Ljubljana. Slovenia. The Slovenian government is putting pressure on organisations in Metelkova 6. They received a notice by the Ministry of Culture, ordering them to move out of their building in the next 3 months. An open letter.
Originally published by Jalla Jalla Akc Metelkova Facebook page (facebook.com/1473491922876841/posts/3437699976456016/).
AN OPEN LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR METELKOVA 6 ORGANISATIONS: ENOUGH DESTRUCTION!
For 6 months the current government has been using COVID-19 to justify violations of basic human rights and freedoms, deepening of social differences, intimidation, punishment of its opponents and critics, and to rob the state treasury. Instead of investing money into healthcare, social care, and helping the most vulnerable populations (the poor, homeless, refugees, migrants, artists and self-employed) during this increasing crisis, they are punishing and prosecuting every attempt of resistance.
On the day of second declaration of epidemics, 19 October 2020, the Ministry of Culture was given the task of launching yet another assault on operations of NGOs. This time they threatened our immediate neighbours, and the attack on the tenants of the building on Metelkova 6 affected all of us at AKC Metelkova as well.
We found out that the users, i.e., tenants, of Metelkova 6 premises, most of them established NGOs, received a notice by the Ministry of Culture, ordering them to move out of their building in the next 3 months. They were ordered to leave the premises without any grounded explanation and without an offer of a substitute space where they can continue their important work. The Ministry’s notice only contained a threat that if they don’t comply with this decree, the Ministry will achieve their departure by taking the NGOs with offices at Metelkova 6 to court, with court procedures to be covered by the NGOs.
Metelkova 6 NGOs represent the essential sector of independent culture, art production, they act as advocates of marginalised minorities, who are greatly contributing to formation of solidarity-based coexistence, creativity and reinforcement of human rights. AKC Metelkova Mesto and Metelkova 6 have been inextricably linked for decades. Not only do we (physically) share a yard and access paths, but we also cooperate on the content of the programme. Through years of cooperation, we are linked in the fields of working with marginalised groups, protecting human rights, subculture development, organising artistic and educational events, writing critical essays on topics such as art, sociology, philosophy and publishing publications. This collaboration is irreplaceable. It is in the best interest of AKC Metelkova Mesto to keep these connections, placed in the unique historic dynamics, from which almost 30 years ago began something that gave life to autonomous culture and the policy of AKC Metelkova Mesto, as well as non-government movements in various aspects of society and culture at Metelkova 6.
The decree from Ministry of Culture is a direct attack on these unique historical dynamics and it does not only affect our neighbours, but the direct operating conditions of AKC Metelkova Mesto. All individuals, initiatives, collectives and organisations operating at AKC Metelkova Mesto, are hereby informing the Ministry of Culture and the government of Slovenia, that we will support the justified resistance of users of Metelkova 6 to keep their current spaces and continue their work there, in every way we can. To our neighbours and friends, who we are connected to with deep and strong ties arising from long-standing collaboration, we say do not let them scare you. Your (and our mutual) fight is not only justified, it represents an important defence of the entire society against introduction of authoritarian regime. No more attacks on civilians, independent culture, no more government attempts at destroying critical thinking and acting.
AKC Metelkova Mesto
21 October 2020
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