Category Archives: Public space

Berlin artists’ lock-in protest to halt developers | The Observer

Bohemians and anarchists have joined forces to fight the gentrification of their living space.

Its demise 22 years after the collapse of communism would be a significant loss for a city whose Bohemian reputation is its biggest selling point, and further evidence, say critics, that Berlin is being gentrified beyond recognition.

“It’s time for the citizens of Berlin to ask what kind of future we want,” says Linda Cerna, spokeswoman for the artists. “Will we want to live in a city where everything has been sold or privatised and we just have shopping malls, gated communities and loft apartments?” Continue reading…

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Filed under Culture, Public space

Occupy London has lost a battle but started a war over public space | Comment is free | The Guardian

The high court has ruled that the defence of the public highway is grounds for evicting Occupy London protesters from St Paul’s. This could not be more ironic, given that the removal of public space in the City is at the nub of the row between the protesters and the Corporation of London.

Over the last 20 years, since the corporation quietly began privatising the City, hundreds of public highways, public pathways and rights of way in place for centuries have been closed. The reason why this is so important is that the removal of public rights of way also signals the removal of the right to political protest. Continue reading…

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Filed under Civil rights, Democracy, Economism and neoliberalism, Public space

Conciatori eviction: crackdown on the commons continues |

This morning, Florence witnessed the most recent instance of the international clampdown on public space and civil liberties. The city’s oldest and historically most important social center, Progetto Conciatori, in the heart of the Santa Croce neighborhood, was forcibly evicted by the Italian police.

The expulsion brought to a close thirty-two years of cultural, social and political activities that had rendered Progetto Conciatori a beacon of autonomous civic organisation and direct democracy, and a fount of cultural innovation. It offered legal services to immigrants, and provided crèche facilities and a variety of courses ranging from multimedia skills to yoga to the local community. Continue reading…

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Filed under Civil rights, Democracy, Public space

Private spaces are stifling protest | Anna Minton | Comment is free |

Occupy London’s struggle to find a public space for protest reflects the increasing private control of our towns and cities.

The argument over whether the Occupy movement should camp outside St Paul’s and the subsequent closure of the cathedral has served to distract from the main issue facing the protesters, which is that political protest is banned in the vast majority of the City’s public places. The protesters did not intend to camp outside St Paul’s but they found they had nowhere else to go if they wished to remain in the City – which is the focus of the protest. Continue reading…

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Filed under Civil rights, Democracy, Public space