Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Social Centres Helsinki needs support !

Call for actions to support social centres and freedom of movement!

This is a call for action, starting from the 1st of June, for self-organized affinity groups to show solidarity for Social Centre Satama and the Roma people, as well as for the continuity of social centre activity and freedom of movement. The social centre activity in Helsinki is in dire need for people to participate actively in defending the house as well as at the streets of Helsinki and elsewhere. The Roma, who are about to become homeless are also in need of support and solidarity. During the next few days, we are hoping to see many different kinds of actions: statements, debates, performances and spontaneous manifestations. There are as many ways to act as there are people to act.

The lease of Social Centre Satama ends on the 1st of June. For two years, the house has been a central place for autonomous self-made/DIY activities in Helsinki. The Social Centre has become a meeting place for grassroots political activity, and in addition to the weekly cafe and bike workshop, there has been many different workshops, theatre activities, concerts and other events. At the yard of the Social Centre, has been a camping area available for everyone, where has been living mainly Romanian Roma people. Satama has offered accommodation in the camp and the possibility of using the facilities of the house.

On the 25th of May the city of Helsinki proposed an armistice between the city and Vapaa Katto ry, the organization which is renting the social centre. The city has promised to postpone the eviction at least until the 6th of June, when the city council discusses the Roma camp query and Vapaa Katto ry has promised not to occupy buildings before that. Presumably the eviction will happen on the 7th of June and the house will be demolished immediately. It has been stated that the official reason for ending the lease is the poor shape of the house. However, it is obvious that the real reason is the Roma camp outside.

Basically, the whole discussion about the Roma people is about the right for freedom of movement. Romanian Roma are the most discriminated minority in Europe. They come from very poor conditions, and are ones of the first to suffer from the gradually deepening crisis of capitalism. Poverty is not a choice for the Roma, but nevertheless they, as well as everyone else, have the right to decide about their lives by themselves. The city has made it very difficult for the Roma to settle down in Helsinki, and now, when Satama is going to get evicted, the Roma will have one place less to stay and live at.

During the last years, self-organized spaces have faced repression by the ever-increasing control over spaces in cities all around Europe. Resisting the eviction in Satama, is not about defending one space but about fighting against gentrification and the commercialization of life. With these fights, networks of solidarity are being created between those who will not passively submit to the apathy of the capitalistic society.

If the city of Helsinki succeeds to evict Satama, on the same evening there will be a demonstration that starts from Hakaniemi market square. Vapaa Liikkuvuus (Freedom of Movement) -network is organizing a support event for Eastern European Roma at Senate square on the 6th of June, starting at 3 pm. More specific information will be updated to Satama's website. If you need support for affinity group actions (in Helsinki), come visit Satama, contact the email address or legal aid which is organized by the Anarchist Black Cross. Legal aid gives you advice and reports about possible arrests.

One eviction will not stop us! Autonomy and solidarity!

More information:
Social Centre Satama
Kyläsaarenkatu 11, Helsinki, Finland

- E-Mail: sosiaalikeskushki[at]gmail.com Website: http://satama.org

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