Belgium: International Call for Solidarity against Squatting Ban – Action Weekend 23-24-25 Feb
In the Summer of 2017 a new law was voted in Belgium to make squatting illegal. In Autumn the law came into action.
We would like to call out for an international weekend in solidarity against the new law. Because autonomous spaces are endangered worldwide, because we will never stop to claim our spaces.
FEBRUARY 23rd – 24th – 25th 2018
MAKE SOME TROUBLE AND HAVE SOME FUN
In the summer of 2017 Belgian parliament voted for a new law which made squatting illegal. Squatting is still possible but the law (which was implemented in fall 2017) made it much easier for owners to evict and squatting is now considered as a crime in Belgium. In the past years squatting was in a legal limbo between legal and illegal, but because of this new law squatters are risking jail time (after a court procedure).
After years of talking about an anti-squatting law things went fast after a few buildings (where people were pretending to live in) were squatted by Roma families. There was fraud with legal residence here and there, but because the media blew up the whole thing the right of property won from the right to have a place to live (this is what the new law literally says).
Attack against Roma family
The baiting came to a sad climax when a building that was squatted by a Roma family was attacked by some hooligans. Windows were smashed, firecrackers were thrown, children were traumatized. After one of the hooligans got arrested and was imprisoned for a while because of the attack, 250 hooligans and far right organizations (Vlaams Belang, Voorpost) marched on an unregistered demo in Gent. They marched for two and a half hours and targetted a night shelter for homeless people, offended sex workers and chanted racist slogans.
We have had enough of that! There are frequently happening things in Gent, but at Thursday February 15 all of us will take the streets! A demonstration for solidarity and against the war against the poor. We will let hear our voice loud and clear: Its time to kick to the top instead of to kick to the bottom! You will find more information about the demonstration at (Dutch): https://demo15feb.noblogs.org.
A week later the squatters movement is calling for a weekend of action against the Belgian anti-squatting law and against the threats of autnomous and social centers across the world.