Tag Archives: urban gentrification

They call it „Dangerzone“* – but it is just an ungovernable neigbourhood

Greetings from Berlin to Athens

We, individuals and groups from the Rigaer Street, welcome the initiative to start a discussion about an insurrection and fill it with experiences from the past, current theories and practical possibilities.
This is how we understood the call for the insurrection festival (insurrectionfestival.noblogs.org) in Athens.

In the program, we discovered several aspects, that we in the Nordkiez of Friedrichshain are engaged in. There is no anarchist, anti authoritarian or left radical movement in Berlin, there is just a scene.
The dullness of the majority of a fascist society makes it complicated to get moving. In order to destroy overall power structures, we need to search for the confrontation in our local communities. A concentration of people, ideas and structures working against the state, are necessary to be able to protect oneself from outside aggression and be able to actually develop.

Over the last couple of years, because of the intensity of our actions and the repression of the cops, this process has been started in the Rigaer street. Our actions do not simply concentrate on material violence, they are trying to destroy the social norm and values. In that sense, to change the meaning of property, safety and fear, as well as work and competition.
In Berlin it is forbidden to organize a flee market, where everything can be given away for free, it is forbidden to play music in public spaces or just gather in the street with many people. It might be allowed if one requests a permission with the police. We did all of these things without having a permission and every time we did, the police came and attacked us. As a response, many stones were thrown towards the cops and their cars.

Maybe the Police occupation in Exarchia is more violent, but in Friedrichshain they are more close – the occupation force is waiting in front of your door.

Another way of preventive counterinsurgency in Berlin is, next to repression, the integration. By using various politicians and “good” cops, the administrations are always coming up with round tables. The idea is to bring inhabitants from the Friedrichshainer Nordkiez together with representatives from the administration offices, An image should be created in which the politicians listen to the concerns of the public and all parties involved come up with a solution together. This way there is no need for real resistance anymore, and “social peace” can be
restored. We must fight the integration like the repression.

Due to gentrification, the population in our part of the city, is being slowly replaced. If you don‘t have the money, you can‘t pay the rent anymore an you have to move. This is why several luxury cars and new investors are being attacked in our neighbourhoods. Controversial questions within our circles are for example the relationship to the neighbours. Some people are sympathetic with us and hate the cops. But how do we interact with those who do not want to have any position in this conflict or who just want to keep on living their capitalist life without any disturbances?

We are only a few in this city, very few. When the state attacks us, like last year, when the cops raided the Rigaer 94 twice and once occupied the house for over three weeks, while destroying large parts of it, it becomes possible for us to mobilize many people from outside our circles. For weeks over the summer 2016, cars all over the city were burning and during a bigger demonstration many people attacked the cops.
But an insurrection can not be planned, it arises from social tensions, where radical tendencies are integrated in a larger social resistance.
Another question would be if we should look for people in this individualised and estranged society or if it would be better just to put an utopia out there, that speaks for itself ?

On the 16th of June this year, an utopia was a hip hop concert in the streets. As expected the cops soon attacked and it lead to riots, which would only be worth a little note in Athens, but became a headline story in Berlin. Press and politicians compared the Rigaer street with the war in Syria. Should we escalate the situation even more, even though we are few people?

The autonomous mouvement was fueled in the 80s by the difficult housing situation and the many squats, that existed all over the city. The experiences since then, show us that as soon as we take one step backwards the enemy moves up right behind us. In the cases, where squatters negotiated with the state, they always lost. In the cases, where we did not negotiate, we may have also lost, but by fighting the struggle we won new activists for our structures.

As a realistic stop over, we are trying to make one part of the city impossible to control, a process which should be expanded chronologically and spatially. Maybe the cops will attack our spaces in Friedrichshain again in the near future. Then we will ask you for help, by attacking authority, no matter where you are. Just like we in Berlin are trying to react to the state organised operations against the resistance in Athens and elsewhere.

Comrades and friends of Rigaer 94 and the resistance in Friedrichshain

* the Police uses the label Dangerzone for a kind of martial law which allows them stop-and-search from people without reason, breaking in homes without search warrant or confiscating everything.

in portuguese

Berlin: Call out for demonstration on 9th of July

Call out from housing projects of Nordkiez in Friedrichshain, Berlin:

Defend Rigaer94! Destroy the Investor’s Paradise!

On the 17th of June, we published the first call out for the 9th July neighbourhood demo “Destroy the Investor’s Paradise, Stop Carré Sama-Riga!” 5 days later the landlord, cops, and Senate cooperated in the storming of the house project Rigaer94. The cops, private security and labourers evicted the autonomous collective space Kadterschmiede, the rest of the ground floor, including a workshop and garden, the attic in the back house and also the squatted attic in the front house.

John Dehwurst, who bought the house at the end of 2014, took the responsibility for this attack through a hypocritical press release from the fictitious building management. It was claimed that the evicted parts of the house would be used as living space for refugees. This would mean that the people moving in would find themselves under constant surveillance by the cops and security. At the moment such people are able to live in Rigaer94 in self determined and supportive structures. We take this propaganda as an attempt to destroy structures of resistance by cynically playing different groups off against each other. The AfD, NPD and Co. are rubbing their hands in glee at the argumentation from the South African apartheid-regime lawyer Dehwurst and the ‘Law and Order’ politics of justice minister Frank Henkel.

The dangerzone, which has operated continuously since the end of October 2015, has permitted the countless underhanded actions of police, and the direct assaults on self-organised projects which pose an unceasing threat for all of the inhabitants of Rigaer street. The partial eviction of Rigaer94 and especially the momentary loss of Kadterschmiede are attempts to displace structures of solidarity and rebellion and to replace them with capitalist city politics. Regardless we will continue to fight for self-determined spaces everywhere and for everyone!

We need places where we can come together, and organise without the need for legitimisation from the state. Rigaer Street is one of the only places in this city where people can meet on the street, discuss, argue, get to know each other and organise in solidarity and resistance. We will not just stand back and watch, as these structures are destroyed and replaced by the shiny glass facades of luxury apartments such as the new Carré Sama-Riga. The future is not yet written – The struggle continues!

The attack on the Nordkiez of Friedrichshain is an example of the inhuman politics of displacement, development and strict compartmentalisation of areas for “rich and poor” people in the cities, small states and provinces. Everywhere people are divided between useless or profitable, valuable or worthless. In the background of a society which is lurching increasingly to the right, it is important to defend the last remaining self-determined spaces, show solidarity and withstand state repression. Therefore, this is not just about our personal struggle to defend our scene spaces, but a united struggle on many fronts against exclusion, displacement and a city for the rich.

