New York City: Rebel Diaz Arts Collective space raided, evicted by Federal Marshalls and NYPD

rebeldiazFrom Rebel Diaz:

South Bronx community center Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDACBX) shut down by Federal marshals and NYPD. Rally to be held denouncing lockout and forced eviction.

March 1, 2013- After a violent daytime raid yesterday, Thursday, February 28, 2013, on the warehouse turned arts space at 478 Austin Place in the Bronx, members of Hip-Hop community center RDACBX are denouncing their forced eviction at a rally to be held at 6pm today in front of their locked out building.

The building landowner, local commercial developer Marc Pogostin of Austin Property Corp., had for months stalled negotiations on a new agreement with the RDACBX after the group’s original lease expired this past November. Despite diverse support for RDACBX from local politicians, churches, and community organizations in the area, Austin Property Corp. eventually refused to renew the lease, citing concerns about the group’s political murals, and prompting the surprise eviction yesterday.

“The violent actions taken yesterday are an attack on young people, artists, and Hip Hop culture,” says RDACBX co-founder RodStarz. “In a time where budget cuts, stop and frisk, and gentrification are affecting our communities, it’s a shame we are being treated like criminals. There is no justification for this eviction.”

Karen Louviere, 19, a past participant in RDACBX youth programs, expressed her disappointment at the violent shutdown of the space. “They came in with armed officers into what is supposed to be a safe space for the community. A space that has served as an alternative for young people in the area, helping develop their talents in a positive way.”

The internationally renowned RDACBX, host to weekly cultural performances and educational workshops, had recently announced plans for the creation of the Richie Perez Radical Library, as well as the continuation of their widely recognized Boogie Mics open mic series, and the SxSBX Hip-Hop Festival.

“Despite the violent removal of RDACBX from its space, RDACBX will continue to work on its development, as it strives to be a resource for the community. There is a need for this organization to exist in The South Bronx,” says Claudia De La Cruz, a member of the collective.

What: Press Conference/ Rally to Defend RDACBX
When: Friday, March 1st, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: 478 Austin Place, Bronx NY 10455

Russia: Violent Squat Eviction in St Petersburg; Three Activists Face 10 Years in Prison

preview_1360053834From Anarchist News:

On 4th February, at around 10pm local time, riot police brutally evicted a group of anarchists, community activists and local history enthusiasts who had been occupying a disused railway station, Warsaw station, in St Petersburg, Russia.

Hearing that the site would soon be demolished to make way for a multi-storey housing complex, the activists had turned one of the last warehouses attached to the historic train station into a community centre, hosting concerts, poetry readings and a photo-exhibition of the history of the station.

The neo-renaissance-style building was built in the middle of the nineteenth century, linking St Petersburg directly with Warsaw, then part of the Russian Empire. Closed as a station in 2001, it was briefly transformed into a train museum, before falling empty. Developers had submitted plans to develop the area in October, despite the fact that parts of the building are protected by conservation law. Furthermore, the city’s unique status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site means that the construction of buildings in the city centre that are out of keeping with the imperial style should be carefully monitored by the government.

In fact, the difficulties of the on-going preservation of historic buildings in St Petersburg became a focus for civic activism in 2006 when one of the country’s largest oil and gas companies, GazProm, announced plans to build a 395-metre skyscraper opposite the historic Smolny complex, once the first seat of the Bolshevik government. Demonstrations were held, a new grass-roots social movement was founded, ‘Living City’, public figures joined the campaign and, in 2010, the project was moved to a less controversial site. Protecting public space from the encroachment of capital runs deep in the veins of this city.

Warsaw Station lies on the edge of the historic city centre and its status as a site of historical and cultural significance had been labeled ‘disputed’ by the city administration. In 2007, however, this status was changed, enabling developers to submit proposals for the site. Currently the non-governmental organisation, the All-Russian Society for the Protection of Monuments of History and Culture (VOOPiK) is investigating the historical value of the buildings. According to the group, 15 historic buildings have historic or cultural significance. However, many fear that the developers themselves could demolish the buildings before the examination is finished: an unexplained incidence of ‘arson’.

So, in early January, activists occupied the last surviving warehouse of the Warsaw station complex. At first its owner appeared not to mind their presence and did not switch off electricity and other amenities for more than a month. However, on the 4th February things changed: at around 4pm activists found security guards ordered by the warehouse owner were attempting to use a sledgehammer to break down the inner wall of the warehouse. A fight broke out between the activists and the guards who then called the police claiming that the activists had been threatening them. Upon the arrival of the police some activists barricaded themselves in the building while others organized a human chain around the building trying to block police access to the door. The final stand-off between squatters and police and riot police lasted more than 6 hours.

Nineteen activists were arrested, with several hospitalized for concussion. The police also sustained injuries during the eviction, with two needing medical treatment for lost teeth and a fractured skull. Sixteen squatters received fines of around €40, but the remaining three are being charged for violence against police officers, an offence which could see them jailed for up to ten years. In fact the speed with which this has been rushed to the courts speaks for the probability of the maximum sentence.

