A Madrid October: The struggle against eviction – Resistance and occupation


After days of gathering to resist the announced eviction of an apartment block in Girona, the Salt block, owned by the SAREB, spain's bad bank, and occupied by the PAH on the 22 of March of this year, in the ambit of its politics of occupying empty buildings owned by the SAREB or by publically aided private banks to house the evicted and the homeless, a respite broke the tension on the morning of the 16th.  The European Tribunal of Human Rights, solicited by PAH lawyers, suspended the eviction at least until the 29th of October. (Periodico Diagonal, elpais)  A respite …

16 families, made up of 43 persons, 21 of which are children, now live in the building.  Legal decisions aside, the popular resistance to the decision to evict was crucial.  Almost one thousand people, from all over spain, were assembled on the morning of the 16th to combat the eviction, including even public fire-fighters; a sign that something has shattered in the public imaginary.  Private property is no longer inviolable, especially if human well being is at stake; what tends to be seen as an individual problem, debt, is socialised, is understood as somehting that can only be effectively addressed collectively; the collective resistance is autonomous, self-organised and self-managed; an ethics of resistance takes root; Capital and the State are questioned as the limits for human poliitcal action.  This is not to exagerate or eulogise the PAH and associated 15M initiatives; it is to see emerging possibilities that take us beyond capitalism.

PAH and 15M assemblies, throughout the country, since 2011, have occupied 35 buildings, principally in Catalunya and Andalucia, housing well over a thousand people.  This figure ignores the many occupations which fall outside the initiatives of such groups.  In the region of Huelva, some 500 people have taken houses in Monte, Bollulos and Rociana del Condado.  And though some of these occupations have been brought to an end by state authorities, others quickly follow.  (On the 16th, a building was taken by the PAH, this time in Valencia – Periodico Diagonal).

At the basis of all of this lies an irrepressible indignation and a rebelliousness whose limits have yet to be seen …

On the morning of the 11th of October, in Madrid, a 100 people succeeded in stopping the eviction of Mariza Gómez.  A people united may indeed go far.

From Jaime Alekos …

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