Leipzig. Germany. Today, August 21, 2020, activists from “Leipzig Besetzen” squatted the house at Ludwigstraße 71. After there was already a mock occupation in the same building on May Day, this time we came to stay!
Originally published by Leipzig Besetzen. Translated by Enough 14.
“The aim of this occupation is to reconquer public space and to create free, non-commercial spaces, as well as to highlight massive vacancies in our city. Rents are rising, living space is becoming more scarce, and the commercialization of urban space is advancing. Displacement and gentrification effects, as they have been seen in other parts of Leipzig, such as the southern suburbs, Plagwitz and Connewitz, have long been a sad reality in the east of Leipzig,” explains Sasha, an activist of the group Leipzig Besetzen. Today, urban space is above all an object of speculation and the maximization of profits. The large number of buildings that have been unused for years, vacant or currently undergoing luxurious renovation prove this. This fact is an integrated part of the neoliberal urban policy, which attaches more importance to the interests of entrepreneurs like the CG Group, Vonovia or Pears Global than to the needs of the people who actually live in the city. Kaya of Leipzig Besetzen adds: “The eviction of the syndikat on 07.08.2020 in Berlin-Neukölln has also shown that the economic interests of shell companies are more important than the solidarity structures in the neighbourhood. The Senate and police have once again made themselves accomplices of aggressively acting investors.”
The city of Leipzig now has the opportunity to do things differently and to show itself open to self-managed and solidarity-based city politics. We from #leipzigbesetzen are always ready to enter into negotiations with the city and landlords and hope for a relationship on equal terms without outbreaks of violence. As a basis we have already presented a concept of use to the city, which includes the construction of an event room, a café, living space and a neighbourhood community garden, which can also be used by day-care centres and schools as a school garden. As a political project we aim at a solidary cooperation with the neighbourhood and therefore call on all interested parties to support the occupation, to get involved and thus to help to shape the vacancy, the emerging project.
The free space campaign #leipzigbesetzen sees itself as part of the nationwide campaign #besetzen. Like our friends in Berlin and other cities, we will continue to occupy until it is no longer necessary. #leipzigbesetzen #Luwi71 stays!
Leipzig Besetzen, August 21, 2020.
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