Monday 11 April 2011

Tenants Meeting - Squat Action

For the past few months, members of ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee have been holding local meetings on privatization processes and tenant organization. They are made in different neighbourhoods and usually attract more than 150 people, many of whom decided to fight for their living spaces!

On Saturday, April 9, the meeting had an added dimension: it took place in a squatted building. The building had been inhabited until this fall. There is only one apartment owner - the rest is owned by the city. The owner is - by some "coincidence" - involved in real estate development. The rest of the tenants were evicted, presumably due to the "bad state" of the building. But in reality it is suspected that the city helped get rid of the tenants so the building can be commercialized. The city also has the corrupt practice, seen in other instances with real estate developers, of selling the municipally-owned parts of such buildings to the private owner with a minority interest in the property.

There is one tenant left, who refuses to go and is fighting to remain in his home.

A group of comrades squatted the building.  When the tenants came, many of them were shocked to see that the city is evicting people out of perfectly inhabitable buildings, when they then leave open to rot. The building was damaged by being left open all winter, which also pissed off the tenants. People were encouraged not to organize, fight against eviction and privatization and to take control over the property the city is mismanaging.

The Tenants Defense Committee and ZSP will start holding meetings and have an infopoint in the building. We declare our full support for this initiative, the squatters and the tenant who refused to move!