On the 9th of August, M99, the “Shop for Revolutionary Materials”, which has survived for 30 years in the heart of Kreuzberg, is due to be evicted. We should do everything in our power to keep and build the pressure leading up to and following this date. The countless actions of the last days and nights give us the strength, sharpen our hope and strengthen us in our resolve to never give up without a fight. Our solidarity against their repression!

We repeat our call for the demo of the 9th of July, now more than ever; we call out to you to struggle together with us against social cleansing, capitalist city politics, repression and the state-terror of the last months. Come to the streets and express our rage!

How we want the demonstration to be: We wish to show a decisive and powerful sign, exactly as in the demo of the 6th of February. In order to be realistic in the general political situation we have decided it was preferable to register the demonstration. Outside of this we would like to create space for different forms of action, and make it possible for people coming from outside of Berlin to take part. For these reasons we have decided to change the time of the demonstration to 9pm.

Nothing is over yet!

Demo: Saturday 9th July
First speeches 20:30
Demo starts 21:00 punctually
Wismarplatz (near the train station U-Samariterstrasse), Berlin

International Call Out for Solidarity with Rigaer 94

Dispatches from occupied Rigaer94 (Berlin)

It has now been over a week since our doors were first cut off, cops and security intruded into our housing project, installing themselves in our stairways and other previously collective spaces. From then, the speedy and aggressive eviction and destruction of the ground level of our home began. Our social space, the Kadterschmiede, along with our workshop, laundry, attic and garden were stripped of all recognition in clouds of dust and mortar, while rubbish skips were filled with our belongings and collective histories.

Our rebellious, emancipatory project has been overrun by empty headed lackeys in uniform and we are pissed – not the least because we are used to better company than this. Whether these unwelcome wardens wear uniforms issued by the state or private security companies makes little difference to us. They both show their petty allegiance to the logic of domination and control not only via their presence but also through daily acts of physical violence, harassment, degrading comments and leers – not only directed towards us, but our visitors, friends and neighbours including young children. The police have set up a restricted area, closing off the entrance to the building and its surrounds, with anyone wanting to enter their home or visit us having to pass a gauntlet of beefed up aggressive cops and security, often needing to present identification. This process can take hours.

Further it has just been exposed that the police have been recording the details and compiling a database of people that have been identified coming into the house. At least part of this list has been passed on to and published by organised Nazi groups.

The pretext of this eviction is that the owner John Richard Dewhurst, a taxation lawyer, millionaire mega investor with companies implicated in the Panama papers, and previously an attorney for the South African Supreme court during the apartheid era, wishes to house refugees in these spaces. If of course they can pay market rate rent in the newly renovated spaces, an amount too high for most people and above what refugee housing organisations can afford to fund. The irony of this claim doesn’t bypass us.

The clear instrumentalisation of refugees as an excuse to attack a space that has shown political and practical solidarity with refugees and other people in precarious positions does not surprise us. For those in the most precarious positions are frequently pitched against each other under this current system that is set up to exploit us for the benefit of people like Dewhurst. To add salt to the wound, in this violent and invasive process three refugees who had found a home with us in the 94, can now no longer live here for fear of extra repression and police stress. The state and its most wealthy have once again moved to destroy safer solidarity spaces for those in our community whose struggles intensify on a daily basis.

The area around Rigaerstrasse has been heavily gentrified in the past decade and skyrocketing rents have seen many residents pushed out, displaced and evicted in order to make room for new developments. These are unaffordable to most existing long term residents but bring in more profit for investors. As part of a larger neighbourhood coalition of projects and individuals we have struggled against this process of gentrification, fighting to keep our neighbourhood a place for all, not just the rich. Over the past year or so we have seen the relationships of warmth and solidarity between people in our neighbourhood growing and people increasingly sharing daily life. Neighbours from both the projects and private living spaces have met and organised on the streets, in our garden and at the peoples kitchen in Kadterschmiede.

We understand the aggressive, overbloated attack on our collective spaces as part of the wider repressive conditions under capitalism. Conditions that see all elements of collective life and resistance attacked, commodified, co-opted and as a last resort destroyed and replaced by more controllable and consumptable forms of life. We also recognise the power of collective spaces, campaigns, actions and initiatives in the face of the increasing pressure placed on all of us under a rotten and collapsing system that tightens the noose around all of our necks as it slowly drowns under the weight of its own bloated corpse. It is clear to us that the effectiveness and potentiality of these liberatory collective forms, including our own project, poses an increasing threat to this system and all those who benefit from it.

We will continue to fight for all projects, initiatives and spaces that provide space and opportunities to experiment with alternative ways of living under these shitful conditions, across all divisive borders imposed from above.

We invite you to join us in expressing our resistance and rage in three major public displays of rebellion:

5th July – Court case to decide who can occupy these evicted spaces (10:00 Landgericht Berlin, Littenstr. 12-17, Berlin)

9th July – Demo to show our anger and solidarity with all threatened autonomous spaces (20:30 Wismarplatz, Berlin)

And fulfilling our promise of at least ten million euros in damage to the state and its structures – every eviction has its price.

If you need somewhere to stay you can email: schlafboerserigaer@inbox.tv

Your solidarity, however expressed, gives us strength and warms our hearts.

See you in the streets of Berlin!

Yours in struggle, R94

rigaer94.squat.net

Berlin: Political projects of Friedrichshain’s northKiez call for a demonstration on 6/2

After the major offensive on Rigaer 94 by 500 cops, SEK, a K-9 unit and a helicopter, the northKiez of Friedrichshain is still under siege. There are constant controls all around Rigaerstraße and the streets are patrolled by massive swathes of cops.

We take the attack on the night of 13.01.2016 on Rigaer 94 and the assault on Liebig34 on the same evening as an attack on all of us! It is an affront to all of us that resist, organise, plan, act and network every day; against all those that cannot pay their rents anymore and get displaced.

To the cops and politicians speculation to be able to force us into capitulation and resignation by repression we respond: Forget it! We will not yield a centimeter! Now more than ever!

We are calling everyone, to go out on the streets with us on February 6th to fight against ‘danger zones’, police terror and displacement.

Call to action:
Defend rebellious structures, create solidary neighbourhoods!

Saturday 6th February 2016 | Berlin

Gathering at 16:00 in front of Wagenplatz Rummelplatz, Gürtelstrasse 26

Demonstration at 17:00 (be on time!)

