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#Winterthur, #Switzerland: Zensur, a new occupation for a social centre

Wintherthur. Switzerland. We occupied the building on Talackerstrasse 99 this Friday evening. After it has been vacant for more than 3 years, we want to bring life to the former Sulzer office building and establish a social and cultural center.

Originally published by Barrikade Info.

The building is currently “owned” by Implenia, which is a driving force in the development of Winterthur into a “City of the Rich” with major projects such as LokStadt and the gentrification process of Hegi.

With the ZENSUR we want to create a space that enables people to implement projects without a lot of money. So that everyone can afford to be creative, do sports, show films and organize discussions. Every person should be able to contribute to the ZENSUR with his or her suggestions and skills to fulfill and realize their wishes and ideas collectively.

There are less and less spaces where you can stay untroubled and safe without having to spend money. In public and semi-public spaces we get harassed and driven away by the police and Securitas, in cafés/cinemas/clubs we have to pay entrance fees or consume. With the ZENSUR we want to create a space where everyone can stay untroubled and safe without having to spend money.

With this project we want to fight against the gentrification of Winterthur, against the above mentioned “City of the Rich”. The major, multimillion projects of companies like Implenia are part of this urban development, which has been taking place for several years now. Formerly low-cost housing, public spaces, cultural and social facilities that benefited the general public are getting increasingly privatized and commercialized. Cheap housing is disappearing in favor of expensive rental and owner-occupied apartments, facilities such as the Volkhaus Winterthur get torn down and substituted by “temples of consumption” such as the Ar(s)chhöfe. The majority of the population that does not earn a lot of money gets pushed to the outskirts of the city. People who do not conform to the polished city image are no longer welcome in the city and get increasingly criminalized and displaced. Cultural and social spaces as well as the public spaces have to yield profit and are under ever more complete surveillance.

To present the character of ZENSUR, we have put together a program on this weekend, from Friday to Sunday. We also want to invite the neighborhood to visit us and participate in the project. You can find the program on the first page.

Come by, take someone with you, chat, eat something, watch a movie, do something else and get active!

We take a stand/are against all forms of discrimination and advocate mutual respect and solidarity.

Greetings and see you soon!

The Squatters

P.S. you are welcome to pass this flyer on (Title image on top of this page)

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