International meeting for the right to housing: “Solidarity against austerity and against evictions in Europe”.
ATHENS / 20-21/6/2015
Solidarity for All
Platform against Auctions
European Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City
Rosa Luxemburg Foundations Brussels office
Many people in Greece and Europe are facing an acute housing crisis, part of the broader social, political and economic crisis of the last years. The harsh austerity policies imposed by the Troika and the previous Greek government since 2010 have led to a severe violation of the right to housing and the city for the majority of the Greek population. Today, more than 30% of the population is indebted towards the banks or the state (for taxes and social security). More than 50% of the population finds it hard to cover housing and living expenses every month. Many live in overcrowded conditions facing inadequate housing conditions and energy poverty, without electricity and heating, and many are homeless. People all over Europe face similar worsening housing conditions and violation of their basic rights, through forced evictions, privatizations of public housing and resources, financialisation of housing and the increasing power acquired by the banking sector.
In Greece, the recent political changes and the new left government of Syriza have set as first priority to face poverty and housing problems. This will be a big and difficult task because of the long lasting recession and “external” pressures for further austerity measures. In any case, this effort that deploys in two levels, emergency actions and long term strategic policies, could be an important challenge to discuss in our meeting.
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 intent to open the discussion regarding common housing problems together with all grassroots and institutional/formal structures working on this field, in order to develop tools and strategies and formulate alternatives, against the present misery.
Concrete solidarity from all over Europe is needed to render visibility to the housing problems, to empower the emerging social movements in Greece and to advance the common struggles against evictions and dispossession provoked by the Troika and current EU policy direction on a European level.
The European Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City, active already for more than one and a half year, is an important component towards this goal. Important steps have been made in previous international and local coordinated actions, against financial and real-estate global players, in many European cities.
Welcome / introduction (12.00)
1st workshop (12.30-14.30): Land and housing dispossession. (neoliberal policies in the urban spaces)
break for lunch (14.30-15.30)
2nd workshop (15.30-17.30): Debt as an instrument of social control (auctions and evictions)
break for coffee (17.30-18.00)
3rd workshop (18.00-20.00): Migrant and refugee housing needs in the European south.
4th workshop (12.00-14.00): Alternative housing policies
break for food (14.00-15.00)
5th workshop (15.00-17.00): Collective ownership schemes, urban spaces as commons
break for coffee (17.00-17.30)
6th workshop (17.30-19.30): Planning and coordinating our actions for action (struggles against evictions, occupations, organizing against banks…) - Conclusing assembly: towards a charter/manifesto/common claims for the Right to housing
Day 3 and Day 4 - 22-23/6/2015
Meeting of the European coalition - General assembly and workgroups (action against evictions, research on financialisation, charter) of the European Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City