the morning of that same announcement, the same day that the cafe (having closed for safety reasons some days earlier) was to become London’s first Mutual Aid Centre, to complement theanarchist-instigated and autonomously-organised Mutual Aid groups that had sprung up around the city, and now the country. The council (who without a doubt had a hand in effecting the eviction of the Pie ‘n’ Mash) announced the very next day their own initiative of a centre to assist Mutual Aid groups in distribution of needed goods, co-opting the idea to suit their own agenda and save face in the eyes of the public.

Things have not gotten better for squatters by any means in the following days. Multiple evictions have taken place on buildings that have been awaiting bailiffs for weeks, seemingly a rush by owners and bailiff companies to do business in the case that the government prevents them from doing so in the future.

All the stops are being pulled out by the lawyers and the bailiffs to ensure they still have something to do during this period. As the courts are shutting down a lot of services they have suggested that new possession proceedings will not be accepted. In reality this is not the case. Telephone hearings have been set up, and this allows claimants to go through the process without providing proof of service (a squat recently received a copy of a possession order granted, despite never having been served the initial claim paperwork, thus denying them the chance to attend). Other squats have been calling the courts, to be told their cases will be going ahead.

Attempts to argue for a stay on execution of the possession orders have so far been unsuccessful, with one particularly anti-squatter judge rejecting the idea without so much as a second thought, despite the clearly outlined human rights and health and safety arguments. More challenges will be, and are being launched by members of the Advisory Service for Squatters however.

And it is not just the squatters that are at risk. With the Coronavirus Act 2020 now enacted , the relevant schedule regarding evictions simply states that those with residential tenancies should be entitled to 3 months notice rather than the already-required 2 months. A leak from a property management company to The Guardian suggests that owners are trying to push through rental evictions at a huge rate before it becomes too difficult to do, and as a result are hiring more and more bailiffs to carry out the evictions before total lockdown. The Master of the Rolls has just announced that the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action but this certainly does not look like it applies to cases of trespass, and it remains to be seen whether it prevents a writ that has already been issued from being enforced by private High Court Enforcement (if it has reached that stage).

In one case a group were told by a bailiff that they did not wish to carry out the eviction, but the overwhelming trend is that the bailiffs do not care, and in fact are probably quite happy to still be employed, carrying out evictions kitted out in gloves and masks. There must be a lot of out of work security who are keen to take up the role.

Despite all this squatters in the city have been coming together (in the metaphorical sense more so than physical) to ensure that squats in the same neighbourhoods are linked up to co-ordinate and make sure each crew has enough to eat, enough space, and be aware of the health conditions of the members of the crew. Health and safety precautions are communicated to each other so if there is contact between people then everyone is aware of the risks and the care taken to mitigate them. Buildings are being opened to provide more space for those who need greater isolation. While some forms of organising have obviously had to take a back seat, those skills are being put to use to help each other stay safe.

Squatters, tenants, and the street homeless alike, everyone needs protection and the ability to keep social distancing during this crisis. Creating homelessness does nothing but exacerbate the issue. The plan to house the homeless in hotels is all very well, but without addressing the issues surrounding homelessness it does not guarantee safety from infection. And while Travelodge is happy to shut doors and evict without notice many families in temporary accommodation, we know that there is no security in any measures the government opts for at this point.

Occupations and rent strikes. These are measures we can take to protect ourselves and each other. We must continue to build strong eviction resistance networks in our neighbourhoods, and push back against any attempts to further marginalise those on the fringes of society during this time.

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

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

Athens: Anti-Covid19, network for Mutual aid and Struggle

In the unprecedented social conditions we are living in, the spread of coronavirus has taken critical dimensions for the national healthcare systems and the capitalist mode of production as well as social organisation in general. For the system to survive, state and bosses implement totalitarian politics and a further devaluation of our lives.

– Lack of health facilities for the big majority of the population
– Militarisation of our everyday life, with a ban on transportation enforced through economic, surveilled and penal repression
– Mass layoffs, intensification and dire conditions for those working in hospitals, super markets, fast food restaurants, telecommunications
– Creation of concentration camps for migrants and mass incarceration in prisons without any health provision
– No meaningful measure for the homeless, drug users, sex workers
– Increase of domestic and gender violence cases as well as psychological breakdowns due to the prolonged confinement of people in their homes

All of the above make up a dystopia to which we deem necessary to respond to in a direct and collective way, self-organised and in solidarity with every subject that is experiencing the physical, psychical and mental consequences of totalitarianism; and at the same time to fight to break the unproductive and totalitarian management of the present crisis by the state. For these reasons we want to communicate and create a network for solidarity and struggle, with initial aims the following:

– Food and medicine collection and delivery; or meals from social kitchens
– Psychosocial support. Converstation through phone and even face-to-face private meeting, adhering to the healthcare measures
– Reporting domestic and gender violence cases and direct interventions
– Collect and publish information from concentration camps and prisons

The responsibility is not collective as the state is shamelessly trying to manipulate us through the horror-loving coverage of the virus by the media, but it is first and foremost the state’s responsibility. The pointed shifting of responsibilities from the state and its representatives to each individual for the acquittal of the systematic underfunding and understaffing of the healthcare system is unacceptable and vile. We are not to blame for the shortages of permanent medical staff, intensive care units, medical equipment but the particular governments that spent thousands of euros to save banks or for military equipment instead of staffing undervalued public hospitals.

We put forward as a direct collective action a freeze in payments, debts, rent, electricity, water, internet, public transportation. According to us these basic services should be free anyway and let alone in a situation of financial destabilisation like this. All people of the exploited and non-privileged class have to spare their money for basic consumer goods like food and medicine, since the future is uncertain.

We put forward as a direct collective action a freeze in payments, debts, rent, electricity, water, internet, public transportation. According to us these basic services should be free anyway and let alone in a situation of financial destabilisation like this. All people of the exploited and non-privileged class have to spare their money for basic consumer goods like food and medicine, since the future is uncertain.

WE DEMAND FROM THE STATE AND THE BOSSES

– Permanent socialization of all private healthcare facilities and health products units.
– Unemployment benefit to all laid-off workers and the unemployed.
– All goods to be sold at cost price, super market bosses do not profit off our backs.
– Compliance with the demands of workers for pay, working time, even the cessation of employment for their self-protection.
– Closure of all capitalist structures (factories, shops etc.) that don’t cover basic needs.
– Compliance with the demands of prisoners and release of all high-risk individuals, prisoners with charges of less than 5 years, and all those who await trial. Setting up healthcare facilities for prisoners and provision of sanitary products.
– Closure of all concentration camps and papers to all migrants.
– Transformation of airbnb and hotels to self-containment facilities for people with symptoms, high-risk groups, people affected by domestic and gender violence and people facing housing issues.

Tsiodras shed crocodile tears for the people who are to get sick and invited us all to assume our responsibilities for the protection of public health. Recognising that public health includes also people in factories, prisons and concentration camps, we announce that if the state doesn’t care about public health in total, we have the collective responsibility to take actions to ensure this. We also inform that we will necessarily move on to organise and escalate similar actions in case the state continues the exploitation of the state of emergency to repress its political enemies, anarchists and fighters, and to pass laws that it wouldn’t be able to pass in times of mobilisation. The movement and the people of the social base are already organising mutual-aid and resistance structures for the current crisis and the upcoming impoverishment and no martial law can stop them. The survival of the repressed and the exploited in times of a general crises depends directly on their self-organisation, thus any attempt to repress must be answered in defiance of any restrictions.

Open assembly of squats, collectives, internationalists, migrants and solidarians
Exarcheia, Athens
(+30) 6945276127
synsquat [at] riseup [dot] net
https://synsquat.blackblogs.org/

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

Indymedia Athens https://athens.indymedia.org/post/1603968/

Seattle: Rent Strike

Around the country, as people lose their jobs and wonder how they will pay their rent or mortgage, the words rent strike are being heard more and more. This website https://rentstrike.noblogs.org/ will serve as a resource for how to make a rent and mortgage strike a reality in Seattle. Check back for more resources for how we can refuse to pay together.
Have a resource to share? Want to send us your own declaration of rent strike? Get in touch: rentstrike [at] riseup [dot] net

Why Strike?

In this moment, millions of people are being faced with the reality of being unable to pay their bills. Countless people who live from one paycheck to the next have lost their jobs and income already and have no way to make April’s rent or mortgage payment. Even under normal circumstances, people in Seattle have been struggling to pay rent for years, with rents that are 93% above the national average. It should come as no surprise that in this moment, people simply cannot pay.

