Tag Archives: autonomy

London: Latest communique by Squatters and Homeless Autonomy (SHA)

Received November 14th:

Against Apolitical Squatting

Coming to Terms

In Camden, an eight-month squat is evicted by pigs and three are arrested under Section 144, the 2012 ban on residential squatting. A man in a SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SQUAT t-shirt waits for NELSN to forward a text. Two arrive from a council-estate squat further north. Builders begin to secure the building. Against Section 144, against increasing precarity and repression, broken self-identity and fractured organisation, London squatting seems to have begun a coming-to-terms.

Attempts to surround the fragility of the squat scene with nostalgia have come thick and fast: Remember the Squatters’ Union; remember unrestricted residential squatting; remember squatters’ rights. As ever this nostalgia is a thinly disguised dose of forgetfulness: Squatting has always meant struggle; and no mourning for a golden age can deny the permanence of our struggles and the permanent need to politicise them.

In the blur of this permanence, however, squatting has been increasingly forced into the temporary. Court papers are served quicker and quicker, evictions become fortnightly rituals, and the looming ban on commercial squatting places squatters before an ever shortening horizon. The loss caused by the 2012 ban is a collective memory permanently recalled by the imminence of the next.

For those who do not find comfort in a false unity of the past – and whose future seems to have heard its end already – we must come to terms with our present.

The Sacrificial Squatter

Moving when evicted, served when moved, evicted when served. Contemporary squatting is a series of defensive and reactive acts. Ritualistic and cyclical, squatting is determined by forces always separate from squatters themselves.

The promise of “dropping-out” has dropped to the floor of every squat rave. Standing up, it has become the reality of crossed imperatives. The balance between resistance, self-determination and self-preservation is impossible to strike; and, unable to live up to any, collective stress seems organic as organisation.

In larger activist circles too, squatters have offered up liberated spaces only to become the silent facilitator among other rebels and radicals. Seen mainly as preparation for actions and events, squatting features more in the context than the content. In a political and economic situation where content dominates context – where legalistic ideology sees no variance in the same – preparation does not validate whoever prepares.

Abolishing the artificial roles of “facilitator” and “facilitated” ultimately means that everyone must help to facilitate everyone else. Finding themselves repeatedly in the former role, squatters have not demanded the mutual solidarity they need. Even the most politically active squatters now seem to fall into the dominant consensus from anti-capitalists and are absent at the daily eviction resistances.

From this lack of validation and solidarity has grown silence. Most of the political activity squatters do falls under any banner but squatting – and this is one that stretches far: Not only housing, but all struggles have basis in the liberation of space. If there are squats in the struggle, then it is a squatting struggle too.

This is squat-for-squat-sake politics: where flying the squatting banner comes simultaneous to flying others. To emphasise squatting as the liberation of space and temporary expropriation of property demands that it is seen as legitimate direct action in itself.

Against the unachievable duties of “Resist all Evictions”, new squatting politics must find a place for self-preservation in resistance. The duty to resist in all cases contradicts maximum expropriation in some and the self-preservation of squatters in many. It surrenders self-determination to agitprop painted as unreachable duty. It decreases the times when we can actually resist in keeping them out, not just longing them out.

Our Squats are not Tokens, Our Barricades are not Gestures

A planned eviction resistance at a council estate occupation begins with a collective meeting on the potential roles of newly arrived recruits. The punch-line is that Russia Today live-streamed the whole event – which turned out to be a non-event altogether.

Often as theatre and often seeming farce, the Left is playing eviction resistance to an audience of corporate media and well-meaning professional activists. The show is titled something like Awareness-Raising or Mass Appeal.

Eviction resistance is rarely something for the cameras. The forces of populism rush to condemn or ignore the less watchable aspects of resistance – the messy violence and dull labour required to defend our squats and occupations. Squatters are left with the spectacle of resistance and a trolley of possessions in the street.

The need to defend squats and the political creativity they have is urgent. The political creativity drained from squatting by leftist tokenism and the strategy of passive resistance goes hand-in-hand with a situation drained of politics itself.

Against Apolitical Squatting

In Amsterdam, squatting and gentrification has often had an uncomfortably close relationship. In areas of London too, such as Shoreditch or Camden, in occupying empty, sometimes derelict buildings in poor areas, squatters bring refurbishment, street art, and a look of “alternative authenticity” so appealing to trendy middle-class house-buyers. And so: the process goes from dereliction, to squats and, in turn, to regeneration and invasive economic power. That the squatters themselves were evicted sooner or later to make way for yuppiedom is important to note.

Equally important is the use of squatting as resistance to gentrification. The squatted council estates at the Aylesbury in Elephant and Castle and Guinness in Brixton – additional to the presence of squatters in street-based resistance – continue the legacy of Gospel Oak and 144 Piccadilly before them. Squatters at 10 Otterhaken in Hamburg put up a fierce resistance which continued the escalation of their neighbourhood. Young squatters in the Basque Country continue to make the liberation of space the basis for insurrectionary action.

That these two forms of squatting – to create alternative forms-of-life and larger class-based resistance – have had such different effects should not suggest a natural contradiction between them. The political use of squatting culture to add to larger cultures of resistance should not be denied. Oppositional self-identity, whether on the streets or in squats, continues to make squatting a threat to cultural power.

The cooption of this self-identity in the name of middle-class warfare falls at the feet of squatters also. In splitting squatting culture from squatting politics, they have been left with a culture unable to defend itself.

A squatted space not used for politics soon loses the politics of squatted spaces. Creating spaces intolerant to social hierarchy and state surveillance, for organising and consciousness-raising, is integral to the creation of effective resistance in squats and on the streets.

Further along to apathy, squatters build lists of recommendations from ex-landlords in hope of a longer stay. A reversion to comfortable hierarchy in the present always means uncomfortable coercion in the future. The creation of the “landlord-friendly squatter” strips squatting of its oppositional nature and, with it, its political potential.

In the social realm too, radical forms-of-life created by communal living and unusual shared experience are replaced with family, precedence and guilt. While benefiting from the organic mutual aid within familial relations, being restricted by them restricts the potential for subversive forms-of-life.

