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Paris: Mit PTK wird das Haus besetzt

Paris: Mit PTK wird das Haus besetzt

PTK und sein Background-Rapper Tayler zum ersten Mal in Paris

Von Berlin nach Paris: Am 15.11.2019 (Freitag) sowie den 16.11.2019 (Samstag) hat Urbanauth zwei Konzerte für den Berliner HipHop-Künstler PTK veranstaltet. Im Rahmen eines internationalen, urbanen Kulturaustausches haben wir für den Künstler und seinen Background-Rapper Tayler ein Konzert in der Aubergine3000 in Malakoff (92) organisiert. Dieses besetzte Haus liegt in einem südlichen Vorort von Paris. Den darauffolgenden Tag ging es dann weiter in den nördlichen Vorort Saint-Denis (93) zum Bike Wars-Festival, einem Intersquat-Event. Der Artikel ist ein Throwback auf ein musikalisches Wochenende.

Der Kontext des Konzerts ist unkommerziell im Rahmen der “Free-Party”-Philosophie (Eintritt und Getränke auf freiwilliger Basis) gewesen. Für die Bike Wars trat Urbanauth als Vermittler auf. Urbanauth hat dies auf ehrenamtlicher Basis organisiert und keine Vergütung bezogen. Um die Sprachbarrieren zu überwinden, haben wir eine Auswahl an Texten des Künstlers übersetzt, welche in einem Videomapping an die Wände projiziert wurden.

Durch den kulturellen Austausch zwischen diesen beiden europäischen Hauptstädten wollten wir Einblicke in die Vielfalt der europäischen Hip-Hop-Bewegung geben und Verbindungspunkte zwischen verschiedenen musikalischen Akteuren schaffen. Hip-Hop, das sind vier Säulen: Breakdance, Graffiti, Master of ceremony und Discjockeys. Rap als eine fundamental-urbane Kultur steht dabei in einem tiefen Kontext zur Stadt und dem Menschen und ist zugleich Ausdruck und Sprachrohr für urbane Bevölkerungsschichten.

PTK – Straßenrap aus Berlin

PTK, das ist engagierter Straßen-Rap für eine deutsche Hauptstadt von unten. Seine kritischen Bezüge zum Urbanen hebt die Beziehung des Menschen zur Stadt in den Vordergrund. In Berlin-Kreuzberg aufgewachsen, erzählt er von der Kehrseite Berlins: die der Gastarbeiter und Hausbesetzer, vom Runden drehen in seinem Sektor und der Gentrifizierung Berlins. Neben einer kritischen Haltung gegenüber Tourismus und der Konsumgesellschaft bezieht er außerdem eine klare Stellung gegenüber Rassismus und Diskriminierung. PTK steht verdient für “Pöbel tötet König“. Eine Stimme gegen die Ungerechtigkeit in der Welt.

Im Herbst 2012, nach Protestbesetzungen von Migranten am Brandenburger Tor und anschließend Oranienplatz, folgte im Dezember die Übernahme der leerstehenden Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule in Kreuzberg. An diesem Ort, welcher der anstatt Refugees, aber ebenso auch Roma-Familien und Obdachlosen eine Unterkunft gab, gründete er mit einigen Hausbesetzern die interkulturelle Band “Antinational Embassy“. Gemeinsam spielten sie dieses Jahr in Athen nahe des Hausbesetzerviertels Exarchia. Solo schaffte es PTK 2018 bis nach Slowenien und mit Urbanauth nun auch zum ersten Mal nach Frankreich.

Urbanauth: PTK, was macht dich zu einem Urbanauth?

Also fernab von eurer Definition würde ich sagen, dass die Themen in meiner Musik überwiegend in urbanen Räumen stattfinden. So wie eben auch mein Leben in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Meine Standpunkte und Erfahrungen sind aber nicht auf meinen eigenen Mikrokosmos limitiert, sondern in jeder Metropole irgendwie anzutreffen. Das bekomme ich dadurch mit, dass ich z.B. selbst in Paris schon ein paar Fans hatte, die meine Musik verfolgen. Umgekehrt habe ich viele Menschen in Berlin getroffen, die quasi vom anderen Ende der Welt kamen und mit denen ich trotzdem direkt auf einer Wellenlänge war. Somit trifft man irgendwie in jeder großen Stadt auf Gleichgesinnte.

