by Perifèries Urbanes (+ in Spanish Italian Catalan) tweets + pics added)
In the early hours of 14th June 2017, a fire tore through a 24-storey tower block in North Kensington, killing at least 72 people. In the wake of the event, it soon became clear that this was more than a tragic accident, as revelations began to emerge around a lack of fire safety standards, a refurbishment which had saved £293k by downgrading insulation to less fire-proof material, as well as panels installed on the outside of the building to make it ‘look better’ for local wealthy neighbors (creating a cavity which acted as a chimney).
It also emerged that the residents of the tower had been trying to raise their voices in the run-up to the event in order to get their landlords and the council to address fire safety issues in the building, but to no avail….
Housing Crisis 1946 – Thousands march in London in support of squatted empty blocks in Bloomsbury and near Regents Park. Housing Crisis 2018 – The same slogan is still good! 196 Retweets 239 Likes
Grenfell Tower has now become a beacon for the housing crisis and urban inequalities in cities like London, symbolic of an aesthetic disregard for the poor (not listening to their voices and trying to mask their appearance on the city’s skyline behind panels) as well as who has the ability to access safe and secure housing (which is currently distributed around property ownership and notions of entitlement). Many, for instance, have pointed out that the fire took place in one of the richest boroughs in the country, but that Kensington and Chelsea also has one of the highest number of empty buildings
in the UK, which are largely being used as investments by the international super-wealthy.”
Addressing this context after the blaze, there was an extraordinary and controversial call by leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, for the state to take over these empty buildings in order to house survivors. This idea was immediately met with dismissal as threatening core tenants of property ownership and entitlement, yet we can actually find a precedent in the UK for requisitioning empty buildings in order to address a housing crisis. Continue reading “They died for being poor: How Mass Squatting could Burst the Speculation Bubble.”
by GOA May 27, 2018
On Sunday May 27, after a week of occupation, we opened the doors of the new Self-managed Occupied Gymnasium.
The Occupied Health Gym “La Salud” is an old gymnasium in the neighborhood of La Salut de Gràcia, which has been abandoned for the last 5 years. We want it to be an open space in the neighborhood, which will allow us to strengthen the ties of our community. We want the neighbors to feel free to enter, participating in scheduled activities or proposing new ones.
We live in our neighborhoods besieged by speculation, gentrification and capitalism, which every day leaves us without a house, without spaces, without the possibility of carrying out a dignified life. Continue reading “New space liberated – The Self-managed Occupied Gym.. La Salud”
“What I believe” has many times been the target of hack writers. Such blood-curdling and incoherent stories have been circulated about me, it is no wonder that the average human being has palpitation of the heart at the very mention of the name Emma Goldman.
It is too bad that we no longer live in the times when witches were burned at the stake or tortured to drive the evil spirit out of them. For, indeed, Emma Goldman is a witch! True, she does not eat little children, but she does many worse things. She manufactures bombs and gambles in crowned heads. B-r-r-r!
Such is the impression the public has of myself and my beliefs. It is therefore very much to the credit of The World that it gives its readers at least an opportunity to learn what my beliefs really are.The student of the history of progressive thought is well aware that every idea in its early stages has been misrepresented, and the adherents of such ideas have been maligned and persecuted. One need not go back two thousand years to the time when those who believed in the gospel of Jesus were thrown into the arena or hunted into dungeons to realize how little great beliefs or earnest believers are understood.
The history of progress is written in the blood of men and women who have dared to espouse an unpopular cause, as, for instance, the black man’s right to his body, or woman’s right to her soul. If, then, from time immemorial, the New has met with opposition and condemnation, why should my beliefs be exempt from a crown of thorns? Continue reading “Emma Goldman … ‘What I Believe’ … read and download”