All squatting starts from a level of anonymity. The flow of bodies in and between squats, hostels, social centres, streets, council-estates and university occupations causes a contradictory coupling of familiarity and anonymity. Making new, more effective squatting collectives and networks means recognising this interplay between the familial and anti-familial. Groupings must be strategic and personal – recognising one in the other – and must work for both political action and self-preservation.

The withdrawal from risky politics into comfortable normalcy in the street and squat is a core symptom of increasing repression. The 2012 ban on residential squatting, a Left dead-set on passive resistance and a depoliticised squatting movement has left squatters with increasingly fewer lines of defence and political creation.

Organic as this repression seems, resistance is sprouting everywhere. Squatting continues to prove itself as direct action against power. People rip down the fences at the Aylesbury; squatters refuse to stop squatting residential. On the continent, in Naples, Amsterdam, Calais and elsewhere, mass occupations continue in the context of illegality.

In Naples, autonomists occupy empty buildings in solidarity with homeless migrants. ‘Homes for All’ is not a request but a strategy. In Amsterdam, squats were cracked in solidarity with occupations at the University, providing bases for mobilisation and support. The mass squats by migrants and small numbers of anarchist comrades still exist in the cracks of state power and violence in Calais. Occupations stand as clear markers of self-determination and the will to create communities and cultures of resistance wherever people stay.

The forms of squatting able to resist repression will fit the changing needs of larger struggles while emphasising squatting as struggle. In escalated situations, such as Naples or Calais, squatting is generalised by its use in creating temporary autonomous zones and communities of resistance. In Amsterdam, squats broaden the free education struggle beyond the University while providing the mechanisms for its escalation.

In situations where squatting is increasingly deescalated and isolated, the task is to generalise and escalate the squatting resistance. The old networks and forms-of-life are dragging into a state of alienation and disassociation: between squatters and larger struggles, between the varying and sometimes contradictory uses of squatting, between squatting collectives who know nothing of one another, between comrades. In the vacuum of this disassociation, new informal organisation and radical action must continue to grow.

FUCK REGENERATION! FUCK SECTION 144!
FUCK PASSIVE RESISTANCE!

AGAINST APOLITICAL SQUATTING!

FOR AUTONOMOUS CLASS-STRUGGLE SQUATTING!

Squatters and Homeless Autonomy is a London squatting collective working to combat gentrification and establish autonomous anti-capitalist spaces. Squatting the RBS building on Charing-Cross Road over Christmas 2014, they were also involved in the Institute of Dissidents – the occupied Institute of Directors building on Pall Mall – and have run temporary anarchist spaces at Neal Street and St James’s Square. In September the collective occupied the Mamelon Tower pub to oppose the eviction of tenants there and plans to turn it into upmarket flats.

Of the necessity to find ourselves: A camp in Bure for Summer 2015

We come from counter-summits, Climate Action camps, No Border villages; struggles in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the Susa Valley or in the Sivens; anti-nuclear struggles such as in Valognes, Montabot or Bure; social, feminist and anti-authoritarian struggles…

If all these struggles are singular, many of us will bear the same horizontality structured ideals and reflections to combat all forms of domination. We also find common ground in modes of life and action. These battles sometimes intersect and reinforce each other.

The capitalist logic transforms the territory, devastates our environments, seeking to reduce our lives at work and by consumption. Faced with this we respond with squatting, blockades, sabotage; by practices that acquire autonomy outside of this world.

But we see that is not enough. Because if we win moments of autonomy, we are still losing ground.

To strengthen and deepen our connections we must create moments of encounter, confront our practices of struggle and modes of organisation, reflect on the points of contention that agitates our communities, away from the schedules imposed by the summits and other farces of national unity.

This summer, let’s come together for a self-managed camp in Bure, in Meuse(1), where they are building in force an international centre for radioactive waste disposal… We want to discuss our strategies, before together envisaging our methods of collective action, to anchor our resistance in Bure, like elsewhere.

Furthermore, the next big global climate summit (the COP 21), to be held in Paris in December 2015, will once again focus on the usual indignation. Let us not be entertained by this masquerade. Let’s nourish ourselves instead from the already created trajectories transversed from Chiapas to Exarchia, from Ferguson to Villiers-le-Bel.

We have nothing to do with “the international” of their summits; for us the surpassing of borders is instead constructed by the connections woven between our worlds.

Our anger is not reversible. It is organising.

Vladimir, Martine & Co*
vmc[at]riseup.net

* In homage to our unwilling comrade who rid us of the CEO of France-based Total.(2)

Source: Nantes Indymedia

Translation notes
(1) Meuse is part of the region of Lorraine, located approximately 50 miles west of Nancy, in the north-east of France.
(2) Thanks to a private plane crashing into a snowplow he was driving at Vnukovo international airport in Moscow, Russia. In response Russian authorities opened a criminal investigation against the driver, Vladimir M.

Barcelona: Archdiocesan radio station attacked

In this week’s autonomous actions against the outlawing of abortion (1–7 February 2014), we took to the streets to add our expression of rage. In the early hours of Thursday, February 6th, we attacked the offices of Radio Estel, broadcaster of Barcelona’s Archdiocese, and headquarters of the magazine “Catalunya Cristiana”, located on the corner of Puggarí and Comtes de Bell.lloc streets in the Sants neighbourhood of Barcelona. We decided to act against this radio station because it is a means of communication at the service of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, and as such, attempts to indoctrinate and manipulate by “catechisms” veiled as information, defending the patriarchal, misogynist and normative social model against which we fight. For these reasons, in defense of feminist struggle and as self-defense of our lives, ideas and own bodies, we cracked their glass windows and painted the slogan: “My body, my decision”.

We are disgusted by their rotten Catholic morality as much as we detest the State and its political and legalistic tricks. This new law on abortion makes evident, once again, that there’s a link between both institutions, the Church and the State, in order to maintain their authority, their patriarchal power. They want to take away our autonomy, our capacity to decide, to think for ourselves and act upon what we need or feel. By this anti-abortion law, choosing not to be a mother would become a luxury that only the rich may afford, or a risk to the health and life of those who cannot afford a safe clinic underground.

