(Editor’s Note: This communique comes from the Occupied Social Center La Gatonera in Madrid, Spain. It speaks to the threats of eviction on part of the new property owners, and the strategies of the state and capitalism to eliminate squats and turn neighborhoods into landscapes of capital accumulation. The original in Spanish can be found here).
The occupied social center La Gatonera is under pressure from the new property owner of the building, through the security company “Loman”. The objective of the new property owner, the real-estate developer Lamero SL, is to achieve through threats the abandonment of the building to complete a new real estate pitch in the neighborhood (Carabanchel) where capitalist speculation has directed its focus.
The property owner has been clear: it does not want to begin the legal procedures of eviction. The objective is to streamline the legal procedures and prevent the delay of the judicial order of eviction or dispossession. An increasingly common practice on part of property owners that requires a strong response. Companies of goons like “Desokupa” or in this case, others less known like “Loman”, are in charge of the dirty work. The state, on its part, has taken good note of this, launching a new law that seeks to accelerate evictions of occupied spaces.
We understand this particular attack on this occupied project with more than ten years of life as a new blow to squatting, within the plans of urban transformation that capitalism and the state are developing in the cities. The neighborhoods of the poor, called “workers”, are territories to reconquer by voracious capitalism that seeks to generate new processes of exploitation and domination: persecution against the immigrant and poor populations, reinforcement of social control, increases in the prices of rents and, of course, repression against elements like squatting projects. The persecution of occupied spaces on part of the state seeks to undermine projects that serve as formulas of struggle that question the totality of these processes: private property, the state and its democratic mediation and capitalist speculators (banks, businessmen, real estate developers).
In a parallel manner, the neighborhoods are changing according to the interests of a new profile of inhabitants with purchasing power, sufficient to be able to enjoy the delights of new offers to consumers: spaces, streets, relations, are all reduced to the constant flow of capital and the merchandise of multinational businesses and chains. The only relationships tolerated are that which are mediated by consumerism. All of this is an environment of social domestication and pacification, perfectly monitored, regulated and ordered.
Faced with this, we make a call for solidarity with the occupied social center of La Gatonera, understood as an extension of conflict and struggle. Let each of us choose the most appropriate manner to show our solidarity. There is no negotiation with property owners, nor with the state and its representatives: only direct action and self-organization. Resist the goons, resist the security companies, resist the eviction… is a proposal of struggle that requires the propagation of struggle and a sharpening of our claws:
Closed fist to the enemy, open hand to the comrade!
Solidarity and struggle with the Occupied Social Center La Gatonera!