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(en) Austria, Submission of news on a major squat eviction (fr)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 3 Dec 2003 12:24:44 +0100 (CET)


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From: SuZQ <suzq-A-riseup.net>
Here is an english translation of the Indymedia Paris article about
communist parties evicting squats, which was originally published in french at
http://paris.indymedia.org/article_theme.php?id_article=10139&id_mot=24
feel free to copy, translate, post, repost, forward....
Walter Baier's response was filmed by Indymedia Germany and Indymedia UK,
but they haven't uploaded the film yet. I'll ask them to send you the link when they do.
Communist parties have a long history of evicting squats; in 1985, the
communist mayor of Montreuil, France, ordered the eviction of a squatted
factory that was used for rock concerts; more than a hundred supporters of
the squat were arrested and beaten during a massive media campaign against
youth and punks. Just for context...

**************************************************************

European Communist Parties vs. Squats : European Social Forum Actions

When the various European Communist Parties evict squats: action in
support of the Ernst Kirchweger House, the only large squatted social
center in Vienna, and the "La Charade" squat in St.-Martin d'Hères, during
the ESF.

On Saturday, November 15, at the "City of Arts and Sciences" at Porte de
la Villette, in Paris, Walter Baier, chairman of the Austrian Communist
Party (KPÖ), representative of the Austrian Social Forum, and editor of
the "Volkstimme" newspaper, was set to speak in a seminar on
the topic, "Media and War." The seminar was organized by the french
Communist-Party newspaper "Humanité". About 400 people were in the
audience. After about an hour of official speeches by journalists and
politicians, on the general theme of creating alternative media structures
to build grassroots antiwar movements and to counteract the propaganda of
mainstream media and power structures, it was Walter Baier's turn to
speak.

But before he could open his mouth, a member of the audience stood
up to denounce the stinking hypocrisy of inviting Walter Baier to talk
about grassroots media and the antiwar movement, while Walter Baier
himself was getting ready to deliver the Ernst Kirchweger Haus (EKH), a
14-year-old autonomous social center that housed several alternative media
projects, emergency housing for refugees, political projects for freedom
of movement and racist state politics, activities against state militarism
and war, an autonomous theatre, and many other political and cultural
projects, over to real-estate speculation and eviction. In fact, Walter
Baier and the KPÖ had decided a little more than a week beforehand to sell
the buildings that housed the EKH, which would doubtlessly mean (in light
of the repressive Austrian political context) the end of the social
center. (See the text below for details.) The intervention concluded
with a more general critique of the way that slimy policians have co-opted
and profited from social dissent, even though they themselves are
constantly trying to kill all that which escapes their hierarchical,
reformist, and institutional structures. The outraged audience member
then urged the entire audience to take a stand against this co-optation by
following his example and ripping up their ESF accreditation passes in protest.

After this first intervention, in french, which left Baier and the
audience speechless, a second audience member marched down to the stage to
stand behind Baier and to explain the whole situation in english.
Finally, a third audience member ran down to the stage, took the mike, and
shouted, "Herr Baier, Wer verkaufen will, ist schön verkauft! Warum
rauswerfen sie die Infoladen X, Volxbibliothek, Archiv der sozialen
Bewegungen, Queerbeisl, unzumutbar, Frauenschreibwerkstatt, Zeitung
tatblatt, Zeitung Voice of Vienna, Zeitung rapiditè, Siebdruckwerkstatt,
Metall und Fahrrradwerkstatt, Tonstudio, Proberume für Bands, Filmgruppe
Kinoki, Konzertsaal, Bühne des Volxtheater Favoriten, Rume der ATGF, des
Dachverbandes der jugoslawischen Vereine in Wien, des Vereins fr
Gegenkultur -- wir sind alle gegenkultur! --, Zwei Stockwerke autonomer
Wohnbereich, und ein Stockwerk Fluchtlingsnotquartiere des
Flughafensozialdienstes? Herr Baier, warum rauswerfen sie das?" These
interventions were punctuated by supportive applause from the audience,
who for the most part were eager to learn more and to obtain copies of a
trilingual flyer that was handed out among the audience members.