We are not willing to permit them to turn us into their possessions. We will never let them decide for us, and we’ll keep defending ourselves from those who want us to limit ourselves to being only reproductors of their system.

Neither God, nor State or husband. Death to patriarchy.

source: barcelona indymedia

Barcelona: Sabotage against anti-abortion foundation

In the early hours of February 10th, 2014 we smashed all the glass windows of the Vidal i Barraquer Foundation, located in the Sant Gervasi neighbourhood in Barcelona, to indicate their active complicity with the Spanish Episcopal Conference in preventing abortions. We thus join the days of struggle for autonomous feminism against the new anti-abortion law and in favor of free abortion without charge.

We know that an action involving shattered windows alone is not a revolution, but a total of smashed windows this week, and those to come in support of abortion and against the new law, is a clear sign of increasing rage against all those who intend to decide about our bodies, be it political parties, the Church or any related institution.

The Vidal i Barraquer Foundation is one of the institutions “in support of life”, included as diocese in the Episcopal Conference, who busy themselves with manipulating women sent by the Pro-Life Catalonia Foundation into not getting an abortion, supposedly providing “mediation” and “legal advice”.

Their role is part of the oppression gear that condemns many women to be mothers even when they do not want or cannot afford to give birth. Their idea of family perpetuates the patriarchal system, the very same system that causes abuse involving both male and female children as well as subjection to the macho type, with devastating consequences that too often end in deaths… Pro-life?

That’s why we mark them, thinking it’s a good idea to break glass windows as a form of expression. We will not keep quiet.

Social peace is over!

For the radicalization and generalization of expressions of rage, also from a feminist perspective!

For the death of patriarchy in all its forms!

The week of struggle has only just started, to become their nightmare all year long.

Neither God, nor master, neither State, nor husband or party!

Feminists

Vienna: Police car set on fire

In the night of January 17th, 2014 we torched a police van of the PAZ (police detention centre) located in Hernalser Gürtel street in Vienna.

People subject to custody pending deportation are imprisoned in the PAZ, from where they are continuously deported from Austria.

With this small gesture we wanted to attack Austria’s racist construct and give a small response to the behavior (and the existence) of cops and other authorities.

Fire and flames to the deportation and repression authorities!

Signed:
Autonomous Bonfire Commando in the district of Floridsdorf, Vienna

Greece: Solidarity gestures with the Rote Flora squat in Hamburg

“Solidarity with Rote Flora of Hamburg and all squats worldwide. We are an image from the future. Revolution: inalienable!”

On December 24, 2013 people from the Self-managed Hangout of Karditsa placed a banner at the central square of the city, in solidarity with the Rote Flora squat and all squats in the world.

Terrorism lies behind the State, and freedom is found within the squats!

“Solidarity with Rote Flora. Strength to the comrades in Hamburg!”

Early hours of December 25: Solidarity to the comrades in Hamburg resisting capitalist barbarism. Katechaki Avenue, Athens, Greece.

Refugee struggle in Hamburg and other parts of Germany

Check also previous updates, here.
October 23rd

Nearly 50 activists gathered in front of Hamburg’s city hall to show their solidarity with refugees, while the Senate had a meeting inside. The activists displayed a banner reading “No one is illegal” and shouted slogans. After a short time police arrived and pushed the activists out of the so-called “no protest zone,” then gave them a restraining order for the location.

Later, the regular occurring Wednesday demonstration, which is self-organized by the refugees, had over 1,200 participants.

In Berlin, a demonstration of around 80 people for the right of refugees to remain was attacked by the police. The result was many injured people, one of whom was so severely injured that had to be brought to the hospital. As a response to this repression about 150 people assembled in the evening hours for a spontaneous demonstration, however the demonstration was quickly kettled by the cops. Outside of the kettle hundreds of people in numerous groups, both small and large, demonstrated on the nearby streets, some of them blocking a roundabout with building material from a nearby construction site. After the first demonstration was officially registered, and therefore authorized, police ended the kettle and the demonstration went on. More and more people joined the demonstration until there were more than a thousand people. During the march, small barricades were constructed and one Commerzbank was attacked. The second attempt of the police to stop short the demonstration failed, because the protesters were able to break away. At the police headquarters in Tempelhofer Damm the demonstration ended, however several hundred people remained until 2.30am to demand the release of the people who were detained earlier that day. There the police, once again, detained several demonstrators.

October 24th

In the evening, a spontaneous demonstration around Hamburg’s Barmbecker station consisting of around 150 people was stopped and kettled by a large number of cops only a few minutes after it started. However a later demonstration in Schanzenviertel, which started at 9.30pm, was able to make it all the way to its endpoint and the cops only started their usual militaristic activity when the demonstration was already over.

In Dortmund, antifascists hung eight banners from bridges to express their solidarity with the refugees and their supporters.

October 25th

In Hamburg at 8.30pm, directly after the FC St.Pauli home game, a demonstration organized by groups of FC St.Pauli supporters and other groups from the same district took place. During the football match many banners and a choreography in solidarity with refugees were displayed, and the fans invited the refugees to the football match. At the nearby Bunker, flares were lit up right after the game and 10,000 people marched from the stadium to the St.Pauli church, where the refugees currently live. Because of the fact that some of the refugees also participated in the demonstration, the demonstrators did not attack the police or make direct actions. The police were on the defensive, perhaps surprised to be confronted with many more people than they had expected. They only made laughable threats over loudspeakers that they would stop the demonstration because of the flares being lit up. At the same time activists occupied a big chimney in the Bleichstraße and unfurled a giant banner reading “No one is illegal.” Supporters of the action were attacked by the police with pepper-spray and batons, and two were detained. After the police twice cleared the street in front of the tower, they retreated until morning. Continue reading Refugee struggle in Hamburg and other parts of Germany