Some are calling on the state and federal government to put a moratorium on rent and mortgage collections. If this happens, great. If it does not, this changes nothing. We still can’t pay, so we won’t. Banks and landlords should not be able to continue profiting on renters and mortgages when there is no way to earn money. That’s just common sense. If we can’t make money, neither can or landlords, neither can the banks.

Even if you can personally pay your rent, that doesn’t mean you should. The best way to support those who cant pay rent is for all of us to go on rent strike together, rendering it impossible for the authorities to target everyone who does not pay.

Refuse to pay rent April 1st. If not for your own sake, then for the sake of your neighbor.

FAQ about the Eviction Moratorium

Who is approved for the Seattle moratorium issued by Mayor Jenny Durkan around COVID-19?

Governor Jay Inslee issued a “30-day statewide moratorium” on evictions for residential tenants. For Seattle, the decisions are evolving but the residential, small businesses and nonprofit moratorium on evictions is in effect. It is reported that evictions for nonpayment of rent would be suspended for “60 days or until the end of the city’s emergency.” This originally was 30 days but has now been extended to 60 days.

What counts as a small business under the moratorium?

“It covers evictions related to nonpayment of rent and lease expirations, and it defines a small business as any business entity with 50 or fewer employees, including sole proprietorships.” We assume this is the same definition for non-profits as well.

Who is NOT approved under Seattle’s evictions moratorium?

Seattle’s moratorium does not extend to commercial properties. It’s also important to note that the moratorium and council’s resolution does not address “homeowner-mortgage concerns.”

What does the moratorium entail?

Under this current moratorium, “landlords could not issue termination (pay-or-vacate) notices for nonpayment of rent; could not initiate eviction actions in court; and could not advance termination notices already posted.” The moratorium also covers “evictions related to leases that have expired or will expire during the coronavirus emergency, and it asks the King County Sheriff’s Office to cease execution of evictions” until further notice.

At this point in time, you cannot be threatened with eviction by your landlord, the courts, or law enforcement. As for existing eviction cases amidst the emergency that came into effect before this decision, “Seattle’s moratorium should be a defense in court.” But be warned: for future eviction hearings already schedule, “the city’s order says the court may postpone those cases to a date after the emergency” when there is a potential that Seattle’s moratorium as a defense may not be viable any longer.

The moratorium also waives late fees incurred by residents, small business and nonprofits.

What is the fineprint on this moratorium?

Other causes of eviction besides nonpayment of rent will not be covered under this moratorium. Any evictions before or assuming after this emergency will not be covered by the moratorium. “When the moratorium ends, the tenants will owe whatever debts they’ve incurred and their landlords will be allowed to evict them for non-payment.” Keep in mind, this is an evolving resolution that can change. It’s also important to keep in mind that the timeline for the moratorium is vague and subject to change. We cannot depend on the decisions of the city or the state to protect us from evictions.

To learn more about the moratorium, please refer to these links that we have cited:

Seattle’s coronavirus moratorium on residential evictions is approved, expanded by City Council (Seattle Times)

Seattle issues emergency moratorium on evictions due to COVID-19 (KOMO)

Seattle Mayor Durkan orders moratorium on rent-related residential evictions in wake of coronavirus outbreak (Seattle Times)

Inslee orders temporary stop to evictions, other help for workers and businesses in response to coronavirus (Seattle Times)

Resources

How to Strike

Sample Letters to Landlords

Sample Letter to Neighbors

Strike Declarations

WA State Covid-19 Legal Resources

FAQs About the Eviction Moratorium

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

Rent Strike
rentstrike [at] riseup [dot] net
https://rentstrike.noblogs.org/strike-declarations/

San Francisco: On rent strike against gentrification and the pandemic

An Interview with Residents of Station 40 in San Francisco

In the Mission District of San Francisco, Station 40 has served the Bay Area community as an anti-authoritarian collective living and organizing space for nearly two decades. Five years ago, their landlord attempted to evict them, only to be forced to back down by a powerful coordinated solidarity campaign. Now, Station 40 has taken the initiative to respond to the crisis currently playing out across the world, unilaterally declaring a rent strike in response to the economic precarity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We interviewed residents of Station 40 about the history of their project and the context and objective of their bold refusal.

What is Station 40?

Station 40 is a 17-year-old collective living space that has seen hundreds of residents and thousands of guests and many iterations over the years. This space has hosted numerous and diverse events, housed countless people, served food to the masses, beat the odds on everything from infestations to evictions. We’ve been a hub for organizing Mutual Aid workshops, healing pop-ups, memorials for fallen anarchists, revels, book releases, report-backs from comrades all over the world, prisoner support projects, reading groups, benefits for more projects than we can count. Food Not Bombs cooked here weekly for the better part of 15 years. Communication infrastructure like Indymedia and Signal have their roots here.

We hope to continue this ever-developing work, most recently bringing a focus of spirituality to the preexisting anarchy of Station 40 and our block in general. This space has been a means for us to continue to afford to live and fight in a city where that is increasingly miraculous.


A protest against gentrification in the Mission district on January 1, 2014.

Five years ago, people mobilized to defend Station 40 against eviction driven by gentrification in the Mission district of San Francisco. What factors and strategies were essential to your victory at that time? Did you learn anything important from it?

At the time, there was a large push for development in San Francisco. In response to the influx of venture capitalists and start-up companies, our landlords were looking for quick capital by selling their constellation of properties for a fast payout. The “Monster of the Mission”—a giant box of luxury housing not unlike the other developments that were popping up—was supposed to be erected across the street; property prices were skyrocketing.

We had a pro bono lawyer who helped us, but ultimately the lawyer wanted us to settle and take the cash-for-keys so everyone would get a cut—of a payoff that could never match long-term affordable housing costs in the heart of this city. The housemates who were living together in Station 40 at that time decided to stay here instead. They employed a myriad of tactics, such as calling on the friends of Station 40 from around the world (an autonomous group of supporters who organized to support us), “knowing the enemy” (gathering information about our landlords via public records), holding a press conference and events and fundraisers, consulting housing militants and the local Land Trust, and coordinating with supportive independent journalists.

We demanded that the building should go into a land trust and that our residency would be secured in perpetuity. We also made it clear that we would fight by any means to stay here. Two weeks into the fight, our landlords called us wanting to make peace; this resulted in a verbal agreement to leave us alone and revisit the issue in three years.

Today, it has been five years. All this time, the housemates here have been on alert, while also choosing to maintain our quality of life by not stressing too much about potential unpredictable outcomes—particularly in light of the fact that we have already beaten an eviction before. It was just recently announced that the “Monster of the Mission” is officially cancelled. Two years after our negotiated discussion date, the landlords have continued to cash their checks happily.

Until now.


A protest against gentrification in the Mission in 2015.

Here is some coverage of our fight against eviction in 2015:

Friends of Station 40 Press Conference
At 16th and Mission, collective housing must go — but tech offices can stay?
Tenants Fight Longtime Neighborhood Landlord at 16th and Mission
Housing collective avoids eviction from Mission district home

Why did you decide to go on strike this time?

Coronavirus first began getting traction around these parts via memes, fleeting stories from news sources, and whispers from friends of friends in social services. We began listening to the whispers early and prepared as much as possible. It was less than a week later when news from Italy started coming in, travel bans were put in place, and—most notably—the toilet paper was gone.

Within a couple more days, all events were canceled, bars and restaurants had closed, and a soft lockdown quarantine was underway. At that point, 90% of the house had either lost work entirely or had their hours cut significantly. Meanwhile, the other 10% is now being asked to work twice as hard in social services to help maneuver through this crisis—but they are not getting paid any more for their extra efforts. This crisis has shined a glaring light on the injustices relating to housing inequality, the absence of affordable medical care, the astronomical costs of rent in the Bay Area, and the ways that capitalism robs us of our time, energy, and quality of life.

When this situation became clear, there was no other choice but to declare a rent strike. Trying to hustle during a mandatory shut-in not only puts us in danger but also endangers others who are more vulnerable.