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.

Athens: Six years after destruction and reconstruction of the self-organised park at Kyprou and Patission St.

They will not root out the resistance

On January 26th 2009, Athens Municipality crews on the orders of the then mayor N.Kaklamanis destroyed the park located on Kyprou Street, uprooting its perennial trees with a view to handing over the space to a private parking company.

Its cementing was prevented thanks to the immediate mobilisation and combative resistance of local residents and people in solidarity, who put in collective efforts to regenerate the park, planting 150 new trees and shrubs, and transformed it once again into an open public green space and a focal point of social struggle.

Six years after the park was destroyed, and despite the systematic machinations of the municipal authority and the state, we continue to resist in a collective, self-organised, anti-institutionalised and self-determined manner against its commercialisation, ghettoisation and antisocial use, and we keep defending its open, social character.

Nowadays, when the largest part of society suffers the consequences of an all-out attack by the state and the bosses, we continue to defend every focus of resistance against poverty, fear, exploitation, racism and repression, for a society of equality, solidarity and freedom.

Assembly of Resistance and Solidarity of Kypseli / Patission

More photos from park activities on February 1st 2015:
squathost.com/patisionstreet

Hamburg: Solidarity paint attack against housing cooperative office

Every eviction has its price! Attack with paint against the office of the ‘Bauverein Reiherstieg’ housing cooperative in Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg:

On January 26th, 2015, Heiko was evicted from his home at 10 Otterhaken in the Wilhelmsburg district of Hamburg. For a long-time he was an obstacle against the ‘Bauverein Reiherstieg’ housing cooperative because of his organising against rising rents and due to more involvement from tenants. Since Heiko paid his rent late several times, he had to be thrown out this time.

Nearly 200 people in solidarity tried to prevent this happening. The eviction was delayed by a good 90 minutes. Unfortunately, the cops then succeeded to get through a door at the rear of the building with the help of the BFEs [special units of the German police]. The stairwell was blocked by supporters, but was then violently evicted. All this in the name of the ‘Bauverein Reiherstieg’.

On January 26th, their office was closed for security reasons. Days before and after the eviction, security guards took turns in front of the building. For a few days, it was probably calculated that protecting the property was no longer necessary, but that didn’t work out. On the night of Tuesday 3rd to Wednesday 4th of February 2015, we beautified the facade of ‘Bauverein Reiherstieg eG’ (at 127a Georg-Wilhelm-Straße in Wilhelmsburg) with six paint bombs.

We wish to show our solidarity with this action to Heiko and all the others who are, have been, or will be targeted by evictions!

Each eviction must be prevented at all levels, by all means!

We hope that the ‘Bauverein Reiherstieg’ will not continue with evictions, otherwise we will be back!

Anti-evictions Group

Note (translated from French): In the same district of Hamburg, the Authorities for Urban Development and the Environment (BSU), located at 19 Neuenfelder Straße, were similarly attacked in the night of Tuesday 26th to Wednesday 27th of August 2014. Also „fight Capitalism“ was tagged with stains of paint on the front door of the building. The action was claimed by ‘autonomous opponents of gentrification’ invoking the growing gentrification in the district of Wilhelmsburg, which is being made into a ‘new trendy area’, and recalling that gentrification and urban renewal happening for years in the Altona area has mainly affected the Schanzenviertel district.

Leipzig: Real estate company targeted and several luxury vehicles torched

Wednesday 21st January around 3 o’clock in the morning, four vehicles of a real estate company in Leipzig were torched: the cars destroyed by flames were all high-end vehicles (3 Mercedes and 1 Audi). This incendiary sabotage was claimed on Sunday 25th January by “Autonome Gruppen“:

In the night of 20th-21st January 2015, we attacked during a targeted action the whole fleet of vehicles of the multi-million euro real estate speculators GRK Holding in the southern-centre of Leipzig, and with this we delivered flames to four vehicles. The real estate company referenced is one of the largest long-term profiteers of gentrification in Leipzig. Spread throughout the city, the big company projects are either under construction or have already been completed. The systematic terror against the tenants is still high on the agenda, such as gentrification ensuing the cheaply purchased property renders Leipzig more attractive for people with a higher monthly income.

“Founded since 1991, GRK-Holding AG manages and leases, exclusively and qualitatively, high-end properties in and around Leipzig.”

This is enough reason to show these dear ladies and gentlemen that their actions don’t remain without a response. This took place whilst we deposited incendiaries to four vehicles parked in front of the headquarters of the company and a truck parked in the yard, four vehicles and a carport in the flames of our hatred.

The car, reportedly pushed into the street, was parked beside another car when the incendiary device was ignited. It’s not the first time a car starts to move a bit after going up in flames. And it’s all the more gratifying when it interferes with the fire fighting operations and thereby adding to the damage.

By organizing Charity Golfing the GRK Holding GmbH [limited liability company] tries to put itself into a positive light and buy a clean conscience. During Charity Golfing a rich and elitist mob celebrate themselves and some of them donate a fraction of their fortune together with other big businesses to a good cause. The event will run again under the patronage of Burkhard Jung (SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany]), the mayor of the city of Leipzig. He’s trying to promote himself and present the GRK Holding GmbH as a nonprofit social enterprise, but making people on lower incomes lose their housing tells a different tale. It seems that Jung tries to pacify leftist areas by use of gentrification and by pushing out the people who live there, to create space for persons that fit into his world view and to feel secure in his home in Connewitz. A security as make-believe and fake as the claim of the GRK Holding GmbH to be socially committed.

Autonomous Groups

Germany: KSW estate agents attacked in Leipzig

In the night of the 30th–31st December, the headquarters of KSW on 2 Karl-Heine-Strasse in Leipzig were paint-bombed and the words “Fire protection OK?” were affixed. KSW is one of the large local real estate companies who ensure their profits by practicing aggressive evictions, revaluation and suppression at the expense of tenants.

The case of the evacuation of 28a Holbeinstrasse has been made known over the months, by which KSW has actively driven out the inhabitants by inhumane strategies. Amongst other things, fire doors were removed by KSW, and then the City indicated that fire protection is no longer guaranteed. Thereafter, the City of Leipzig prohibited its use as housing space (more in the blog cited below).[i]

We ask KSW: At home, is there fire protection?

Revaluation, suppression and gentrification or not: the problem’s called capitalism. Identify and attack the agents and ideologies – always and everywhere.