Germany: Updates related to refugee protest in Hamburg

Since the winter of 2012/2013, approximately 300 African refugees live in Hamburg. They managed to escape from Libya, migrated to Italy and then reached the German border. In May 2013 fighters of the group “Lampedusa in Hamburg,” recognized in Italy as refugees from the NATO-war in Libya, publicly stepped into action for the first time in Germany, in their struggle for free access to the labour market, housing, medical and social care, education and free choice of their residence within the European Union—legal rights which can always be granted, in contrast to the claims made by the Hamburg state minister of the Interior and the mayor. The Senate is only eager to provide temporary accommodation ahead of the cold winter if the refugees hand over their documents and agree to be deported. Recently, mayor Olaf Scholz of the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) even stated that Hamburg have the most modern refugee-politics in the country… In this very moment—while the agony for the latest deaths of migrants on Italy’s southernmost island Lampedusa is still fresh—the Hamburg government has unleashed a large-scale police operation also against these refugees, who survived the war and the flight to Lampedusa some time ago.

from the streets of Hamburg on the 15th of October 2013

As reported earlier, in mid-October 2013 activists gave an ultimatum to the Senate of Hamburg to stop the racial profiling, but naturally there was no positive sign from the side of authorities. However, the city of Hamburg has not seen one quiet day ever since. The local forces were unable to cope with all of the actions over the past few days, thus police deployments have moved to Hamburg from other regions to their aid. There have been numerous activities and demonstrations in Hamburg and several other cities across Germany, and beyond. Below are some updates.

October 16:
The group “Lampedusa in Hamburg” held their weekly march in the city, this time counting with the presence of 1,000 participants (next demo scheduled for Wednesday the 23rd of October). Another open letter of the refugees was addressed to the Senate of Hamburg —you may read it here.

October 17:
– Small groups of activists blocked traffic along streets in the port area of Hamburg, while hundreds of cops conducted anti-refugee checks, mainly on the Reeperbahn; people in solidarity tried to resist and shouted slogans. A demonstration from Gänsemarkt square started at 7pm with 600 people (video). In addition, 300 other protesters took part in several demonstrations in Hamburg that night through Mönckebergstraße or the Karstadt mall. A few hundred people took to the streets also at Millerntor square, Schanze area and Eimsbüttel, where clashes with the police occurred. At 8pm, nearly 100 people blocked the Kennedy bridge. Repression forces were over-challenged by activities throughout the day.
– An anti-nationalist action was claimed in Frankfurt in solidarity with the “Lampedusa in Hamburg.”
– In Bielefeld almost 20 activists attacked several capitalist targets, such as profiteers from Europe war politics. Cops were unable to stop the action.
– An unauthorized demonstration of nearly 50 people took place in Vienna, Austria.

October 18:
– Nearly 1,200 people participated in a demonstration that started from the Hamburg university. Several spontaneous demonstrations were held in the Schanze neighbourhood and around the Altona railway station. Members of the “Gezi Park Fiction” group, in St. Pauli, expressed their solidarity with the message: “Love real boat people – Hate maritime marketing” connecting the refugee protest with the anti-gentrification struggle. They also stated: “People from Lampedusa have enriched our lives for a few months now. They gave back to St. Pauli a sense of community and a sense of knowing that our right to the city doesn’t know nations or property; and surely no skin colour.”
– Some 10th grade pupils from a school in St. Pauli released an open petition to make their gym available for the refugees in winter.
– In the evening, around 80 people participated in an uncontrolled stroll from St. Pauli to the Schanze neighbourhood, passing out fliers to pedestrians, spraying graffiti and attacking banks and shops with stones and hammers. The stroll dispersed when cops arrived on the scene.
– A night dance-demonstration for affordable housing also showed solidarity with the refugees’ struggle (video).

October 19:
– Racial profiling and migration controls were significantly reduced due to the fact that the police did not have enough forces to conduct those. Yet another round of small, spontaneous demonstrations took place allover Hamburg.
– Rostock saw the largest demonstration since the anti-G8 protest in 2007. More than 1,500 people hit the streets in solidarity with refugee fights.
– Nearly 200 people marched through the Rheinhausen area in Duisburg, where racial tensions against Roma accommodated in a shelter have existed for months.

– Approximately 500 people participated in a demonstration in Büren against the biggest German migrant prison. It’s been a long time since this annual demonstration had attracted so many participants.
– Some 50 people in solidarity with refugees held a spontaneous demonstration in Bamberg.
– A solidarity demonstration took place in Flensburg, too, with a total of 80 activists.

October 20:
Repression practices increased rapidly in Hamburg on Sunday. A spontaneous demonstration of 200 people at Dammtor was kettled on different points of the route, and the crowd was forcibly evicted from the area. Cops detained demonstrators, and several participants were singled out and filmed by the police.

October 21:
– People in solidarity with the refugees in Hamburg gathered in downtown Wuppertal. Approximately 70 participants carried out a spontaneous demonstration to the local office of the SPD. An open letter from this solidarity initiative was read and given to the SPD. Cops didn’t attempt to attack the demo.

– In the south of Leipzig nearly 60 people held an unauthorized march using fireworks and building barricades. Comrades tried to destroy an infamous surveillance camera at the Connewitzer Kreuz by placing burning trash bins underneath it.
– Spontaneous demonstrations took place in Hamburg once again, counting with a large presence of people. Streets were blocked by protesters, and oftentimes cops were too slow to intervene.

October 22:
– There was an evening critical mass ride of 500 bicyclists in solidarity with Lampedusa refugees in Hamburg (video). Police vehicles drove after the bike demo. Shortly afterwards, Hamburg’s mayor Olaf Scholz (primarily responsible for the escalation of repression) gave a public speech to his loyal voters. Anti-racists mobilized to effectively disrupt the meeting. People inside the hall started to chant “No human being is illegal – A right to stay for everyone.” Few activists were reportedly detained during the action. Outside, their 500 supporters were blocking the traffic.
– Nearly 100 people held an evening solidarity demonstration at Frankfurt airport area.

Sadly fascist scum have been busy for the last few weeks, too. There have been arson attacks on houses for refugees in Gemünden and Wehr, while similar attacks occurred in Luckenwalde, Premnitz, Güstrow and Duisburg. Recently, the neo-Nazi party NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany) initiated a march with torches in Schneeberg with 1,500 participants. This presence also demonstrates the fact that parts of the middle class engage in openly racist activity. The situation brings back horrifying memories of pogroms against migrants in various parts of Germany in the early 90s.

