I do have a pretty good excuse for being a little late in writing this month’s column, namely being arrested and remanded for a squatting-related offence (of which I am not guilty for the record, as I will be testifying at trial later in the year).
At least I’m not all talk and no walk huh.
Fraguas Lives Again.. Fraguas Revive
A couple of nights in the cells isn’t so bad though – let’s start this round-up with some hard-hitting news from abroad. The Fraguas case in Spain. For those not aware of the situation, since 2013 a group of squatters calling themselves the Association of Rural Repopulation of Sierra Norte, more commonly Fraguas Revive, occupied an abandoned village in Guadalajara near Madrid.
The intention was to breathe life back into the village that was left empty since the expropriation by the Franco regime, and to provide space for people to imagine and act out utopias of the future through self-organisation and sustainability.
They immediately took this to the appeal courts, but unfortunately last month the court upheld the decision, and they will now have to serve their sentences.
In addition they refuse to pay the costs of demolishing the buildings they have repaired, although this may also result in an extra nine months incarceration for non-payment. An impressive stance to take, and my non-existent hat goes off to them.
An interesting note is that the government utilised these laws on the basis that the village was now part of the Natural Park, so therefore couldn’t be considered a dwelling, and they were able to screw them with the serious charges rather than the more administrative process that tends to take place for squatting in Spain.
Similarly there are regulations here in the UK about “royal” parks, and police are able to simply remove with force anyone they wish. I have seen this abused by the Met Police to break in, beat up, and evict people squatting an abandoned caretaker’s in north London.
There isn’t too much more to this analysis than just to say it’s funny that where parks and natures are supposed to be there for people to participate in and enjoy, and where the regulations are supposedly there to protect those notions, they are abused at the first opportunity to uphold social order.
Grow Heathrow cut back
Further bad news, which is a running theme in this column as well as the squatting world in general, is that the eviction process of Grow Heathrow has finally begun.
Started almost nine years ago in Sipson village on the outskirts of London, it is land that was supposed to be the site of the proposed new runway for Heathrow airport. Political protest, land reclamation, and communal living have been part of the project as it has evolved over the years.
The plan to evict has been long fought in the courts, and has been muddied by the squatting of a second adjacent plot of land that is owned by a different owner, making the enforcing of any Possession Orders logistically very difficult. However the time has come that the owner of the original site, Imran Malik, wants it back.
About 7.30am Tuesday (the evening standard reports 8:30am, but our local squat networks of course were on the blower much earlier about the situation – remember to sign up to the “NELSN” London phone network on 07575013111) the first High Court Enforcement bailiffs from the National Eviction Team arrived on the scene, and not long after they had gained access to the front half of the site.
Our hippy friends took to the tunnels and the tree-houses, with one person locking themselves to the turbine tower, and another going underground into the tunnels with food and water to last several days. Dig little mole, dig!
While the squatter up the tower has since been cut away, squatters from across London are making their way to support the Grow Heathrow crew as they remain in the second-half of the site, planning resistance, and of course the ninth birthday party in just few weekends’ time. See you there.
The call is still out for people to join the resistance, the bailiffs are booked for up to two weeks to carry out the eviction, so anyone from London (or further) who has the time and energy feel free to go and get involved: Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, West Drayton, UB7 0JH.
Curent situation: February 28th
Freedom spoke to a Grow Heathrow member today who said: “We want people to know we are still on the back lands! We have lost our kitchen, front garden, bike racks, art space and front guest cabin – and we will be rebuilding those on the back part of site over the coming weeks.
“Most houses are on back lands, as is our music space, toilet, shower, fruit trees, bees and forest area, so the resistance is still strong and bailiffs are letting people through to visit the site.”
Sticking with evictions, Asilo (the Asylum), longest-standing squat in Torino, Italy, said farewell on February 7th. For almost 25 years it was a hub of radical and local organising. The premise for the break-in was the arrest of six people purported to be involved in explosive attacks against institutions involved in the detention and deportation of migrants.
