Bern. Switzerland. On Monday March 15, 2021, we occupied the house at Wasserwerkgasse 17 in Bern.
Originally published by Squat Net.
Our existences are highly threatened due to acute housing shortages. Furthermore, in the current crisis, the people who suffer the most are those who are already in difficult circumstances. Under the current circumstances, as well as the general developments in the city’s spatial policy, it is regrettably an impossibility for people with low incomes to get access to urgently needed spaces in the city. Our ideas for the use of the house include living and working spaces as well as integration projects and low-threshold meeting possibilities in the form of non-commercial offers for everybody. People without papers, people with small incomes, people who are fed up with overpriced pop-ups and cool ice scream shops, people who do not orient their lives on capitalism and people who want to shape their lives and their environment together and decide not to live in rented apartments. We want to live, offer space for people who are systematically excluded and be a sustainable and solidary alternative to the individualized and consumer-oriented throwaway society!
The building on Wasserwerkgasse has been empty for 2 years. The owner, Energie Wasser Bern, did not think it necessary to seriously listen to our concerns and asked us with flimsy reasons (monument protection) to leave the house by thursday morning (17 March 2021). It is a disgrace and once again characterizes the lack of social awareness, as a public company to deal so irresponsibly with urgently needed resources. In order to boast of sustainability in the same breath. It is the absolute opposite of sustainable to deny a space its use, and it also damages the fabric of the building. And this in times when many existences are at risk. It is even more alarming to slam the door on people who want to draw attention to their situation and invest their time and energy in using the building in this way. Especially since the EWB still has no plan what to do with this building!
After the incidents at the occupations “Fabrikool” and in the old people’s home Zollikofen, which are still unused since then, we will not leave this large space to vacancy! Our need and the disrespect of the EWB in dealing with this space are too big!
We are here, we stay here! Come by and show solidarity!