However, this opens a larger question. Some projections say that after several weeks of this shutdown (though it may be longer), there will be no way to go back to “business as usual.” As anarchists, as a collective, we have to imagine what could be next and to do what it takes to be a part of building that new reality. Getting free from rent (which is to say, theft) and debt amid a full-blown pandemic crisis seemed like the best possible way to start. We believe that the simple tactics of refusal (rent strike, sick-outs, redistribution of resources, mutual aid) are essential to getting through this situation. We hope the rent strike spreads. We have the best chance of survival and victory together.

What is your vision of how we should respond to the pandemic and the social, political, and economic crisis accompanying it? What is the worst-case scenario for how this could pan out? What is the best case scenario?

It seems that the best possible answer to the first question is that we need to find balance. We must find a balance between caring for ourselves and understanding what forms of mutual aid we have to share. We are being forced into fear, separation, and the dismay of confronting feelings of scarcity and a pandemic we can’t cure. The greatest strength of our house and our community has always been our connections based in trust. When you have community that you’re willing to show up for, that you can trust will show up for you, there is a sense—a faith—that everything can be OK. In times like these, hope and faith can be among the few things that keep us alive.

The easiest things to imagine right now are worst-case scenarios, overrun hospitals, the National Guard being flown in to violently enforce mandatory lockdowns, countless deaths caused by handshakes and coughs, being unable to work or connect with community for the unforeseeable future, all-out dystopian biopolitical authoritarianism.

But for us, it’s more interesting and exciting to think about what the best-case scenarios might be—the moments of imagination and creation—like a caterpillar dissolving in its cocoon, imagining itself into a butterfly. Imagine a world entirely without rent, in which people would have more time and space to envision and practice the things they love, the things that benefit them and their community alike. Imagine there being zero homelessness in the world because we took the ample empty housing currently available and gave it to houseless people, rather than letting those spaces sit vacant while real estate speculators wait to try to sell them to the highest bidder. How about not having to work 40 to 70 hours a week as a capitalist cog, making money for rich people who don’t care about whether we live or die?

Imagine no one having crippling debt. Imagine there being free medical care and food for all, instead of us having to spend all our money funding colonization and murder worldwide. How wonderful would it be if the people took the streets, gathered together to dance, break bread, practice ritual… honestly, the possibilities are endless. I imagine a healthier population that respects the earth and all living beings, giving the land back to indigenous stewards, reparations for all enslaved peoples, the end of incarceration and the entire military-industrial complex.

But we have to start somewhere. A widespread rent strike seems like as good a place as any.

For our part, we would like our housing to be secure in perpetuity—whether through a land trust or via other communal means. We think now is the time to push for that.

Appendix I: Communiqué about the Rent Strike, March 16, 2020

Dear friends of Station 40,

We decided tonight that we’re going on rent strike. The urgency of the moment demands decisive and collective action. We are doing this to protect and care for ourselves and our community. Now more than ever, we refuse debt and we refuse to be exploited. We will not shoulder this burden for the capitalists. Five years ago, we defeated our landlord’s attempt to evict us. We won because of the the solidarity of our neighbors and our friends around the world. We are once again calling on that network. Our collective feels prepared for the shelter-in-place that begins at midnight throughout the bay area. The most meaningful act of solidarity for us in this moment is for everyone to go on strike together. We will have your back, as we know you will have ours. Rest, pray, take care of each other.

Everything for everyone!

The residents of Station 40.

Appendix II: Communiqué from the Anti-Eviction Campaign, March 2015

Station 40 Tenants Fight Eviction of Their Home and Propose “Win-Win” Land Trust Solution

About a week ago, we received eviction papers (an unlawful detainer) from our landlords, Ahuva, Emanuel, and Barak Jolish. Their legal documents aim to displace the dozen of us tenants from our affordable, eleven-year-old home, Station 40, located at 3030B 16th Street. It is no coincidence that Station 40 is being evicted on the same intersection as the hotly contested proposed development by Maximus Real Estate Partners of a 350-unit luxury apartment building in what is a predominantly working-class neighborhood.

For over a decade, Station 40 has been home to anarchists, queer and transgender refugees, broke people, veterans against war, those healing from the prison system, lifelong San Franciscans, immigrants, people with disabilities, and those who were previously homeless. Most of us work in the neighborhood in various parts of the service industry, cooking and educating, in Rainbow Grocery Co-op and other grocery stores and thrift shops. We’ve hosted and/or organized hundreds of anticapitalist-oriented events, including fund-raisers, critical discussions, film screenings and performances, assemblies, book releases, art shows and workshops, and indie media projects, contributing to the rebel spirit of the Bay Area. Station 40 is also host to the weekly Thursday Food Not Bombs, sharing free home-cooked meals on the BART Plaza with those who are increasingly being brutally disappeared from 16th and Mission.

Although the Jolish family had previously stated their intentions many times to sell our building, they have refused a viable proposal presented by the Station 40 collective, San Francisco Community Land Trust, and Mission Economic Development Agency to sell their property to the land trust, in what would be a win-win situation for the property owners, current tenants, and Mission community at large.

The Mission has already seen many evictions, and much resistance to them. Benito Santiago won his fight to stay in his home, which is now owned by the SF Land Trust. Patricia Kerman and Tom Rapp also won their eviction case against their landlord, but still struggle courageously to stay in their home. We have now been served eviction papers, too. Our turn has come, and we don’t intend to make it easy for our landlords.

In the context of the rapid development and displacement in our neighborhood and on our corner, our own eviction comes as no surprise. When the proposed Maximus luxury apartments were announced, we all knew that we’d be next. If we were surprised, it was only with how quickly it happened. Within a week of that announcement, the Jolish family had already begun talking about getting us out. Ahuva Jolish repeated the now all too common refrain of “wanting to get out of the business”—a phrase that tenants throughout the city have come to dread as a signal for a brutal wave of eviction and redevelopment.

Our position in this has remained the same: if the Jolish family wishes to sell this building, they should sell it to the San Francisco Community Land Trust—an option that would allow them to sell at a more than fair price and allows us to stay, still with affordable rents, while also keeping many of the other struggling neighbors in place. The offer from the land trust would make it possible to maintain and even create more housing for working-class and struggling people—in perpetuity. As soon as this offer was on the table, however, our landlords changed their tune. They now insist that they do not want to sell our building. This is a half-truth—in other words, a lie. Our home is sandwiched between two adjacent properties owned by the Jolish family and their business partners, Ruth and Oded Schwartz. They do not want to sell this individual building to the Land Trust, because they want to sell all three buildings, as a package, to a developer. If sold together, the properties have (to use a disgusting term) added “tear-down value.”

In their current attempt to evict us, Ahuva and Emanuel Jolish use the false justification that we are in violation of a commercial lease by living in our home. Furthermore, they claim that they have had no knowledge we’ve been residents here. This is yet another lie. We have lived here for over eleven years, it is zoned for residential use, and we therefore have all the just cause protections afforded to tenants, and Ahuva and her family know all this.

The truth is that the Jolish family stands to make millions off the fact that 16th and Mission along with San Francisco as a whole are being flipped for the benefit of the rich, while devastating those who have called this place their home for decades. The Plaza 16 Coalition, which Station 40 is also a member of, likes to call the Maximus project “the monster in the Mission.” Behind this monster, we see many intertwining monsters—capitalism and white supremacy, to name just two.

Tragically we’ve seen developers like Maximus Real Estate Partners and their shadowy peons from the “Clean Up the Plaza” campaign look at the community at 16th and Mission as nothing more than a barrier to their riches. In 2013, we started to see Clean Up the Plaza placards everywhere. This was strange since no one seemed to know who was behind the campaign or what its agenda was. It soon became clear when Maximus announced its intention to build a 350-unit luxury apartment building that would take out a whole corner of businesses, a plaza used by hundreds of poor—mostly black and Latino people—and cast an ominous shadow over the playground of nearby Marshall Elementary. It turns out that one of the political consultants for Maximus, Jack Davis, is one of the main organizers of the Clean Up the Plaza scheme. Then the police occupation of the plaza began. Day and night, SFPD menaced over those who kick it in the plaza, such as immigrants, SRO residents and people without homes, addicts, working people, multigenerational families, and outcasts of all stripes. We watched from our windows across the street in horror as more and more of these people were targeted, criminalized, and disappeared.

