Trespass Journal

Calais – Police attack migrant camp

In the afternoon of 7 January, police raided a small migrant camp near an old Lidl. Friends who were there wrote about the event from their experience:
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Ohlauer evicted

Gerhart-Hauptmann Schule, a school building on Ohlauer Straße in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district squatted in 2012 by a group of refugees and activists, was evicted today [jan11].
The vacant school was first occupied during a particularly harsh Winter in December 2012 in order to house homeless refugees camping at Berlin’s streets. Initially, the occupation was tolerated by the district office Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, and it housed hundreds of people. In 2014, 211 refugees were registered as residents of the school. In the months since the announcement that the building is scheduled for eviction, this number decreased.
Apart for providing housing for refugees, the school was a home for various activist groups, primarily those working with migrants, but also those campaigning against gentrification. Read more ›

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[Zine] Protect our farmland

Prologue

At this point converges the double misfortune of the economy and the State: by caching civil war inside each person, the modern State put everyone at war against himself. This is where we begin.

– Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

In 1996 Henderson Property Development Limited began strategically purchasing farmland from farmers in Ma Shi Po Village using questionable methods.

Over 10 years later, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong announced in his 2007-2008 Policy Address the urbanization of three areas that includes Fanling North, where Ma Shi Po Village is located.

In two subsequent public consultations, the Town Planning Board, a statutory body of the government, received 50,000 letters opposing the government’s North East New Territories Development Plan and only seven letters in support.

The government failed to represent public interest and instead opted for developer hegemony and structural violence in pursuit of its geopolitical agenda.

When facing injustice, what can each one of us do?

This zine documents the land squatting action between 2nd and 13th June 2016.

Full zine: www.tinyurl.com/ProtectOurFarmland

Or download in Trespass template: PDF

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Call for Hambi International Solidarity

International Call for Solidarity Actions with Hambacher Forest Struggle

The last large part of the millenarian Hambach Forest is about to be cut and its over 11 occupations/barrios evicted during the 2017/18 cutting season expanding the chasm of the largest lignite mine/largest sigle CO2 emitter in Europe even more. Now there is a higher North Rhine Westfalia court hold on continuation of Hambi’s destruction, awaiting decission by a single not yet disclosed court apointed “expert” later this week. Given the local state of co-option of the state, municipal and judicial aparatus by special interests of Climate Killer RWE the decission is more than obvious. Even if suprisingly the decision would not be to destroy the forest the coal mining would still continue and the occupations still would face imminent evictions. Eviction constantly called for by nationalist AFD party and the rulling parties of CDU and SPD by stirring a shit-storm of fear mongering and delegitimization of eco activists in the forest as criminals, terrorist and at best riot-tourists. The cops also took advantage of the down time in cutting to provoke, distract and divide some of the local NIMBY groups by threatening to destroy the forest and its occupations if road barricades are not taken down and managed to entice some individuals to not only distance and dismiss us as perpetrators of “violence” publicly but also to engage in this zero-sum-game by taking some of our defenses down under the cover of darkness. And yet as so many attempts were made to isolate and atomize the struggle the phenomenal outpurring of support came in the form of thousands of supporters coming to the forest bringing warm solidarity in many forms. Hundreds of others egaged in solidarity action across Europe. To all of who did this: hearty thank you goes out from one of many as well as call to hold on to your banners and get ready for soldarity actions and to occupy and re-occupy the forest when the cutting and evictions resume.

A call also goes out internationally to engage in Solidarity actions, sharing photos and statements on #hambibleibt (hambi stays)and reusing your banners in front of German consulates and embassies and RWE outposts when the physical attacks on the forest resume. Also appreciation for diversity of tactics besides of course direct-action of locking-on, blockading, tree-sitting, “etc” is expressed and respect and appreciation given to comrades engaging in paper/legal-wrenching, deinvest and boycott movements against earth-destroying fossil-fuels industry. Only by coming together and using a diverse array of tactics and by maintaining unity and perseverance is there a chance of making a difference in the face of only seemingly overwhealming forces and interests pushing the Planet past numerous points of no return.

ONE PLANET – ONE STRUGGLE!!! WE ARE ONE!

HambiBleibt! In solidarity with all anti(extractionist, neocolonialist, authoritarian) struggles World-Wide

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Book Review – Seances: Re-wiring images in the Amsterdam Underground

Book Review – Seances: Re-wiring images in the Amsterdam Underground

E.T.C. Dee

2016, Self-published in an issue of 600 copies.

