A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) France, GRENOBLE, 30th OF APRIL, DEMONSTRACTION AGAINST THE EVICTION OF LES 400 COUVERTS SQUATTED STREET

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(nicolu-A-no-log.org)
Date Fri, 15 Apr 2005 17:32:01 +0200 (CEST)


________________________________________________
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html
________________________________________________

This is an invitation for a gigamega support demonstration for the
threatened squatted street, the « 400 couverts » in grenoble.
30TH OF APRIL - MANIFESTA - MEETING POINT 1.30 PM IN THE 400 COUVERTS STREET.
Since a few months, the squatted street « les 400 couverts » have launched
a campaign of resistance against their eviction.
The « 400 couverts » is a little street located in Grenoble city centre,
squatted for over 3 years, the 400 Couverts houses 20 people permanently,
a public space dedicated to free activities (debates, gigs, projections,
meeting space used by various groups), including a free library, a garden,
a home-made outdoor baking-oven, as well as more or less successful
experiments (garden roof, vegetable plot, compost, organic pharmacy, free
hardware base). All these spaces and activities were set up independently
and autonomously, without any institutional incentives and hardly any
money. The « 400 couverts » is one of the active basis of grenoble's
squatting, anti-capitalist,anti-authoritarian orfeminist initiatives and
actions.

The owner of the buildings, the Socialist Party city council of grenoble
is threatening to evict them since a year.

On the 25th of februray, actions and occupations against the Socialist
party city councils and offices happened simultaneously in 17 towns in
france to support les 400 couverts and threatened squats around france.

They now call for a creative street-party and demonstration in grenoble
with laughs at the front of commercial centers, guerilla gardening,
exchanges of konw-hows, street-food, weird walks, street bands, huge
forks, panda dress, puppets and whatever you can imagine to bring.

Feel free to annouce this demonstration around other squats and social
centers, to your friends, families of friends, networks and join the
resistance...

If you can't come to the demonstration, it's also great if you just take a
bit of time to send one short protest fax or letter to destot, mayor of
grenoble. it can be just a few lines in your own language to tell them
your anger and support of les 400 :

HÔTEL DE VILLE
11, BOULEVARD JEAN PAIN
BP 1066
38021 GRENOBLE CEDEX 1, france
TÉL. 04 76 76 36 36
FAX 04 76 76 39 40
EMAIL: CONTACT@VILLE-GRENOBLE.FR
---------------------------------

A) THE 400 COUVERTS: WHAT? WHO?
B) ON THE SQUAT MOVEMENT IN FRANCE
C) DETAILED PRESENTATION OF THE 400 COUVERTS PROJECT AND SITUATION

--------------------------------------------------

A) THE 400 COUVERTS: WHAT? WHO?


Little street located in Grenoble city
centre, squatted for over 3 years, the 400 Couverts houses 20 people
permanently, a public space dedicated to free activities (debates, gigs,
projections, meeting space used by various groups), including a free
library, a garden, a home-made outdoor baking-oven, as well as more or
less successful experiments (vegetal roof, vegetable plot, compost,
organic pharmacy, free hardware base). All these spaces and activities
were set up independently and autonomously, without any institutional
incentives and hardly any money, on a non-trading basis. Grenoble local
council, owner of the place, intends to evict and raze the 400 Couverts
alley in order to set up an important housing project: the erection of 12
social-housing parts.

Evicting people who managed to organize their spaces of living
independently in order to furnish accommodation to more or less the same
number with standardized housing is part of a bureaucratic scheme aiming
for social control reinforcement over dwellers. It is part of a systematic
annihilation of spaces of invention and criticism. In a city liable to
spend millions on the building of a stadium or on an upper-class art
centre, it seems that squatters are not preventing the councils to enforce
their social projects. We are fighting for this experiment to go on.

Let's also keep in mind that
Grenoble has benefited over the last years from a very active and plural
development of squats. It has also witnessed the disclosure of various
struggles and types of direct and pro-anarchist actions facing local
authorities: throughout the 2003-2004 winter, occupation of the Paul
Mistral park, performed by the local people camping up the trees a couple
of metres away from the city council which planned to raze it; action and
criticism against the development of a Silicon Valley in Grenoble,
including mass-publication of a counterfeit existing local newspaper
advertising on new technologies ; occupation of Minatec's construction
site - Minatec being the next first European centre for the development of
nano-technology; a lot of radical feminist activities, as well as the
creation and publication of independent medias.

The 400 couverts and friends have already inititiated
various actions since 6 months to defend the occupied street and other
threatened squats projects in France. On the 25th of february, through
occupations, banner realeases, wallings, rubble dropping, demonstrations,
openings, confrontation of reoresentatives, in 17 town in france,
squatters have stood up both offensively and creatively to defend these
spaces of living, creation, social experiments, thought, meetings and
solidarity.