PTK, November 2019

PTK in der Aubergine 3000

Am Freitag, den 15. November 2019, trat PTK in der Aubergine3000 auf. Der Name des Ortes setzt sich aus dem französischen Wort Auberge für Herberge, Aubergine und der Zahl 3000 zusammen. Letztere ist als eine ironische Anspielung auf das Jahr 3000 zu verstehen. Das Haus selbst, welches jahrelang leer stand, wurde nach der Auflösung der Stendhal-Besetzung (Anm. d. Red. Einer großen Hausbesetzung eines leerstehenden Krankenhauses) gegründet. Dieses welches einem iranischen Dissidenten gehörte sollte dabei in eine Herberge umgewandelt werden. Nach dem mysteriösen Tod des Besitzers wurde das Grundstück nicht mehr von den Eigentümern unterhalten. Die Besetzer der Aubergine 3000 nahmen die Idee wieder auf, das Haus in eine Herberge zu verwandeln.

Urbanauth: PTK, erzähl doch mal. Dein erstes Mal in Paris, wie war’s?

Die Auftritte haben Spaß gemacht. Der Abend in der Aubergine 3000 hatte ein geiles Feeling, das war eine richtige Untergrund Hip-Hop Veranstaltung. Die anderen Acts haben total abgerissen, die DJ’s waren wirklich extrem gut (so ein Level sieht man leider in Berlin nicht oft) und die Leute haben uns super aufgenommen und sich einfach auf die Mucke eingelassen. Ich habe auch sehr gutes Feedback auf das Video Mapping bekommen – Übersetzungen meiner Texte wurden synchron an die Wand projiziert – und somit auch meine Inhalte, das war nice! Beim Bike Wars am nächsten Tag hat mich neben dem Event vor allem die Location sehr beeindruckt. Mir wurde von den Leuten vor Ort gezeigt, was dort alles in nicht einmal 2 Jahren Besetzung auf die Beine gestellt wurde. Wohnungen, Musikstudio, Theater, riesige Werkstätten.. Davon können sich viele Squats etwas abgucken!

PTK, November 2019

Das Zusatzkonzert auf dem Bike Wars 2019 im Landy Sauvage: Von Kreuzberg in die Seine Saint Denis

Urbanauth: Konzerte in Slowenien, Athen und jetzt Paris. Wo würdest du gerne als Nächstes hin?

Ich hab da kein konkretes Ziel vor Augen, sondern freue mich einfach, wenn mich meine Musik an immer weitere Orte bringt. Für die Zukunft werde ich meine Texte auch in andere Sprachen übersetzen lassen, um die Sprachbarriere zu knacken. Die Welt ist halt größer als immer nur in Deutschland, Schweiz und Österreich zu spielen.

PTK, November 2019

Weekly Urbanauth 38: The Yellow Vests back on the scene and Beijings Construction Boom

Weekly Urbanauth 38: The Yellow Vests back on the scene and Beijings Construction Boom

The most important news at a glance – Our press review of calendar week 38. This week: From Beijing’s starfish-shaped airport to its highest skyscraper and the Urban Design Awards in Toronto. Also: a picture of the families who occupied the Parc de la Villette in Paris in August and a return of the Yellow Vests in France for the Acte 45 last Saturday. Our summary of the most important urban news.

Urban development

A look at Beijing’s construction boom

According to a report on the North American news site CNN, Beijing‘s newest airport will be completed in September. The Beijing Daxing International Airport was designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid in cooperation with Chinese partners. The architecture is based on the shape of a starfish and the new airport is located in the south of Beijing. By 2025 it will be able to carry up to 72 million passengers – up as much as Paris Charles de Gaulles airport and two million tons of goods. Started in 2014, the construction’s costs raised to an amount of over 11,5 billion Dollars. The construction of the airport is in line with China’s ambitions to modernize its airports and transport 720 million passengers by 2020.

