Evicted families occupy a building in Seville and call on others to do so

Evicted families occupy a building in Seville and call on others to do so

Evicted families have squatted a building in Seville. They are resisting despite having the water and electricity cut off.

Twenty families in urgent need of housing, organised through the 15M movement, have squatted an empty building in Avenida de Juventudes Musicales, (the Avenue of Musical Youth!) to make homes for themselves there under the name of Patio of Neighbours “La Utopia” and to “make visible the terrible housing problem that so many people suffer”.
The building has been empty since it was completed in 2010. Instead of it sitting empty, twenty families have made it their home.

This statement from Barrios en Lucha (Neighbourhoods in Struggle), received on Monday 14th of May, about the occupation of Corrala de Vecinas la Utopia, is the latest in a militant struggle over housing taking place in Spain. The building is an empty apartment block, never let since it was built, which is owned by a property company which has gone bankrupt, with a mortgage owing to the bank Ibercaja. The families squatting the building are homeless, some have been evicted from their homes by the banks after being unable to pay the mortgage, some are tenants who have fallen into rent arrears. There are now thirty six families as more people have moved in. In their own words, “We are a group of people who have an urgent need of housing. The crisis, like it has many people, has hurt us. We are workers, poor people, who have lost our jobs.” Since moving in the occupiers of la Corrala have been suffering harassment including the disconnection of the electricity and, from Tuesday 8th June, the water as well, even though there are people inside in a serious state of ill health.

The occupiers of la Corrala are cleaners, building labourers, hairdressers, supermarket cashiers, who have for years handed over most of their wages to pay for the roof over their heads, and when they have lost their jobs and cannot pay any more, they have been put out in the street. In the block where one woman was living, thirty families have been evicted from their homes. Most of the squatters in la Corrala de Vecinas la Utopia come from la Macarena, which currently has the highest rate of mortgage foreclosures in the city. Seville now has 100,000 empty flats in the metropolitan area, which has a population of around one million.

La Corrala have received support from the strong housing movement in Seville and from 15 M. There have been demonstrations of hundreds of people in support of the occupation and in protest at the withdrawal of gas and water. They are not the first group of people to do this in the city as there is the example of the abuelas of San Bernardo, the “granny squatters” who are elderly people whose homes were uninhabitable, have been able to get themselves decent homes by squatting.

This inspiring direct action by people in defence of their basic needs is becoming more and more necessary. If Corrala de Vecinas la Utopia can succeed it will inspire other people. The banner hanging from their balcony says “We have squatted, you are within your rights to as well.

Posted By

fingers malone
Jun 8 2012 14:36

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  • “We are a group of people who have an urgent need of housing. The crisis, like it has many people, has hurt us. We are workers, poor people, who have lost our jobs.”

    occupier of Corrala de Vecinas la Utopia

Attached files

Comments

Ed
Sep 1 2012 07:52

Pictures sorted.

fingers malone
Sep 1 2012 08:24

Thanks mate.

fingers malone
Sep 20 2012 21:44

The five unemployed families who were squatting in La Corrala La Alegria in Calle Feria were evicted at 6:30 this morning. Around 70 people came when the families telephoned for help but they were unable to stop the eviction. The families have said that they will carry on fighting for decent housing.

Mark.
Sep 23 2012 10:30
Quote:

Long before the Occupy movement, there was the movimiento okupa. In Spain, the word okupa (from the verb ocupar) refers both to an occupied space — building or land — and to a person who occupies. Above all, what’s known as an okupa con k suggests an explicit political project. These days, the typical okupa takes the form of a self-organizing social center, a Centro Social Okupado Autogestionado (CSOA). So when squatters occupy abandoned buildings or apartments and use them as housing, such a space is generally considered not an okupa con k but an ocupa con c. Some occupiers aren’t completely comfortable with this distinction, but it is suggestive about the two faces of occupation in the age of austerity—constituting a political force and providing for people’s basic needs.

The okupa as political project emerged in Spain after the death of Franco in 1975 and exploded in the punk scene and the countercultural movida of the 1980s. While the gravitational center of the okupa movement in Spain has long been the north—especially Barcelona and Euskadi (the Basque Country), followed by Madrid—recently the southernmost region of Andalusia has entered the spotlight.

Last month, hundreds of members of a fieldworkers’ union called the Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT) organized a march through the Andalusian countryside. At one stop, they took over the uncultivated, vacant estate of the Duke of Segorbe, some 60 miles east of Sevilla. It was a symbolic occupation, and after a dip in the pool out behind the palace the workers continued their march the next day, but other land occupations in the region have in fact been transformed into working farms, providing jobs and food for an increasingly precarious population.

In a similar vein, the previous week a couple hundred SAT marchers entered two supermarkets, filled up their shopping carts with basic food supplies like milk, beans, and pasta, and walked out without paying. The expropriated goods were then delivered to food banks, soup kitchens—and an occupied apartment building in Sevilla called the Corrala de Vecinas “La Utopía”...

Continue reading at
http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/the-other-occupy-movement/

fingers malone
Oct 5 2012 19:48

After Zoido (asaik the mayor) breaks his promise to restore the water, the residents of Corrala de Vecinas La Utopia go and wash their clothes in front of the town hall building, then hang them up in the main square.

Mark.
Oct 26 2012 10:05

Suicide in Granada:

El País: Man facing eviction hangs himself

Attempted suicide in Valencia:

lasprovincias.es: Un hombre se lanza al vacío cuando iba a ser desahuciado

fingers malone
Oct 26 2012 11:01

Yeah was just looking at that, it's terrible.

Dannny
Oct 26 2012 19:48


Bit macabre but makes the point. from here:
https://www.facebook.com/iceautogestion

Mark.
Nov 12 2012 23:46
Quote:

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Basque Spanish city of Barakaldo to condemn the suicide of an evictee as well as to protest against further foreclosures.

Fifty-three-year-old Amaia Egaña jumped four floors to her death as bailiffs prepared to kick her out after she failed to stay current on her mortgage payments. She is the second person in less than three weeks to commit suicide in the face of an impending eviction...

http://rt.com/news/spain-woman-suicide-eviction-378/

Quote:

Spanish banks are suspending evictions for the next two years for the most vulnerable people.

An estimated 350,000 families have been evicted from their homes since Spain's property market crashed in 2008.

It comes three days after Amaia Egana, who was 53, died after jumping from her fourth floor apartment in northern Spain, just before she was due to be evicted.

Her death has inflamed public anger at banks, accused of being heartless...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20299384

Mark.
Nov 13 2012 00:33

El País: Banks to halt evictions in “extreme” cases

Quote:

In a letter to the secretary of state for the economy, Fernando Jiménez Latorre, the Spanish Banking Association (AEB) said its members were willing to halt evictions over the next two years “in cases of extreme need for humanitarian reasons.”

The Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks (CECA) also said it would suspend evictions of “particularly vulnerable” families from their homes.

The AEB did not define what it understood by “extreme need.” It also rejected Socialist demands for the stay on evictions to be made retroactive...

So maybe this concession doesn't amount to much.

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Another reaction to a 'financial problem' with Caixabank last week:

Mark.
Apr 6 2014 17:42