Disappointing to say the least that the fire brigade helped the police into the building, and then issued a condemnation notice. It’s always nice to think of the fire brigade as an essential and welcome public service, and there’s no need for them to be complicit in such an action. Boo.
One bit of good news does exist however, in Eccles, Greater Manchester. In November a group of homeless people took over an abandoned NHS building and have turned it into a homeless centre, helping people to keep a roof over their head while seeking the support they need.
They have since been taken to court by the NHS (see above for institutions that needn’t be complicit in upholding state repression), but were almost immediately after granted a stay on the execution of the Possession Order while they appeal. Your author doesn’t know the current state of the appeal, but as at the time of writing they were still occupying the building.
Beyond the urban
A bit disjointed, this month’s letter is perhaps lacking in a cohesive theme, or particular analysis of things squatirical, but it is interesting to look at some of the squats that exist outside of the cities.
Resistance, and organisation, is often different to that which I and others experience in the cities of abundant ephemeral squats. I certainly have found this to be the case, and found it to be eye-opening and valuable when visiting and participating in more rural resistances.
Then there are many cases of indigenous occupations, that somewhat transcend the conventional understanding of the word squat, even if it indeed describes their legal status.
I won’t offer any attempts at humorous commentary on these situations, they exist in the reality of others’ experiences, but I am seeking to learn more about resistance across the globe, and implore others to do so too.
The world is fucked up, and as capitalism drives people further from feasible housing solutions, squatting, amongst other forms of resistance, becomes more important, if harder to actually live out.
The opportunity to organise ourselves and take charge of our housing, our lives, exists in these spaces. We can’t give them up.
On that note, I’ll be looking to not give up my own squat as we face imminent eviction early next month. Keep your fingers crossed for us all and we’ll see you next time.
La Directa This Tuesday, January 8, the Casa Àfrica space in Marià Aguiló street, in the Poblenou district of Barcelona, celebrated with a breakfast and lunch solidarity that the eviction of the building, scheduled for that same day has been temporarily stopped .
The expulsion aimed to put about twenty young people on the street, who come from several countries of Africa (Morocco, Guinea, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Gambia) and who they have no place to live, after having being attended by the Red Cross and the Service of Attention to the Immigrants, Migrants and Refugees (SAIER) of the City council of Barcelona. Seydou O., procedent de la Costa d’Ivori, un dels habitants de la Casa Àfrica | Sira Esclasans
At the moment, two vulnerability reports signed by the same council, the group Apropemos and the Association of Neighbors of Poblenou have taken effect in the courts to delay the eviction.
by Clara Macau | @ ClaraM_18 at La Directa Some of Photos by Sira Esclasans and Victor Serri. translation by The Free
Casa Àfrica is the new name given to the property that, from 2007 to 2018, has hosted the Self-managed Okupied Social Center La Teixidora (CSOA), between evictions.The squatters assembly has organised that it be given over to homeless arriving immigrants and asylum seekers
The building is a house of the beginning of the century with a modernist façade that served as the nucleus of the cultural activities of the Federal Republican Center until 1939. Then it was handed over to the Falange fascist party and fiinally went to a family from Poblenou barrio. Today, it is owned by Poblenou Federals Society 1922 S.L., a subsidiary of real estate company One Peking Road S.L. Despite the mediation efforts of the Barcelona City Council, the firm has not yet come to negotiate with the current occupants.
CIEs: The Spanish Guantánamo According to the Spanish Government, a Center for the Internment of Foreigners (CIE) is a non-penitentiary public institution where foreigners are subject to expulsion from the national territory, in short, places of detention for foreigners who, as they usually say , “Have no papers”. However, in practice, and due to lack of regulation and legal regulations, are administrative prisons whose conditions of stay are tougher than the prison itself, where people are interned that without having committed any crime are subjected to a regime Of life harder than those incarcerated accused of a crime.