On the case of 28a Holbeinstrasse:…[i]

Further reading on “Leipzig – City for all”:…[ii]

We do not dissociate ourselves from the call to violence.[iii]
_

(Originally translated from German from Linksunten Indymedia into French on Le Chat Noir Émeutier, then into English.)

Translators’ notes:

i. The communique was disclosed on December 31st, 2014, making mention also of this case, and providing a link to holbeinstrasse28a.de/unser-blog. In response to this, the blog’s authors (some 28a Holbeinstrasse “rental parties”) have humiliated themselves by posting a pathetic message on January 1st, 2015, reading: “Not in our name… We dissociate ourselves from violence and property damage. Happy New Year!”.

ii. A network which campaigns “for a social and democratic urban development”; yet again, nothing to do with radical activity.

iii. In support of this callout, and still in the city of Leipzig, another attack targeted a branch of Deutsche Bank.

Athens: Protest in defense of the Prosfygika housing complex, threatened with sell-off and a massive forced eviction

Communities of the future are built in squatted neighbourhoods –SY.KA.PRO (‘Assembly of Squatted Prosfygika’)

“The sole mission of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund is to maximize the proceeds of the Hellenic Republic from the development and/or sale of assets. (…) Privatization is not seen as a mere sale of assets; rather, it is the key element in re-establishing credibility, itself the basic pre-requisite for Greece’s return to global capital markets.” —TAIPED

Earlier this year, the TAIPED (so-called Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund; founded in 2011) announced its plans to sell many of its current possessions on behalf of the Greek State. These privatization/gentrification plans affect, among others, large part of the Prosfygika (‘Refugee buildings’), a housing complex on Alexandras Avenue in Athens – which consists of eight blocks that were constructed back in the 1930s to house some of the refugees from Asia Minor, after the 1923 compulsory population exchange between Greece and Turkey. More than a decade ago, the Greek State bought most of the apartments, intending to tear them down and redevelop the particular real estate. In 2008, residents won a court fight against immediate eviction and demolition of the Prosfygika, which were declared a protected site later on. Nevertheless, 138 government-owned apartments which are now squatted in these buildings are among the assets that were handed over to the TAIPED lately, which has committed to transfer all such properties to the private sector.

The district has at least three buildings fit for demolition: the Court of Appeals (Efeteio), the Athens Police Headquarters (GADA), and the Supreme Court of Greece (Areios Pagos, which was built in the place of the notorious Averoff prison); all in the close proximity of the Prosfygika. Today, some residents own small apartments in the ‘Refugee buildings’, others rent their homes, while many flats are squatted by both migrant and Greek-born people in need of living space. According to the SY.KA.PRO (assembly of some of the residents who have occupied apartments in the Prosfygika and hold self-organized activities) more than 500 people are currently living in the housing blocks, which can be considered a proletarian residential area.

Here is footage from a recent demonstration, attended by the SY.KA.PRO and people in solidarity on June 7th, 2014, in the district of Ampelokipoi. Some of the slogans chanted by protesters were:

“If we don’t resist in all neighbourhoods, our cities will become modern prisons”

“Listen up you cops and bosses, hands off the Prosfygika”

“Solidarity is people’s weapon, war against the bosses’ war”

“Let’s set fire to the court of appeals, let’s bomb the police headquarters, to make a park for the Prosfygika in their place”

“10, 100, 1000 squats against a world of organized sepsis”

Atlanta, GA: Tractors sabotaged for the ZAD, No TAV, Hambach Forest

On the night of February 22nd, we poured a mixture of sand and water into the fuel tanks of two tractors used in the construction of a new Atlanta streetcar. The streetcar is one of many major development projects the city has initiated in the past few years as a part of a general plan to revitalize downtown. We know that this plan only means more police and unaffordable housing.

We offer this small gesture of solidarity to the ZAD, the No TAV movement, and the occupation of the Hambach Forest. We would also like to send strength to those affected by increased surveillance or repression the new developments have brought to Atlanta.

Our action was very simple to perform. It did not take long to plan or to enact and we found all of the materials on the side of the road. We do not believe that an accumulation of “actions” makes a revolution, but we wanted to give encouragment to the current and future participants of revolutionary struggles.

Onward, strong hearts!

Vienna: Paint bombing against SEG building

Free Josef (antifascist who’s in custody since 24.1.2014)

In the night between January 31st and February 1st, 2014 we embellished the SEG building located in 10, Spittelauer Lände street with paint bombs.

The SEG-“Urban Renewal and Condominium Association” is just one of many companies that are actively involved in the revaluation of formerly cheaper districts.

The SEG has chosen the revaluation of the Danube Canal and the urban railway arches as current field of activity. In this case, they speak of “picking out a good location and corresponding architecture.”

We find that their concrete block persistently disrupts the view to the Danube Canal, which is known for its graffiti and murals. That’s why we decided to somewhat adapt their white walls to the appearance of the city rail arches’ walls.

Solidarity greetings to the Pizzeria Anarchia collective, acutely threatened with eviction, and also to the comrade who is currently held on remand after the NoWKR protests.*

Against gentrification! Our city remains dirty!

Autonomous Devaluation Association

* Translators’ note: A mass anti-Nazi demonstration on January 24th against the annual Vienna “academic ball”, organized by the FPÖ far right party and attended by hundreds of members of right-wing student fraternities from Austria and Germany. Josef was arrested that night, and his pretrial detention period was recently extended. More info and updates about his case on soli2401.blogsport.eu.

Germany: Updates from the streets of Berlin, Hamburg and a few other places

previous info here

November 23rd

On Saturday, nearly 6,000 protesters marched in the city centre of Berlin during the annual demo in remembrance of comrade Silvio Meier, who was killed by neo-Nazis in 1992. However, on the same day, approximately 150 thugs from the neo-Nazi scene held a rally in one of their strongholds, Schöneweide, against asylum seekers and a recent attack on a prominent Nazi (Björn Wild, who was beaten up by antifas on the street). The fascists waved Greek and Golden Dawn flags next to other nationalist emblems. The antifascist counter-demo on location was rather small in numbers.

Housing instead of concentration camps…

November 24th

In Berlin, the refugee camp at Oranienplatz has been in imminent danger of eviction already since late November 2013. Refugees and people in solidarity are determined to keep the square as the basis of their struggle against the German asylum policy. However, Kreuzberg mayor Monika Herrmann of the Green Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) asked the cops to prepare a raid on the entire camp. She also stated that leftist radicals try to take advantage of the situation… Following these developments, heavy police violence was unleashed at Orienplatz, however activists counterattacked on many occasions.