Jeffrey Babcock is well-known in Amsterdam for his underground cinema screenings, which take place in funky venues across the city, often in squats or alternative spaces. Now he has published with his partner Cecilia a fantastic book about the process of putting on these DiY film nights from 2006 to 2015 (and they continue into the present).

The book looks and feels great, with it’s black / grey / white look, fold-out cover, almost 400 pages and lots of illustrations, including a selection of flyers at the end. As sometimes happens, I actually felt bad making notes in the book since it is such a lovely object in its own right.

I read it cover to cover in on a long bus trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. Since I don’t live in Amsterdam I have only attended a few screenings myself, but to give an idea of the total number, a few years ago there were already over 1000. These veer from Performance, the hedonistic Sixties gone bad mess with Mick Jagger, to Svankmajer’s amazing hand-animated short films, from the shocking Punishment Park to cult Japanese films.

Jeffrey tends to give a rousing introduction to his often obscure films, preparing the audience a bit and giving a few insider notes.

Extracts from these speeches form the backbone of the book, with interviews, photographs, jottings and short tributes scattered throughout. It might be thought boring to hear about these often neglected films one after the other, but the enthusiasm is infectious and there are lots of good stories.

A good proportion of the book is rants about various subjects, such as standing up to racist police, lamenting the disappearance of cinema spaces, singing the joys of staying nomadic, keeping ticket prices free or fairly priced, bemoaning the gentrification of the Amsterdam Film Museum (now the EYE), exposing the blandness of Hollywood (“a shrewd industrial complex”) and mourning the death of 35mm as everything goes digital. This is one of the foremost reasons I enjoyed the book, since I also care a lot about most of these topics. I’m not sure how much I would I necessarily agree with Jeffrey on all of them, however that is not the point, since he wants to provoke debate.

One thing where we would definitely have a long discussion is concerning the necessity of watching films in the cinema, as opposed to on the laptop at home. Jeffrey takes the cinephile view that films have to be seen on the big screen. Whilst I do love to go to the cinema, I also very much enjoy watching films on the laptop from the comfort of my own sofa, with a cat sitting on my legs. A recent pleasure has been sitting down at home every Monday to watch the latest downloaded episode of Twin Peaks Season 3 as dusk falls.

Another reason I liked Seances a lot is that it is documenting the efforts of do it yourself, anti-capitalist culture, with a healthy dose of introspection thrown in. On the underground, Jeffrey has this to say:

The underground is a continuity issue. It’s about siding with the bloodline of culture and the backbone of history, rather than selling out to make a quick buck. It’s about long-term principles rather than short-term gains, about imagining your own rules. The underground is a plunge into exploration, experimentation, and taking risks… it’s about choosing the big adventure. It is decapit(aliz)ation in the sense of not allowing everything to revolve around finance, not allowing money to influence every aspect of life.

In total, twenty eight venues for the film nights are described. For me the most interesting ones to hear about were squats like Joe’s Garage, Leidsbezet, Spinhuis and Schijnheilig, and legalised squats like Nieuwe Anita and Budapest. The book ends with an account of the recent student occupations (Spinhuis, Bungehuis and Maagdenhuis). Jeffrey helped out by beaming bizarre films like BruceLaBruce’s hilarious Raspberry Reich. In fact the book ends with the squatting of a new amazing space under a bridge in the centre, an optimistic way to finish, showing that the fight for autonomous spaces in Amsterdam is not completely over. (Inevitably, this social centre has now been evicted).

Lastly, this book is a call to keep Amsterdam weird, to fight for and preserve the many quirky places, often with roots in the squat scene, that still make Amsterdam such an attractive place. It seems fitting that I picked up Seances at a bookfair in the city celebrating 15 years of an anarchist library.

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Book Review – The Autonomous Life? Paradoxes of hierarchy and authority in the squatters movement in Amsterdam

Book Review – The Autonomous Life? Paradoxes of  hierarchy and authority in the squatters movement in Amsterdam

NN

ISBN: 978-1-7849-9411-2; https://www.oapen.org/view?docId=608061.xhtml

Chapter 2: The habitus of emotional sovereignty

The following conversation occurred among a small group sitting in a private bedroom at approximately 3 a.m. at a squatters’ party.

I’ve been squatting in Amsterdam for the past decade and I want to comment on this book, which I think is trash.

1 I read the book when it came and I am amazed at David Graeber’s glowing review because it’s not much more than gossip and finishing scores, with some clunky academic analysis of late night conversations. It is difficult to judge a book that is full of ad hominem attacks without responding in kind; This made me wonder if it was really worth assessing the book. On reflection, I feel that someone has to answer because otherwise written lies become accepted truths.