The insidious power plays used to displace people along with their culture at 16th and Mission are happening throughout the Mission District, Bay Area, and in many cities nationwide. There’s first the most obvious issue: evictions. Evictions come in the form of lawsuits where losing means potentially being forced to pay for your own attorney and your landlord’s attorney (who is likely getting paid $300 or much more per hour). This process takes months, and necessitates that you are able to go to meetings with lawyers and attend several court dates during work hours, among numerous other tasks that become a full-time job. Everyday people, the very people who make up the heart and soul of San Francisco cannot compete with this apparatus that is set up to work against them. The property “rights” of millionaires trump the basic needs of the rest of us to simply live.

Then there’s the police state. Not only will the police come and literally force you from your home if you refuse to leave, but they also contribute to the project of gentrification by disappearing working-class and poor black and brown residents. In a city of 6 percent black residents (in 1980 it was 13 percent), the SF County Jail is made up of 56 percent black prisoners. To paint the picture in even more stark terms, in the last year SFPD has murdered Alex Nieto, O’Shaine Evans, Matthew Hoffman, and just days ago, Amilcar Perez-Lopez. These men, three men of color, and Hoffman, a poor man struggling with his mental health, represent the demographics of the folks who are being lost right now in San Francisco.

We gotta say it: the phenomena of rampant police murders, the banishment of thousands of longtime residents from city centers, all those forced to live on the streets, and the increasing number of poor people getting warehoused in jails and prisons—2.5 million people nationwide—signals that our society condones state-sponsored ethnic cleansing that targets black and brown residents.

Adriana Camarena of the Justice for Alex Nieto organization pointed out in a recent demonstration that the new Condo “Vida” should really be named “Muerte” because that’s what condos represent to the people who have lived here for decades. Everyone knows that the people who move into these new developments are quick to call the cops on their Latino neighbors (like Alex) and say that the neighborhood is being improved as Latino residents get forced from their homes. Meanwhile, they gloat about how great it is that they live in a neighborhood with so much culture and taquerias on every block.

All this is happening while mysterious fires are destroying the homes of working-class people throughout the Mission District, leaving the next-door condos completely intact, and the city moves on plans to build an even bigger jail to replace the one at 850 Bryant.

We know that the eviction of our space is a stepping-stone toward the eviction and demolition of this entire block. As of yet, the Jolish family has made no offer that we could accept and still hold our heads high. We want to maintain, defend, and build collective, autonomous, and working-class space in this neighborhood. We cannot accept any offers that do not make that possible. Even if we were made such an offer, we do not conceive of winning in solely individual terms. The choice to stay and fight is also a choice to fight for this neighborhood as a whole. We want to stay, but we also want everyone else to stay as well.

We draw inspiration from all who are fighting for their lives and a place to live them: the indigenous people all over this continent who are occupying their sacred places to resist development; the squatters in the deindustrialized urban centers of the Midwest who are building homes amid the ruins; those in Athens and Barcelona who take to the streets in reaction to the evictions of long-standing occupied social centers; the Kurdish and international fighters in Kobane who have used all means to defend against fascist occupation; the fighters in Ferguson who have used similar means to resist the police occupation of their streets as well; and especially everyone in this neighborhood who has already stood up and refused to be moved now and in the past.

We believe that by fighting together, we can jointly hold back the system of death and erasure. We are infinitely grateful for all the solidarity we have already received; because of it we are still here. We’re asking for your continued support because we want to stay put in our home and in this neighborhood for many years to come.

The simple truth that the Jolish family continues to deny is also our greatest strength: this is our home. This is our home and we are going to fight tooth and nail for it. We are not millionaires trying to add a few more million to the pile. We are working class people, who against all odds, have built a home here. Having something to fight for makes us strong.

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

CrimethInc https://crimethinc.com/2020/03/19/on-rent-strike-against-gentrification-and-the-pandemic-an-interview-with-residents-of-station-40-in-san-francisco

USA: Rent strike declarations

Across the country some have already declared that they will refuse to pay rent on April first. Here are some of their declarations.

Station 40 (San Francisco)

Dear friends of Station 40,
We decided tonight that we’re going on rent strike. The urgency of the moment demands decisive and collective action. We are doing this to protect and care for ourselves and our community. Now more than ever, we refuse debt and we refuse to be exploited. We will not shoulder this burden for the capitalists. Five years ago, we defeated our landlord’s attempt to evict us. We won because of the the solidarity of our neighbors and our friends around the world. We are once again calling on that network. Our collective feels prepared for the shelter-in-place that begins at midnight throughout the bay area. The most meaningful act of solidarity for us in this moment is for everyone to go on strike together. We will have your back, as we know you will have ours. Rest, pray, take care of each other.

Everything for everyone!
The residents of Station 40.

Read an interview with residents of Station 40 about their decision to go on rent strike

Fortnight Bar (Providence, RI)

As everyone is surely more than aware, we are now in a moment of “self-isolation” and “social distancing” with a more formal lockdown very likely on the way. These measures, while socially necessary to prevent the spread of the disease, have devastating economic consequences which disproportionately affect low-income families, precarious workers, and other disenfranchised members of our community.
Some voices are now calling for suspension of rent and mortgage payments during this period. In the first instance we would like to add our voice to that call.
Beyond this however, we, as anarchists, believe that the first and essential tool of change is not government fiat and lobbying, but rather direct action taken by regular people to make the changes we want to see. As such we add to the call for such a suspension with a call for a rent and mortgage *strike* during the crisis. We think that the first step to changing the rules right now is collective refusal.
We are calling on everyone—individuals, business, non-profits, and any other entity that has rent or mortgage obligations—not only to withhold payments, but to publicly commit to doing so. While the world grinds to a halt, we refuse to continue to dutifully pay crippling amounts for basic needs. This is evil in the best of times; this crisis highlights its banality as well as its brutality. When it has become impossible for so many of us to work, there is no alternative except to stand together and say: Rent Strike Now! Mortgage Strike Now!
This means: do not pay your next rent or mortgage payment. Instead, send a message that you will not be paying (check back for form letters to banks and landlords). This means repost this message and image. This means sign on to the rent/mortgage strike commitment form (link in bio). It’s particularly important for people who are financially secure and able to pay their rent or mortgage to show solidarity with those who are unable to at the moment by not paying. This is how we create the pressure to make this strike effective.

Mac Properties Tenants (Chicago, IL)

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, a group of Mac Properties tenants are asking for the cancellation of April rents, and they are threatening to begin a rent strike if the company does not comply.
“Many of us are students, many of us are workers, and we depend on our work to pay our rents,” one tenant and organizer of the action, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Herald. “We’re not gonna be able to (pay), so we’re trying to get Mac to cancel rent for the month of April.”
The organizer said that the demands originated from a group of Mac tenants living in a couple of different buildings, and that “several dozen” people are involved. At the moment, they are calling the Mac offices, 1364 E. 53rd St., and demanding that rents be canceled — according to the organizer, the property management company has told them that there is “not even a consideration to do so.”
“So far the response has been a refusal,” they said. “It shows a real callousness that they won’t even consider our proposal, which is only in line with what folks are literally able to pay.”

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

Rent Strike
rentstrike [at] riseup [dot] net
https://rentstrike.noblogs.org/strike-declarations/

Los Angeles: A dozen vacant homes reclaimed by unhoused tenants as calls for rent strike grow across US

On Saturday, March 14th, a group of supporters mobilized to defend several families, who launched an occupation of a two-bedroom bungalow in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Calling themselves “Reclaimers,” these new residents are demanding that housing owned by the California Department of Transportation or Caltrans, which for decades has laid vacant, be used to house the houseless in the face of the growing COVID-19 outbreak and continuing housing crisis. The group is inspired in part by Moms 4 Housing in Oakland, California, who led a successful housing occupation in January.

Moving into the home was: [Martha] Escudero and her family moved into the house with Ruby Gordillo, 33, and Gordillo’s three children. The Gordillos had been living in a small studio in Pico-Union. Joining the two families in the El Sereno home is Benito Flores, 64, a welder who had been living in his van.

