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Statement from the Barricade inn squatted anarchist social centre

category ireland / britain | community struggles | press release author Thursday October 29, 2015 01:07author by Barricade Inn Report this post to the editors

On Wednesday The Barricade Inn Collective received court summons papers informing us that the following day (Thursday 22nd October) the estate holders of the building would be seeking an injunction against us. Court was adjourned and the case will be back in court next Wednesday (28th October).

The Barricade Inn is an all-volunteer squatted social centre in Dublin's north inner city which opened its doors to the public in March of this year. We occupied an old building, previously Neary's Hotel, which had been abandoned for 13 years, in order to create a new radical, autonomous social centre for our city.

We are trying to make the world a better place by creating a space where caring for others and enjoying life is the motivating force - rather than profit or power - where you are valued as a human being, rather than how much money you have, irrespective of your gender, ethnicity, sexuality, migrant status, or other categorisations which divide us in broader society. A space which supports struggles for social justice, encourages artistic exchange, and promotes an anarchist vision of society.

This project has transformed an otherwise wasted building into a thriving social hub used by individual community members, campaigns, and other groups, for meetings, talks, workshops, classes, gigs, a library, vegan café, and more. The Barricade has provided a non-profit, co-operative, recreational space, something which is necessary and notably lacking in Dublin, especially in the north inner city.

By squatting this space we are challenging the idea of private property – property which is owned by legal title regardless of who uses or needs it. We strive to empower people to reclaim this city from wealthy property owners by showing squatting in action and facilitating others to squat. Buildings are empty and rotting because ultimately it makes owners more money. But the Barricade is of far greater social value than whatever profit-making scheme demands that we are evicted.

We believe ownership should be according to need, and not profit. Right now people are dying on our streets, families with young children are being handed sleeping bags and left to fend for themselves. We get daily requests from people in the locality looking for a place to sleep. Yet there is no “housing shortage” - over 300,000 housing units lie vacant across the country. Really, capitalism is the problem. The wealthy, the landlords and property developers, are profiting off those on lower incomes, helped along by the state.

The Bolt Hostel was a former Dublin City Council homeless hostel abandoned for 3 years which was reclaimed by housing activists in June 2015 to provide emergency accommodation for homeless people (a project which wouldn't have happened without the Barricade). But the state intervened, and like so many other evicted squats in the city, the Bolt is once again boarded up, abandoned, and decaying. If this injunction is granted, and an eviction executed, we assume The Barricade Inn will suffer a similar fate.

As well as a social centre, the Barricade is many people's home, people who are threatened with homelessness if this injunction is granted. But we want more than just a roof above our heads, we want homes for everybody. We want an end to rent hikes and property speculation, and a truly free public space in the city for people to gather. We want a society based on freedom and solidarity, and will keep fighting for that no matter what.

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