Friday 2 March 2012

Squat raided, comrades arrested

Nine people, including a few members of ZSP were arrested March 1 when the police raided a squat. The property was one of many city-owned buildings which are left to rot by the city administrators who are helping the gentrifiers. During the winter, irreparable damage often occurs in uninhabited buildings, which are sometimes deliberately left with water so the pipes can freeze and burst, or which have the windows removed, so that damage is caused by the snow. The 9 people, who had nowhere to live, cannot afford the rents in this city and have no hope of receiving munucipal housing (since the city doesn't give much of it, there are huge lines of people who need it, but the city is busy destroying what they have or privatizing it). So they took matters into their own hands and squatted.

The comrades were detained overnight. We organized an emergency solidarity picket at the police station and the police agreed that they would be released. They were charged with destroying property .... even though it is clear that it is the city which is doing this.

While the number of homeless is increasing dramatically and people cannot find affordable housing, the investment banks and real estate speculation firms (including many which abandoned Spain to work on a new bubble in Poland) are erecting more and more empty buildings, filled with flats nobody can afford. Much of this is being built on speculative capital, with money gathered through investment funds promising foreign investors huge profits. There is tons of empty housing, both the newly built flats and the old municipal ones abandoned by the city. We have called numerous times for people in this situation not to suffer, but take what they need and make use of it, managing the housing themselves. Clearly the state, which supports the development of the private landlord / speculator - tenant relationship of perpetual profiteering does not like this and we think the raiding of this squat - one of many discreet squats that are springing up around the city - was not an accident.