In addition to the solidarity breakfast and lunch, the support platform for Casa Àfrica has called for a demonstration on Friday 11 in defense of the rights of migrants, an announcement that currently has the support of about 150 col Schools, including the Manters Syndicate or the CIE.
Housing exit for asylum seekers
Those responsible for La Teixidora wanted to close their activities on the Marià Aguiló street farm last October, when they contacted the group of activists Emergencia Frontera Sud (EFS). “This summer many people arrived with the Red Cross buses to Barcelona and we were overwhelmed. Finding this house meant that twenty people did not have to sleep in the street, “explains one of the members of the group.
Emergencia Frontera Sur is a citizen network of activists that carries out support and support for migrants. This means that they stay close to the newcomers until they manage to have a stable situation at the place of reception
Casa Africa – Victor Serri
In Barcelona, they pick them up at the North Station when they arrive on the Red Cross buses, they welcome them at home, they give them information about the resources they have to eat, sleep, shower themselves, accompany them to do bureaucratic Procedures for managing the asylum application and trying to give them legal assistance.
According to the data provided by Barcelona City Council and the Red Cross, in 2018 4,758 people arrived in Barcelona from the southern border of Spain. In summer, the City Council authorized 500 new spaces in an emergency organisation to provide basic assistance advice to migrants. “This was launched in August,” says an EFS member, “but in July many people arrived that could not be treated.”
Cartell de la manifestació de suport a les nouvingudes penjat a la façana de la Casa Àfrica – Victor Serri Poster of the demonstration of support for newcomers hanging on the facade of Casa Àfrica – Victor Serri
Most of the occupants of Casa Àfrica are asylum seekers, or they already have the procedures begun to request it. They are listed on the waiting list to enter the hostel and participate in training offered by Barcelona Activa.
The City Council says that it tracks its cases from the district of Sant Martí. Right now, they thank EFS for having achieved a place to live and accompany them with information and legal assistance. The group has volunteer lawyers who help them prepare for asylum interviews.
The limits of the municipal reception
The group says that there is a three months waiting list for access to a municipal shelter. So people who arrive in the city are left on the street. “When you arrive on the bus the Red Cross gives you a map to reach SAIER. And that’s all. They do not know the language. They do not know the city. They do not know what is the SAIER, “says activist Nebon Babou Bassono.
Nebon Babou Bassono is the president of the Burkinabé Association of Barcelona. Since summer, he has been a spokesman for the Emerging Border South community (EFS). We must start the interview, but before we are talking with a young African here. One who has arrived disoriented and angry. He explains the situation: “The first thing we must do is reassure these young people. They have come on a very harsh route and they find themselves with nothing, not even information or directions. “
This is the case of Seydou O., a 27 year old from Ivory Coast, after passing through Morocco and Andalusia. He explains that he arrived at the North Station in Barcelona in the summer and he was received by Red Cross personnel. They moved him to the offices of Calle Sancho de Ávila and there they told him that he could not stay there, so he had to find a solution. Seydou O. adds that he was returned to the bus station with 80 euros and a map to go to SAIER. There, without knowing very well what he had to do, he found the first person of EFS.
EFS was organized last summer to give a roof to people who have just arrived in the city and who do not have family members who can take them. Faced with the saturation of municipal facilities, they are committed to self-management and citizen will. “We do it as we can, in our house, at a friend’s house … the administration does not contemplate the waiting times of the hostels and this means that they have no other exit than the street, if nobody helps them”, explains a member of the group.
Babou Bassono and his colleagues explain that they are neglected when asylum seeks, seeking accommodation or accessing healthcare. In addition to the lack of resources, they indicate that they do not have access to information about the steps that must be followed to establish themselves in the city
Babou Bassono and his colleagues at Emergencia Frontera Sud explain that migrants are told they are neglected when it comes to knowing how to request asylum, search for accommodation or accessing healthcare. At SAIER, they say, there are no translation teams, but staff that can speak English, French or, in some cases, Arabic.
