venerdì 5 novembre 2010

Hamburg-Germany; Pro Squat Demonstration, with 6000 People in the Streets!

See for the original version.

On saturday 23rd of october, about 6 000 people demonstrated in Hamburg against vacancies and for squatting, this was about double the amount of people that was expected.

A broad alliance of 108 initiatives had called for the demonstration.

In the last years there have repeatedly been squattings, that are mostly evicted by the police within a few hours (the last one on the 16th of october).

One of the topics of the demonstration was that more than 1,2 million squaremeters of office space are vacant within the city, still new office blocks are beeing built and in the same time there is no affordable space for living and rents are increasing. The background of this absurdity of the kapitalist property market is the fact that vacant office space can be set off against tax liability.

The demonstration ended at the "Astra tower", a huge office building in the middle of town that is 70% empty.

Banners on the demonstration said things like: "vacancies into space for living", "legalise squatting", "housing space for everyone for free" "behind the vacancies stands the capital, the fight for space for living is international", "'squat it free? instead of 'own it vacant?" "board vacancies", "squat office towers", "make property unsafe", "space for living is no merchandise", the front banner of the anti-repression block pointed to the conference of the ministers of the interior in Hamburg in november, "No IMK, squat this city".

The spectrum on the demonstration varied from autonomous and black block, right-to-the-city activists, refugees from the camp in Horst to tradeunionists of ver.di.

Just in september the refugees from the camp in Horst had protested with a hunger strike against their intolerable living conditions. Refugees from Hamburg are forced to live in the camp in Horst, in the middle of a forrest on the border to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with no infrastructure whatsoever.

During the demonstration an empty house was squatted, on several empty buildings and endangered houses banners were put up and speaches held.

At the end a part of the demonstration attacked the Astra office-tower with bricks and bottles to emphasise their opinion on 8 000 squaremeters of vacancy and the will to take over the place.

The police hit back with pepperspray and tonfas.

About 20 people continued to the Reeperbahn and were closed in by the police and taken into custody.

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