The refugee camp at Oranienplatz exists for over a year now, and is a point of exchange between residents of Kreuzberg and refugees. There were several political attempts to end this square occupation, with subsequent police attacks. In summer of 2013, there was even a racist knife attack on a participant in the protest camp. The camp began after people in isolation camps, trapped by the restrictive German residency laws, broke out in order to march to Berlin. Refugees have made the camp both a living space and a site of struggle, and have also occupied a nearby school building (that was previously unused), in order to have an inside space during the winter. Both the camp and the occupied school building had been given official “tolerance” by the supposedly pro-refugee Green Party government of the district, in the face of large-scale support. After a disused building in Wedding was offered as winter housing to the refugees by a charity group, the Greens took the opportunity to claim that both the camp and the school should be evicted. The eviction threat comes despite the fact that the building offered only has space for 80 people from the camp, not everyone, and that the residents of the camp made it clear that they have no desire to leave the central and visible location in Oranienplatz to be put away in a house located on the northern edges of the city. However the State is using the rhetoric of democracy and charity to make it seem as if they are helping the protesting refugees, even as they call the police to evict them.

On the night of the eviction attempt the camp at Oranienplatz released the following statement:

“Today 24/11 in the early evening the refugee camp was almost evacuated by the police. The district mayor – Monika Herrmann of the Greens – has ended the official tolerance of the protest camp and has asked the police for help with the eviction. Through a massive mobilization and a large crowd in solidarity at Oranienplatz, an eviction was able to be prevented for the moment. The district government and the police say that the eviction will take place neither tonight, nor tomorrow 25/11 in the early morning. But we cannot rely on that! It is clear that the camp is not protected anymore by the district and that the mayor is ready to destroy it. It is also clear that the camp is a disturbance to the government of Berlin. Even if the district government will not evict it, the mayor of Berlin might do it instead. Mrs. Herrmann was at the camp this afternoon and talked to refugees and supporters. She received the following information: The house that has been offered to some people of the camp as a replacement is only large enough for 80 people. At least 30 refugees returned to the camp because there was no room for them in that shelter. Additionally, some refugees have made clear since the beginning of the negotiations for a ‘replacement object’ that a replacement is not an option for them. Rather, they want to stay and protest at Oranienplatz until their demands (abolish restricted residency requirements, shut down isolation camps, and stop all deportations) are met. Even though the mayor already knew that a larger number of people want to, or have to, continue living at Oranienplatz, she called for a police action. The Green Party, which claims to act for the rights of refugees, has trampled on them in this case. Since the beginning of the negotiations, we have viewed the limited access to a replacement house as an attempt to separate us. Those who are responsible have been informed that it is not an option for some people to leave Oranienplatz. Mrs. Herrmann reacted with the accusation that the struggle of refugees in Berlin has been taken over by left-wing radicals and is being instrumentalized by them. Therefore she has denied the refugees the ability to act politically and in a self-determined manner, even though they have directed their criticism and their demands directly to her. She has also launched a media campaign to de-legitimize the protest. It is an often used procedure: divide and conquer – integrate those who are satisfiable with an emergency shelter for the winter, and deny and suppress those who attempt to change the system; those who fight for equal rights for everyone; those who have demonstrated for more than one year at Oranienplatz. (…) Mrs. Herrmann and all politicians should understand that it is the strength of the protest that refugees and supporters can come together. The protest camp breaks isolation. The demands for open borders and the right to asylum are not those of a small minority. They are unevictable, solidary, and international! (…) Viva la revolución! Viva el Orienplatz! Freedom of Movement for Everybody!”

When the word of the eviction spread, hundreds of supporters spontaneously mobilized to defend the camp and began arriving at Oranienplatz. The police backed down from the eviction, but those who had showed up to defend the camp launched a spontaneous demonstration through Kreuzberg. Between 500 and 600 people marched through the area and broke through police lines several times when the police attempted to stop the demonstration. As during the last several spontaneous demonstrations in Berlin, barricades were constructed as the demo passed through the neighbourhood. Eventually the cops, overwhelmed and facing kicks and punches from the crowd, used pepper spray heavily and at least 5 comrades were arrested and many injured. That night the nearby office of the Green Party was attacked with paint.

The same day, a solidarity demonstration took place in Frankfurt am Main with 80 participants, and in Leipzig a solidarity demo of more than 150 people took place.

November 25th

Another, more pacified, demonstration of several hundred people took place in Berlin after the refugees gave a press conference declaring their intent to stay at Oranienplatz until their demands have been met: closing all isolation camps, stopping all deportations, the right to work in Germoney, and the abolition of restrictive residency laws. (Related announcement, from 29/11, here.)

Further solidarity actions took place in Frankfurt, where a demonstration of 100 marched to the local offices of the Green Party and the SPD (Social Democratic Party).

November 30th

Over 250 people participated in an antiracist demonstration in Bochum. The march went through the inner city, where lots of people who were shopping on the Christmas market received flyers and listened to the speeches. In one speech, a refugee from Africa talked about the current situation in the camp in Heiligenhaus where she has to live. She thanked everybody for their support and invited people to come to the camp, take a look at her situation and to talk about how to organize the struggle in the future.

Red banner reads: “Borderless solidarity instead of narrowed nationalism”; white banner reads: “Our welfare is based on exploitation – Economic refugees welcome” (in response to a racist ‘argument’ claiming that most of the migrants are only seeking state welfare benefits, and naming them ‘economic refugees’). More pictures here.

The weekly demonstration of the group “Lampedusa in Hamburg” became an Advent Demo on Saturdays (before the holiday season, refugees and people in solidarity took to the streets every Wednesday in the city). Continue reading Germany: Updates from the streets of Berlin, Hamburg and a few other places

Athens: Banner-action at Villa Amalias on December 19, 2013

The banner reads: “Our dreams will become your nightmares. Empty homes belong to us. Villa Amalias”

Below is a text by the Villa Amalias collective.

Villa is here. It still stands at the full height of those who gave rise to the squat for 22 consecutive years, the thousands of individuals who visited the building and created within it.

Its full height feels insuperable.

All those who will sell properties on high prices in the area after its eviction—

All those who direct and play political games in its name—

All those who talk about the makeup of downtown Athens, and devalue human existence day after day—

All those who are subordinates or supporters of Nazi and nationalist formations, and under their skin and in their mind cannot withstand the “thorn” that causes them to bleed, the obstacle that stands against their racist campaign in the district—

All those who bleed us dry day after day under the umbrella of national unity and the land’s rescue—

All these people will never reach the peak of Villa, or of any other squat and self-organized space. Simply because they do not see the peak.