Finally, Walter Baier, mortified, attempted to justify the decision to
sell the EKH, explaining that the mean leftist autonomen hadn't asked
their permission before squatting the Communist Party headquarters (which
apparently had been empty for a long time and has now been squatted --
legally, with a contract -- for fourteen years) and that the KPÖ was not
very rich and had certain fiscal necessities. His entire response was
recorded and filmed by Indymedia UK and Indymedia Germany journalists, who
were present in the audience. So as to appear conciliatory to the
audience, Walter Baier declared that now the KPÖ was going to try to find
a solution that would be reasonable for all the parties involved. Trying
to polish his image, he mentioned that the KPÖ was very supportive of the
Publixtheatre Caravan, which had spent a month in an Italian prison in the
course of their no-border tour for freedom of movement, summer 2001. But
the recent past has shown that Walter Baier cannot be trusted and that
other actions will be necessary to put pressure on the KPÖ to save the
EKH. The audience responded with polite applause, during which an
audience member cried out, "Keine finanzielle sicherheit ohne
wohnsicherheit! Le logement n'est pas une marchandise! The EKH is not
for sale!"

Shortly after Baier's speech, another audience member stood up to call the
French Communist Party, which had organized the whole seminar, to task
about the eviction of the "La Charade" squat, which had housed political
and cultural activities specifically antiracist activities, in
Saint-Martin d'Hères, which is in the suburbs of Grenoble, France. In
this squat, there was a free public library, a free shop, public debates,
film nights, feminist activities and political actions. It was evicted
last June by the communist mayor of St-Martin d'Hère, which owned the
property, even though the communist party and the municipality had
absolutely no use intended for the building.

After the seminar was over, the third audience member who had intervened
against Walter Baier's speech descended to the stage to speak with him
personally, but he disappeared quietly out the back door.

Also during the European Social Forum, the "NO VOX" activit network opened a
political squat in Paris to serve as a forum for different social
movements. Paris itself, a city with a long and proud history of
"artists' squats" that have become important community cultural centers,
is currently engaging in the same practice that is happening all over
Europe: political squats are being quietly, and violently, evicted in
massive waves of repression. For a full report on the NO VOX squat, see
http://paris.indymedia.org/article_theme.php?id_article=9844&id_mot=24

Here is the text of the flyer that was distributed among audience members
during the seminar, first in english, then german, then french:

Walter Baier, chairman of the KPOE ( communist party of Austria) and
delegate of the Austrian Social Forum will participate at the European
Social Forum from the 12th-15th of Nov. 03 in Paris. Following a decision
taken this week by the KPOE, the KPOE wants to sell off the Ernst
Kirchweger Haus (EKH), the only Social Center in Austria. This deal would
be the end of the EKH. The EKH was squatted in 1990 and house residents
have contracts with the KPOE to legally occupy the building. In a first
informal dialogue on Nov. 4th between Baier and the residents, Baier
emphasized that the sale of the house is only an option and far from
fixed. However, by Nov. 5th the central committee of the KPOE had already
decided the sale. The KPOE is leaving many different Left political groups
to the mercy of real estate speculation. An eviction would affect more
than 27 different groups involved in antifascist, anti(hetero)sexist, and
antiracist activities, in (counter)culture, music, migration, organization
of Sans Papiers (refugees without residence papers), collective forms of
living, a community library, a community theatre company, an archive of
documents of social movements, info-shop, and much more. Organisations and
activities : Infoshop X, People's Library, Archive of Social Movements,
Queerbeisl, the Unreasonable group, Women's Writing Workshop, Tatblatt
newspaper, Voice of Vienna newspaper, Rapiditè newspaper, a printing
workshop, a metalwork and bicycle workshop, a sound studio, practice room
for bands, Kinoki cinema, a concert hall, the Publixtheatre of Favoriten,
ATGF, the umbrella organization of the Yugoslav associations in Vienna,
Association for Counter-culture, two floors of self-managed living
quarters, and emergency housing for refugees referred by the social
services at the airport.

