|Vienna (Austria): Have you ever squatted the heart of the beast?|
In the past couple of days, a group of people in Vienna, fed up of the
increasing daily repression of life and the lack of free social space,
have taken over an abandoned building in the Ottakring part of the city.
Ottrakring is ground zero of Real Estate speculation in Vienna. The people are also fed up of rising rents and abusive landlords in Vienna. We are also fed up with how the city government not only unconditionally supports the landlords but also how the city is doing less and less to help tenants and other social layers who find life in Vienna more and more unbearable. We're comprised of Austrians, immigrants, women, men, youth, middle aged, students, workers and unemployed. We are artists, intellectuals, and free thinkers. We represent a true microcosm of Vienna and Austria.
Vienna is one of the few capitals of Western Europe with a significant lack of Free House Projects / Squats and Community Centres. London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin, just to name a few cities, all have these spaces. Therefore we call for all those that have Free House Projects/Squats and Free Community Centres to come to Vienna to support us and to help us keep the house. Vienna is one of the most important cities of the world. It is the 3rd Seat of UNO. Vienna also serves as the headquarters of OPEC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Austria is the second richest Euro Zone country and the 6th richest country in the world. With all this wealth, the Austrian State and City of Vienna says there is no money for social housing. Yet Vienna can spend millions of Euros to host the World Economic Forum, where in June, leading European banks discussed the carve up of markets in Southeastern Europe. Vienna plays a key role in the neo-colonisation of Central and Eastern Europe. While Austria serves as a junior partner and helps to conceal the role of Germany's planned domination of Eastern and Southeastern Europe by finally achieving the Nazi objective of Lebensraum, Austria uses the EU as a mechanism to re-establish the Habsburg Empire which was defeated and destroyed at the conclusion of the First World War. The impoverishment of the masses in Hungary, Roumania, Bulgaria and the Republics of former Yugoslavia is a direct result of political and economic decisions made in Austria.
Yet. there is no money for community centres for youth, women and other oppressed groups. There is no money for media education. The few places which exist are too small and too weak. The rules and regulations to become an officially recognised "Association" (Verein in German) are complex, bureaucratic and forces a dependency upon the official structures of the state.
Until a decade ago Ottakring was one of the least desirable parts of the city to live in. It's the historical district of the proletariat and lumpen-proletariat. In recent decades, Ottakring has become one of the largest immigrant districts of Vienna with migrants mostly from the former Yugoslavia and other Balkan lands. Since the past decade, Ottrakring has become the centre of a Real Estate speculative frenzy. The poor and the migrants are slowly being priced out of the district.
We want a truly free, independent and autonomous space in Vienna. We are actually doing a community and public service which the Austrian State and City of Vienna should be doing in the first place, of course don't expect anything from the city or the state! We are people dedicated into remodelling the building using our own resources and labour to create a space for living, working, education and food for the community and society at large. We do not support capitalism nor do we have the illusion of reforming capitalism. The era of reformism is past. All across Europe, Finance Capital is using the state to take away all of our social and economic rights which our parents, grand parents and ancestors fought and died for. We are taking what is rightfully ours. Housing is a human right. Food is a human right. We are not begging for what belongs to us naturally. We are asserting our fundamental human rights. We are not criminals nor are we terrorists. We simply want to live as social human beings and to take the first step of creating a new society. The same struggles and day to day oppression which take place in Athens, Madrid, Dublin occur here in Vienna. Vienna is also caught in the web of totalitarian capitalism under the Neo-Feudal Corporate Fascist State. The financial aristocracy (oligarchy) is the same everywhere. Every country and every city in Europe is under occupation by Finance Capital. Like most countries in Europe, Austria confronts the ever growing support for the far right and neo-fascist parties. This house is actively anti-racist and anti-fascist. It is also a zone of anti-sexism, a space where women can be free and comfortable. This is also a house where human sexuality is free regardless of sexual orientation. Therefore, we send this call to all groups across Europe to come to Vienna immediately. We call on all Squatters, Autonomous, Women's Collectives, LGBT, Syndicalists , Antifa, etc. groups to travel to Vienna and support our House! We have plenty of space for hundreds of people to sleep. We also need tools, food, supplies, ideas, strategies and above all numbers to help us keep this building. In short, we are calling for active physical solidarity. This is an urgent call as by the next couple of days the city will begin moves to evict us. If we have more than 200 people, we will be able to repel the city from evicting us by force. WE HAVE STRENGTH IN NUMBERS! Vienna does not have a history of violent confrontations with the state. Riots seldom happen here. This is why we urgently need large numbers as the Austrian police have no experience with dealing with large organised resistance. We need help from comrades in Berlin and France who have experience in defence in the face of police intimidation.
One Advantage of the legal situation in vienna is that to be inside a squatted house is not a crime, only the failure to comply with the order to leave is a misdemeanor, fines normally don't exceed around 100 Euros. The House is located at Roseggergasse 1 in the 16th District of Vienna. It is easily reachable by the U3 Metro station Kendlergasse.
For more information visit:
House information phone +43 699 144 56 187
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