Dear residents of Ljubljana, the whole municipality and all that come here to work, study or because of other obligationas and free-time activities! All are witnesses to the violent intervention of the Municipality of Ljubljana (MOL) in the space of Autonomous Factory Rog (AT Rog).
Originally published by Komunal.
Protest, Friday 22.1.2021 at 18h at Prešernov trg
What happened to the community of AT Rog can happen to many of us. Especially if they do not belong to the rich and property-owning well-off part of society. What happened in Ljubljana can happen in any other town. Violent expulsion of less well-off individuals, families and other communities is written in the fabric of capitalist system of extraction. The so called legal order and the so called rule of law have been exposed many times as instruments that were established mainly in the interest of financial and political elites. Moreover, the state and municipal authorities chose to exploit exactly the moment, when many hardly manage to make ends meet due to changed living conditions as we deal with the issue of basic mental, physical and economic survival. They base themselves in repressive measures, financial punishments and the police apparatus. Any and all political activity outside the parliamentarian arena is forbidden. Schools are closed, rent and other living costs are rising constantly, the workers’ rights are being taken away. They declared war on the people and it is important to understand this.
What is happening to Rog is aggressive social cleansing. The people of Rog were thrown out on the street in socks, without their coats and were made homeless. Places and dreams were taken away from hundreds of creative individuals, sportists, circus artists, skaters, rollerskaters, bmx-ers, dancers, tattoo artist, activists, migrants – truly the people that represent a clear and present danger to the society!
It is obvious that the eviction was prepared well in advance and in secret as a joint effort of MOL, police and at least 2 private security companies. To achieve their goals they used intimidation, beatings, pepper-spray, they detained at least 13 people, 6 needed ER treatment. The police was violent and absolutely went far beyond its legal powers, which is also what it does every day on the borders of Fortress Europe. Whose laws are these? In whose name? It is clear that the present circumstances enable the rulers the imposition of a new paradigm of governance, that is not only temporary. It is clear that all this is taking place no matter the content of various political proclamations of those in charge. It is clear that the mayor Janković uses his seemingly leftist credentials to cover up his neoliberal management of the city. It is clear that both the mayor of Ljubljana and the prime minister of the government of Slovenia are neoliberal predators who destroy what people built collectively and with hope for a better future. Social devastation, destruction of the social and elitization of cities are the wishes of all the ruling authorities, of the municipal, state and also of those of the european masters.
For the sharply dressed gang from MOL our places represent just a commodity to be used for profit-driven trade that brings benefits only to “the mayor’s men and their companies”. On the symbolic level the violent evictions of squats point to the general social climate – they point to suppression of any and all critical expression and resistance to the ruling ideology and structures of authority.
True, maybe AT Rog and its communities were not everyone’s cup of tea, but the aggression that we are faced with, serves as a stage and a warning that is directed toward all of us with the express intent to intimidate and humiliate. In 15 years of its existence the community of AT Rog for sure did not have all the solutions at hand, but it did play an important role in the fight for the city that would be open for all. It put in enormous efforts so that Ljubljana would become more inclusive and accessible for many marginalized groups of people that struggle with finding their place in the city. Besides that the community of Rog represents one of the few obstacles to the process of capitalist destruction of the city – i.e. gentrification. It is this sense that AT Rog is important for the wider society also due to its long-lasting political and social engagement on the side of those that strive to establish conditions for decent living, work and creativity for all – also for those on minimal wage, for the precarious and for the unemployed. Autonomous spaces are places of encounters, joy, happiness and above all the growing of a social fabric beyond normative relations.
We will not bow our heads before the orchestrated force of the authorities and their mercenaries! We will not accept our expulsion – as in Ljubljana also in other places!
The coalition of Janković and Janša – fuck off, you and you uniformed thugs!
In light of recent protests and the experience of the destruction of Rog, police repression cannot be ruled out. This is why everyone should take care for each other! We are still in the midst of an epidemic, so we need to be safe from the virus as well – mask up!
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