And how could they ever see it when they are only looking at their pockets, the ballot box, the camera, their peace of mind.

You must keep your head up high to see the sky.

From the rooftop, the walls, the yard, the shadows, the breaths, the street…
SQUAT FOREVER
VILLA AMALIAS

Squats belong to the people of struggle.

“Our dreams will become your nightmares”

… minions and bosses, shove the €3,500,000 budget for the reconstruction of Villa Amalias up your arse.

Hamburg, Germany: Demo on the 21st of December in solidarity with the Rote Flora squat, the Esso houses initiative, and for refugees’ right to stay

This demonstration was called as a sign that the autonomous spectrum will never accept an eviction of the 24-year-long Rote Flora squat. However, the mobilization has had two other main reasons, too.

Gentrification in Hamburg, and other cities, is moving rapidly every day. In Hamburg’s district St. Pauli, the Senate wants to demolish the two Esso houses (named after the gas station on the main floor), home of over 100 people. Resistance within an initiative against the demolition of Esso houses has been diverse and strong.

The refugee struggle in Hamburg has been going on for many weeks (notes on the struggle here). Over 300 self-organized refugees keep fighting against the racial profiling and deportation threat. Numerous solidarity actions and demonstrations with thousands of participants, in solidarity with the Lampedusa refugee group, have taken place in Hamburg and beyond.

Now these struggles are coming together on the street for a large demonstration on the 21st of December 2013, to show that resistance against the Hamburg Senate politics can only intensify…

Shut down Fortress Europe! Right to stay for everyone!
No Border – No Nation!

Flyer in German here; call & flyer in English here: i, ii

If you’re planning to join the protest in Hamburg, and you need more info, please contact the Rote Flora squat at: flora-bleibt (at) nadir.org. If you’ll also need a place to sleep, please send an email to: schlafplatz2112 (at) riseup.net.

Rio de Janeiro: Cops beat to death an 18 year old boy

In the early hours of October 17th, 2013 Paulo Roberto Pinho de Menezes, 18, was beaten to death by officers of the ‘Police Pacification Unit’ (UPP) in the Manguinhos favela of Rio de Janeiro. The cops immobilized the teenager and took him in a dark back-alley, where they fiercely beat him to death. The exact circumstances of his assassination are not yet clarified. However, his mother and other residents have verified that Paulo Roberto was among a group of youths when cops of the local UPP conducted a control in the favela.

In the late afternoon of October 17th revolted youths attacked cops with stones, enraged by the assassination of Paulo Roberto. The brute violence of repression forces escalated even further, when cops used live ammunition causing injuries to various individuals. A 17-years-old girl was hit on her leg by police bullet and evacuated to the hospital. The pigs did not hesitate to threaten even the sister of Paulo Roberto, pointing a gun at her.

The funeral for the boy was scheduled for Friday the 18th of October, day when a morning protest was also called to denounce the umpteenth murder at the hands of police.

You may read some facts about the exact role of the ‘Police Pacification Unit’ in the cleansing of the favelas, in the name of Brazil’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, here. A video with English subtitles concerning another killing in the Manguinhos favela, in March 2013, can be viewed here.

Germany: Recent events in Hamburg

Here is an article from the anarchist newssheet “Wut im Bauch” (distributed only in paper form) about recent events in Hamburg. Additionally, there is a short report-back from a further “wild stroll” against control, which occurred recently. The texts in German here.

Out of Control

For the last few months, in Hamburg, there has been a broad based campaign of state repression and control. Some of these events deserve a closer examination. The few examples provided here are only a small selection of everyday repression, but they provide a precise picture of recent developments, and should be understood as experiments by the guardians of order. They want to create an environment of permanent fear and unbroken respect for their order, so as to assure its smooth functioning.

Unmasking and compromising the “danger zones”
What is for a long time already the reality in St. Georg around the Hansaplatz, and in St. Pauli (around the Reeperbahn, the red light district of Hamburg) has, since the first of June 2013, reached the Schanzenviertel. A “permanent danger zone” has been established, and the cops have been authorized to carry out controls at any time at any place. The related scenarios and their effects can be clearly seen in the St. Georg district. Large groups of cops are specifically controlling and harassing those who are undesirables, for example those not able to pay for things or those who are excluded on the basis of racist thinking. What is taking place here, under the guise of security, is easy to reveal.

In St. Georg the sex workers should be disposed of, and socially, which is to say financially weaker people should be displaced in order to develop the area and make it more profitable. In the case of the Schanzenviertel the goals are the same, however the “danger zone” here is primarily directed at the drug scene, and against those who are “migrant looking” and therefore, on racist grounds, automatically associated with it. Let us be clear: the cops do not need any special justification for controls. If there is any doubt, their law is on their side. Danger zones are auxiliary to larger demonstrations of power and targeted campaigns of repression through permanent bullying and control. Continue reading Germany: Recent events in Hamburg

Turkey: This is just the beginning; fight on

This is a revolt

Urban transformation projects have long been threatening living spaces of Istanbul residents. First slum demolitions, and then 63 million square meters of forests to be pillaged for the third bridge, shopping malls built one after another, luxury hotels, and while the pedestrianization project continued, next was Gezi Park. Istanbul residents continued to resist all of these projects that threatened life. Until excavators came to Gezi Park and uprooted the trees; until ‘a handful of marginals’ that claimed the trees and their shadows and said ‘Do not uproot trees, do not build a shopping mall into Gezi Park.’ This demonstration was introduced as an ‘ecological and peaceful’ action; until the police unleashed an early morning operation and smothered the park area with gas. The State must have ‘a lot’ to profit since they’re trying to bring this peaceful protest down as hard as they can. Police violence was climbing up in the last few months, and protesters were unexpectedly exposed to it. Deputies of opposition parties and artists came to Gezi Park to protest this and to support resisters, but they also had their share of state terror.

In the first day of demolition, the State could not get what they wanted because of this situation. Protesters stayed in Gezi Park for the night. It’s unknown if they were expecting an attack the next morning, but all protesters were thrown out of the park during the police raid at dawn. The police burned protesters’ tents, blankets and belongings. The videos of protesters exposed to continuous tear gas bombs and violently taken in custody invoked rage in everyone who watched.