2 It is terrible that Kadir criticizes a female friend in the book for being fat (despite the pseudonyms it is easy to find out who the people were): “To be clear, there is a difference between being considered
overweight, for which there is more acceptance in the subculture, and being obese.” Perhaps Kadir did not like this person? I can not understand this kind of thing in an academic work.

3 Another male activist is criticized that he is old, pittiful, unmarried and still in the movement, as if people use squatting to sort out their living needs as they go on young adventures and then they go
further to standardized middle class behaviors such as education at a university or a family. If it is still possible people would actually have coherent revolutionary politics, then this argument is nonsense.
This person is controversial, sure, but he is part of the scene and I respect him for still doing things [actually he just died – RiP].

A number of movement researchers feel their academic production serves as an extension of their activism. I do not share this approach.

4 Kadir is an American, Yale-trained anthropologist who judges European squatters because they do not comply with their rhetoric of nonhierarchy. That does not look good, it seems colonial. Of course, the movement is not perfect, no one would argue … but what about her own positions? She criticizes hierarchical behavior in others, but tells how she moved into a house and forced the inhabitants to clean it up. She criticizes kraakbonzen (male squat boss figures) but is/was dating a “charismatic leader” – sorry to become personal, but how else to challenge the hypocrisy?

And if you look for it, you’ll see the hypocrisy everywhere. Another example: Kadir criticizes the hegemonic history of squatting in Amsterdam (1980s glory days), but just repeats it herself. She scorns the nostalgic views of the movement, but then says “squatting was widespread in the 1980s when it was idealistic. Now its done mainly by foreigners who do it for free housing rather than out of ideals.” And another example : She talks about how history is told by those who have the privilege of writing it without examining her own privilege. Another: Kadir writes that people should study the history of Surinaamers squatting in Amsterdam in the 1970s and 1980s, but acknowledges that she did not do it herself. Another: she emphasizes the importance of interviewing women (of course valid to say), but at one point uses the opinions of three men “as a result of methodological coincidence / convenience.” I really would recommend to anyone who reads the book to see if she is really passing the criticisms she rolls out.

5 Here are some comments of Amsterdam squatters when the book has been published so that you can judge how people in the scene have found the book: https://www.indymedia.nl/node/34262. A comrade of Joe’s Garage (a social center in Amsterdam) was angry that she was cooking with them, and so on, without informing that they were research subjects and that she would repeat midnight conversations in a PhD. Very unethical.

I realized after a few months that the cost of squatting had outweighed the benefits and moved to rental accommodation to finish my dissertation.

In memory of Ouwesiem

It is with sadness that we pass on the news that Ouwesiem has died yesterday. He was active for decades in the Dutch squatters movement and known to many. We will commemorate our loss by continuing the fight!

More updates in Dutch at https://www.indymedia.nl/node/42086

RiP

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Utrecht: Watertower squatted to protest squatban, later evicted

Yesterday (October 1) a water tower in Utrecht (in the Netherlands) was squatted to mark seven years since the criminalisation of squatting. The long empty building (which was already squatted in the past) is a perfect example of the necessity to occupy empty buildings. A big banner was put on the building saying ‘Fuck the squatban.’ Unfortunately the state responded with overwhelming force and evicted the building the same day. According to reports, seven people were arrested, six squatters and one person outside for “insulting the police”. Solidarity with the arrestees!

Here follows a (quickly translated) statement from the squatters:
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Proposal to create an International Anarchist Defence Fund

In summer of 2017 a few activists discussed the idea of creating an International Anarchist Defense Fund.

Why is it needed?
Basically, it is a Fund that is supposed to financially help anarchist who got in trouble for their activism (either repression or medical problems). It’s true, there are a bunch of ABC chapters or other support groups all over the world, but in many places there are still not enough money or activists to maintain a solidarity campaign on their own. Thus, this fund is seen as a way to complement the work existing solidarity groups and to provide support to individuals with no or little support.
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Prague – Summary of the current situation for Klinika social centre

On Tuesday 5th September 2017 the Prague municipal court by its decision opened the way for the eviction of Klinika. Our appeal was rejected as the court upheld the view of the state (owner of the house) that they were within their rights not to extend the contract with us. The collective is convinced that the autonomous social centre can remain functioning regardless of the decision. It is senseless to destroy a functional social centre visited by thousands of people for an uncertain and highly uneconomical reconstruction of the building into offices, whose approval alone will take a few years due to the need to change the zoning regulations which do not allow offices at the site.
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