In addition to this huge construction project, CNN reported on another urban giant rising over Beijing’s urban landscape: the Citic tower, locally known as China Zun tower. The shape of the building is intended to tie in with China‘s past and at the same time stands for the country “striding into a new era“. Financed by the Citics Group, a state-owned company that manages investment funds and owns various subsidiaries in the financial sector, the basic form was developed by the Beijing Institute of Architecture Design with the help of the British architectural firm TFP Farewells, and the final design was realized by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF). Based on a ceremonial wine vessel that can be traced back to the Bronze Age, it is Beijing’s largest skyscraper with a height of 1.731 foot.

Ceremony for the Urban Design Awards 2019 in Toronto

The online news site Urban Toronto reported on the awarding of the Toronto Urban Design Awards (TUDA) in Canada‘s largest metropolis. The award’s ceremony took place at the Palais Royale, in the presence of Toronto‘s current mayor John Tory. Innovative projects in many areas of architecture were honored. The categories range from art installations in public spaces, which enrich the quality of life of residents, to public buildings or areas and buildings from the private sector. The article is written in English and is accompanied by many images.

Urban space and appropriation

After the occupation of the Parc de la Villette – What happened to the families?

The French news blog BondyBlog accompanied the families after the eviction of the occupation in the Parc de la Villette in the north of Paris. The 28th August, 157 people had been evicted from a section of the park which they had occupied for a week in protest to the degrading conditions of their accommodation and life. In this way one learns more about the composition of the occupiers, including the youngest – 23 days old. In addition, one person had to go to the hospital during the occupation to give birth. The inhumane conditions – some families have been on the streets or in temporary shelters for several months – reinforce the problematic social situation on the ground. Urbanauth had already reported on this in a previous WeeklyUrbanauth edition.

Act 45 – When climate activists and Yellow Vests come together

On the 45th Saturday of the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) movement on September 21st, there was a “Convergences of fights” as reported by Mediapart (Paywall). The union between the Yellow West and the climate activists took place in a tense atmosphere. In Paris, between 15,000 and 38,000 people took part in the climate demonstration. On the same day, the Gilets also announced Jaunes rallies on the Champs-Elysees, which didn’t occur by day due to the massive intervention of the police. Journalist Clément Lanot reported about clashes and massive use of teargas-grenades in the evening. The television chain BFMTV showed images of tourists, which got exposed to the teargas. A collective called Le nombre Jaune, which counts the number of the participants, announced over 90,000 demonstrators throughout France for this Saturday. With a contingent of about 7,500 police force, the French capital was locked up, while already in the late morning riots broke out. After the excessive use of tear gas and rubber bullets, groups such as Greenpeace and Youth for Climate were forced to break off their demonstration and call into retreat because there was no pacifist way possible. Among other incidents, tear gas was used inside Saint Lazare train station, causing collateral damage to uninvolved passers-by. Burning barricades and rubbish bins led to a tense situation. According to figures from the French government, about 1,000 Black Blocs took part in the demonstrations. The protesters dispersed in many tiny protest marches known as “manifestations sauvages” – unannounced demonstrations which marched into the night for the first time.

The Yellow Vests movement in France was founded in November 2018. Since then, it has been close to various social movements. In addition to Attac’s political activists and the Droit au logement (right to accommodation), climate activists took part in the demonstrations very early on. The fuel tax, which is seen as unfair because it is intended to disadvantage lower-income households more strongly, is part of a context of social justice. Many are aware of climate change. According to sources from Urbanauth, the Yellow Vests exchanged views with other structures critical of capitalism and climate activity during the G7 summit in Biarritz.

Hong Kong and burning barricades

During the 15th protest week of the citizens of the Chinese Special Administrative Region Hong Kong there were riots. In the week’s photo series by the British newspaper The Guardian, burning barricades in front of the Mong Kok police station, tear gas use and police controls are shown. In addition to a demonstration through a shopping centre, damage was caused to railway ticket machines in Sha Tin and an unspecified subway station.

This article is available in German and French.

Europan – Under the sign of the productive city

Europan – Under the sign of the productive city

The Europan 15 celebrates its 30th birthday this year. The European competition for innovative spatial development for young architects under the age of forty wants to rethink the city and promote joint approaches to new solutions. Through a network of 250 cities and 20 countries in Europe, space and funds are released each year for innovative projects. This year’s theme: The productive city 2.