Of course, this rage was not a rage for a single demonstration. This rage had been accumulated; accumulated because of the increasing police violence.

It was the attacks with gas bombs, batons and firearms that created this rage. It was the forbidden May 1st, the assault on Dilan Alp, and the deaths of Şerzan Krut, Metin Lokumcu, Aydin Erdem… What created this rage were more than a couple of days. It was the ever-increasing oppression, restrictions, censorship, economic exploitation… What created this rage was the State exercising its power on the people recklessly, relentlessly and without questioning legitimacy.

Those who ascribe ‘People’s Uprising’ as a form of post-modern action should take clear-eyed look at this fact. People came to the streets spontaneously because they felt the social, political and economic oppression heavily. The events are neither about tackling few days’ issues as the blind-deaf mainstream media say, nor are influenced by ‘marginal’ groups as the heads of state power claim.

It is time to raise the curtain thrown over the eyes. This is a revolt. It is the response of people against state terrorism, police violence and capitalist exploitation. This is the end of legitimacy of the new state power that had gained the love of other States, international institutions and global corporations. Continue reading Turkey: This is just the beginning; fight on

İstanbul: Reportback from Beşiktaş and Taksim

The TV channel CNNtürk broadcasted a documentary about penguins at the same time that thousands of people were clashing out on the streets, so somebody made this video to mock them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRZJhszz-6Q

In the morning of June 3rd, after two days of heavy clashes in the district of Beşiktaş, police presence there was huge. Cops were deployed in Abbasağa Park and Dolmabahçe in huge numbers, and around the Beşiktaş Square in smaller groups.

In the afternoon, high school students were gathered in the entrance of Çarşı, all dressed in black in order to show their solidarity with Gezi Park resisters. They were chanting slogans, while police kept away from them. At about 9pm, people in all of the surrounding neighbourhoods appeared on windows of the houses and made noise with their metal pots and spoons, or whatever they were able to find to join the noise protest. This went on for maybe half an hour.

Thousands of people assembled in Taksim again, in the 6th day of the occupation of Taksim Gezi Park. Police forces were located on Dolmabahçe Gazhane Road, east of İnönü Stadium. Resisters on İnönü Road (Gümüşsuyu) built new barricades all the way down to the stadium. There were 7 to 8 barricades along that road. Clashes on this avenue continued for hours, starting in the evening and lasting till late at night. Repression squads were using tear gas of course, but this time it was heavier and denser, because even people far away from the area where the tear gas bombs fell were badly affected. Continue reading İstanbul: Reportback from Beşiktaş and Taksim

Turkey: Raw news from the Taksim Gezi Park struggle and ongoing riots

Banner on Lesvos Island (opposite Turkish shores): ‘Solidarity with the rebels in Turkey’

On June 1st we were in Taksim at about 3pm. After clashes that started in the morning, police was forced to leave the area. The cops disappeared for some hours. For two hours there was no police presence in any area in downtown İstanbul (European side). People occupied the Taksim Square and Gezi Park. The number of people was huge. All of the park, square and roads that lead to this area were full of people. All the construction barriers that were closing the west side of the park were destroyed by protesters. Some of the police barriers were removed and were thrown down to the road that goes to the newly constructed underground tunnel. Others were used in the barricades built by protesters. The police hut in the south of the park looking down the square was set on fire and the anti-riot vehicle left there by police was destroyed, too. One police car in the same place was turned over and destroyed as well. People were filled with joy and they were taking souvenir photos in front of the destroyed vehicles and building. North of the Park is Hyatt Regency hotel and at the entrance garden of the hotel there was a police car thrown into the pool. Four public buses were left at the crossroad that is near and were also damaged.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/67432788[/vimeo]

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/67480646[/vimeo]

At around 6pm we learned from our comrades that clashes started to take place in Beşiktaş, where the office/house of Tayyip Erdogan is located. People were attacking from four directions: from the Beşiktaş Square (east), Dolmabahçe road (west), Akaretler (northwest) and Ortabahçe road (north). Police was stuck there with four anti-riot vehicles with water cannons and around 150 police officers at the entrance of Hayrettin İskelesi street. At all directions barricades were erected. After some hours police was able to push people, and repression forces expanded. New barricades were set on Mumcu Bakka street and Süleyman Seba road to prevent the police force from entering the Çarşı, which is the bazaar area of Beşiktaş where people hang out. Police used plastic bullets when the people’s attack intensified. Clashes continued till around 1.30am (2/6). Finally police used excessive amount of gas bombs to disperse the crowd, and people left the barricades and took shelter in the shops and bars around, or regrouped in inner streets of Beşiktaş.

Meanwhile resisters in Taksim built huge barricades on the roads and streets around the square and Gezi Park all night. Also, people torched construction vehicles. Buses, cars, construction materials, police barriers, thrash containers, etc. were used as barricades. Continue reading Turkey: Raw news from the Taksim Gezi Park struggle and ongoing riots

Turkey: Few slogans chanted in the streets of İstanbul – Ongoing street protests and police repression on June 1st

solidarity banner at Liontaria square in Heraklion, Crete (Greece)

faşizme karşı omuz omuza / stand shoulder-to-shoulder against fascism

hükümet istifa / government, resign

katil Erdoğan / murderer Erdoğan

Taksim bizim, İstanbul bizim / Taksim is ours, Istanbul is ours

direne direne kazanacağız / we will win by resisting

her yer Taksim, her yer direniş / everywhere is Taksim, resistance is everywhere

sık bakalım, sık bakalım, biber gazı sık bakalım, copunu bırak, kaskını çıkar, delikanlı kim bakalım / shoot it, shoot it, fire the tear gas, drop your baton, take your helmet off, then we see who’s the tough guy

hepiniz orospu çocuğusunuz / you’re all son of bitches [to the police]

orospu çocuğu Tayyip Erdoğan / son of a bitch Tayyip Erdoğan

solidarity banner in Thessaloniki (Greece): ‘Solidarity with the rebels in Turkey. Rebellion now and forever’

There is no official confirmation of the deaths as of yet.

In Istanbul, on 1/6, the cops left the Taksim Gezi Park for a while. Then people gathered to occupy the park again. Soon thereafter, the police stormed the area to remove the protesters.

Recent updates in Turkish : 1, 2, 3

Comrades’ message from the streets of Istanbul at 17:15 (local time): “We did it. Taksim square and Gezi Park occupied. Police pulls back; they’re leaving. People celebrate inside Gezi Park. One police car, with ‘sikik (fucked)’ written on it, was overturned and set on fire…”

İstanbul, Turkey: Raw updates from the occupation at Taksim Gezi Park

Crowd of protesters at Istiklal street, Istanbul

Please contribute info from the streets.