Meanwhile, on the 20th of October, “activists against racism and deportations” released a call to action, stating among others that the right to stay for refugees will be decided in the streets, from all the people who practice their own forms of resistance, those who are blocking the deportation operation and disturb the repressive controls, those who open up new spaces for protest, all those who publicly declare their resistance again or for the first time…

banner at the Altona railway station: “Refugees stay here! Deport the Senate!”

Upcoming protest dates:

Friday, 25.10: Call for demonstration in Hamburg (after the football match St. Pauli vs Sandhausen) by fans of the FC St. Pauli and district initiatives in solidarity with Lampedusa refugees

Saturday, 26.10: Demonstration from Rote Flora against police arbitrariness and racist controls in Hamburg / Demonstration against Frontex on the same day in Munich, under the slogan “Learn from Lampedusa – open migration routes!”

Saturday, 2.11: Solidarity demonstration for Lampedusa refugees in Hamburg —see flyer

Saturday, 21.12: Nationwide demonstration in Hamburg in solidarity with the Rote Flora squat, the Esso houses initiative, and for the right to permanence for refugees and everyone

Germany: Stop the racial profiling in Hamburg – Raw updates from protests (ongoing)

Ultimatum given to the Senate of Hamburg

The Hamburg Senate is responsible for racial profiling as part of a manhunt against Libyan refugees. It affects people who managed to get from Italy’s southernmost island Lampedusa to Hamburg, and are now facing state persecution. Governors have pushed the escalation to a higher level, and forced refugees to report themselves at authorities until Wednesday, October 16th. This step is in fact a preparation for their deportation, because the German law and the “Fortress Europe” treaty (the Dublin II Regulation, which the local authorities are able to put into place) do not allow them to stay in Germany.

After an ultimatum from the Senate to refugees, “activists for the right to stay, instead of repression and racial profiling” responded with their own ultimatum to the Senate to stop the manhunt against refugees. The plan was to hit the streets and gather in the Achidi-John-Square (near the Rote Flora squat) when the ultimatum would end on Tuesday the 15th at 8pm.

The sacrifice of resistance which doesn’t include militant forms of action has become obsolete in view of the latest developments. The activist proclamation reads that “a point is reached where, in the future, every kind of protest needs to take to the streets… Every protest is fair and useful to stop the power politics of the Senate.” People in solidarity with migrants reassured the Senate that “there won’t be quiet days,” in the hope that more people would get active. Furthermore, they have urged people to make spontaneous demonstrations and take own initiatives.

Let’s show solidarity! No more quiet days for racism and repression. Stop the racial profiling. Right to stay for everyone!

You may also follow what happens in Hamburg through the FSK radio program.

Due to further control checks by authorities, a demonstration was called from different sides for the 15th of October to begin by 8pm from the Rote Flora squat. Already the previous day, it was confirmed that the position of the Senate is to hold onto racist controls and maintain the line that refugees from Lampedusa stand no chance of getting any help or roof over their head. The checks will continue to take place with the aim to deport as many refugees as soon as possible… Meanwhile, some months ago, the Church provided one single local “church asylum” for 80 refugees.

Footage from October 15th, 2013 at circa 18.25 (local time):

In short:

– The Senate of Hamburg doesn’t move back. A “political solution” for refugees seems impossible.

– Cops raided a safe-place of refugees in the St. Georg district of Hamburg. The refugees weren’t allowed to have access to their belongings.

– The police increased their presence at several points in Hamburg all day long, controlling people who looked “suspicious.”

– The large evening demonstration was massively attacked after five minutes by the cops (with water cannons, tear gases, cavalry division, brutal kicking and beatings). A lot of people were encircled. Protesters had to move into back-streets, where they were attacked by even more repression forces. The demo was split in two parts. As a result, many smaller activities developed.

– It was estimated that 2,000 people participated in street protests. Until late hours of October 15th, several spontaneous demonstrations took place throughout Hamburg. A march of few hundred people at Weidenallee was later formed; cops unleashed attack with batons and pepper spray. Water cannons and cops on horses appeared in the back of the protest. At the same time, the German Press did not miss out on the chance to portray demonstrators as “criminals,” and reported nothing about police violence.

– While some of the spontaneous marches were also blocked and kettled by the police after few meters, the heavy police presence did not manage to stop protest everywhere in the city. Plenty of activists confronted cops directly in the streets; fireworks were used; during clashes on a crossroad, materials of a construction site were placed all over the street, etc.

– Nearly 250 people moved successfully in Altona neighbourhood for several hours; this protest ended by 11pm in front of Rote Flora. While demonstrators walked through the Schanzenviertel and Altona, solidarity was also expressed at the opening of the Hamburg International Queer Film Festival, where participants stated that fighting for lesbian-gay-transgender-queer rights always requires solidarity with other victims of repression. Additionally, a banner was unfurled there, which read: “Lampedusa in Hamburg – They are here to stay – No human being is illegal!”

On the 16th of October:

– In the early hours of Wednesday, the district court in Flensburg was attacked with paint, and the slogan “Stop racial profiling” was sprayed on the building.

– An evening demonstration of the Lampedusa group in Hamburg was planned for the 16th; more than a thousand joined this call. Meanwhile, more racist controls were conducted in St. Pauli and St. Georg districts and at least one refugee got arrested on Reeperbahn (in the red light district of Hamburg).

– Unauthorized evening demonstration of nearly 500 people in Berlin was held in solidarity with refugees in Hamburg. Two police cars were smashed and several roads blocked with construction materials.

– Around 40 people participated in a spontaneous evening march in the streets of Hannover. Flyers reading “Lampedusa is everywhere!” were shared out to passers-by with information about the struggle in Hamburg. The demonstration dispersed shortly after repression forces arrived.

– During the night of Wednesday to Thursday, activists attacked a local office of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in Frankfurt am Main, in solidarity with sans papiers in Hamburg and everywhere. Windows and doors were destroyed. In the responsibility claim it is also mentioned that party officials like the Hamburg SPD mayor Olaf Scholz are responsible for the current policy against refugees, a policy that segregates and incriminates people because of their background, history or skin colour. As far as these matters are concerned, the SPD in Hamburg is no different than the Frankfurt SPD; hence their attack was directed against the entire party and anyone who supports this racist policy.

