Berlin, Germany: Action Days Against Rent Madness Begin

Arson Attack Against Property Company Deutsche Wohnen

27.03.19: The Action Days Against Rent Madness have begun in earnest in Berlin with an arson attack against the vehicle fleet of property company Deutsche Wohnen.

The attack carried out by an Autonomous Groups cell destroyed 3 vehicles. The action days are part of an ongoing struggle against rising rents, lack of affordable housing and gentrification of working class districts. The campaign has involved a diverse set of tactics ranging from public demonstrations to militant direct action. Here is an excerpt from the claim of responsibility that was posted on German Indymedia:

“We dedicate the ashes of the three burned-out cars to all those affected by letters of termination, evictions and rent increases.

We devote the blazing flames to those who have been abandoned by the system, the victims of daily marginalization, and our fighting comrades, who are either in jail or on the run.”


Activists in Berlin want to seize 200K apartments from landlords

Campaign must first collect 170K signatures
March 28, 2019 08:00AM  [by  The Nation]Kevin Sun

“Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and Co” founder Rouzbeh Taheri and Deutsche Wohnen apartments (Credit:Deutsche Wohnen and Berliner S-Bahn-Tisch)

“Are we heading back to socialism now?” asked Germany’s largest tabloid, Bild, earlier this month.

The reason? A referendum initiative in Berlin is seeking to expropriate 200,000 homes from the city’s biggest landlords and convert them into social housing, The Nation reports.

The proposal, known as “Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and Co,” would affect a total of 10 companies, each of which owns at least 3,000 units in the rapidly-gentrifying German capital.

“Resistance against gentrification has grown so much stronger in the last 10 years. It has been proven that protest pays off,” the founder of the initiative, Rouzbeh Taheri, told The Nation.

The company specifically called out in the name of the proposal, Deutsche Wohnen, is Berlin’s largest private-property owner. Deutsche Bank founded the company in 1998, and it now owns 110,000 apartments in Berlin. Asset manager BlackRock owns more than a 10 percent stake in the company, making it Deutsche Wohnen’s largest shareholder.The official referendum campaign will begin next month, and will need to collect 170,000 signatures as a first step in the process. A long legal battle will likely follow, and the city would have to determine how much to pay the landlords as compensation. If approved, the referendum would be held sometime next year.

If the referendum succeeds, it would mark the first use in 70 years of Article 15 of the German Constitution, which allows for nationalization of private property.

The city of Berlin privatized about 200,000 units between 1989 and 2004, after the end of the Cold War. Rents have more than doubled in the past decade as the city has evolved into a world hipster capital.

The Berlin anti-gentrification movement has established ties with groups around the world, including anti-Amazon protesters in New York.

“We can learn from each other. And I hope we will talk soon about the socialization of Facebook, Google, and Amazon and others. But for now, in Berlin, it’s about housing companies,” said Nina Scholz, a Berlin-based journalist who supports the initiative.

[The Nation]Kevin Sun

Florence, Italy: Anarchists invite Public to Occupy a new Adventure

translated from 

Better in a Tent.. Speculation and Gentrification make finding a living space an impossible task.
Better in a Tent.. Speculation, Gentrification and mass tourism make finding a living space an impossible task.


 

We decided to occupy one of the many abandoned buildings in the city of Florence to make a place for socializing and sharing, to organize debates, presentations and concerts, to make room for those of us who need a place to be and do activities, to address the social disintegration and lack of opportunity that this city offers us

Florence is run by political powers and local councils for profit and is increasingly distant from the needs of the inhabitants. It is now the practice to sell everything:  the health of citizens, the right to exist of migrants and refugees of war, the dignity of those who have no home, the right to education, the lives of many working men and women.florence-occuipation-2016

The demagogic schemes of the government continue to mystify reality; spreading the culture of resignation, of individualism and conformity, as well as denying the possibility of a social transformation and the creation of a different world.

For these reasons we reclaim spaces and revive them, experimenting with forms of  social and horizontal self-organized centers, is one way to begin to build an alternative society, which does not require an authority and institutions to which we delegate the organization of our existence. Continue reading “Florence, Italy: Anarchists invite Public to Occupy a new Adventure”

Last housing Occupation in Bologna has been evicted


acqua-de-maria-2

by .. shared with thanks
The eviction of the last remaining housing occupation in Bologna – around 100 people, 34
of them children, living in a building inVia Mario De Maria, in the working-class neighborhood of Bolognina – started at dawn on October 11.

The police and the carabinieri surrounded the block and raided the mariodemariabuilding, beating people and even using pepper spray, the residents say.

The newly elected council member for the housing emergency, Virginia Gieri, said that the residents “came out peacefully”, but the residents and witnesses say something different. One man passed out after he was beaten and another person was injured.

Gieri, a loyal follower of Renzi, was appointed to the delicate job of being in charge of the housing emergency in Bologna, after the last incumbent, Amelia Frascaroli, was considered to be too soft.

Renzi’s government is holding a line of absolute repression against housing occupations, and PD local authorities all over Italy are toeing this line, even in places – like Bologna – where the party claims to be more “tolerant” and to have a welfare-oriented tradition. Continue reading “Last housing Occupation in Bologna has been evicted”