With this, Europan repeats the target of the 14th Edition in 2017 and joins the effort to do justice to urban development in its complexity and social significance. The closing date for entries is the 29th of July and will be followed by the publication of the final list of participants.

Achieving harmony between architecture, neighborhoods and the city as a whole. While at the same time conserving resources, is a challenge that architects face. Transition processes are just as important as ecological house building.

Wood as building material is fashionable again. A public building in Saint Ouen (93)

Europe and the productive City – 2

In this context the applicants should think about the synergies between the city and productive places. This may concern as well the development of part-spaces embedded in between the surfaces of living and production and includes residual areas or abandoned urban structures. Also the “Changing Metabolism” will be emphasized. The aim is to establish circulars cycles.

In the sense of a circular economy, resources are to be returned to the cycle through recycling or reprocessing. Existing material is to be used more effectively in the sense of the Sharing Economy. Car-Sharing offers and tool rental services can be cited as concrete examples.

While in the spirit of Open Innovation the development of products opens up to a broader spectrum and involves its users, at the local political level this can strengthen co-determination and cohesion in society with Open Source grassroots democratic citizen platforms such as Decidim in Barcelona.

The relationship between function and use and the city as an ecosystem are part of the social considerations. The interaction of old and new, the citizens and their environment are the focus of Europan. The productive city wants to see itself detached from the dualistic perspective and regards the city of tomorrow as a place of synergies.

Not the Europan but fully in the zeitgeist. Could some projects of the 15th edition look like this?

The productive city : Resources, mobility and equity

Common solutions: The focus is on three main topics. Resources – In the context of efficiency, consumption and pollution, the question is how to deal with them and how to distribute them. To create proximity in the urban space, to reduce distances and barrier-free places of the productive city are the set goals to enable a greater mobility. Equity confronts the problem of how spatial equality can contribute to social justice and how both can be connected. The focus is on the harmony between urban and rural areas, as well as rich and poor.

Europan 2019 joins the progressive search for sustainable space approaches for the 15th time and thinks the city of tomorrow.

Subdividing spaces – With each having its particularity

The areas to be developed are in turn divided into three different space sizes: XL, L, S

The size XL denotes the widest handling space, which can also affect spaces between cities and includes the relationship between urban and rural areas. The relationships between different cycles at the regional and local level are taken into consideration.

The size L concerns urban districts, whereby the thoughts mainly revolve around urban quarters. These are areas that naturally stand out from their surroundings. The micro-level S deals with the interventions that are quickest to implement and also only have a temporary effect.

EUROPAN 15’s participating cities

“In Central Europe, former industrial cities are popular with Europan participants.”

In France, Marseille is one of the front-runners with its dilapidated quarters. With Romainville and Champigny-sur-Marne two banlieues from the Paris area participate. While the choice of Auby a small town of 7600 inhabitants in the structural weaker north of France, which at the same time is the largest zinc producer in the country, surprises. And also the French-speaking Charlerois in Belgium joins the formerly highly industrialized cities that welcome these spatial developments.

In Germany, in addition to Selb (Upper Franconia), the towns from the Bergisches Land: Hilden, Ratingen, Solingen and Wülfrath participate together to design a “Bergische Siedlung“. Both arable land and old industrial sites will be developed. The special: All sizes of the subdivisions are represented in this project.

Update (18.02.2020, Oliver): The winners among the participants for the German locations can be viewed on the official website. In addition to the names, the boards with detailed development plans are also available there. For the Selb site, the results can be found here and for the Bergische Kooperation site here.

The cooperation “between Rhein and Wupper” emphasizes strongly the move of those cities with formerly strong textile and metal industries. Within the framework of one of their pilot projects, forward-looking neighbourhood developments are being supported. And the selected areas are located in a zone that is being considered for an expansion of public transport.

The European competition for young architects is not without reason a pioneer of new architecture. Thinking about the city of tomorrow. The productive city has thus integrated like no other concept: living and working in a healthy environment. But the choice of locations is also well thought out. By revitalising old industrial sites, real added value is created. Building today the architecture of the future: This is Europan15.

This article got actualized the 18.02.2020 by Oliver / Update
This article got atualized the 02.04.2020 by VIncent

Munich: Did the time come for an urban & creative quarter?

