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(en) France, Organisation Communiste Libertarie (OCL) - Italy -- Wave of occupations of housing in Bologna (fr) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 22 Nov 2013 09:51:03 +0200


During the last month, Bologna has been rocked by a wave of occupations of housing. These occupations should be understood in the context of national week of action culminating in the national demonstration on 19 October in Rome. ---- these occupations, conducted in a number of areas of Bologna, involve a variety of popular grassroots movements. --- During the last month, Bologna has been rocked by a wave of occupations of housing. These occupations should be understood in the context of national week of action culminating in the national demonstration in Rome on 19 October (see this thread: 18/19 octobre mobilizations against austerity and social reconstruction.). ---- Occupants justify their actions as responses to what they describe as an emergency housing.

The ASIA-USB (union base at the forefront of the movement for housing) quotes the following figures on Bologna from 2012: about 1000 families received a deportation order and require nearly 10,000 social housing , by contrast, 7,000 private apartments and 225 social housing units remain vacant public park in this city of 380,000 inhabitants (in the middle of an urban area of âânearly one million people).

The lack of affordable housing in Bologna has become a key issue for almost two decades. Although activists denounced the housing situation for some time, the issue became public in local newspapers mainstream in 2009 after Nomisma (an economic consulting firm working across the country but based in Bologna) has published a detailed report on housing in Italy. The report showed that between 1991 and 2009, there was an increase of nearly 100% in house prices in Bologna and a 75% increase in rents, against an average increase in revenue of only 18%.

Local housing policies have made the situation worse instead of better, even at the margin. Valerio Monteventi activist and former adviser of Bologna, noted in a detailed report published in 2010, local authorities were unable to meet the needs of the most vulnerable urban populations - migrants, students and low-income households. Local housing policies have not sought to promote the construction of student residences and multi-family housing cheap and have not been able to make it fully habitable existing apartments in the grounds of public housing.

There are occupations in a number of areas of Bologna, which involve a variety of popular grassroots movements.
In the city center, the ASIA-USB, with a dozen families already evicted from their homes, held a large housing project abandoned.

Also in the center, the "Labas Occupato" (a student group currently based in a former barracks occupied) has launched a project called "crowdhousing" - operation renovation self-organized and cooperative part of the barracks for make it habitable, especially for students. [1]

Another action in response mainly to the massive housing needs of the large student population of Bologna is the "Studentato Occupato Taksim" (Student Residence busy Taksim). The Studentato was opened by Collettivo Universitario Autonomo (AUC), a joint inter-varsity student activist in the former convent boarding school located on the outskirts of Bologna, which had been empty for more than three years. They enter this occupation into a struggle against the rising cost studies, university fees, prices higher and higher student canteens, the only possible student access and luxury homes to meet their needs for spaces of socialization self-organized.

A second action in the periphery was the occupation of a private in the neighborhood Bolognina residential building. Bolognina ("Little Bologna") is a traditional and historic working class neighborhood, currently at the center of several major projects "regeneration" and massive urban renewal (with many tertiary) which will lead to large-scale gentrification and incorporation This vast area, which adjoins the historic center of the city north of the railway station and railway lines, in a new city, fully scaled and much larger, of the metropolis.
Public statements by their occupants explicitly designated shares as a form of struggle against this wider process: "The building has been occupied for solving the housing needs of many of us who are homeless or tired of paying exorbitant rents in Bologna, but also to a first concrete step in the fight against the redefinition of Bolognina. Indeed, this area ons for a number of years, the appetites of profiteers and speculators who, under the direction of the municipal administration, aimed at transforming a popular area in the new business center of the city just . Ã without evictions, mega-infrastructure projects, shopping centers and police raids. "

Although relatively tolerant most new occupations, the council expelled than Bolognina. The eviction was carried out without any alternative accommodation for the occupants.
few days later, the occupants evicted began a second action in another empty apartment building, still in Bolognina. The occupants were again expelled and several activists involved - who were able to delay the eviction process more than 20 hours climbing on the roof of the building - received a deportation order Bologna [2]. Despite this, the activists involved in this action, in their last public statement, expressed their satisfaction. Occupations, they write, are a "clear message to the authorities of Bologna" , they "continue and evictions will become rougher. We'll see who will tire first " .

The 19/11/2013

(After Struggles in Italy, Informa-azione.info ...)

XYZ OCLibertaire

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Notes

[1] They define it as "a collective practice, disseminate and cooperative reappropriation and requalification of urban areas for residential purposes. A practice that avoids and fights against speculation and real estate rents, building (literally) to the bottom right to housing " .
[2] The Italian legislation on enforcement has a formidable old tool, banishment, the "foglio via di" , the eviction notice which prevents an accurate persons traveling in an area where they are not native and that for periods of several years. Commonly used for the maintenance of order and event management, it has become a normal way to ward off intruders, activists and active and integral parts of the conflict, as the Val Susa or other regions with social conflicts. Thus, three union activists active in the conflict based logistics sector are prohibited from living for three years in the province of Piacenza and activists fighting on the accommodation of the city of Florence are forbidden to go to Rome, etc.)
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