Zurich. Switzerland. Thanks to political pressure and solidarity from various sides, we have succeeded in preventing the plans of the property management to evict the Juch area, which are hardly to be surpassed in their lack of transparency and arbitrariness, for the time being. We are pleased about this and thank you for all your support. However, this is only a one-month postponement until May 22, 2020. The reasons for the initial secrecy on the part of the city regarding the plans for the area may have become obvious now.
In a press release issued by the Social Department of the City of Zurich on 24.4.2020, it is stated: “Due to the cramped conditions on the building site, the general contractor (HRS Real Estate) commissioned by ZSC is interested in renting the neighbouring site (Juch site) from the city for around 2.5 years until the end of construction for building site installations.
Two and a half years of building site installations instead of living and cultural space is the worst joke we have heard in a long time.
In this respect, the media release also states: “The city council considers this use to be appropriate and zone-compliant, taking into account the initial situation. The above-mentioned initial situation refers to ground subsidence on the site and apparent damage to the sewage system. Therefore, on the one hand, the expenditure for a possible remediation was not justifiable for the AOZ and on the other hand, a longer-term occupation was not to be permitted.
Firstly, the ground subsidence affects a section of one of the barracks on the site. At the beginning of the occupation in November 2019, the squatters agreed with the AOZ responsible at the time not to use this section. We are still adhering to this agreement, although we were assured by structural engineers present at the inspection that this section was not in danger of collapsing either. This argument against the occupation is invalid.
Secondly: The subsidence of the ground and the apparent damage to the sewerage system were caused by the adjacent construction site of HRS Real Estate. Six months ago, the AOZ sought an insurance claim with HRS. Why HRS suddenly needed the area and rented it from the city should not only be questionable in our eyes.
Furthermore, the eviction delay of one month was not decided “in exchange with all parties involved” as claimed by the city. The squatters were merely informed about the decision of the city council and took note of it.
You made your building plans without us!
2.5 years of truck turnaround is tantamount to a demolition in standby – a far cry from the previous practice of the city of Zurich with squatted properties.
In the shadow of the emergency laws, something was arranged in secret and without the municipal council – a tacit agreement on the future use of the site between parties that were once at odds and the necessary removal of the squatters. Only thanks to political pressure and solidarity actions could the social department be persuaded to make a statement. It cannot be ruled out that the city is as embarrassed by their small project as we are.
The area belongs to the city and the city belongs to the people who live there. That’s why we are asking the question: in what kind of city do we want to live? certainly not in a city in which free and residential space has to give way to trucks.
It’s not over, today we have only won one stage.
We keep fighting! We stay at home.
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