B) ON THE SQUAT MOVEMENT IN FRANCE

For a couple of years, France has seen the
development of many independent political squats, where are being lead
alternative collective life experiments and public political activities of
various sorts. These spots usually host anti-capitalist and pro-anarchist
actions and events, "free-zones" where goods and material are exchanged,
squatted vegetable plots, cyber cafes. These are places where alternative
hardware and software is developed, information, books and brochures
printed and brought out within "Infokiosques", where people work on
counter-medicine, recycling, bicycles, mechanics, wood and metal craft,
serigraphy, home-made building, sunflower-oil recycling for vehicles,
organic seeds exchange, single-sex groups for feminist, queer or
transgender reflection, street meals, free restaurants, bars, concerts,
film-projections and drama.

They differ from a type of "artistic squatting" (to be found
particularly in Paris) in the sense that they do not cooperate with local
authorities and explicitly question private property, State organization,
profit and power relations, and develop autonomous zones linked to various
other social struggles.

This is only a partial and rough account of a
generally complex set up, and it wouldn't be right to try and level too
much these rather multiple experiences and activities. Especially as the
collectives mentioned do not necessarily see themselves as part of a
greater process. Nonetheless, a couple of inter-squat gatherings have been
successfully organized over the past 3 years. Local inter-squat
associations are rather common and exchanges between squats all over the
country are brought about through specific actions and projects,
friendships of course, and networks involving squatters such as Sans-Titre
(
http://www.under.ch/SansTitre), the Infokiosque network (
http://infokiosques.net), Indymedia, resistance festivals, the anti-prison
movement, or nomadic projects such as La Caravane Permanente (
http://cp.squat.net).

Despite growing repressive attempts on the part of
French authorities, specifically directed against political squats - the
government has attempted to condemn the « sans droit ni titre » (rightless
and nameless) occupation 2 years ago through enforcement of "National
Security" laws - it is still possible to squat without risking
imprisonment, fortunately. Though courts nearly always decide in favour
of landlords and order eviction, squatters usually benefit from a few
months (or a few years) extension when they fight through legal
procedures, and also on the public and political side. Thus, the number of
evictions is rising, but so is the number of re-openings.

Over the last few years, a couple of squats have even
managed to cut short eviction threats and to achieve a kind of stability
thanks to a favourable power struggle with authorities, and sometimes
through negotiating with landlords (which is often subject to debate?). It
is the case for L'espace autogéré des Tanneries in Dijon, Le Clandé in
Toulouse, for the 102 in Grenoble, that have all been there for at least 7
years. On the other hand, some of the most active squats, such as Les 400
Couverts or l'Ekluserie in Grenoble, Les Diables bleux in Nice are all
under eviction threat on the short-term, or have just become so. While in
Paris, the socialist councils do not even bother using legal proceedings
any more to enforce eviction.

It is thus essential for the movement to build up in
time an advantageous power struggle on a national basis, and, on the other
hand to work out alliances and cooperation outside of the squat movement.

C) DETAILED PRESENTATION OF THE 400 COUVERTS PROJECT AND SITUATION

HISTORY AND ACTIVITIES OF THE "400 COUVERTS"

The following text about the "400 couverts" was written to inform the
neighborhood and local people about the « 400 couverts » present situation
but should be of interest for anyone who wants to know more about one of
the creative experience and resistance of the french squat movement.

WHAT'S GOING ON IN « LES 400 COUVERTS » ?

A WHOLE STREET PROGRESSIVELY OCCUPIED IN THE TOWN CENTER...

- 6 squatted buildings that are rehabilitated since two years and an half.
+ the housing of twenty people and a collective living space

- the « chapitonom »; an home-made public space, a circus tent in a barn
where more than 2000 people met during one of the 70 free public events
organised since two years (gigs, cinemas, theater, debates...)

- a baker's oven made of cob (mud, straw, manure...) builded in spring
2003 in order to bake bread, pizzas, cakes with woodfire and used for
neighborhood public food organized in the street.

- an oil filtering working space to feed the squat's vehicles with
recycled sunflower's oil and to replace diesel

- the infoshop, a library of more than 1000 books, booklets, magazines and
videos about various political issues. This infoshop is part of the french
infoshop network and involved with the website http://infokiosques.net - a
free zone where everybody can get clothes and various others things and
put whatever he/she doesn't use anymore.