Upcoming protest dates:

Friday, 18.10: Supporters of the war refugees from Libya call for an afternoon rally in Bielefeld, “for borderless solidarity instead of confined nationalism”

Saturday, 19.10: Demonstrations in solidarity with refugees, and against deportation prisons, in the cities of Rostock (“Refugees Welcome!”) and Büren, and across Germany – Antiracist protest on the same day in Duisburg, against mental burning and exclusion

Saturday, 26.10: Demonstration from Rote Flora against police arbitrariness and racist controls in Hamburg

Saturday, 2.11: Nationwide solidarity demonstration for Lampedusa refugees in Hamburg

Fire and flames to the deportation authorities!

Bremen, Germany: Deutsche Telekom van torched and Siemens car destroyed

In the night from 29 to 30 of May 2013 we set fire to the Telekom parking lot which is located on Mary-Somerville-Str. (close to the university), to burn down a Telekom vehicle.

Deutsche Telekom is only one of the many inhumane firms. They acquired large shares of the Greek OTE already years ago, and then kicked out 2,000 people in a time that Telekom was making enormous profits. They even undertook the role of security authority, with several attempts of OTE against Indymedia Athens, until the media project’s connectivity to its server was turned off in April 2013 under threats and extortions. Indymedia Athens has been an important platform particularly for the social revolts.

Telekom has also its place in the civil–military cooperation. The 100% owned subsidiary company T-System plays a key role in war machinery, and has been jointly responsible for the defense technology industry for decades. Also, T-System provides information and communication technique for use of weapons, and takes care of telephone networks of Bundeswehr (the German military) as well as military satellite communication and fiber optic cabling in warships.

At the same time, in the district of Walle, a vehicle belonging to the Siemens firm was hit on the corner of Brabantstr. with Osterlingerstr., and was rendered useless with paint bombing.

Siemens is another actor in the armament industry. For example, they made a contract with Bundeswehr and IBM in order to bring the Hercules Project into being. One aspect of this project is supporting the German military with information technology for their tasks in the fields of administration and logistics.

Companies like Deutsche Telekom or Siemens earn profit with war, suffering, extortion and suppression. This we will not accept.

We stand in solidarity with all actions against Telekom. We greet the comrades in Athens. Attack armament corporations and war profiteers in Bremen and everywhere!

WAR STARTS HERE – LET’S STOP IT HERE!
autonomous groups

Barcelona: The Expropriated Bank in Gracia in danger of eviction

A few days ago, we received a letter from the court summoning us to a civil trial against the Expropriated Bank in the Gracia hood of Barcelona. We did not know that there was a civil process opened against our space (Banc Expropiat de Gràcia), and so we did not expect this letter. The oral hearing will take place next Tuesday, June 11th — that is, in less than two weeks.

Anyhow, we knew that this moment would come, because every squatted space must at some point face justice and the defense of private property. When we start to solve our problems by ourselves, when mutual support and self-organization motivate us, a cop or a judge will always knock on our door. This is why we refuse to just sit around doing nothing.

In the year and a half that the Expropriated Bank in Gracia has been squatted, a huge amount of people, activities, assemblies and projects have injected life to this space. We do not want all of this to be lost, thus desire to avoid the eviction. Continue reading Barcelona: The Expropriated Bank in Gracia in danger of eviction

Germany: Responsibility claim for incendiary attack on vehicles of the Berlin municipal police

On the night of January 29th, 2013, during a spontaneous warm-up party for the campaign against the 16th International Police Congress (in February), five cars of Berlin’s Order Office in the district of Mitte were torched, and the building on Berolinastraße was paint-bombed.

If we would only see the police congress as a security industry exhibition, we would not have gifted this small present to the municipal police, a force that invites us to take a closer look at its operation.

For sure, most of the times, the so-called district patrols stir up anger because of the imposition of fines and their ruthless procedures even for trivial infringements. However, their most important task seems to be the ubiquitous presence of a state control function in everyday life.

Throughout Europe, the deployment of the military has been discussed after urban riots — in 2005 in the French banlieues, during the Greek December 2008, after the 2011 riots in London. There are various reasons that stopped this military intervention from happening; the respective governments are certainly aware of the fact that order is not symbolized through the massive presence of heavily armed forces, but can rather be achieved by an intensive interaction of police functions with normal everyday life. The participation of citizens in a public order force must thus be smooth, and reciprocal control must only be improved in constant fear of drawing attention through deviant behaviour.

Thus, many States have established a ‘soft’ police apparatus in addition to the usual forces. The Guàrdia Urbana in Barcelona next to the Mossos d’Esquadra and the Policía Nacional, municipal police forces across the hot zones of France next to the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, and also citizen-friendly constables in London who are more likely to find access to the population. A counterpart of the German Ordnungsamt exists in Athens, with the unarmed municipal cops. Only Italy has embarked here on an exceptional path, with army patrols in the cities.

The Berlin municipal police departments take action where police intervention is not deemed necessary, and still report back to the district managers, with whom the regular police and the municipal cops work closely together. The annual MyFest street party in Kreuzberg can be seen as a typical example of current counterinsurgency.

District managers and private security companies, together with the police, have penetrated youth institutions as well as schools. There is security cooperation of the police with housing construction corporations, schools, public transport services and private security providers. All this results into ‘Henkel’s little helpers’ (headline from the German tabloid ‘D.Z.’ in relation to Berlin Interior Senator Frank Henkel and 12-year-old security guards at MyFest) and a widespread acceptance towards punishment of norm violations. Then any officer of the municipal police, who checks with a ruler the correct positioning of chairs in outdoor gastronomy feasts or the order of tables at flea markets, appears to be an image in some caricature.

This German thoroughness is frightening when we think of today’s date 80 years ago. The quiet transition from the Weimar Republic’s police to the Nazis’ security organs caused moral issues only to the fewest cops; they had only helped to enforce an existing law. After that, they just slid themselves smoothly into the People’s Police (in East Germany) or into the West German police, always on the side of ‘law and order.’

