The occupation of the house in Kienmayergasse 15 is over, but the struggle goes on!
Noone left the house voluntarily! Noone fulfilled the demands of the owner and noone left voluntarily! At the time of the eviction there was noone home, but that doesn’t mean that the occupiers didn’t prefer to stay! That the police evicted the building based on an action for eviction of the owner „Vestwerk“, shows clearly who the law and the its executioners are protecting: property, profit, power,… Those who don’t these things loose, get displaced, become the affected ones of a capitalist logic of exploitation, which they didn’t choose.
To live a self determined life noone needs neither a law nor executioners, noone who decides over our homes to make profit out of it. What we’d rather need is solidarity within the neighborhood, a net of mutual support and an atmoshpere in which the police and the owner know, that they can’t play with our lifes and do what they want with us.
This was stated in the public announcment of the occupation „In these days it’s not about raising awareness of empty houses or demand something from the city. But it’s about raising awareness of the conditions and starting something, getting aware of the own strength, not letting ’em take anything from us, not letting ’em displace us, celebrating the neighborhood and supporting ourselfs mutually.“
And if this occupation succeded in anything, than it was this!
It’s a pity, that the house is empty again now and that the owner put a private security company in front of it. But what they cannot take from us is, that people got to know each other, started connecting, expressed mutual solidarity,…
Hopefully, the numerous presentatives of media, with their endless greed for a hot story, choke on the fact, that they didn’g get a single interview with the squatters. We don’t sell our intentions, faces and actions! Due to the refusal of talking they pounced on the neighbors and so they could at least tell about their sitations and publish their anger about the ongoing getrification of their neighborhood and the displacement caused by it. Besides, the closure of the streets during the eviction, also raised the attention of people who didn’t know about it by then, and really almost everyone dislikes what the police is/was doing there.
The company Vestwerk and its projects
Vestwerk is a perfect example for a gentrification company. They proceed usually like this: They buy buildings, then they cancel the contracts with the renters or they don’t prolongue them or they they try to get rid of them by offering them money or they simply don’t care about the houses, don’t renovate and try to make the lifes of the renters as uncomfortable as possible. When everyone left their homes, they pull down the building and start building their new luxory flats, which none of the people who lived there before could ever afford.
Vestwerk has a couple of such projects in Vienna and Germany. Apart from the project in Kienmayergasse (for which 3 building are supposed to be pulled down: https://www.vestwerk.com/kopie-von-8 – and as it looks like, the Schützpark next to it should also get „modernised“), there’s – apart from others – the project of the Kronenhaus at the Mariahilfer Straße 110, for which a whole house where people were living should become a shopping centre (https://www.vestwerk.com/project-2).
The critical culture association mo.e fought for 1 year against being kicked out by Vestwerk (http://www.moe-vienna.org/).
In total Vestwerk owns more than 40.000m2 with a value of about 135 Million Euros. The company is based in Dorotheergasse 12, in the 1st district of Vienna.
What can one do against this?
Probably many people feel powerlessness if they think about this question. But there’s actually lots of things one can do:
Create your own flyers, posters or whatever you can think of and spread it in your neighborhood, hang banners from your windows or somewhere else, talk to your neighbors and be creative! Resist against forced eviction! Stay in your flats even though they cancel or don’t prolongue your contracts and try to get support within your neighborhood, the group „Zwangsräumungen verhindern“ [„avoid forced evictions“] (https://zwangsraeumungenverhindern.noblogs.org/), or the MieterInnen Initiative [renters initiative] (https://mieterinnen.org/wp, 01/3194486), or from others!
Don’t let the police do what they want with you, don’t tell them anything cause it’s non of their business what’s your plans!
To build a stronger network within the neighborhood, there will be a meeting
on Sat, 29 April, 4pm at Schützpark
It’s about developing ideas, making contacts and finding support!
Another important aspect at the end
One fact, that wasn’t really mentioned in this text before, is, that precarious situation of living, displacement and gentrification are aspects that are embedded into a capitalist logic of exploitation. If we have the opportunities, we go to school, do trainings, study, go to work, and so on… If we don’t have the opportunities, very often there’s nothing left but a live on the edge of legality or within illegality, where almost every movement you do leads to you ending up in prison.
Determined by laws, our lifes are led into tracks we didn’t choose and in which we never belong to ourselves. To create an environment, in which it’s not necessary to climb on the carreerladder, to be accepted or in which it’s not necessary that people live in illegality so that others can climt on this ladder, it’s up to us to break out of it and choose other paths, to not let them take our self determination from us, resist against the current and to be rebelious at every corner and every end!
If you take our houses, we will take the whole city!
Solidarity & Resistance…
…against the city of rich!
demnaechst [at] riseup.net