23 Oct - 18:08
We are excited about the launch of this collective work done by different groups and activists on evictions across Europe.
In order to achieve this we are carving out a space for militant research in housing, for the critiques, targets and skills of movements to be communicated. evictions are phenomena that all our groups deal with in some form, encapsulating the brutality of property rights, while necessitating an activist response that is both forceful and caring. As the point at which landlords and the state find it most difficult to cover up class struggle, it seemed the obvious place for us to start.
This text is not an analysis of the european housing market, nor a collection of organisers' viewpoints on their action. It focusses on the forms that eviction takes (in essence who is affected), and demonstrates the flimsiness of the barriers between tenures as people fall through them towards ever-greater precariousness. We start with a short introduction on the reasons we resist evictions, which we hope will also clarify why we write about them. There is then a guest introduction by Dr stuart Hodkinson providing a theoretical framework through which we can understand forced displacement in Europe. Our first section provides a number of findings from analysis of the research across the entire terrain. These findings cohere on an issue basis which does not always correspond to a geographic base. This is followed by a second statistical section to hold some of the information gathered on the primary forms of eviction carried out country by country, and any information on their prevalence.The third section showcases some of the forms that anti-eviction initiatives have taken across the continent, before we conclude with a brief outlook on our prospects.
Despite the grim picture painted, we hope that this cross-pollinates between struggles and becomes genuinely useful to activists demanding a variety of state concessions.
This text has been written by members of the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City, through consultation with member groups on the different forms of eviction, the legislation that both governs and prevents them, and the initiatives organising against them. The European Coalition is composed of tenants' movements, those in inadequate housing, victims of eviction, trade unionists, those affected by debt, slum and self-built neighborhood dwellers, squatters, campaigners and researchers. The European Coalition emerged in 2013 in order to adopt common positions on European housing policies, organise collective action against processes of privatisation and exclusion, and to create solidarity bonds between movements, which would enable each to strengthen its own struggles. The Coalition is a grass-roots convergence of movements in a European space increasingly at the service of finance, securitisation, and deregulatory policies which affect our fundamental rights, and drive us towards poverty and precariousness in all dimensions of our lives.
Download "Evictions across Europe" here