Am Social Forum in Paris vom 12. ^Ö 15.11.03 wird Walter Baier
Vorsitzender der KPÖ (Kommunistische Partei Österreich) und Vertreter des
Social Forum Austria teilnehmen. Nach einem Beschluß von dieser Woche will
die KPÖ das einzige soziale Zentrum EKH in Österreich verkaufen, was somit
das Aus für dieses Haus bedeutet. Das EKH wurde 1990 besetzt und einzelne Bereiche
haben Verträge mit der KPÖ. In dem ersten inoffiziellen Gespräch am
04.11.03 mit den NutzerInnen des EKH betonte Walter Baier dass der Verkauf
des Hauses lediglich eine Option, aber lange noch nicht feststehen würde.
Bereits am 05.11.03 wurde im Zentralkomitee der KPÖ der Verkauf
beschlossen. Dadurch überlässt die KPÖ verschiedenste linke politische
Projekte der Immobilienspekulation. Durch eine Räumung wären über 27
verschiedene Gruppen aus den Bereichen Antifaschismus, Antirassismus, Anti
(hetero)sexismus, Kultur, Musik, Sans Papiers, kollektives Wohnen,
Bibliothek, Archiv, Infoladen, Gegenkultur, Migration und viele mehr
betroffen. Infoladen X, Volxbibliothek, Archiv der sozialen Bewegungen,
queerbeisl, unzumutbar, Frauenschreibwerkstatt, Zeitung tatblatt, Zeitung Voice of
Vienna, Zeitung rapiditè, Siebdruckwerkstatt, Metall und
Fahrrradwerkstatt, Tonstudio, Proberäume für Bands, Filmgruppe Kinoki,
Konzertsaal, Bühne des Volxtheater Favoriten, Räume der ATGF, des
Dachverbandes der jugoslawischen Vereine in Wien, des Vereins für
Gegenkultur, Zwei Stockwerke autonomer Wohnbereich, Ein Stockwerk
Flüchtlingsnotquartiere des Flughafensozialdienstes

Au Forum Social de Paris, qui se tiendra du 12 au 15 novembre 2003,
participera Walter Baier, président du KPÖ (Parti Communiste Autrichien)
et représentant du Forum Social Autrichien. D'après une résolution datant
de cette semaine, le KPÖ veut vendre le seul centre social d'Autriche,
EKH, ce qui signifierait la fin du projet. Le EKH est occupé depuis 1990,
et certaines parties ont un contrat avec le KPÖ. Lors d'un entretien non
officiel le 4 novembre, Walter Baier affirmait aux usagèrEs du EKH que la
vente de la maison était une possibilité, mais qu'elle n'interviendrait
pas avant longtemps. Or, dès le 5 novembre, le comité central du KPÖ
décidait de la vente. Ce faisant, le KPÖ confie la survie de nombreux
projets politiques de gauche à la spéculation immobilière. Une expulsion
toucherait plus de 27 groupes et organisations intervenant dans les
domaines de l'antifascisme, l'antiracisme, l'anti(hétéro)sexisme, la
culutre, la musique, des sans-papiers, du logement collectif, une
bibliothèque, des archives, un infoshop, contre-culutre, migration, etc,
etc. Organisations et activités: Infoladen X, Bibliothèque populaire,
Archives du mouvement social, Queerbeisl, Insoumissables, Atelier
d'écriture des femmes, Revue tatblatt, Revue Voice of Vienna, Revue
rapiditè, Atelier de sérigraphie, Atelier vélo et métal, Studio son,
Salles de répétition pour les groupes, Filmgruppe Kinoki, Sale de concert,
scène du théatre populaire Favoriten, Sales pour les ATGF, le reseau qui
comprend tous des associations yougoslaves de Vienne, l'Association pour
une contre-culutre, deux étages de domaine d'habitation autonome, et un
étage de logement d'urgence pour les réfugiés du service social de
l'aéroport.

contact EKH: ekhaus@angelfire.com

Ernst Kirchweger house (EKH) is the only
autonomous squatted social center in Austria and is pretty much _the_
_center_ of anarchist activities in Austria. The french version of this same
article was already posted on a-infos at http://www.ainfos.ca/fr/ainfos04195.html


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