(english version below)
#LeipzigBesetzen // Campaign for Autonomous spaces has started //
Press release 01.05.2020
In the night of 1st of May activists occupied two houses in the east of Leipzig. The intention is to reconquer public spaces and to create autonomous, non-commercial spaces, as well as to point out the massive vacancies in our city. Rents are rising, living space is becoming scarcer, the commercialization of urban space is proceeding. The effects of gentrification and expulsion which are visible in other parts of Leipzig, such as in Südvorstadt, Plagwitz and Connewitz, are as well sad reality in Leipzig‘s East. Especially since all forms of street protest on 1st of May are severely restricted it is all the more important for us to be active on this day, contrary to the bans.
With the action the activists want to draw attention to the fact that urban space today is above all an object of speculation and profit-maximization. It is documented by the large number of empty buildings that have been unused for years. This matter is an integral part of a neoliberal urban policy that gives more importance to the interests of entrepreneurs like the CG group than to the needs of the people who actually live in the city. People who already live in precarious conditions, are pushed even further out of the cityscape by this policy.
With the Corona pandemic the already unacceptable social conditions are getting even worse. Charly from the group #leipzigbesetzen comments: “The occupation on the 1st of May is the Kick-off of the squatting campaign #leipzigbesetzen. Especially now, during the Corona pandemic, we will not accept the existing conditions, but we will reorganize our lifes in the city ourselves – creatively and in solidarity. Therefore: Let us occupy the houses and fight for autonomous, self-organized spaces!”
The campaign #leipzigbesetzen is part of the cross-regional campaign #besetzen. During the HousingActionDays2020 activists of #BerlinBesetzen had occupied 10 apartments on 28. March to hand them over to homeless people. The struggle for a self-determined life cannot be local but is part of a global context. Only resolute and united struggles across cities‘ and countries‘ borders can counter the commercialization of all areas of life and the emergence of security states. Like our friends in Berlin and other cities, we will continue to occupy until it is no longer necessary.