According to Los Angeles Daily News:

One-by-one, the activists filed up a set of front steps in an act of civil disobedience, carrying with them a small writing desk, dining chair, an ornate glass coffee table and other furniture into a two-bedroom house on Sheffield Avenue.
Among them was 33-year-old Ruby Gordillo, who carried a small pot of flowers that she set down on the coffee table. She and her three children live in a cramped, one-bedroom unit in an apartment building in the Westlake Pico-Union area, she said. But for as many days as she is able to, Gordillo plans to call this El Sereno bungalow her new home.
But in the window of the “occupied” home, a piece of paper was hung that read “self-quarantine in process,” referencing the practice recommended for people who want to stay isolated from others because they may have the novel coronavirus. No one on site appeared to have the virus; the sign was intended to echo the group’s political statement.
She is part of a group, calling themselves the Reclaimers, made up of economically precarious and homeless families and individuals.
The activists demanded that “all unused and empty state, county, city and school district buildings and properties be immediately used to house the thousands of unhoused individuals and families.” They modeled themselves after Moms 4 Housing, activists who occupied a vacant home in Oakland for two months until they were forced out by law enforcement.
And with thousands homeless in LA, “we are here to reclaim these homes,” said Benito Flores, who is also squatting in the house. “They say it is a crime to occupy these houses, but this is not a crime,” said Flores, who lives in his van. “This is justice.”

On Saturday, media reports showed supporters carrying furniture and other items into the occupied home and over the course of the next few days, according to organizers and people on the ground who spoke to It’s Going Down, the occupation has grown to include at least 12 formerly vacant, Caltrans owned properties.

The units that were occupied are part of a group of 163 homes that currently sit empty and were part of a once much larger stock of dwellings that were bought by Caltrans in the post-World War II period to make way for the construction of the 710 freeway. The project faced decades of steep opposition and in 2018, was abandoned. According to local housing activists, Caltrans has let the housing stock literally “rot,” while making it “so difficult for [those] tenants who participate in the affordable rent program that they become frustrated and leave — some [forced] into homelessness.”

As the number of occupied homes continues to grow, so does the need for people to show up and support the Reclaimers. To find out more information about the struggle, follow Reclaiming Our Homes.

Meanwhile, there are increasing calls for a rent strike in the face of the economic meltdown caused by the exploding coronavirus pandemic. In working-class Mission District of San Francisco, the long running anarchist housing collective Station 40, which five years ago was successful in beating back their eviction, has declared a rent strike starting April 1st as has Fortnight, a radical, autonomous bar in Providence, Rhode Island.

In Chicago, tenants renting from Mac Properties have demanded the cancellation of April’s rent and have threatened a rent strike. As the Hyde Park Herald reported:
“Many of us are students, many of us are workers, and we depend on our work to pay our rents,” one tenant and organizer of the action, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Herald. “We’re not gonna be able to (pay), so we’re trying to get Mac to cancel rent for the month of April.”
The organizer said that the demands originated from a group of Mac tenants living in a couple of different buildings, and that “several dozen” people are involved. At the moment, they are calling the Mac offices, 1364 E. 53rd St., and demanding that rents be canceled — according to the organizer, the property management company has told them that there is “not even a consideration to do so.”
Meanwhile, the organizer in Hyde Park says the time for transformative political action is now. “If the people do nothing and they don’t organize and build power we’ll see the same disaster capitalism that we saw after Hurricane Maria,” said the organizer.
“Large corporations and entrenched power are only gonna become more entrenched. There’s a vision that says we can use this as an opportunity …. I think it’s safe to say that in the coming weeks and months we’re going to see a massive amount of government intervention into the economy. The question is what kind of intervention (we) want.”

Calls for a rent strikes in other states have also gone viral and support is growing for an international rent strike on April 1st, while hubs and infrastructure are being set up in cities like Seattle, WA.

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

It’s Going Down https://itsgoingdown.org/a-dozen-vacant-homes-reclaimed-by-unhoused-tenants-in-la-as-calls-for-rent-strike-grow-across-us/

Brighton: Squatted Night Shelter update

Hello friends,
We’re sorry for being so quiet lately. In case you were wondering, we wanted to let you know that this project is still going. We currently have a building where people are being housed, although, for now at least, we are keeping its location private for the safety of those of us who live there and in the hope of keeping the building for longer.

We are really thankful that, due to your support, we’ve been able to move buildings when we have needed to and keep people housed. There is so much uncertainty at the moment. Many of us are worried about our safety and the safety of people we love, so it means a lot to have somewhere for people to live.
When we’re all being told to #StayHome, it’s important to remember that for so many people that just isn’t a possibility. There are hundreds and thousands of homeless people in the UK. Every night, many of them sleep on the streets, where their health is already at serious risk. Covid-19 could be deadly to people who have no way to protect themselves or to self-isolate.
We can’t trust the state to look after us, particularly the most vulnerable people in our communities. All we have is each other and solidarity is everything. Please remember that over the coming weeks.
If you haven’t already, join your local mutual aid group and see what you can do to help.
Let’s keep looking for ways to support each other

DIY Kodak Collective

London: Eviction Of The Pie ‘N’ Mash Squat Cafe – We Must Push For No Evictions In This Crisis!

As I write this, I should have actually been emailing another article to the Freedom editorial team, announcing the shutdown of the Pie ‘n’ Mash Autonomous Social Cafe, and its rebirth as the Pie ‘n’ Mash Mutual Aid Centre (38-40 Deptford High St).

Instead, I write this from the lounge of a neighbouring squat, having been woken up by High Court bailiffs at 7am this morning. The day that we were to become the hub for sanitation of donations and distribution in the Deptford area, we were torn from our home, and left scrambling for our possessions. This despite a warning on the door that people in the building were attempting to self-isolate for the public safety – well-prepared bailiffs ascending the stairs kitted out in medical masks and rubber gloves.

Running with the momentum of the anarchist-instigated mutual aid groups that have blossomed in the South-East of London (and indeed across the country), a plan was set to set up the cafe as a centre for donations, which could then be sanitised, and those involved in assisting people who are self-isolating to be able to collect and clean gear before distributing. Recognising that the crona will affect the poorest the hardest, the plan was to also be able to provide basic household items to those who can least afford to ride out this wave.

Thankfully many people in the area have provided a variety of leads in terms of solving the problem, legal spaces that could be attained to effect the idea of the Mutual Aid Centre. We hope to see the creation of such a project in the coming days, no eviction will stop us, and we are just so inspired to see people intent on continuing the idea. Crisis brings out the anarchist in so many.

Despite walking away with high-spirits, the reality is that the eviction of the Pie ‘n’ Mash cafe is a tragedy for so many. We must see it as a call to resist, to really rise to the occasion and fight to protect all of our spaces, from our social centres to our homes. We must push for no evictions, whoever it is, from the squatter to the renter. If mortgage owners can catch a break, why should the oppressed be any different. Of course we do not expect the government to listen, or the capital-owning class. We must organise ourselves, build affinity with our friends and neighbours, protect each other and resist all evictions. Coordinate rent strikes and build eviction resistance networks. We must fight back against the crushing repression and extra financial burden that this situation is placing us all in.

The Pie ‘n’ Mash Autonomous Social Cafe ran for over 5 months, in 4 different buildings on the Deptford High St. The idea for a truly community-run space was birthed from the destruction of the Tidemill Garden at the beginning of 2019. It provided thousands of free cups of tea and coffee for the regular punters, a place where no-one was turned away for being poor or homeless, or having issues. Many activities and workshops also took place in the cafe, and the politics shone through without it being overtly ‘political’. Many hours were spent there, and every one worth spending. The Mutual Aid Centre may not take place in a squat necessarily, but the legacy of the cafe and its community outreach will live on through that project until it is safe enough to once again open a space for everyone to participate in.

We all look forward to the return of the cafe, but we can’t afford to go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over, so muck in, be part of an organised anarchist effort, and we can celebrate with a pint later – for now it’s probably safer to steer clear of the pubs.

Pie ‘n’ Mash Squat
squatcafe [at] riseup [dot] net
https://squ.at/r/7fnf

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

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

Freedom News: https://freedomnews.org.uk/london-eviction-of-the-pie-n-mash-squat-cafe-we-must-push-for-no-evictions-in-this-crisis/

Rotterdam : 6 squats evicted in the Tweebosbuurt

In the early morning of the 6th of March, residents of the Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam were shaken awake by police forces. The entire neighbourhood was locked down for a militarized eviction of 6 squats. 6 houses of which the residents were put on the street with their right to a home.
Beyond these symbolic houses, which brought some life back into the emptying neighbourhood, it’s all residents of the Tweebosbuurt that are the target here. Since several months, life in the area has turned into a more joyful reality again, in which residents’ resignation in the face of the demolition of their neighbourhood was seeping away. The authorities have thus decided to destroy these sparkles of hope: no squats, no solidarity, no joy, no hope.
But let them know that the destruction of our living spaces will not suppress our desire for freedom.
Squatting goes on.

