Prague: Klinika Social Center Under Threat of Eviction
On Tuesday 5th September 2017 the Prague municipal court by its decision opened the way for the eviction of Klinika. Our appeal was rejected as the court upheld the view of the state (owner of the house) that they were within their rights not to extend the contract with us. The collective is convinced that the autonomous social centre can remain functioning regardless of the decision. It is senseless to destroy a functional social centre visited by thousands of people for an uncertain and highly uneconomical reconstruction of the building into offices, whose approval alone will take a few years due to the need to change the zoning regulations which do not allow offices at the site.
Klinika started in November 2014 by occupying a former lung clinic, which had stood empty since 2009. It was evicted by the police after only 10 days but after months of negotiations the state agreed to a contract with the social centre for a year with the expectation that the contract would be extended. The centre started a packed programme with concerts, language courses, kitchens for all, lectures, workshops and many other events, all for free or voluntary donations. After Klinika became one of the first to organise help for refugees in the summer 2015 the political views of the state and the local town hall became less and less sympathetic and in March 2016, when the original contract ended, they refused on false pretences to extend it. Since then the centre continues with its activities without a contract but the collective has to pay 1000 CZK (about 40 EUR) every day – which to this day amounts to hundreds of thousands.
We believe the city, country and the world needs places like Klinika and we will do everything in our power to keep it alive. To this end we need help from all of you. Firstly, due to the fines we are deeply in debt. You can help us by organising some benefit event and/or by donating to our transparent bank account link (IBAN: CZ8220100000002600985228 SWIFT/BIC: FIOBCZPPXXX). Also soli-demos at Czech embassies in your countries could be helpful.
If our efforts in keeping the centre alive fail the eviction itself will most likely come in October or November. Once we know the date more accurately we will put out a call to all people willing to come and help in the house itself. Please, follow our Twitter account @centrum_klinika, our web page klinika.451.cz and our Facebook page Let Klinika breathe (our other Facebook page has just been shut down by Facebook so this is an unreliable channel).
Thanks to all who stand with Klinika, another world is possible!