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08 2016

The eviction of Point Break in Rome is a fierce attack to the city of solidarity



On the early morning of July 21, police evicted “Point Break” in the neighborhood of Pigneto: a student house occupied and self-managed by members of the Roman student movement “l’Onda” that took to the streets of Italy in 2008 against the neoliberal reform and privatization of education.

On 8th of July 2009, students, researchers and precarious workers opened the doors of a vacant building that was uninhabited and in state of abandon since the 1980s. A crumbling building has been transformed into a liveable place and became home for those students and precarious who experience daily the lack of opportunities, instability and social decay that characterize the neighborhood of Pigneto and the city of Rome at large. Point Break has been the first of a long series of occupations animated by students, in fact, many other similar experiences have then emerged in several Italian cities demanding rights and decent housing for youth and students.

Point Break has been home for many, but it has been also a house of solidarity for hundreds of friends, students, and activists that from all over the world supported this experience of self-management, and found a place for sleeping and sharing ideas with other activists, a place for knowing and participating to the social movements that animate local struggles and political debate.

For seven years, this space has become a common space: open to the city, self managed and given a new lease on life after the support and cooperation among neighbors, students, and activists. An experiment of living together and of decent housing as an alternative to loneliness, insecurity, rent and real estate speculation.

The eviction occurs the day after the great assembly of ”Decide Roma”, which is placed on a path of the struggle from below against policies commodification of public goods, and for the right to the city animated by tens of social organizations, self-managed spaces and associations that animate cultural, social and political activities in the urban local context.

The eviction perpetrated by the Police shifted the political confrontation within the social and political forces of the city of Rome into the narrow space of formal legality and the defense of rent. An act of violence and intimidation in defense of the private property and the real estate speculation, a fierce attack against whoever opens spaces of democracy and common use of abandoned spaces, of concrete re-appropriation of the right to adequate housing.

We call the city of solidarity to mobilization and resistance to evictions, and also we call the solidarity of all those who defend self-management and the right to the city against policies of dispossession, insecurity and impoverishment currently plaguing the majorities of our cities. Evictions cannot delete solidarity with migrants, homeless, students and precarious workers developed in Point Break over the years. Evictions cannot erase our desire to create new rights, spaces, and dignity, to transform our societies and fight for a present and a better future.

NO to the criminalization of social struggles, NO to attack the right to decent housing, no to the criminalization of self-management.

Nobody here is no surrender!