Post-Occupy Housing Rights Activism

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A Report from the Agora 99 meeting

Ter Garcia:

"Participants detailed their experiences and goals in their efforts relating to public education, health care, direct democracy, housing rights and more.

Gonzalo Mosqueira, of the Italian organization Cantiere, explained in a session on housing that in Milan, for instance, there are more than 80,000 empty houses, and activists are working to stop the evictions of people in squatted houses who can’t pay rent. They’re also promoting new squats with the group Occupy Sfitto.“The participation of neighbors in the actions is very important,” Mosqueira said. “Here in Milan we are developing this slowly, but it has begun.” Some weeks ago, activists created a mobile application that allows users to map upcoming evictions. “At the moment, it is only being used in Milan, but we are trying to expand it to other cities,” Mosqueira added. The scene among housing activists in Germany is quite different because there are far fewer problems with the mortgages; people there are starting to face other troubles. “Fear is used by speculators to raise the price of the rent, especially in Hamburg,” explained Hanno Willkomm. “We tried to mobilize people to fight against these raises and demand that the government regulate the cost of rent.” The previous week, he said, was the first time in recent memory that an eviction has been halted in Germany with civil disobedience. Willkomm proposed, also, that the Spanish housing rights collectives represented at the meeting could work with Germans to apply pressure in the cases of evictions in Spain by German banks." (