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Right to Housing: Solidarity against austerity and evictions in Europe

To mark  the Week of Action in Solidarity with Greece and against Austerity from 20 to 26 June, local organizations and international networks are organizing an international meeting on housing on 20 and 21 June in Athens.
At the heart of this initiative is the solidarity with the Greek people and other peoples affected by the crisis. On the background, the convergence of struggles against neoliberalism in Europe and worldwide, vigorously relaunched by the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WSF Tunis 2015), towards the World Urban Social Forum, an alternative to the UN Summit Habitat III (Quito, October 2016).

Many people in Greece and Europe are facing an acute housing crisis. More than 50% of the Greek population find it hard to cover housing and living expenses every month. Many live in overcrowded homes facing inadequate housing conditions and energy poverty, without electricity and heating. Homelessness is rising dramatically.

People all over Europe face similar worsening housing conditions and violation of their basic rights, through forced evictions, the privatisation of public housing and resources, financialization of housing and the increasing power held by the banking sector.

In Greece, the recent political changes and the new left government of Syriza have set poverty and housing problems. as the number one priority. This will be a big and difficult task because of the long lasting recession and “external” pressures for further austerity measures.

Initiatives and networks all over Greece have been, and still are, organizing in order to resist auctions and evictions, by protesting, networking, advocating, providing mutual solidarity and support. At the same time these initiatives intend to open the discussion on common housing problems to all grassroots and institutional/formal structures in order to develop tools and strategies and formulate alternatives against the current misery.

Concrete solidarity from all over Europe is needed to give visibility to the housing problems, to empower the emerging social movements in Greece and to battle the common struggles against evictions and dispossession provoked by the Troika and current EU policy direction on a European level.

This is a common struggle against strong neoliberal  policies, the same policies that are leading the preparation of the UN Summit Habitat III (Quito, October 2016).

In response to this situation  the inhabitants organizations and the international networks for the right to housing and the city, on the basis of decisions taken by the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WSF Tunis 2015) are preparing, as an alternative, the World Urban Social Forum.

So, the meeting in Athens is also an important step towards the convergence of struggles, in Europe, on the Mediterranean region and globally, to build solidarity, change policies and contribute to radical changes.



 Athens, 20-21 June 2015

Athens, Averof building (central), School of Architecture, NTUA (entrance from Stournari st.)



12.00-12.30  – Introduction

12.30-14.30  – Workshop - Land and housing dispossession (neoliberal policies in the urban and rural spaces)

Maria Markou, National Technical University of Athens

European Coalition for the Housing Rights

Heather Kennedy, Radical Housing Network, Great Britain

Moderation: Fereniki Vatavali, Encounter Athens / Documentation: Sergio Pedro

12.30-14.30 - Break for lunch

15.30-17.30 – Workshop – Debt as an instrument of social control (auctions and evictions)

Tonia Katerini, Platform Against Auctions, Greece

Aida Quinato and Pablo Villadangos, Conadee and Plataforma Afectados por las hipotecas Madrid, Spain

Giorgos Ktistis, Cyprus movement against Evictions, Cyprus

Moderation: Bob Abbot, PAH Madrid / Documentation: Paul Lacoste, Dimitris Hartofilakas, Thanassis Alexandrou / Facilitator: Katerina Knitou, Solidarity for All

17.30-18.00 - Break for coffee

18.00-20.00 – Workshop - Migrant and refugee housing needs in the European south

Fransesco Piobicchi, Mediterranean Hope Lampedusa, Italy

Activist from Greece

Franck Na, PALC, Switzerland

Moderation: Anthi Karageli / Documentation: Annie Pourre


12.00-14.00  – Workshop - Alternative housing policies

Rita Silva, HABITA Lisbon, Portugal

Paul Lacoste, HALEM, France

Javier Buron, UrbaniaZHGestion, Spain

Jean Baptiste Eyraud, Droit Au Logement, France

Leon Blanchaert, Comitato Abitanti San Siro, Italy

Orazio Rosalia, Unione Inquilini - IAI, Italy

Moderation: Dimitra Siatitsa, Encounter Athens / Documentation: Evagelia Hatzikonstantiou – Katarzyna Czamota / Facilitator: Gonzalo Pizarro

14.00-15.00 - Break for lunch

15.00-17.00 – Workshop – Collective ownership schemes, urban spaces as commons

Anna Hatzievgeniadou, architect, Greece

Jaime Palomera, Hydra Cooperative, Spain

Ela Boyacos, Mietshäuser Syndikat, Germany

Teodor Celakoski, Right to the City, Croatia

Moderation: Federico Tomasone, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Brussels Office / Documentation: Tommy Gavin

17.00-17.30 - Break for coffee

17.30-19.30 – Planning and organizing our actions

Ringo Gotsleben, Berlin

Alvaro Puertas Robina

Walter Rapattoni, Unione Inquilini - IAI

Noelia Riano, PAH Internacional, Spain

Moderation: Rita Silva, HABITA Lisbon / Documentation: Seanie Lambe / Facilitator:

Katya Nasim, Leon Gonzalo

More informationwww.housingright.wordpress.com
Contactsolidarityforall@gmail.com  / housing@riseup.net

In co-operation with:
Solidarity for All - Encounter Athens - Platform against Auctions - European Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City



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