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France: the freeze on evictions is over

L'Humanité, 17 March 2008It was her first action as mayor: on Friday she passed a decree stating that “the town of Bobigny is declared a protection zone for tenants in financial difficulty." The communist mayor Catherine Peyge was elected last Sunday, in the first round, with a comfortable 54.77% of the vote. She succeeded Bernard Birsinger, who died suddenly on 25th August 2006, during the housing conference in Bunus (Pyrénées-Orientales).

Living behind the cirque du soleil

Some 4,000 people live in poor conditions in shanty towns on the outskirts of Paris. But an integration programme plans to lift 30 Roma families out of misery.

The Housing Crisis: Issues and Debates in the French Presidential Election

After a spectacular action in support of the homeless at the St. Martin canal in Paris that was launched on Christmas Eve 2006 and reported on by all the media, and the death of Abbé Pierre, the housing issue has been dominating the 2007 presidential campaign.

Squats vs. sharks in Barcelona

As riots hit Copenhagen after the demolition of a legal youth culture house, Barcelona considers its 300 squats in the look up to May’s municipal elections.

Olympiad Sacrifices

In London preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games are in full swing. And although the mistakes of the previous Games should be avoided, plenty of problems still lurk in the foreground.

Lobbying against property mobbing

Intimidation, blackmail, and conspiracy… Europe’s property owners are resorting to extreme methods to oust tenants and manipulate the market. In Spain, tenants denounce increasing ‘property mobbing’

Housing: The Scottish way

Scotland has resolved to put an end to bad housing by 2012, by obliging local authorities to make real and visible progress. Initial signs are encouraging.Scotland has resolved to put an end to bad housing by 2012, by obliging local authorities to make real and visible progress. Initial signs are encouraging.

French Lessons, Cesare Ottolini

“ Free travel today! ” announces a station-master on the RER B, the line that takes passengers from Paris to Charles De Gaulle airport; “ It’s part of the protest against the burning of a bus by suburban vandals ”. Very different, I think to myself, from the strike in defence of public transport which has paralysed the city of Marseilles for over a month. This was my first taste of the city, when I arrived on Friday November 4th for a series of meetings with urban social associations and movements after the World Zero Evictions Days.

Solidarity towards the Asian Population

Making the inhabitants’ know-how available for reconstruction and the wealth of states for the the abolition of foreign debt. Faced with the disaster of apocalyptic proportions that has upset great part of Asia, the International Alliance of Inhabitants calls upon associations of civil society and all anti-globalisation movements to show, in a concrete manner, solidariety with the stricken populations. It is time to get going, putting all our know-how as builders of cities to rebuild the villages of fishermen, the shantytowns and the popular quarters destroyed by the Tsunami. Otherwise, we run the risk that nobody will take the necessary action.