We understand okupation (squatting) as a tool of struggle whose main
purpose is far from the idea of shaping recreational places. It is a
strategy to fight, theoretically and practically, against property as a
key pillar of capitalist democracy. Okupation (squatting) is beyond
merely logistic. It brings partnership among comrades, builds affinity
networks and solidarity, as well as creates meeting points to discuss,
share experiences or to make some self criticism. Okupation is not
an end but a mean that allows us to organize ourselves and conspire. It
is a tangible expression of the notion of “Do it yourself”.
The power has done everything to erase any self-management projects
since they prove our capacity to organize ourselves outside the system.
For that purpose, many strategies have been deployed. From harsh
repression; raids, arrests, police farce, to “kinder” strategies based
on negotiation. Despite superficial differences, the final end of these
strategies is the control and domestication (of our ideas and practices)
of social movements.
For some time now, Madrid City Council, a so-called council “of change”,
has deployed a warfare of harassment, threat and burnout against
squatted social centrers. They disguise their real purposes through a
deceptive maneuver of fake dialogue, using blackmail to achieve the
assimilation of these collectives. What is being sold as an exercise of
tolerance and understanding, as an effort to strengthen social networks,
is nevertheless an attempt of demobilization to devitalize those who
don´t accept their imperatives. Throughout bureaucratic mechanisms such
as buildings maintenance checkups or inspections of the developed
activities, the City Council offers two options: comply with regulations or
eviction. They offer to allow keeping on with the activities in social
centers as long as they are supervised by a competent authority. It
could be done in the actual location provided that they are established as
legally constituted associations or making a request for a ceded public
place. Administrative sanctions, seals, identifications and city police
regular visits are used as a tool of pressure. City´s regulatory
framework whereby the guidelines concerning the transfer of public
places to collectives, approved by the city council in February 2016,
provides the basis to polarize once again the squatting movement between
legal or illegal projects.
As anarchists, we believe squatting can´t be legalize since it´s purpose
is precisely to transgress every rule imposed by the political, social
and economical structure. To accept their rules would legitimize their
tutelage. We place ourselves against the creation of squatted places
under the cover of any governmental institution and we reject any
negotiation, agreement or dialogue that could mean to surrender
completely or partially to our perspectives of action and direct
We believe in conflict. We believe the State cannot be defeated from
inside. That is why, we call for solidarity with the squatted social
centers threatened by eviction in Madrid, and by extension, all
okupations that defy power standing up to its threats.
The way to express support depends on the means and possibilities that
each one of us has, but we encourage, this month or further, to
undertake actions and activities that bring attention to our positioning
and our determination not to give in to either the State or its threats.
Let us multiply the anti-authoritarian ideas and practices of solidarity
10, 100, 1000 squatted social centers.