Munich: Did the time come for an urban & creative quarter?

Munich. The urban planning for the “Kreativquartier“, an urban and creative neighboorhood is progressing. People want to get hip, live creative… and you have a big housing shortage. Is there a change in sight?

Seen from high above: the area forms the letter L.
The area is situated between Dachauerstraße and Infanteriestraße / Munich

For 15 years the idea matured to build a creative district on the former area of the Luitpoldkasernen and its surroundings. This is to consist of four room subdivisions: Creative field, creative laboratory, creative park and creative platform. Seen from the air, the four partial districts form an L. The area extends over approximately 20 hectares – which corresponds to 28 football pitches.

The guiding principle: to combine living, working, culture, art and knowledge.


This Wednesday (22.05.19) another milestone was set: The development plan for the two southern ones of altogether four partial districts was pronounced. For the areas of the future Creative Park as well as the Creative Platform, the next stage is now underway.

It’s not a problem of space. The area is big enough. – It’s a problem of effective housing.

The Kreativ-Platform

While the development plan for the north-eastern creative field has already been in force since 2017 and is intended to create living space for 385 apartments, the creative platform and park with additional living space will follow.

On the ninae-hectare site, 341 apartments are being built by and for the municipal utilities of Munich (SWM) and is part of its “expansion offensive for company apartments”. Within this framework, the municipal utilities intend to build up to 2,500 apartments for their own employees by 2030.

The residential area is planned as a perimeter block development so that there will be space on the ground floor for commercial activities, but as well child care places. The existing listed buildings are to be renovated and in harmony with the new buildings of contemporary architecture.

The decision also allows for a building permit for the extension of the university, while the Faculty of Design is already located at Lothstraße 17. In addition, commercial use is in sight: With the “Munich Urban Colab”, for example, a start-up and innovation centre for Smart City Solutions is to move in and strengthen Munich as an IT location. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, this is to accommodate more than 250 start-ups and is operated by UnternehmerTUM, which is the start-up centre of the Technical University of Munich.

Still good for a visite: The artsy Halle6.

And what else?

The industrial monuments of Jutier– and Tonnenhalle, two approximately 100 meter long concrete structures from 1926, are to be completely repaired. In addition to the construction of an underground car park, the main aim is to create spaces for and the creation of art. In addition, the city council has commissioned investigations into various interventions about the street Dachauerstraße. The possibility of adding a tram station and rearranging the traffic flow should be investigated. Nonetheless, the urban planning for Munich’s Kreativquartier shall catch our attention in the future.

Article: Vincent Translation and photos: Olli

Dublin: Housing crisis? Reclaim your city and take it back

Dublin: Housing crisis? Reclaim your city and take it back

Ireland. Vacancies, expensive rents and slumlords are driving more and more people into homelessness. Dublin is particularly affected. This summer, various grassroots initiatives began to defend themselves and draw attention to the housing crisis. The background to a summer of occupations.

Wiliam Murphy, photographer from Dublin, lived in San Jose, California, in 1979 when he visited San Franscico on a weekend and witnessed homelessness on the streets for the first time in his life.

For him – shocking and unusual, because in 1970 it was customary for the Irish state to guarantee people a roof over their heads. Many of his colleagues lived in Cremlin, Bellyfermon and Cabra. This was to change, however, when the state handed over the construction and maintenance of social housing to the private sector.

After his return to Dublin: Discovering the homelessness

Portobello, Dublin 2, Richmondstreet South- An area with many decaying houses. Some of them are used temporarily. The picture shows a courtyard where food markets are held and outside walls are provided to graffiti sprayers. (Photo by: William Murphy / CC BY-SA 2.0)

It was in 2007, after his return to Dublin. He began to notice the increasing number of people sleeping ruff. In front of the shops in the city centre and elsewhere. Back then he fell on tears at his workplace because his colleagues either didn’t believe him or claimed they were drug addicts.

But since then the problem has worsened. To a point where it is no longer possible to talk down the problem of homelessness.

Thanks to his experience abroad, Murphy has found parallels with the housing situation between San-Franscico and Dublin. Both being cities which aren’t affordable for the working-class.

