The European Action Coalition for Right to Housing and Land was formed in 2013 to demand a compulsorily applicable right to housing. It should also protect us from speculation, having as its main goal the end of forced evictions without alternative social housing, all following the slogan “’No People Without Homes, No Homes Without people”
The European Coalition is currently formed by 24 collectives from 18 countries across Europe, namely: Portugal, Spain, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Romania, Greece, Czech Republic, Belgium, Netherlands and Hungary.
European cities are collapsing and being rebuilt as per the elite’s vision. In all scenarios banks and private financing institutions make profits with real estate, being it old or new. This “regeneration” keeps money within a certain area of the city and people out of them. It is clear for all that a city cannot function without a working class; such a model is hopelessly unsustainable, but for the finance sector it is all about short term profit, so they will not be aware of such an issue.
We envision a different kind of city. We know that local communities yearn for the long term experience of a true democracy. Communities for the people. Some of us come from these communities and some of us work in this direction for them, we are citizens embodying the means and the end of the fight for the right to housing and the city.
Empowerment comes from acting together and feeling our collective strength. Because of this, the European Coalition wants to act against speculation: speculation which generates evictions, displacement, gentrification and which denies people their right to dignified and affordable housing.
To achieve all this we have the goal to strengthen the bonds among our groups, collectivizing different resources and tools beyond national borders.
We do this by:
-sharing knowledge, analysis and strategies
-building relations across social movements, thus creating conditions for international solidarity
The Coalition is slowly building capacity to organize common actions to heighten visibility of the current housing disaster and place its root causes in the spotlight. Experience tells us that this is no easy task, as the housing crisis is masked with no specific and obvious agent behind it, taking place in countries where rulers claim good intentions. But the truth remains that our crises have arisen through decades of State-sponsored deregulation and liberalization. We not only want to turn this situation around, we also want to support the development of other housing alternatives, knowing that this can only happen through power-building of social movements across Europe.
As an example of the work we carry out together, last October we organized a joint action throughout the different countries of the Coalition under the message #StopEvictions and #EuropeNot4Sale hashtags that you can follow on Twitter.
And in the last biannual meeting of the Coalition last weekend in Dublin, we began to prepare a new European-wide campaign about financialization, focusing on stopping public real estate properties being sold to vulture funds!
I brought along 12 copies of a book written by the European Coalition in collaboration with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, “Resisting evictions across Europe” where we explain more thoroughly our objectives and the work carried out by each Coalition member.