Madrid. Spain. May 7. 2021. The collective that squatted the building at 39 Gobernador St. announced this morning that they have occupied a building at 5 Cruz St. to “resist in common and conquer new rights”.
Originally published by Squat Net.
With the slogan “Social rights to change everything”, the collective of La Ingobernable has started this new project that they have called Office of Social Rights (ODS, Oficina de Derechos Sociales). In a communiqué they explain that it will serve to “resist in common and conquer new rights” because they cannot “wait any longer” and point out that the current crisis of covid19 “hits us with other pandemics: hunger lines, distrust, fascism, precariousness, racism, speculation, loneliness, pessimism and fear,” they claim.
The ODS will have seven axes that respond to seven social urgencies: the right to housing, the right to food, the right to protest, labor precariousness, transfeminisms and dissidence, basic income and community health. It is this context of social emergency, which has prompted the collective to raise the slogan “Social rights to change everything”, with a commitment to “resist in common” and open this space where “develop, protect and fight for social rights”.
“In the same way that an evicted neighbor approaches the housing movement wanting to stop her own eviction and ends up coordinating with others to stop them all,” explains the communiqué, “we free a space where to politicize the everyday, which serves to support us and thus be stronger.” In addition, in the face of security measures by the covid, “the ODS from La Ingobernable is safe, since we have a protocol covid agreed and written with the advice of health personnel.
This type of tool is not new. Born from autonomous social movements and social centers in 2000, the ODS were a device to stimulate and accompany processes of self-organization, mainly against precariousness in the field of labor, immigration and access to housing. Its central tool was collective counseling: an assembly to listen to the discomfort of each person and share the different knowledge with which to confront it in common. Today, La Ingobernable takes up this format of collective knowledge and gives it a home in the heart of Madrid.
The building is the former Hostal Cantábrico in Calle Cruz 5, between Plaza Sol and the Congreso de los Diputados, closed for more than 5 years and owned by the Fernández Luengo brothers, best known for being the owners of the Marco Aldany chain of hairdressing salons (an acronym of the name of the three brothers: Marcos, Alejandro and Daniel). The Fernández Luengo family, in addition to the Marco Aldany company and the more than 10 franchises of hairdressing salons, gyms and beauty products, owns a vast real estate empire with more than ten companies and multiple properties and businesses. The family’s mother company, ZZ Inmobilari Próxima, which includes the three brothers and their parents, has assets of 12 million euros in land and another 58 million euros in property. In addition, the brothers also own the Hostal Residencia Arti in Gran Vía, the Hotel Ciudad de Alcalá, in Alcalá de Henares, a conglomerate in the student residence business with eight of these centres, as well as another real estate company with at least 19 flats distributed between Atocha, Malasaña and Gran Vía.
The Luengo brothers and Desokupa
The family real estate fund, ZZ Inmobilari Próxima, also owns the building on Calle Barbieri 5 in Madrid, squatted in June 2018 and named the Centro Social Okupado Transfeminista La Pluma. But the stay in the building was short-lived, as on the morning of Monday 25 June, at least fifteen unidentified people took part in an extrajudicial eviction squad that led to the eviction of the people who had spent the night in La Pluma. The intervention of this gang of thugs resulted in three people with injuries and wounds who reported the aggressions and homophobic insults they received from the aggressors to the local police.
Pending trial, Daniel Fernández Luengo is being investigated by the justice system, accused of hate crime for being the one who gave the order to the company of thugs to evict the people who were in the building without a court order.
Oficina de Derechos Sociales
Calle de La Cruz 5