Riot police arrest 23 in night raid on peaceful protest against the destruction of Zagreb pedestrian zone
On 11 February 2010 at 03.30 around 100 riot police arrested 23 activists from Green Action and the Right to the City initiative in Zagreb, Croatia. The raid took place just hours after 4000 people turned out in snowy conditions to protest against turning part of the pedestrian zone into a ramp for an underground garage planned as part of the Cvjetni shopping centre and luxury flats development in the old part of Zagreb.
The operation aimed to remove the accommodation container which the groups had put on Varsavska Street
pedestrian zone as a 24-hour info-point in order to block the beginning of works on the ramp, which is still under legal dispute. Activists inside of the container and on the roof peacefully resisted removal by locking themselves together using arm tubes, and were arrested after the fire brigade cut the tubes. Around 50 more activists blocked the road exits of the lorry carrying the container but were also removed by the riot police.
The police also hacked to pieces a five-metre high wooden Trojan horse which had been brought to the site for the previous evening’s protest as a symbol of private interests and corruption masquerading as urban redevelopment.
“Using riot police against a small group of peaceful protesters is a disturbing over-reaction to the civil offence of failing to obtain permission before temporarily placing the container in the pedestrian zone,” said Teo Celakoski from Right to the City. “Yet the whole Cvjetni project is based on dubious legal manoeuvres such as the city authorities’ decision to declare it a project of public interest when it is clearly nothing of the kind.”
“The Croatian authorities must concentrate on tackling the real problem of corruption instead of shooting the messengers,” added Tomislav Tomasevic, from Green Action. “The European Commission has repeatedly identified corruption as a major remaining obstacle to Croatia’s EU Accession but if this project is anything to go by there is still a long way to go.”
Three more dispatches from various fronts of the war being waged by “developers” and bureaucrats against Saint Petersburg and its citizens. Continue reading
[We would like to thank Comrade V. for alerting us to the work of these wonderful activists.]
Miami New Times
Don’t cry. Just move into one of those empty homes around the corner.
By Natalie O’Neill
November 20, 2008
Her knee-length dreadlocks wrapped in a green cloth, Cassy hoists her two-year-old daughter up on a hip and shuffles in her socks into her big, clean bedroom. “This house is a castle,” says the slender, soft-skinned former university teaching assistant, shaking her head in disbelief. “I’ve never had a walk-in closet … and all this space.”
Two months ago, Cassy (not her real name) was homeless, out in the rain with her four kids. Now she has a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, sky-blue house on a tree-lined street in Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood. She takes warm showers, cooks vegan dinners, and watches the news on a small, fuzzy TV screen. The only catch: The house isn’t hers. Cassy is a squatter and, at any moment, could be arrested for trespassing, even burglary.
Not everybody in Miami-Dade County is crying over this year’s 40,342 foreclosed properties. Cassy is part of a small, well-executed movement by activists at Take Back the Land to relocate homeless families into empty houses and abandoned government-owned buildings.
(Read the rest of this article here.)