Autonomous spaces under attack, support the struggle!
Call for solidarity actions for INDE squat in Koper, Slovenia
In the last few years we have seen new autonomous spaces emerging in Slovenia, joining the struggles of older squats all over the country. Along the Slovenian coast, two enormous buildings were occupied until recently. The occupations brought radical politics and different social relations to their environment. Both squats were always open to a variety of projects and initiatives, but had strong anarchist presence and activities as well. The spaces used to be factories, which were destroyed by the brutal privatization.
Right after New Years, ARGO squat in Izola was forcefully evicted. Eviction was preceded by a series of harassments from police and security company, that in some cases resulted in serious bodily injuries and fines for comrades there. The second coastal squat, called INDE, got an eviction notice just a few days ago. We are supposed to leave the premises on January 30 2017.
Both squats are currently owned by so-called Bad Bank. This is a state institution under the management of the Ministry of Finance, created to resolve debt by big failed speculative financial investment that crashed during the economic crisis. In other words: they are there to sell buildings cheap and open them to further financial speculations, by which the rich will once again profit, while all of us will lose. The eviction of INDE is going to happen under a pretense of cleaning up dangerous material at the site. ARGO was also declared a dangerous zone by authorities, but the only thing they are trying to clean out of it are comrades who are bringing life into these spaces.
This is another blow in a hard year for the squatting movement in Slovenia, since all of the spaces are facing attacks, either by Nazis or/and police, private security, and state institutions. We understand this kind of pressure as a part of increased repression that the so-called migrant crisis has justified. More is at stake than just our building. We are a hope of a different world, where solidarity, mutual aid, anti-authoritarianism, and non-hierarchical relations are still possible. Just few months ago we prevented the eviction of Rog squat in Ljubljana. We know we can do that again.
We call for comrades all around the world to show us solidarity. We will welcome you here, but will be happy if you fight where you stand. Send us a letter of support, or raise a banner! Or squat something yourself! They can never hold us back if we stand together strong. Everything you do will keep our spirits up.
If we go down, we are going down in style. Join our struggle!
Local Group Alternativa Obstaja, Koper (part of FAO-IFA)
BAD BANK: http://www.dutb.eu/en/default.aspx email: info [at] dutb [dot] eu
Security Company that is in charge of eviction: http://www.galekom.si/ email: info [at] galekom [dot] si
Inde Plataforma: http://www.indeplatforma.org/ email: inde [dot] platforma [at] riseup [dot] net
On the 5h of October 2014, we, a diverse group of people decided that we no longer want to just be part of the problem, but want to become part of a solution. So we spontaneously self-organized and occupied a couple of rooms at the long-abandoned and dilapidated factory INDE Koper. Decades ago this factory walls gave room to different companies employing handicapped people under the guise of social inclusion and integration, but in reality mostly only for the profit of the owners.
What since the very early onset of the »young Slovenian capitalism« used to be a space for economic exploitation, we liberated with our labor and ideas and turned into a space for solidarity, respect and autonomy.
With this act we take the future into our own hands.
The act of occupation of the degraded INDE, carried out mostly by young unemployed people, happened as a consequence of a prolonged and systematic lack of collective autonomous, non-profit, non-commercial spaces in the coastal area of the region of Primorska. Such spaces are necessary because they act as meeting points for all those people who are repulsed by profitization and commercialization of our society and culture. Since such spaces are far too rare we had to create a new one. We became aware of our own power and thus created conditions for non-profit socializing, free creative expression, creativity, exchange of ideas and practices, concerts, exhibitions, performances etc. Because when we speak about freedom and emancipation we do not distinguish between theory and practice. The INDE platform’s policy is based on building things from “bellow in all directions” and doesn’t allow perverted party politics or other forms of hierarchical organization. Our values are solidarity, tolerance, harmonious action, self-organization and collective decision-making without leaders or authorities.
But that doesn’t mean that INDE is a place open to everyone. We are intolerant to all those intolerant and INDE will not be a place for nationalisms, perverted patriotisms, racisms, homophobia, sexisms, bullshitisms, or any other ideas and practices of discrimination.
A hard-working handful of those that started the platform were soon joined by many others who also gladly helped with all the work. We collected three buckets full of used needles, several containers of garbage and building waste, we repaired the windows, doors, filled the holes in the floors and in the walls – and doing that we also started filling the holes in our hearts. The liberated rooms were cleaned and even if they are still being renovated and refurbished, they are fully ready for socializing and organization of various cultural, artistic and non-partisan socio-political events.
We organize and decide our actions at regular assemblies which are instruments of egalitarian and collective decision-making. Our ever-growing collective is testimony to the existence of a great need for such a space.
We occupied INDE to show what solidarity really means. We strive to redefine the concepts of willpower and enthusiasm, to show the world that young people are not lazy but that the whole society is designed to suppress the free development of our potentials. The act of liberating and establishing the Creative Platform INDE is proof that through harmonious efforts of various individuals we can take the power back and actively help to solve the futureless position in which we were all stuck.
Our work is proof that it doesn’t take much to create a lot.
INDE was occupied so that we can create a space on our own terms, a space where we will be able to work on and develop all the human, peaceful, cultural, social and fun things that our current system or our current situation cannot provide for.
The former factory INDE, once a symbol of destruction and deterioration of our society and local environment under local, state and global political elites, is being transformed into a symbol of the possible and the impossible, of all that is beautiful and all that we wish for.
We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for! We are the legacy of the devastation of the socio-economic bomb. We have planted the seed of hope and resistance. We do not accept the current situation but wish to change it according to our potentials, needs and desires. Therefore, besides all that has been written so far – the occupation, liberation and establishment of the Creative Platform INDE – U.P.I. draws attention also to the following:
- The former exploitative policies of the owners of INDE factory: the current owners, bankrupted companies Kraški Zidar and Konstruktor owe more than six monthly salaries to over 650 workers (plus benefits, bonuses and severance pay)
- The hopeless housing problems of the young people, inadequate state housing policy and high unemployment rates especially (but not exclusively) among young people, and the disastrous social state we live in
- A growing number of poor people and those that are at risk of poverty despite being employed, and an increase of homeless people
- A deterioration of numerous abandoned places in the local environment, both residential and commercial, and the need for questioning the sacredness of private property as such, as many empty apartments held by banks should be used to house people in need, while many empty commercial premises should be open for people to create and socialize
- The commercialization of youth clubs, centers and organizations and their total dependence on local powermongers and other funders, and the destruction of public communal spaces
- The petty individualization which is being enforced on us by existing society
Our spirits will remain restless until everyone is able to create their own future under their own terms.
We call on any and all individuals, associations, initiatives, collectives and organizations to actively support, express solidarity, and share&disseminate information about The Creative Platform INDE – U.P.I.
Creative Platform INDE U.P.I. [02-04-2015 http://www.indeplatforma.org/manifest-2/]
- advice/help/office hours
- book shop/info shop/library
- children's activity
- (free) shop/market
- work space/diy