When this is not the case, the team is contacted, by telephone, and after a wait which can be one or two hours, they find a translator that helps to get the information. There are migrants who come from countries in Africa where other languages are spoken and, sometimes, they do not know either French or English. In these cases, it is still harder to find a translator.
The legal assistance provided by SAIER, says Emergencia Frontera Sud, consists of a group appointment with a lawyer. The appointment may take a month. In addition, although the service also provides for individualized advice, of the twenty people that accompany the group and who already have an appointment to request asylum, only two have been able to benefit, due to the waiting periods.
In spite of everything, the Barcelona City Council states that “since the beginning of June, 3,359 people have received first-class service, and all have had access to a translator and a basic legal orientation.”
The council adds that the SAIER, in particular, has a translation service in eight or ten different languages, and offers a free legal orientation. “What we can not offer is accommodation because it is not a municipal responsibility, nor do we have resources to do it,” City Council sources conclude.
Since last summer there have been calls for Spain to fulfill its duties as regards asylum, since, until now, the task of reception must be carried out with the municipal funds .
Neighborhood support in Poblenou district
In the neighborhood of Poblenou, the migrant group has received a warm welcome . The Association of Residents of Poblenou and other entities such as La Flor de Maig have welcomed African young people in their activities and have provided them with clothes and food.
Montse Milà, of the Association of Neighbors, has followed the case together with Emergencia Frontera Sud and the City Council of Barcelona. She is one of those responsible for the vulnerability report by which the eviction of the occupied property has been stopped for the moment. “We know that this is a partial victory,” she says, “because the building is in the middle of the neighborhood and is a speculative candy for the rise of private flats, but we will fight wherever we can to defend that the boys and have them stay in the neighborhood “.
original en Català
La Casa Àfrica del Poblenou, una llar autogestionada per les migrants nouvingudes a Barcelona
gener 8, 2019
Aquest dimarts, 8 de gener, l’espai Casa Àfrica del carrer Marià Aguiló, al barri del Poblenou de Barcelona, celebra amb un esmorzar i dinar solidaris que ha aturat temporalment el desallotjament de l’edifici, previst per aquest mateix dia. L’expulsió havia de deixar al carrer una vintena de joves que vénen de diversos països de l’Àfrica (el Marroc, Guinea, el Camerun, Costa d’Ivori o Gàmbia) i que no tenen cap lloc on viure, després d’haver estat atesos per la Creu Roja i el Servei d’Atenció als Immigrants, Emigrants i Refugiats (SAIER) de l’Ajuntament de Barcelona. De moment, dos informes de vulnerabilitat signats pel mateix consistori, el col·lectiu Apropem-nos i l’Associació de Veïns del Poblenou han fet efecte als jutjats
Casa Àfrica és el nom que s’ha donat a l’immoble que, del 2007 al 2018, ha acollit el Centre Social Okupat Autogestionat La Teixidora. L’edifici és una casa de principis de segle de façana modernista que va funcionar com a nucli de les activitats culturals del Centre Republicà Federalista fins al 1939. Després, va passar a mans de la Falange i d’una família del Poblenou. Avui és propietat de la societat Poblenou Federals 1922 S.L., filial de la immobiliària One Peking Road S.L. Malgrat els esforços de mediació de l’Ajuntament de Barcelona, la firma no s’ha avingut fins al moment a negociar amb les actuals ocupants.
A més de l’esmorzar i el dinar solidaris, la plataforma de suport a Casa Àfrica ha cridat a una manifestació divendres 11 en defensa dels drets de les persones migrants, convocatòria que a hores d’ara compta amb les adhesions d’uns 150 col·lectius, entre els quals hi ha el Sindicat de Manters o Tanquem els CIE.