The current homelessness problem leaves him with a bitter aftertaste. Especially since he himself was affected five years ago and had to fight to pay off his mortgage on his apartment. Murphy archives the streets of today’s Dublin with his camera.

Observing the looming housing crisis

Vacancy as far as the eye can see – Ardee Street, Dublin 8th (Photo by William Murphy / CC BY-SA 2.0)

When I was in Dublin at the beginning of July last year, some situations caught my attention:

On the one hand, the many tourists and language students who led an exuberant life between learning English and bar hopping. And on the other hand the high number of homeless and homeless people, who stood in contrast to the huge number of empty and barricaded houses.

According to the Focus Ireland charity and government surveys, the number of homeless people in Ireland in 2014 was just under 4,000, rising to almost 10,000 in four years. Individuals and families in private tenancies suffer. In October (2018), 1700 families, including 3725 children, went to emergency shelter.
But the number of unreported cases is probably much higher. Many people get caught up in their social network of friends and acquaintances (- couch surfing). However, these cases are not recorded in the statistics.

The housing shortage has steadily worsened since the economic crisis in 2008. Among other things for the purpose of the legislative decision to cut funds for social housing between the crisis and 2014 by 72% and to bet on private landlords. As a result, the budget fell from 1.34 billion to 390 million euros.

A paradox of Dublin’s real estate – No affordable apartments despite rampant vacancies

In 2015, the Dublin Inquierer produced a first incomplete map of empty buildings. This already included a number of 389 units.

The vacancy is easy to see – between the barricaded windows, decaying facades and high barriers of these buildings. The following year, when the Housing Agency published a vacancy report for Dublin, 38,000 vacant properties were listed. Since then, according to TheGuardian, the number has fallen to 30,000 vacant properties by 2018. Yet the number of homeless people has increased. Which is why, people have to sleep on the streets despite such a large amount of unused residential space.

Grassroot initiatives organizing the resistance against Irish housing madness

However, the affected citizens do not admit defeat and begin to point out the grievance by creative methods. The Irish Housing Network (IHN), for example, called in the summer, for vacancies throughout Ireland to be marked with yellow posters. On a yellow background, the outline of a family under a roof is displayed and joined by the sentence: “Shame on you – this could be a home“.

The problem of vacant buildings, which are either in very poor condition and have been waiting for years for a new development or remain unused for speculative reasons, characterizes the urban landscape. Dublin, with its high rents, is lucrative for real estate sharks, who are driven up by vacancies.

Providers such as AirBnB also take Irish housing away. As the owners, in addition to a high profit margin, do not have to adhere to the classic tenancy law. Dublin, as a university and language school city, is particularly affected. But the 1300 holiday apartments and 1100 rooms listed by InsideAirBnB are only the tip of the iceberg.

In the clutches of Irish Slumlords.

Particularly bad landlords are known in linguistic usage as slumlords. They are the Irish version of the French “Marchands de sommeil”. These rental sharks rent rooms with six to eight beds for up to 450 Euros per capita. Mostly this concerns people in precarious situations who do not have the possibility to defend themselves. These overcrowded sleeping quarters are not maintained by the slumlords. Fire protection deficiencies and mould on the walls are part of their everyday lives.

Those who end up in such dubious tenancies rarely receive the prescribed rental book. In this the personal data of the owner must be noted, as well as a listing of the past rent prices show. It is intended to protect tenants from arbitrariness. But in the absence of rigorous implementation, this rule is disregarded in many cases. Those affected find themselves in a dilemma. Because they depend on accommodation, they do not always have the means to assert their rights.

A small Twitter survey conducted by the Dublin Central Housing Action, which supports people in housing need and is part of the TBTC Dublin (“Take Back The City Dublin”) movement, found out that 87% of 650 respondents had not received a rental book:

Determined to face rental sharks and defend tenants

Slumleaks a collective of affected people has come together under the motif: “Exposing Irish Slumlords” and reports regularly on harassment, threats of violence and expulsions by unscrupulous slumlords. The case Paul Howard Tenant#1 gives insights into the mundane life of the rental shark Paul Howard:

Every month we collect our rent and Paul Howard or one of his friends comes by to collect it – altogether 4200 € in cash..

