// we were live – watch the recording here //
// Auf deutsch – en español //
“We will squat…
… until we no longer have to.” That’s what we have always said. In times of “emergency”, this wording can be expanded to an appeal: “You have to join in!”
COVID-19 is hitting more and more areas of the world and it turns out that the so-called emergency is the rule. For, where people are called by the supposedly necessary and strict father state: “Stay at home!”, not everyone has a home. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the state itself has been pushing up for a long time the numbers of homeless by evicting them. At the same time, the state closes day-care centers that the homeless need for the measly bread of mercy and a little soap and water. In its brazen double standards, the state then exhorts patriarchally, “Pay attention to hygiene!”
“Avoid social contacts!” That’s what the governments demand. But where should refugees retreat to, when they are penned up in camps and deportation prisons at Europe’s external borders and the German periphery? With human rights – such as asylum, freedom of movement and housing – they were also deprived of the opportunity to effectively protect themselves against COVID-19.
The catastrophe in Germany is, that not even the last broken-down remnants of its healthcare system are accessible to everyone. It is a social farce that doctors*, paramedics* and nursing staff, who declared the state of emergency in healthcare long before COVID-19, were ignored. So, they are the least responsible for this emergency situation and therefore deserve our full solidarity. As in Italy, they will soon be forced to make decisions about who can live and who must die. That alone is catastrophic.
The Catastrophe is called capitalism. And it’s the rule.
For days now, tenants*, social organizations and social democratic parties have been demanding the confiscation of holiday homes and vacancies in order to make them available to the homeless and asylum seekers. While apartments offer the most effective protection against the corona virus, the city of Berlin has created 350 places in a youth hostel and a cold aid facility. Selling that as solidarity is cynical.
In the current situation, the confiscation of empty apartments and buildings is a social duty.
That’s why we will squat and you have to join in!