- a « yourte »: do-it-yourself mongol tent for half-nomadic living
projects. - a vegetable garden

- a public garden, rehabilitated, painted and decorated with mosaics -
various fruits trees planted in the streets * - some spaces of meetings
and stockage for various associations and collectives (festival of
resistance against capitalism, indymedia grenoble, anti-psychiatry
collective, sunflower oil network, iosk and zanzara athee booklets
distros...)

- some barns to keep skips and home-made food

- a practice room for dance, theater, boxing, feminist self-defense
workshops... - a computer workshop based on free softwares
(unix-gnu-linux)

- a bicycle repairing workshop

- a collective kitchen to organize public meals

- some specific workshops and skill exchanges on stained glass, screen
printing, joinery, pottery, seam...and general house rehabilitation
(electricity, plumbing, lime, tiling, masonry and all sorts of crazy
decorations....)

All these spaces and activities are made Do It Yourself, without any
institutional subsidies and generally without money, outside any business
or institutional structures. They're linked together through exchanges and
meetings between people, inhabitants or participants to these activities
and through developing some common state of mind and interrogations. Our
activities are aimed at challenging various norms and systems, from
«cultural consumption » to this society based on profit, competition, and
« growth »... The life of the 400 street is rythmed by skipping and skill
exchanges, researching human relations without domination, meetings, fest
around a white tablecloth, country-town links, theoretical discussions,
friendliness times with the neighborhood, transmission of knowledges,
participation to some demonstration and social struggles (in particular
around the housing issue with the defend-toit collective)...

The city council of Grenoble, owner of the place, has always been either
indifferent or frankly hostile towards les 400 couverts : they threatened
to cut the water, have started a trial for eviction and have destroyedn
the roof of one of the houses to prevent it from being occupied...

It is only through the local newspaper, the «liberated dolphiné» (dauphiné
libéré), that we have been informed of their project to destroy the
building and evict us in 2004. Grenoble's city council didn't get inn
touch since two years and seems to put in practice their so-called politic
of « dialogue » only through bailiffs and riot cops.

WE WANT TO UNDERLINE WHAT WILL DISAPPEAR IF THE « 400 COUVERTS » ARE EVICTED.

Grenoble city council propaganda praises « avant garde », cultural
diversity and so on... but will sign the death of a priceless experience
of collective living and self-management , right in the town center,
integrated since years in the neighborhood and in a network of local and
regional
collectives. The city council spend millions in its « house of culture »
for entertainment...but put to dust a space of creativity, exchanges and
solidarity that doesn't cost anything.

With this forth eviction of our collective in four years (the squats CPA
1, CPA 2 and sing sing...), they show clearly that they don't want to let
any space for this kind of projects.

(grenoble's city council is a so called «socialist party» municipality and
therefore create a specific public « social » speech that tries to hide
their liberal and authoritarian agenda. Following words in italic are
typical of their hypocritical propaganda...)

Is it the way they want to solve the huge «housing crisis» ?

Is it the way they want to recreate «social links» ?

Is it the way they want to promote the creative «initiatives» of
grenoble's inhabitants ?

What will they sacrifice again to clean, control, and standardize the
town, to attract new investors and a profitable population of
nano-technology engineers ?

What new fake shows of dialogue will they offer in order to give a human
face to their evictions and other such glorious initiatives ?

WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY IN THE « 400 COUVERTS » SQUATTED STREET MUST GO ON,
IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A «TEMPORARY ANOMALY».

With many people and creativity, we can still stop the city council. Some
of us came in this street to live, make bread, dance, see shows, debate in
small groups, choose free clothes...let's defend this street together.

Spaces of autonomy and experimentation are priceless, we won't let them be
destroyed

Spread the news, join the phone-tree... You can also write support letter
and send it to the the mayor of grenoble : maire de grenoble - 11 bvd jean
pain 38 000 Grenoble (and please send a copy to les 400 couverts).

All initiatives are welcomed : you can for example occupy the headquarters
of political parties linked to the french socialist party (labour in
england, NPD in Canada, DSA and SDUSA in the US...) and ask them to send
protest faxes to Grenoble's city council (city council's fax : 04 76 76 39
40)

! There's an infopoint everyday at noon to meet us, ask questions and give
ideas, to visit the place and see what's going on, and to know about the
last 400ers adventures.

400 couverts squat, traverse des 400 Couverts, 38000 Grenoble, France.
Near the train station.
To contact us : chapitonom@no-log.org, 00.33.476.86.07.37


*******
********
****** The A-Infos News Service ******
News about and of interest to anarchists
******
INFO: http://ainfos.ca/org http://ainfos.ca/org/faq.html
HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
SUBSCRIPTION: send mail to lists@ainfos.ca with command in
body of mail "subscribe (or unsubscribe) listname your@address".

Options for all lists at http://www.ainfos.ca/options.html


A-Infos Information Center