The occupation of Taksim Gezi Park in İstanbul began on May 28th, 2013. Following the police raid in the park area on May 30th, hackers from the RedHack sabotaged the website of the Beyoglu police headquarters in response to the morning attack.

The occupation continued, and thousands of people gathered to resist the government’s plans (to build a shopping centre and destroy the green area). It soon became one of the largest mobilizations for years, with various different participants (from radical activists to NGOs, etc.), resembling the worldwide Occupy movement.

On May 31st, street clashes started from 5am in İstanbul. The resistance grew wider, while the police fired an incredible amount of tear gas bombs. Before yet another crackdown, supporters from three major football teams (Besiktas, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce) took to the streets united. Clashes continued late in the evening. The number of people in the streets was enormous. In every way, thousands were trying to reach Taksim square. After 16 hours of street fighting, the struggle went on. Continue reading İstanbul, Turkey: Raw updates from the occupation at Taksim Gezi Park

İstanbul, Turkey: Taksim Gezi Park occupied

It is the third day of occupation of Taksim Gezi Park in İstanbul. The protest camp started when construction vehicles entered the park and tried to pull out the trees.

Government wants to build a shopping mall at the location of the park. So, many people are camping in Taksim Gezi Park to defend the trees.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wmoMwv-AwA

Early in the morning of May 30th, 2013, at around 5am, the police attacked the occupiers with tear gases and set some of the tents on fire. The cops didn’t let any people approach to the site for some hours, while three construction vehicles were working. They pulled out the trees that were planted by the demonstrators and threw them to a garbage truck.

However, protesters occupied the park again, and the occupation still continues.

more photos

UK: Self-Organised London buzzing with activity

The Self-Organised London (SOL) squatted social centre continues to resist eviction at Elephant and Castle despite a court of their Order awarding its corrupt owners a possession order three weeks ago.

In truth, the current occupiers never held any hope in the current State-Capital system to yield any justice to the local community, as the social elite push for more luxury homes for their own in the heart of London. To expect justice from a partnership which projects only to degrade everything public by converting it into a means for profit, which is the inherent desire of the ruling class in a world where the heads of the multinationals are the heads of State, is foolhardy indeed. And, like in Argentina, the majority of the population in the UK continues to live within the consumerist bubble without protesting, while people are being duped into the poverty of slavery by a lying Press which lives by the same axiom as the economists themselves. For the media, advertising is now the main form of revenue, and just take a look at any newspaper to see how many of these full-page spreads are occupied by multinationals. To think that any change will occur in these circumstances is foolish, so people sail on in the warm flow of ignorance towards a neo-feudalist State that destroys protest and manages dissent.

In this stale climate a war is declared against those whose only failing is to want the best future for themselves and their children. To appeal for change is against the interests of those in control, whose use of communication and transportation above board and below the table bribes and coercion leads to a situation of utter decline in the real standards of living and individual expression, to the extent people are not even living anymore but just existing as upholders of a system which seeks to exploit their labour and add to their frustration. This dissatisfaction is then redirected towards ethnic hatred of those below them on the social ladder, those who emancipate themselves from the conditions that strangle them in other countries and come to the wealthier States to do the same work for the same masters but at a higher rate and with less protest.

If and when a population comes to its senses it will realise that the only solution is self-organisation through structures created and organised by themselves for themselves, which is the principle promulgated by protest itself, where those who are directly influenced by certain measures take direct action to solve their individual situations. The only problem with reformist protest is that it directs discontent to those who are supposed to represent them, individuals whose interest is purely to protect their own —the ruling millionaire elite. This process is thus self-defeating and leads to a disempowerment, which results in acceptance of the social condition as a result of an inability to understand where to go next.

At this late stage of the democracy delusion, people are forced with the realisation that insurrection is their only option, but comfort and traditional faith in authority keeps them from taking that step. However, unknown even to them, this process is already being formulated in their minds, and only fear prevents them from them taking the necessary steps to connect actions to ideas, words to feelings and self-organisation to contemplation. This process can already be seen in the collapse of the democratic process as less than half of voters go to the polls, riots break out in even the most economically ‘advanced’ nation-states, and smaller groups go underground to fight those symbols of autocracy in individualised mutinies.

This can be the beginning of the end for a global system of control which holds that a minority knows the best for a majority, an incongruous principle which has only held true in the darkest of times. And the change cannot be held back by the media (misinformation), police (repression), or tradition (patriarchy). What we are all fighting against now is the myth that history repeats itself, a history which in effect is ‘theirstory’ and not ‘ourstory’, that everything is cyclical because it is in fact linear and shows a past which is in fact far from glorious, but is littered with oppression and domination. Whether it is the idea that women are inferior to men because they are generally physically weaker, or that white people are superior to other races because they crushed others by their self-machinated violence, or that heterosexuals are superior to homosexuals because they have standardised structures to dominate their partners, what we realise is that they only allow us to express ourselves when they can find a reason to regulate us, to control our discoveries and logic, to condition our freedom and imprison us in statutory boxes, which have been well-labelled and identified and which they know we will not escape from.

The current social and economic situation is another box and we have to be able to identify those sides of our boxes, those walls that contain us and know how to break them, realise that they are only there when we hold on to them with our fears and insecurities, and that our rage for justice and equality is greater than their prison. Now more than ever logic is on our sides, as billions are passed around between the elite while they place us at the bottom of the scale and do not give us even to eat.

How much longer before we wake up to this injustice, to this wholesale sellout of our individuality, to the branding of our discomfort, to the distaste of being seen as mere terrorists for speaking the truths we inherently understand and feel, when they terrorise with their irrationality on a daily basis? How much longer before we turn their control into smithereens and their love for domination into the fuel for our fires which burn in our hearts crying out for the dreams which embolden us into a future without State, without authoritarian scientifically justified domination, so that we can free ourselves from the oppression that they think we will take for the rest of our natural lives?

Meanwhile, we at the SOL and other such projects around the world, from Athens to Santiago, from Berlin to Buenos Aires, from Cairo to Amsterdam, will push forwards toward the future we know we can create and realise, as only these feelings of freedom will ever inspire us to live this dreary life day in day out and reinforce these dreams with direct action and constructive rational thought.

FOR FREEDOM! FOR ANARCHY!
For the end to slavery, and complete self-organisation!