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://www.indymedia.nl/node/47579

Los Angeles: Reclaiming Our Homes

No one should be homeless when homes are sitting empty. Housing is a human right!

There are more vacant homes than people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Some of these vacant properties are even owned by the state. We are taking this housing back for our community.
Impacted by the housing crisis, and feeling even more urgency in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are reclaiming vacant houses owned by the state to fight for housing as a human right. We the Reclaimers are calling on the city and state to immediately use all vacant properties to house people. We need all levels of government to make a massive investment in public and social housing so that everyone has a home during this housing and public health crisis.
In California, a person needs to earn $32.68 an hour to afford an average two bedroom apartment. It’s an outrage that the state and city are leaving homes and property unused when so many people need housing. We are holding them accountable and demanding immediate action.

Reclaim Our Homes is organizing a fundraiser with this statement:

Governor Gavin Newsom,

This is to notify you that we, Reclaimers, members of Reclaiming Our Homes, less than an hour ago, have peacefully moved into a State-owned empty house in Los Angeles on the now defunct 710 corridor. We, the Reclaimers, are homeless families that include children as young as 9 months old and elders over 70 that have been living in cars and encampments. We ask that you quickly call Caltrans officials and direct them not to use violence or arrest to resolve this homeless issue.

As you should know, over the last 30 years, Caltrans has preferred to follow an unwritten policy of depopulating the corridor using various means such as; harassment, intimidation, no cause evictions, neglect and rent raises at the rate of 10% every six months to evict tenants. This State Agency, now under your authority, would rather have empty houses than tenants who have been demanding their rights. The result is that over 200 out of 500 original rentals are now empty. This particular State Agency has been part of creating the housing crisis. We instead are occupying several houses, in accordance to your spoken and written policy.

And this is not just about the Caltrans properties. Up and down the state, there is unused public land and property while tens of thousands sleep on our streets each night. We, Reclaimers, demand that all unused and empty State, County, City and School District buildings and properties be immediately used to house the thousands of homeless individuals and families.

The present coronavirus is bringing out the best and worse in us all. It is common knowledge that the public is safer if people have the ability to self-quarantine and safely self-isolate in a home. Also, the State of Michigan is correct in making sure that all families have running water and have reversed a long-time policy of turning off water for non-payment. We ask that you, as Governor, direct Caltrans to allow the new families to immediately turn on their utilities. Heat and electricity are also essential to the well being of the Reclaimers.

Lastly, it is important that you take direct authority over this matter because the Reclaimers have broad support from a community that is fed up with the housing crisis that has millions in California struggling every day just to keep a roof over their heads. In addition to demanding that all publicly-owned vacant housing and property to become homes for people who need them, NOW!, we are calling for the following:

o Housing should be homes for those who need it, not investments for Wall Street speculators.

o Housing must be recognized as a human right in our state constitution.

o We need all levels of government to make a massive investment in public and social housing so that everyone has a home.

The Reclaimers and their vast support networks are ready to help rebuild these homes and this community. However, the Reclaimers are also ready to defend what we consider ours. If the police are called by Caltrans there will potentially be hundreds of arrests, all because we are carrying out your policy in practice.

Although 1 Billion dollars is a good start that we appreciate, we all know that is not nearly sufficient. We want to thank you, in advance, for your policy on homelessness, affordable housing and for any positive intervention such as direct talks, no police violence, allowing the turning on of indispensable utilities, and immediately accepting new tenants into the Caltrans tenant rolls.

Reclaimers,

Housing is a Human Right—El Techo es Un Derecho
All Vacant Public Properties for Affordable Housing

Our Stories

Ruby Gordillo, Reclaimer: “At this new house, everything will be different. My kids will have space to play in a yard for the first time, like the one at the house I grew up in not far from here. I want to garden, and get to know my neighbors, go for walks, and be a part of this beautiful community here in El Sereno.”

Martha Escudero, Reclaimer: “I was born and raised in California mostly in the Los Angeles area and it saddens me to see the state in such a horrific housing crisis. I am a mother of two daughters and we have been in unstable housing for a year and a half. Not having a place of our own and having to move so much has affected us in a deeply emotional way.”

Benito Flores, Reclaimer: “I had to start living in a van because I couldn’t pay the rent. I think there are a lot of us in the same situation living in the streets living in their cars. And I think we should do something, we must do something. The rent is too high and salaries too low.”

Reclaiming Our Homes
reclaimingourhomes [at] gmail [dot] com
https://reclaimingourhomes.org/
Sign up to get updates on our action and how to support, sign up using the form here or text RECLAIM to (323) 214-3761

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

https://www.gofundme.com/f/reclaiming-our-homes
https:// youtu.be/eq6WqPB9224

Samone di Guiglia (Modena): Eviction of an anarchist squat and arrests

On 28th February a group of people occupied a country house in the Samone countryside, in the province of Modena. There was no welcoming, already in the early afternoon cops, firemen and ROS threatened the eviction. Some went up on the roof and others barricaded themselves in the house, resisting the constant pressure and insistent threats, until the shits went away. The following day they came back calling all their friends over. They managed to storm the house beating and hitting with truncheons. Meantime some of the squatters went up the roof. Ten people were taken to the prison in Modena and arrested on charges of resistance, violence and insulting, some were handcuffed. Five squatters resisted on the roof for eight hours, they took it well in spite of the cold and the Apennine landscape obfuscated by the shits in uniform threatening to arrest everybody as soon as they came down. After they were granted permission to take their personal belongings they came down from the roof. As soon as they got down, however, they were taken to police headquarters in Sassuolo to be charged but once there they were photographed and fingerprinted. After the usual, long disgusting hours waiting, the noise made by people in solidarity at the gates made the cops release the five – not before physical and verbal threats to them, even before there were any charges for resistance, occupation and trespassing.

04/03/2020 Samone – All the comrades arrested during the resistance against the eviction were released
We learn that yesterday, 3rd March, all those arrested following the events in Samone were released after the hearing for the confirmation of the arrests. As for now 15 people, including 10 who had been arrested, are on bail.

01/03/2020 – From the regime media, we learn that on 28th February a farmhouse was occupied in Samone di Guiglia, in the province of Modena. As soon as the police arrived, some squatters went up the roof to resist. Yesterday, following clashes with the cops, 11 people were arrested and the house was evicted.

02/03/2020 – On the eviction in Samone di Guiglia – Appointments and updates
Tomorrow tuesday 3rd March, arrests will be confirmed. The investigating judge has demanded aggravating circumstances relating to the charge of resistance.

TODAY’S APPOINTMENT [Monday 2nd March]: at 3:30pm at Ligera di Modena, via Pomposa 8, in order to go all together outside the prison and try to greet our comrades.
Following the eviction in Samone, we are waiting for the confirmation of the hearing, which is due tomorrow morning; in any case we’ll meet at the Delfini library in Modena. We are preparing parcels to be sent inside, if you have something that can be sent bring it over. The arrested people are 10.

Some squats in Italy: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/IT/squated/squat
Directory of groups (social centers, collectives, squats) in Italy: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/IT
Events in Italy: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/IT

Act For Freedom https://actforfree.nostate.net/?p=36733

Alcázar De San Juan (Spanish state): CSOA La Idea attacked and trashed

Since our beginning as a CSOA (self-managed occupied social centre) on 23rd May 2017, we announce with much sadness and resignation, that the collective LA IDEA ceases its activity in the current premises.

In the early morning of last Thursday 5th March, the social center suffered an extremely serious attack for the development of the activities we had been carrying out. The social center has suffered irreparable damage, they have destroyed all the infrastructure we built: windows, doors, solar energy, water tanks, furniture and much more seriously, they have stolen and destroyed all the electrical installation that made it possible to hold events and activities. They have opened the fences that delimit the space and have destroyed all the material that we had, such as cleaning products, refrigerators, stoves, tables, chairs, kitchens, bathrooms, lighting and a long etc…

This situation, has been repeated in the following days during the weekend. Looting, stealing and destruction went on.
With much sacrifice we have only managed to save some objects of sentimental value for us.

During these almost 3 years, we have managed to recover and overcome innumerable attacks from the institutions and other entities, we have overcome the initial state of ruin of the social center, not depending on the electricity and water networks, and even an important legal process against our social center, but unfortunately the plundering and destruction of everything built so far, makes it impossible for us to continue using these facilities.