Sortida habitacional per a sol·licitants d’asil
Els responsables de La Teixidora volien donar per tancades les seves activitats a la finca del carrer de Marià Aguiló el passat mes d’octubre, quan els va contactar el col·lectiu d’activistes Emergència Frontera Sud (EFS). “Aquest estiu van arribar moltes persones amb els autobusos de la Creu Roja fins a Barcelona i ens trobàvem desbordats. Trobar aquesta casa significava que vint persones no havien de dormir al carrer”, explica un dels membres del grup.
Emergència Frontera Sud és una xarxa estatal ciutadana d’activistes que fa tasques de suport i acompanyament a les persones migrants. Això vol dir que són al costat de les nouvingudes fins que aconsegueixen tenir una situació estable al lloc d’acollida
EFS és una xarxa estatal ciutadana d’activistes que fa tasques de suport i acompanyament a les persones migrants. Això vol dir que són al costat de les nouvingudes fins que aconsegueixen tenir una situació estable al lloc d’acollida. A Barcelona, els recullen a l’estació del Nord quan arriben en els autobusos de la Creu Roja, els acullen a casa seva, els donen informació sobre els recursos que hi ha per menjar, dormir, dutxar-se, els acompanyen a fer els tràmits per gestionar la sol·licitud d’asil i miren de donar-los assistència jurídica.
Segons les dades proporcionades per l’Ajuntament de Barcelona i la Creu Roja, el 2018 van arribar a Barcelona 4.758 persones des de la frontera sud de l’Estat espanyol. A l’estiu, l’Ajuntament va habilitar 500 places noves en un dispositiu d’emergència per donar assistència bàsica a més persones. “Aquest dispositiu es va posar en marxa a l’agost”, puntualitza un membre d’EFS, “però ja al juliol van arribar moltes persones que no van poder ser ateses”.
La majoria dels ocupants de Casa Àfrica són sol·licitants d’asil, o bé ja tenen endegats els tràmits per demanar-lo. Estan apuntats a la llista d’espera per entrar a l’alberg i participen en formacions que ofereix Barcelona Activa. L’Ajuntament assegura que fa seguiment dels seus casos des del districte de Sant Martí. Ara mateix, agraeixen a EFS que els hagi aconseguit un lloc on residir i els acompanyi amb informació i assistència jurídica. El grup compta amb advocats voluntaris que els ajuden a preparar les entrevistes per demanar asil.
Els límits de l’acollida municipal
El col·lectiu assegura que hi ha tres mesos de llista d’espera per accedir a un alberg municipal. Així que les persones que arriben a la ciutat, es queden al carrer. “Baixen de l’autobús i la Creu Roja els dóna un mapa per arribar al SAIER. I prou. No coneixen l’idioma. No coneixen la ciutat. No saben què és el SAIER”, rebla l’activista Nebon Babou Bassono.
El col·lectiu Emergència Frontera Sud assegura que hi ha tres mesos de llista d’espera per accedir a un alberg municipal, així que les persones que arriben a la ciutat, es queden al carrer
Nebon Babou Bassono és el president de l’Associació Burkinabé de Barcelona. Des de l’estiu, fa de portaveu del col·lectiu Emergència Frontera Sud (EFS). Hem de començar l’entrevista, però abans ha de parlar amb un jove africà acabat d’arribar que està desorientat i enfadat. Ens explica la situació: “El primer que hem de fer és tranquil·litzar aquests joves. Vénen d’una ruta molt dura i es troben sense res, ni tan sols informació o indicacions”.
Aquest és el cas de Seydou O., jove de 27 anys que ve de Costa d’Ivori, després de passar pel Marroc i Andalusia. Explica que va arribar a l’estació del Nord a l’estiu i el va rebre personal de la Creu Roja. El van traslladar fins a les dependències del carrer de Sancho de Ávila i allà li van dir que no s’hi podia quedar, de manera que havia de cercar una solució. Seydou O. afegeix que el van retornar a l’estació d’autobusos amb 80 euros i un mapa per anar fins al SAIER. Allà, sense saber ben bé què havia de fer, va trobar la primera persona d’EFS.