Solidarity with the arrested squatters! Please publicize their bravery as widely as possible! They urgently need funds for legal assistance: to enquire about making a donation or to help get a fundraising action together please e-mail russiaukasn@riseup.net

Finally, although it is unlikely that the penetration of Warsaw station by private capital will evoke such a huge public outcry as the GazProm project, the battle to save it has certainly put the site on the map. Videos, articles and photo reports of the eviction have flooded Russian media over the past day – both at local and national level – and, although the squat itself might be gone, the snug relationship between city capitalists and local government is once again in the spotlight. The developers will no doubt have a long, hard road in front of them. It is a crime that three individuals may have to pay such a high price for their defence of social justice.

Photo reportage of the eviction: http://lenta.ru/photo/2013/02/05/squat/#0

Squat blog (in Russian): http://spasisohrani.livejournal.com/

video (in Russian) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAcslamlh4U

source: https://avtonom.org/en/freenews/violent-squat-eviction-st-petersburg-thr…

Brazil: Oppose the Eviction of the Guarani

The indigenous Guarani community of Kurussu Ambá is at grave risk of violence and destitution unless the Brazilian government steps in to protect the Guarani and respect their land rights.

On March 10 of this year, a local judge in Mato Grosso do Sul ordered the community’s eviction, alleging that they were illegally occupying private property.

In fact, the community is living on small portion of their ancestral land, which they reclaimed in November 2009. Continue reading

Chicago: Support the lowercase collective squat! Fight evictions!

A few weeks ago we posted a call-out asking for support in lieu of our pending eviction. After receiving many questions concerning logistics and the space itself, we have decided to issue the lowercase call-out part II to clear up any confusion.

As many of you now know, the state is planning to evict the lowercase collective squat in approximately three weeks. The foreclosure and eviction of our home is one of many in this neighborhood and many other neighborhoods. Our resistance is a response to not only the attack on our home, but also to the attack on all people facing eviction as well as the system from which evictions are born.

During the weeks that precede our eviction, we are asking for the help of our
friends and the greater radical community. Mutual aid, folks! These are the things we need right now:

Continue reading

Chicago: Lowercase Collective confronted with eviction

LowercaseCHICAGO, Illinois – a message from our friends in Chicago via chicagobranch.wordpress.com:

The Lowercase Collective has existed for over three years now. It has been a public squat for two years, and opened its doors to countless people, projects, and events. One would be hard pressed to find an anarchist who has travelled through Chicago without ever spending time in this space. When a place becomes so integral to the collective ethos of a community, as Lowercase has in Chicago, its destruction can be simply debilitating.

On December 18th, we received an eviction notice for our landlord, who is in all likelihood a fictitious entity. Shortly thereafter, we proved to the state that we ourselves have been responsible for paying the bills for the past years, making repairs, etc. Unfortunately, our attempts were only able to buy us a few more weeks, as the eviction notice for all occupants came like a cold wind. Despite the machinations of the Federal National Mortgage Association, or any other partial owners, we have no intention of leaving this space without a fight.

Social tension has been percolating throughout our neighborhood for some time now. There is a general hatred of the police, all the more so with the existence of gangs on our street. Within a two-block radius, three other families have already been evicted in the past few months. A month ago, a black man just riding his bicycle was knocked off it by the police, beat up, and left without his bike in front of the watching eyes of the neighborhood. With all of this occurring in the context of our neighbors reproducing capital and themselves on the daily, this situation could prove explosive, as we look to push those tensions to the breaking point.

As the legal situation surrounding the house crystallizes, we will be announcing the time in which we want to invite our friends, in Chicago, the Midwest, and elsewhere, to join us for the most crucial aspect of solidarity: collective action on the day of eviction. We hope to create something truly wild around the very place we eat, sleep, fuck, dream, and share ourselves with each other. We hope for solidarity actions from friends who can’t make it here, but are more hopeful to see your faces. Defending space in which we live, share, and combat capital is integral to revolutionary movements. Our past has connected us to so many different trajectories, and in the near future, perhaps together through our actions we can give ourselves the time and space to create so many more.

Contact Info:

lowercasecollective [at] riseup.net

Minneapolis: Seven arrested during eviction of community organizer, Rosemary Williams

Eviction of Rosemary WilliamsAfter a months long fight against her foreclosure, police came to evict Rosemary Williams from her home, Sept. 11. Dozens of police cordoned off the street, sidewalks and alley all around the home, police with rifles and tear gas were at the ready at windows inside the house, as a private security company used metal grating to board up windows and doors. The police showed up as preparations were being made for a birthday party for Rosemary Williams’s grandson, Talib, who turned two that day.

More than a hundred supporters gathered to support the Williams family, as they hastily removed their personal belongings from the house. In a last ditch effort to stop the eviction, seven supporters went onto the property and were immediately arrested. They were dragged away by police, who kicked people laying on the ground and sprayed the crowd with pepper spray.

The arrestees include five members of the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout, which has been fighting this eviction for months and pressuring the GMAC mortgage company to make a deal that allows Ms. Williams to stay in her home. Instead, GMAC boarded up the windows, making this the eighth vacant house on the block.

Full story at Fight Back News.