On April 20, we received mail from the city of Zurich regarding the possible uses of the Juch site. The letter from the Department of Social Affairs informed us that the Juch is to be prepared for potential future use from Monday, April 27. Reconstruction and demolition work is also scheduled to begin on April 27. Thus we, the squatters and users of the Juch-era area are requested to clear the area by midnight on Friday April 24. So we are supposed to clear an area within four days which we have built up over half a year.
The city of Zurich is calling for the evacuation of the area with the slogan “Stay at home. Please. Everyone” the population to stay at home. The people who live in the area have no second home. Their home is the Juch-Areal. If the Juch is evacuated, there will be several dozen people who have no place to go to protect themselves and others.
The appreciation of this city and the resulting increase in rents has been a big problem for a long time. In the shadow of the Corona crisis, more and more people are asking themselves how they should pay their rent, yet at this very time people are trying to put us out on the street without comment.
We were neither informed about the planned use of the area, nor were we given building or demolition permits. According to our knowledge, concrete plans of use are required for a police clearance. If no plan for the use of the area is communicated by the city, the question inevitably arises whether demolition will be carried out in advance.
The Social Department of the City of Zurich wants to get rid of us squatters without giving reasons for this, in a period of time, with hardly any time limit to be kept. This is not only in times of Corona, but always, absolutely unacceptable.
Since the occupation on October 31, 2019, a lot has happened on the area: We have created a collectively managed and free space. We have organised exchanges, performances, exhibitions and concerts. There is an open workshop, silk-screen printing, library, a fitness and event room. In our self-administered radio we produce and rehearse in the band room next door. With a minimal budget we enliven this space and are thus an antipole to the prevailing consumerism in this city. This space is finally organized in a self-determined way. Before the occupation, this place was a prison and a place where people were oppressed because of their origins.
The barracks were built for guest workers, who were economically exploited and geographically displaced, sometimes involuntarily. Later the AsylOrganisation Zürich (AOZ) operated the barracks as a camp for refugees. Here they tried out which repressive measures worked particularly well. Here people were controlled, imprisoned, prevented from participating in society and denied basic rights. Today we see the result of this, in Embrach and in the federal camp Duttweiler, in the increasingly violent discourse in the media about fugitives, in the collective turning a blind eye to the racial profiling of the police.
The fact that a shift to the right is being driven forward by social thought patterns is the sad result of this, which we are fighting against here on the Juch-Areal, our daily home.
It is not surprising that just now, when fundamental rights such as freedom of assembly and movement are being restricted, attempts are being made to quietly end the occupation of the Juch.
Together we will continue to fight for this area to remain our home – in solidarity and free from control.
We are here, we stay here.
With occupying greetings
The squatters of Juch