Regardless whether these cops were involved in genocides at occupied territories under the name ‘Order Police’ (the uniformed regular force in Nazi Germany), or they barge into you as ‘Order Office’ because your dog is not on a leash, the same conviction is always hidden behind all this: that the individual freedom of one person is worth nothing compared to the construct of a statist common good, which unfortunately can only be achieved with violence.

With our warm-up party we wanted to point out that this belief of a necessity and justification of state presence in your very own life can only be broken if their vulnerability is proven. And vulnerable is the Power of Berlin’s district forces, that deal with the treatment of refugees, the displacement of drinkers and Roma from parks and squares, and a repressive youth policy, in many places.

LET’S MAKE THE EUROPEAN SECURITY ARCHITECTURE COLLAPSE!

Autonomous Groups, 30.1.2013

Santiago, $hile: Memory and combat

This Sunday, February 3rd, we came out on the street in force to broadcast onto one of the walls of the CSO (Squatted Social Centre) Sacco y Vanzetti so that we keep alive the memory and that no space will die in a bastardized judicial archive; memory as a weapon is realized from the streets and in each everyday action. This action is a response to the international call-out for a Black February and to recall that the past month of January we commemorated one more year of the construction of a space that pointed to Power and its lackeys.

We make a call-out so that this month we may support squatted and autonomous spaces in every corner of the world, and encourage comrades to continue to open up spaces where anarchy is germinated and propagated as well as the anti-authoritarian idea and practice.

Some Anarchist Individualities

MEMORY AND COMBAT

An irreducible salute to comrades in prison or escape
within the social war of this world

source/more images

[Germany] Worldwide action days for liberated spaces, 2–12 February

SJZ (in Siegburg) stays! LiZ (in Bonn) comes!

The Siegburg Libertarian Youth (in North Rhine-Westphalia) addresses a call-out in the context of the Black February direct action days, and draws particular attention to few regional issues and developments, so that solidarians can also express their support to various local initiatives and projects.

First, they send all their strength and love to the Autonomous Space Cologne (AZ Köln), which is once again threatened with eviction. Next, they look forward to another 20 years and an eternity of the Self-organized Youth Centre (SJZ) in Siegburg, declaring: ‘We are here and we will fight! SJZ in Siegburg stays!’ Also, they are excited about the growing efforts of people to establish libertarian centres in the city of Bonn and wish them all the best.

After this short summary, the Siegburg Libertarian Youth states the following:

Generally here, in this region, housing becomes increasingly expensive while public funds for culture, housing and social living are being cut, the security apparatus is being expanded, and what is overall promoted is a marginalization of the various different spheres of life. These developments make us want to vomit! We have a right to our lives, to the city and the whole bakery!

The emancipatory movement in the region, in Europe and around the whole world must be strengthened and cross-linked until it has the necessary clout to break with the prevailing conditions.

Solidarity with all emancipatory struggles, projects and people across the world!

FOR THE SOCIAL REVOLUTION!

Xanthi, Northern Greece: Self-organized spaces and other collectives call for anti-repression demo at the city’s central square

The poster of the open social space Xanadu reads:

Antifascist – anti-repression
Political demonstration

Against state and parastatal attacks. In opposition to fascism which wants us slaves and cheap at work, at heart and in mind. Solidarity to squats and self-organized spaces.

Saturday, January 26th, 2013, 12.00pm, Central Square (Xanthi)
Open Social Space Xanadu
located on Spartis & Zalacha streets in the neighbourhood of Samakov in Xanthi

The demo is also supported by other comrades and collectives such as the Resistance Initiative, the Initiative Against Homophobia, the Autonomo Steki (Autonomous Hangout) of Xanthi. All posters can be found here.

Cologne: Solidarity with Villa Amalias, Skaramaga, radio 98FM (Greece), SJZ, LIZ (Germany), the ZAD (France) and the Assentamento Milton Santos (Brazil)

Recent banner drop from squatters, comrades and solidarian residents in Petralona, Athens: ‘SQUATS WILL STAY! FOCI OF RESISTANCE EVERYWHERE!’

Click on photo to read the message of some people from the autonomous space cologne (az köln), in germany, who also call for solidarity with the families threatened with eviction in the milton santos land occupation…

Athens: Villa Amalias re-squatted and re-evicted; mass detentions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VLTaS2TLiI

Early in the morning of Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 dozens of people re-squatted Villa Amalias.

Heavy anti-riot police forces that encircled the building threw repeatedly tear gas inside. At approximately 9.20am, anti-riot squadrons (MAT, YMET) along with the EKAM special suppressive antiterrorist unit were deployed in the area, smashed the building’s windows and raided it anew, detaining 101 people who were inside.

A banner reading ‘Squat Forever – Villa Amalias’ was placed on the roof
A banner reading ‘Squat Forever – Villa Amalias’ was placed on the roof

Meanwhile, nearly 200 comrades gathered at Victoria Square, near Villa Amalias, in solidarity with the squatters.

At the same time, around 40 solidarians occupied the Metaxourgeio offices of the DIMAR party (‘Democratic Left’, which participates in the tripartite government), also with the aim of calling for the January 12th demo in downtown Athens in solidarity with squats and self-organized spaces that have come under attack across Greece. However, the police raided the party’s offices as well, detaining the occupiers.

While detained by cops, comrades from both Villa Amalias re-occupation attempt and DIMAR offices’ symbolic occupation were reportedly taken with raised fists and loud chants.

An assembly in the Athens Polytechnic School was called for 15.00pm. Also, a solidarity gathering outside the police headquarters on Alexandras Avenue was announced for 18.00pm.

Following the mass detentions of the morning, nearly 150 solidarians held a spontaneous protest rally outside the Ministry of Economy and Finance at Syntagma, where the police attacked the gathering and chased people away.

According to initial reports, all of the kidnapped from Villa Amalias are threatened with charges, while the detainees from DIMAR offices’ occupation will be released from the police headquarters.