EFS s’organitza des de l’estiu per donar un sostre a les persones que acaben d’arribar a la ciutat i que no tenen familiars que els puguin acollir. Davant de la saturació dels equipaments municipals, aposten per l’autogestió i la voluntat ciutadana. “Ho fem com podem, a casa nostra, a casa d’algun company… l’administració no contempla els terminis d’espera dels albergs i això vol dir que no tenen cap altra sortida que el carrer, si ningú no els ajuda”, explica un membre del col·lectiu.
Babou Bassono i els seus companys expliquen que queden desatesos a l’hora de demanar asil, cercar allotjament o accedir a l’atenció sanitària. A més de la manca real de recursos, indiquen que tampoc tenen accés a la informació sobre els passos que han de seguir per establir-se a la ciutat
Babou Bassono i els seus companys d’Emergència Frontera Sud expliquen que els migrants els comenten que queden desatesos a l’hora de saber com demanar asil, cercar allotjament o accedir a l’atenció sanitària. Al SAIER, diuen, no hi ha equips de traducció, sinó personal que pot parlar anglès, francès o, en alguns casos, àrab. Quan no és així, des de l’equipament es contacta, per via telefònica, i després d’una espera que pot ser ser d’una o dues hores, amb un traductor que ajuda a fer arribar la informació. Hi ha migrants que vénen de països de l’Àfrica on es parlen altres llengües i, de vegades, no coneixen ni el francès, ni l’anglès. En aquests casos, encara és més difícil trobar un traductor.
L’assistència jurídica que proporciona el SAIER, afirma Emergència Frontera Sud, consisteix en una cita grupal amb un advocat. La concessió de la cita pot trigar un mes. A més, tot i que el servei també preveu un assessorament individualitzat, de les vint persones que acompanya el col·lectiu i que ja tenen cita per demanar asil, només dues se n’han pogut beneficiar, a causa dels terminis d’espera.
Malgrat tot, l’Ajuntament de Barcelona exposa que “des del juny, han passat per servei de primera accolida 3.359 persones i totes han tingut accés a traductor i a orientació jurídica bàsica”. El consistori afegeix que el SAIER, en concret, disposa de servei de traducció en vuit o deu idiomes diferents, i ofereix orientació jurídica gratuïta. “El que no podem oferir és allotjament perquè no és, ni competència municipal, ni tenim recursos per fer-ho”, conclouen fonts de l’Ajuntament. A l’estiu, ja va fer una crida a l’Estat espanyol perquè assumís les competències que li pertoquen en matèria d’asil, ja que, en aquests moments, la tasca d’acollida s’ha de tirar endavant amb els fons municipals.
Suport veïnal al Poblenou
Al barri del Poblenou, el grup de migrants ha rebut l’escalf del veïnat. L’Associació de Veïns del Poblenou i altres entitats com La Flor de Maig han comptat amb els joves africans en les seves activitats i els han facilitat roba i menjar. Montse Milà, de l’Associació de Veïns, ha seguit el cas juntament amb Emergència Frontera Sud i l’Ajuntament de Barcelona. És una de les responsables de l’informe de vulnerabilitat pel qual s’ha aturat, de moment, el desallotjament de l’immoble ocupat. “Sabem que aquesta és una victòria parcial”, matisa, “perquè l’edifici de Marià Aguiló és al centre del barri i és un caramel per a l’aixecament de pisos privats, però lluitarem fins on puguem per defensar que els nois es quedin al barri”.
On December 27th 2018, civil servants were met by a welcoming committee at the entrance of the ADM terrain. As announced previously by the mayor, they were sent to check if the ADM was empty of its inhabitants. They were not let in and were asked to make a new appointment which they refused.