Of course, the collective LA IDEA continues, we do not know where, but we leave with a learning that makes us stronger, and with an experience for the future that has changed our lives forever.

We would like to thank, without exception, all the people who have been involved in the social center, in whatever way, placing a door, planting a tomato, proposing events or attending the innumerable activities that we have carried out uninterruptedly, with an enormous success of attendance, which is for us the most important thing of all.

CULTURE FOR ALL IN FREE SPACES.

CSOA La Idea
Alcázar De San Juan,
Castille La Mancha, Spanish state
csoalaidea [at] gmail [dot] com
https://squ.at/r/3yrd

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

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

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

La Haine https://www.lahaine.org/est_espanol.php/el-csoa-la-idea-en

Zwolle: 17 squatters arrested

Sunday night March 8th (technically Monday morning March 9th) 17 squatters were arrested in Zwolle, Netherlands.

The building was occupied by squatters after 5 years of vacancy. Unfortunately the police got wind of the situation and after a while they were at the door with all their might and power. Not soon after the police entered and the squatters were summoned to get down on their knees, with hands on their heads. The squatters were handcuffed and taken to the police station, where they were all detained for more than 16 hours. During the arrest, breaking tools were also found by the police.

All squatters are now free. They have all received a fine (€225) for trespassing, which is a strange situation for people who are homeless or barely able to pay their rent. During the arrest the squatters were not given the opportunity to pack their belongings, these things are still in the building.

After Sunday night there are two losers and only one winner: The police had to use violence and some of the squatters are still homeless. The winner is Janssen Vastgoed: his building (one of many vacant premises) is still empty and as far as we know the company is not being bothered by the municipality.

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

Source: https://www.indymedia.nl/node/47541

Amsterdam: Sarphatipark 87-H squatted

This afternoon a vacant building in Amsterdam got new inhabitants

The vacant building, Sarphatipark 87-H, has been empty for a while now. It is owned by the recently deceased real estate owner van Zijl. An owner that had a lot of buildings in Amsterdam, known for being vacant for a long time.
At this moment there are no concrete plans for the building.
The action went smooth, cops came verified the house was indeed squatted, and left. Some hours later, some other cops showed up, told the squatters that they were caught red handed and that there was no house peace. They told the squatters to immediately leave the house.
The squatters did not comply. You can’t really say they are caught in the act, several hours after their colleges already verified that people are living there. Also, the lack of house peace is being disputed by the squatters. By that time there has been a nice dinner, people took showers, some took a nap. Pretty homy.
The police insisted that they want to evict the place. It looks like tonight that it is not going to happen. They drove by a few times but that was it.
The squatters welcome everyone to come and help with the occupation

Fight for your rights!
Houses for everybody!

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

Source: https://www.indymedia.nl/node/47530

Athens: Cops inside the University of Economics. Vancouver squat symbolically reoccupied

It all started on Monday 24 February inside the grounds of Athens University of Economics, when an off duty cop in plain clothes got off his bike and began harassing an immigrant street vendor outside the front gate. The policeman was spotted by anarchist students due to his boots and his helmet that bore the police insignia and was immediately confronted. In his panic, he began running inside the university grounds and managed to trap himself in a dead end corridor, pulled a gun on students and with his finger on the trigger threatened to shoot them while pointing the gun at them for at least 5 minutes, while desperately calling his colleagues on the phone to come and rescue him. The students, not losing their cool, but at the same time not taking a step back demanded he puts the gun down and exits the university grounds. Few minutes later scores of riot policemen stormed the university and attacked students during school hours with flash bang grenades and asphyxiating gas creating chaos because of one imbecile cop that thought he was a cowboy.

Following these events, that shook the academic community, a protest was called by students on Wednesday 26 February from Athens University of Economics, that the incident took place, to the greek police headquarters, (2.5 km away). Thousands of people took part in the protest, demanding the university asylum to be reinstated (forbidding the police to enter any university grounds, as it was the case for decades, until few months ago, when the new right wing government abolished it).

When the protest reached the police headquarters and after the main body of the demo had passed in front of the building, several anarchists attacked it with stones, using fire extinguishers to fog the policemen’s vision. Riot police brigades and police bikers charged into the crowd with their bikes, ramming people with them as a weapon and throwing them to the ground, chasing, attacking and arresting anyone they could. Many students managed to get into the metro subway station nearby but the police started to throw asphyxiating gas grenades inside the station and while they gave an order for the passing trains not to make a stop, in order to trap hundreds of people down there, in a horrific atmosphere of people breathing with difficulty due to the gas, while at the same time, disrupting the public transport by creating a problem to hundreds more passengers that were planning to get off the tube at that specific metro station.

Following the events the students decided to occupy the Athens University of Economics on Thursday and Friday, 27 and 28 of February 2020. On Thursday, February 27, 2020, along with many people in solidarity from the occupied “Athens University of Economics” the squatters of “Vancouver Squat” that was evacuated by the greek riot police on November 2, 2019, took the riot police by surprise and symbolically reoccupied the squat lighting flares on the rooftop.

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

Sources: Perseus999 & Act for Revolution https://actforfree.nostate.net/?p=36671

Madrid: La Ingobernable, we are still in the heart of Madrid

For our friends.
For the ones who fight every day.
For those who are gone.
In this month of feminist revolt, of organized rage, of joy and of struggle, we, the neighbors of Madrid, make public the recovery of the building in Calle Alberto Bosch 4, as a new common and open space in the heart of Madrid. Now, in this week more than ever, we must remember the role that social centers have had, have and will have for the feminist movement, as a space for convergence, construction and self-organisation. The attack on social centers is undoubtedly a direct attack on feminism, which we are not prepared to tolerate.
In recent years we have witnessed a lamentable spectacle in which a few people share out the city, selling it to the highest bidder or handing it over to friends while others are thrown out of our neighbourhoods. Recently we learned that the building of La Ingobernable (Paseo del Prado 30) was once again being given, in the style of the PP, to a foundation directed by the former mayor Gallardón to build a museum instead of the so promised endowments for the neighborhood that the current mayor, Martínez-Almeida, was advocating during the electoral campaign. This story is very familiar to us because some years ago the also ex-mayor Botella already gave it, for 1 euro and at 75 years old, to a foundation friend of the PP.

Spaces that should serve to articulate strong communities are becoming non-places impossible to inhabit. The logic of the market demands that the city be stripped of everything that makes it alive and leave only the skeleton of that which can be profitable: a showcase that tries to imitate places full of life but without the inconvenience of people actually living in them. That is why it is the responsibility of all of us to respond to these attacks by recovering new social spaces from which to organize anger and defend joy.
Why do we think spaces like this are necessary? Social centers are key to counteract unbridled consumerism, the commodification of leisure and the unsustainable proposals of the system. They promote collective awareness of situations of injustice, open up spaces for learning and disseminating critical thinking, weave networks of solidarity, and make alternative ways of life visible. In short, these spaces constitute citizen platforms from which to understand, but above all to live the social struggles.
We claim the recovery of empty buildings for the common good as a legitimate practice. Legitimate in the name of the feminist movement, which will continue to defend us from the patriarchy and the neofascist drift of machismo present in the institutions. Legitimate in the name of the ecological movement that defends our planet every day against the ecological policies of capitalism. Legitimate in the name of the housing movement, which fights for the neighbors expelled from their neighborhoods by the predatory action of vulture funds and gentrification. It is legitimate in the name of the LGTBIQ+ collective, which fights daily to ensure that we never again have to hide our sexual and emotional diversity. Legitimate in the name of the anti-racist and anti-fascist movement, which will continue to fight alongside migrants and racialised people in the face of their criminalisation by institutions and the media. Legitimate in the name of a multitude of social movements that do not conform to the aggressions and discriminations normalized by the system.

From this moment, we call on all our friends and invite you to participate in the creation of the structure of this new social center. We were born with the desire to include all those people and groups that seek to transform the unjust model of the system and the city that we live in. In the face of authoritarian policies that seek to dismantle and criminalize networks of solidarity, cooperation and mutual support, we will remain united to create places of encounter and collective construction. We remain in the heart of Madrid.

For a life in common, we were, are and will be INGOBERNABLE.

