The insurrection of occupations

(photograph by Olmo Calvo)

As the violence of State-Capital displays itself in spain – 6 million unemployed, cuts to public social services, 500 hundred daily home evictions, with their attendant tragedies of homelessness, destroyed families, suicides – the defense of the right to  a home has become a central concern of a diversity of social movements, most notably, 15M and PAH – Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca.  In this setting, from actions to prevent evictions, to occupations, all illegal, the right to a home has become a concept through which private property itself is questioned both in thought and practice.

The PAH has sought, in a massive petition, to ask for a reform of the law which governs housing credit in the country (in spain, an evicted person/family must still pay their mortgage debt, even after the bank has appropriated the house).  But it has never remained content to merely request from governments action or reforms; it has consistently taken matters into its' own hands, creating very powerful, neighbourhood based networks of solidarity, along with 15M neighbourhood assemblies that have openly challenged the right banks, intraveneously kept alive with public money, to seek evictions, while simultaneously creating alternative forms of housing.

The Corralas occupation movement in Sevilla is exemplary in this regard and has already led to the creation of a housing cooperative in one instance.

On the 16th of February, a nation wide protest is called for to pressure the national government to reform the law.


Olmo Calvo, photographer, has powerfully chronicled the struggle against home evictions, as well as the broader social movements in spain …


Extensive housing occupations can only succeed sustained by a broad social movement, which in turn extends occupations to as many spheres of social life as possible: factories, land, education, health services, utilities; thereby multiplying and creating ever more extensive spaces of autonomy capable of disentagling themselves from capitalism.


An eloquent defense of occupation: Nécessaire(s) Territoire(s), by Benoit Perraud …






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