Here news and statements published by ADM on the 27th:
Eviction of the ADM cancelled by United Nations’ Human Rights Committee (December 26th. 2018)
We received great news that the United Nations will stand up for our rights, yeah! This is the statement of our wonderful Human Right’s lawyer Electra Leda Koutra:
“Great great news for “free spaces” across the world. Fulfillment and relief (for now). The ADM Amsterdam stays!!! NO EVICTION TO ANY SPACE THAT DOES NOT RESPECT INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS CAN TAKE PLACE.
The Complaint of 60 ADMers has been communicated to the Dutch Government with request for observations that have to be submitted until 26 June 2019. Then we will comment on them.
The Amsterdam Municipality had adopted a superficial “law and order” approach, based on the final decision of the High Court which was ordering their eviction. However, the Municipality obviously disregarded its own obligation, as regional government, under international law to ensure that an eviction is compatible with international standards and showed intolerance to the applicants’ socio-cultural minority status and the need for relocation of the whole community as a whole (unregistered residents and house boat residents too) in “a site better than the current one”.
Not temporarily, but permanently. Taking into account the needs of individuals and the community. Making “consequences’ assessments” which take into account individual circumstances, such as disability of some community members.
With respect to their fundamental rights, their culture, their need for a space allowing enhanced freedom of expression. I am certain that the Municipality’s cynical stance, as also expressed in the Council Meeting of 20/12, contributed to the indication of an interim measure by the UN.
The Dutch Government will also have to answer on the complaint that the space allowed for expression and free thinking is targeted indirectly, in that the “space” for it is either shrinked disproportionately or over-regulated to a degree not allowing such an expression.
This tendency to sacrifice creativity before profit considerations has been decried by many rights movements globally. The stance of the HRC will affect these movements too.
It is interesting to note that the European Court of Human Rights had recently not only rejected the 53 ADMers’ (in that request) claim for urgent protection, but rejected their application… before it was even lodged. Upon inquiry as to how this is possible, it was argued that according to a recent practice of that Court, an interim measure can lead to the rejection of the whole “underlying application” (as it would potentially be submitted in the future!), if the Court believes that the information it holds is sufficient for considering the case.
The different levels of respect and protection afforded by European and UN mechanisms (in equivalent complaints protected in parallel by the ECHR and the ICCPR) are of wider concern and interest.
The communications between the applicants and the ECtHR were sent to the HRC, which obviously considered that the applicants’ protection, on EU jurisdiction, at all levels, has been inadequate.”
Statement by ADM residents, as it was read out to the press (at 12.00):
“Yesterday our request to stop the eviction of the ADM site has been honored by the United Nations because it is in conflict with international human rights. This statement is in the interest of all the free-spaces and freethinkers of the world.
For more than 4 years we have litigated in Amsterdam and The Hague for our right to a life of our own and our human rights.
This has not been recognized in Amsterdam and the Netherlands until now.
With the appointment of a green left coalition and the new mayor mrs. Halsema, we expected that this would be different.
For this reason, we were forced to appeal to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations
The answer from the UN’s HCR was sent to the city council this morning by our Greek lawyer Electra Leda Koutra.
The Dutch government is currently considering this new situation. We expect more news about this within a few hours.
Today, the municipality of Amsterdam wants to enter the ADM area with the enforcement department to initiate the eviction of our community.
We strongly advise the municipality of Amsterdam to refrain from this until the UN’s HCR has issued a final judgment on this matter.
Our wish is that the city and state administrators hold their warm Christmas feelings and not come home from a cold FunFair.
The residents of the ADM
Around 14.00 Amsterdam’ city hall released a statement saying that they will ignore the UN-request. The main points are:
– The judge has irrevocably determined that the municipality must enforce the zoning plan. The site is intended for port-related activities. You can not live there.
– That is why the municipality will enforce the law. Step 1 in that process is that civil servants go to the ADM site to take a look at the situation and consult with the squatters.
– According to the Council, the request to the UN committee does not lead to delay or postponement of the enforcement trajectory.