La Ingobernable
https://squ.at/r/3ar6
https://ingobernable.net/

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

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

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

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

Original statement in Spanish published by la Ingobernable

Porto (Portugal): Call for April of Action

APRIL OF ACTION Porto, Portugal 2020

International call for action

This call is born out of the refusal to conform and stand passively watching as States and Governments turn the world into an machine of oppression imposed by rulers that don’t even hide the disrespect they have towards whole populations.

We have been witnessing an escalation of events which demand that we re-think our posture in the world and the way we want to lead our lives and the future of the planet.

Low salaries, unreasonable rents, gentrification that purposely pushes the lower classes out of the cities, out of their local communities to give space to the rich, not only alienating them from their roots and history but also not providing alternative resources for a dignified life. A consequence of real estate speculation and only in benefit of the upper class and capitalist economic interests. The exploitation of resources like Shale Gas, and Lithium without respect for the will and well being of the citizens living nearby. Illegal toll systems. New constructions that destroy entire ecosystems, like the project of a new airport in Montijo, or fracking extraction platforms that pollute soil layers and contaminates water plaques (same contaminated water that goes into the houses of nearby citizens).
Human exploitation, the mass destruction of nature, the killing of indigenous peoples and their habitats, wars…
And the list goes on and on…

All this scenario of insecurity also gives space for neo-fascist political ideologies which are now trying to sneak softly into our lives with the promise of “saving the interests of the nations”

It’s necessary to say ‘’enough’’!!
It’s necessary to take control of our own lives and by our own hands.

We feel its urgent to create structures of collective organization, horizontal, self managed, anti-capitalist, sovereign, that will help us depend less on a State and more on each other, our neighbors, our communities.

We invite @ll for the creation of a squatted autonomous zone on an urban/rural area of Porto starting on the 1st of April. Created by and for @ll.

From the 19th to the 25th of April there will be an international “Gathering of The Struggles”. It will be a meeting point for activism, art and struggles with the theme: Sovereignty. Throughout this period there will be a series of practical actions taking place at the city center related with housing and gentrification issues. This escalation of actions will lead to a final, bigger action on the 25th of April (anniversary date of the Portuguese peaceful revolution that ended dictatorship in the country)

If you have any ideas or proposals for activities/ lectures/ workshops/ concerts/ exhibitions/ workshops/etc for this meeting or if you wish to be involved in the organization, get in touch.

Things to bring:
Tent/sleeping bag/blankets/knives, forks, plates, cups/candles/food donations/all kinds of materials/trust and self esteem.

The meeting on the 1st of April will be at (Jardim de S. Lazaro at 14 o’clock) from where we’ll go together to the place in question.

Follow the white rabbit … abrilaccao [at] protonmail [dot] ch

Rotterdam: Illegal eviction of Tweebosstraat 120

On the 26th of February, employees of Vestia came to the door of a squat on Tweebosstraat 120. They knocked at the door, introducing themselves as the police. Obviously the squatters didn’t believe them, and refused to open the door anyway. Vestia threatened them to call the police, so they gave them the following documents proving they were living here for more than a week. Those documents were stamped by the OM on the 19th of February to prove the authenticity of the date.
According to Dutch law, those documents mean that Vestia is supposed to do a court case against the squatters in order to get an eviction order. After 48 hours of occupancy it’s illegal to evict a squat without an order from a judge.

But police was called anyway. When they came, Vestia kept the documents to themselves and lied to the police, saying the squatters arrived that day, so it was legal to evict them without a court case. The police took the statement of Vestia as a proof and didn’t investigate further: they didn’t try to talk with the squatters, they ignored the neighbors when they told them that there were legal documents that they didn’t see and they didn’t ask Vestia for those documents.

After a while, 6 police trucks arrived. They started to kick the door with battering ram despite the protestations of the neighbors. A small group of bystanders formed in the streets, some of them singing with the squatters or questioning the police. Some police officers said they were evicting following direct orders from the OM. Eventually, the police closed the streets and forced everyone to leave, but the group stayed around for a while. When the police finally managed to break in, they arrested the three inhabitants quite roughly under the boos of the crowd. Two of them were kept for the night, and have been questioned without a lawyer despite the fact that one was on his way to the police station. SPS sealed the place with sytex plates with the help of the police, under the supervision of Vestia. The belongings of the squatters were locked up inside, they didn’t get a chance to get them back.

Later that night, a banner appeared on the wall of the 120 despite the sytex:

This eviction, like the one in De La Reystraat 42, was completely illegal, and we have documents to prove it. We will soon sue Rotterdam’s police and the OM for ordering an eviction without a proper investigation and disregarding documents proving that it was illegal. We’ll also highlight Vestia’s fake statements to the police.

Videos of the eviction will come soon, keep yourself updated!

Take care and see you soon!

Tweebosbuurt
https://squ.at/r/7o21
http://tweebosbuurt.noblogs.org/

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

Source: https://tweebosbuurt.noblogs.org/post/2020/02/29/illegal-eviction-of-tweebosstraat-120/

London: Paddington Green police station squat evicted

The Paddington Green police station squat was evicted. The operation saw more than 60 bailiffs, private security and, of course, the cops themselves, storming the building just after 7am. The residents have managed to resist for long enough to secure the time needed to gather their belongings.

The notorious high-security cop shop, best known as a place where people suspected of terrorism were held and questioned, had been squatted since the night of 7th February. That’s when the Green Anticapitalist Front, alongside squatters and other activists, took the decomissioned and abondoned in 2018 building, intending to turn it to a community centre.

The next day, the cops, whose egos must have clearly been bruised, unsuccessfully attempted to evict the space. They claimed it is a residential building (and therefore illegal to squat) and, reportedly, that not allowing them to come in and use a toilet is a breach of their human rights.

The eviction order was granted by the high court last week, with the court explicitly mentioning the disruption the squat has caused to police firearms training in the building.

The No Fixed Abode Anti-Fascists (NFAAF) commented on today’s eviction:

“Staying nearly an extra week beyond the eviction order should be seen as a big “fuck you” to the state and its police. Although it was a broad coalition of collectives who helped occupy the building, it remained those who showed militancy until the end, and respect for a diversity of tactics, who seemed to win the day.

In memory of Mark Duggan, Sean Rigg, Ian Tomlinson and those who have suffered at the hands of the police.

No justice, no peace!”

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

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

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

Freedom News, Photo credit: Fields of Light Photography https://freedomnews.org.uk/london-paddington-green-police-station-squat-evicted/

Rotterdam: Tweebosbuurt callout for solidarity

For the freedom to occupy abandoned places, an eviction, 10 occupations!

In a few days from now, next Wednesday March 4th, 6 squats (3 of which officially and the rest very likely) are facing eviction, 6 homes people have been transforming and living in for months, whilst also fighting against the demolition and gentrification of the neighborhood. 6 houses whose residents will be thrown out onto the street with all their possessions by the police. The date of 4 March is decisive, both for the future of these homes and for the continuation of the battle here in Tweebosbuurt. We are therefore launching a call out to come and support us and to be present in solidarity during the evictions.
The battle has only just begun,
Keep on squatting!

Communique received on February 27th

We write to you from Tweebosbuurt. Today, once more there has been another illegal large scale eviction. The police broke through the door with a battering ram, and arrested 3 people inside. That proves again that the police ignore the law : this eviction was completely illegal, inhabitants were there for 8 days, way more than the required 48h. They had documents proving they were living there for all that time and they were stamped by the court of Rotterdam proving the authenticity of the date. Vestia took those documents and gave a false statement to the police saying the squatters had arrived that day. They mentioned nothing about the documents when the police broke in. Vestia and the police were the only criminals here.
In a few days, the 4th of march, 6 squats are supposed to be evicted. 6 houses where people have lived for months, answering the call to occupy Tweebosbuurt to fight against gentrification and evictions. 6 houses opened against the demolition machine that Vestia is will see their doors demolished.

This date of the 4th of march is decisive for the survival of our living spaces and for the survival of this struggle here and now in Tweebosbuurt. We’re calling for people to come to defend and inhabit this neighborhood, before and after the evictions. Let’s stop companies like Vestia and many others from destroying working class neighborhoods ! Let’s stop the police from being their watchdogs, manipulating law and procedure without consequence in order to harm us and make money out of misery.
It’s happening now. We need your solidarity.
Take what you need, we don’t know if we will be able host people, it depends on the police actions !
‘cause we’re always up for a fight.

Tweebosbuurt
https://squ.at/r/7o21
http://tweebosbuurt.noblogs.org/

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

source: https://www.indymedia.nl/node/47478

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