An affected tenant at Mountjoy Square about the payment of the rent

The six tenants at Mountjoy Square in Dublin 1 found themselves suddenly on the street at the end of last year. Expelled from their apartment on 13 December and nowhere to go. The owner had changed the lock on the front door and put all their belongings in plastic bags on the street. Previously they had gone to court against their landlord. The state of the apartment, with a broken window and mold on the walls being depictable. But as well a preceding arbitrary rent increase from 650 to 750 Euros, had become too much for the former tenants. The eviction, which took place in winter, is considered illegal by Slumleaks.

Dublin’s Housing networks answering the crisis

Direct Action Methods for empowering the rights of tenants

“Homes not Hostels” – Pointing on vacant buildings by Direct Action (Photo by: Opendemocracy)

The activists of the grassroots movements use direct action methods to draw attention to the deplorable conditions. Posters and banner campaigns, food distribution and temporary occupations belong to the activities of the militants. Direct action, which can also be understood as a synonym for civil disobedience, describes the possibilities of using pacifist approaches to point out social problems and initiate public debate. As in the case of “Take Trinity Back,” a student protest that broke out in March 2018:

The Trinity College board had intended to introduce additional costs of 450 euros for retaking exams. This was followed by students protesting and occupying the historic “Dinning Hall” for three days. When the occupation was dissolved, 1000 students came and cheered on their fellow students. The university management struck a conciliatory note and let go of his plan. The occupation of the university building represented the first breeze which would spread to the streets of Dublin. Spring was over, but things were already boiling at other places…

The beginning of a summer of occupations

May. A few blocks from Mountjoy Square: The residents of five houses in Summerhill Parade 33-39, Dublin 1, were evicted from their rooms. These, who shared the accommodation with up to twenty other tenants per house and are to a large extent of Brazilian origin, were unable to name the owner of the houses in an interview with the Irish Times. The residents were supported by various grassroots initiatives including the Dublin Central Housing Action, Take back Trinity, Brazilian Left Front and four other local movements.

August 7th – In protest, the groups begin to occupy Summerhill Parade 35 and draw attention to the local housing problems.

For months now, the Dublin Central Housing Action has been organizing a Facebook campaign against Pat’ODonnel. This and his investment fund, the “Co Ltd Retirement and Death Benefit Plan” – a pension fund of 67 members. At the beginning of August, a spokesman told the Irish Times that the O’Donnels did not own the properties in the Summerhill Parade. However, in mid-August, Pat’ODonnel filed a lawsuit against the occupiers on behalf of his pension fund.

In the video the squat is officially declared, as one of the activists gives a speech about the situation of the people and demands a purchase right of the city on Pat O’Donnel’s house.

The words are not heard and ten days later the activists leave the building in a demonstration, marching with a banner: “Build homes, not profits“.

August 17 – The court decided to evict them. 750 metres and a few bends further, the activists from Take back the City (TBTCDublin) marched into a vacant house on Frederick Street North 34, owned by an insurance company and standing empty for three years.

25 August – On the occasion of Pope Francis’s visit to Dublin, activists proclaim a Saturday of action in which the house is occupied exclusively by women and children. The activists see this as a reminder of the fact that single parents and their pupils had to do forced labour in the Magdalenen laundries until the late 20th century. A national trauma for which the Irish state apologised to over 10,000 people as late as in 2013.

After 25 days – Facing the eviction but standing the ground

11 September – Two weeks earlier, the court had once again ruled in favour of the landlords. But the house remained occupied. More and more people started supporting TBTCDublin.

Suddenly that Tuesday evening at about seven o’clock, a sprinter with no numberplate on the front appeared and masked persons emerged. The privat hired contractors tried to gain access to the house and only calmed down when the local police arrived and took over.

Five of the activists were brought to the police station on Store Street in a rabid manner. According to the newspaper Thejournal, which reported in detail about the eviction, up to 100 demonstrators gathered in front of the house. Later, the demonstration moved outside the police station, whereupon three of the activists were released. Nevertheless, the house project was ended.

In solidarity with TBTCDublin, squatting took place throughout Ireland, such as in Waterford, where activists held a 24-hour occupation of an empty building in the city.

This article was actualized the 05.03.2020

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