– The request from the ADM residents at the UN is about whether the sludge fields in the north are suitable as alternatives and comply with international standards.
– According to the Council, the site meets these standards: After all, provisions have been made, such as electricity, water and sanitation, and the level site has been raised.
– The Council notes that the offer to families with children has been made to involve a rented home. The GGD (municipal health department) has also provided care to anyone who needs it.
– The Council still has the strong preference for enforcement by civil servants, without police intervention, resulting in a voluntary departure from the squatters.
– If enforcement does not lead to the departure of the squatters, the site will be evicted at a later time.
This ignoring of the United Nations Human Right’s Council request by the municipality of Amsterdam is of course unheard of and very worrisome, especially since The Netherlands is seeking another term at this same council!
Around 16.00 the municipal enforcement team came to the ADM (instead of between 12.00 and 13.00, which was previously communicated to us) and demanded access to our terrain. We told them that it was perhaps not the right time, especially since we haven’t heard anything back from mayor Femke Halsema about the UN-interim-measure-request
In the evening of this same day (December 27th. 2018) we did send out a press release:
ADM (Amsterdam), December 27, 2018
A new spring for the ADM residents?
This morning our Greek lawyer Electra Leda Koutra sent an urgent request from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) to the Amsterdam city council. The municipality is asked to refrain from vacating the ADM site until a suitable location for residents has been found that meets the international standard for human rights.
The UNHCR has given the municipality 6 months of ‘defense period’. The ADM residents have 6 weeks to complete their extensive objection.
The intended location for ADM residents is the sludge fields of the former water treatment plant in Amsterdam. The municipality has made a number of provisions here that are not sufficient for a suitable relocation of the ADM residents. In addition, there is no solution for the 10 ADM boat occupants, they become homeless.
From a legal point of view, it is true that the ADM site may not be used in accordance with the zoning plan. The Council of State could not therefore decide otherwise to force the municipality to enforce.
On the other hand, according to international human rights protocols, the municipality must ensure at least an equivalent or better location in case of forced departure from a community. With the offer of the sludge fields and no solution for the ADM boats, the municipality remains seriously in default.
Today the municipality wanted to enter the ADM area with the enforcement department to initiate the eviction of our community. The ADM community requested the municipality to refrain from doing so until the UNHCR issued a final judgment on this matter.
The Commission indicated that it did not comply with the request from the largest international institute for the protection of human rights and still sent enforcement to the ADM site. Given the tumultuous developments of the day, the ADM residents did not think it appropriate to lead the enforcers around the terrain on this day.
The residents are open to a conversation with the city council.
I received what follows from Becky Fury yesterday.
Becky Fury won a Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award in 2016.
Becky Fury’s Award was well-deserved.
”I have just got off the plane after being at a festival in Holland. I was performing my show Political at the Dutch anarchist utopia ADM. I need a proper sleep. In my own bed and not in a makeshift hostel in the middle of a 24 hour festival.
The fringes of Amsterdam also belong in the city center
After hearing alderman Kock’s proposal to move the ADM to Almere in two years, many were stunned. One could not believe that the alderman had so little understanding of the social added value that Free-spaces & Fringes have for the city of Amsterdam. Recently, even in the media it was pointed out that
from La Directa At 7 am, the eviction of the Ca la Trava occupied center in the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona began. Early on, a helicopter was flying over the area and the Mossos Police deployed ten vans of the anti-riot unit.
One of the vehicles was equipped with stairs to access the building and a panoramic camera. The squatter launched warning rockets to convene a solidarity concentration on the crossing of Gràcia with Torrent de l’Olla street, and resisted in the building.
According to Ca la Trava, two people have been detained, information that has been confirmed by the police. From the Catalan police statement, they claimed that when they had access to the building there were nine people inside, two have only been identified and have left voluntarily. Four of the remainder were seized, two were charged for Resistance against The Authority and the other two were administratively sanctioned by the so-called gag law, the citizen security law 4/2015.