Germany: Freedom dies with security – CAMOVER 2013

The idea of the game is to destroy as much CCTV cameras as possible. For this we decided to announce a competition. For joining in, you need to form an autonomous group with a name that starts with Cell…, Commando…, Brigade…, etc. and ends with a cool historic person. The only other requirement for you is to be aware of Internet safety.

Now, you should not only do the action as you do all the time, but also make documentation with at least a report published on Indymedia. If you have pictures, videos or other evidence for the destroyed cameras, you get extra credits. CAMOVER will give you the attention your action deserves.

The CAMOVER game ends on the 19th of February 2013 – the day when the European Police Congress is being held in Berlin. The winner may walk in the first line of the Berlin demonstration against the cops on the 16th of February and crouch down to avoid being hit by flying cams…

Athens: Paint bomb attack against the old city hall, in solidarity with Villa Amalias squat

dimarcheio

On the night of December 24th, comrades wanted to add a bit of colour to the miserable Christmas decoration that the mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kaminis, had reserved for the city. We wanted to show him that the lousy political dealings on the repression against Villa Amalias squat will not be left unanswered. He will pay the corresponding price for his choice to cover the back of the prime minister, Antonis Samaras, who wanted to prove that he is equally fascist to the far-right part of his voting audience, which slips off to the Golden Dawn party by now.

This time, we chose paint bombs in order to attack the facade of the municipal administration: the old city hall on Athinas street.

Kaminis will soon have to pay the price for his political choice, and that’s something even he can understand. This is also why our action was completely hushed up by the mainstream media, and why the municipal workers were ordered to rescue the facade of the mayoral prestige over the same night by cleaning up the building as much as they could, and picking up the solidarity fliers which were thrown on the ground.

SOLIDARITY WITH VILLA AMALIAS
HANDS OFF THE SQUATS

source ~ translated in collaboration with persona non grata

Athens: Upcoming solidarity events for Villa Amalias (squat besieged by cops)

POSTER_Villa Amalias

The poster reads:

No one can deprive us of what is already ours

Thursday, December 27th
Event at Victoria Square by 17.00pm
– The group “Tsiritsantzoules” will perform Mistero Buffo by Dario Fo
– Video screenings by and for Villa Amalias squat

Saturday, December 29th
– Demonstration in solidarity with Villa Amalias, starting from Propylaea (on Panepistimiou Street) by 12.00pm
– Solidarity gig in Monastiraki by 16.00pm with Waxing Gibbous, Propaganda and Chimeria Narki

Villa Amalias SQUAT FOREVER

Athens: Responsibility claim for arson attack on municipal services branch in Sepolia, in solidarity with Villa Amalias squat

villa amalias building

In the early morning hours of Friday, December 21st we placed an incendiary device consisting of five gas canisters at the building facade of the KEP (so-called Citizens’ Service Centre) which is located at the intersection of Dyrrachiou and Amvrakias streets, in the district of Sepolia.

We were armed with rage and consciousness concerning the latest moves by the class enemy against the anarchist/anti-authoritarian milieu, and in particular by the fascist minister of Citizen Repression, aka minister of Public Order Dendias, and his partners, the prime minister Samaras and the mayor of Athens Kaminis, who raided the squat of Villa Amalias.

In this factual way, we demonstrated our solidarity with the anarchist squat of Villa Amalias and the eight prosecuted comrades who were held in the hellholes of the Athens police headquarters. We targeted the KEP because it belongs to the jurisdiction of the municipality of Athens that took a leading role in the squat’s intended evacuation.

We warn those who contributed to the specific attack that this was only the beginning.

IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF REPRESSION FORCES FROM THE SQUAT

‘Enraged anarchists’

Athens: The 8 arrestees of Villa Amalias squat have been released, 24.12.2012

Solidarity banner in Mytilini (Lesvos Island): “Villa Amalias is each and every one of us. Back off, ruffians! Go forth, comrades!”

The eight comrades, who were arrested on December 20th during the police raid in Villa Amalias squat, have all been released. [Update in Greek:] Three of them walked without the imposition of any restrictive term, while the other five were ordered to register themselves at a local police station once a month. The gathering at the Evelpidon courthouse was attended by nearly 300 solidarians. The squat is still under police guard.

We will take Villa Amalias back.
Nothing is finished… it’s only just beginning.

sources: i, ii

Athens: Brief updates about Villa Amalias and the eight arrested squatters

Flier found in the town of Livadia: ‘Solidarity with Villa Amalias’

• Second communiqué of comrades from Villa Amalias squat, here

• Short reportback from a spontaneous solidarity demo last night (20.12) in downtown Athens, which took place just after the anarchist assembly at the Athens University of Economics and Business (ASOEE), here

Early in the morning (21.12) cops broke in the door of Villa Amalias on Heyden street without the presence of any of its occupants. Typically this means cops barged into the house without a warrant and are still violating the premises. We are warning the authorities that any damage or operation in the occupied space will be answered immediately. Let us also remind that no one is entitled to be inside the building in our absence.” —Villa Amalias

The arrestees (six Greek-born and two German-born) are still held captive. Today, 21.12, they underwent a preliminary proceeding. The eight comrades arrived at the Athens courts under heavy police presence at about 13.45pm. Dozens of solidarians were gathered at the Evelpidon courthouse and greeted them with loud chants and solidarity slogans. For approximately two hours, the eight arrestees were examined by the public prosecutor, who proposed that they should be charged with the felony of manufacturing explosive materials plus some misdemeanors. Thus, the accused were obliged to appear before an examining magistrate who would decide upon the indictment. At 16.00pm it was reported that the eight comrades requested more time to prepare for their defense. The next hearing was scheduled for Monday, 24.12.2012 (aka Christmas Eve). Until then, they will remain incarcerated in the police headquarters on Alexandras avenue.

IS IT LAWLESSNESS THEY’RE AFTER?
A BLACK CHRISTMAS IS WHAT THEY’LL GET!

IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF VILLA AMALIAS SQUATTERS!

soli
Solidarity banner by San Francisco punks in the US

Update 23.12: Statement by the Villa Amalias arrested squatters (5) and guests (3) from the detention cells of the Athens police headquarters. Follow updates via OL’s tag.