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Camping to oppose the corrupt construction companies in Madrid

Opposing the demolition of a family house at Ofelia Nieto

It was in the morning of August 14th when the city police arrived to their home at Ofelia Nieto 29 with the intention of tearing down the building. The reason is 6 squared meters of sidewalk that urbanistic regulations put over their property in 2004.

Since then the family has been fighting against Madrid’s city hall. But police found more than seventy housing right activists inside the house. They were called to camp in the penthouse the night before and some of them even camped on the roof.

Since then there has been a continuous camp at the penthouse. Multiple activists have taken shifts in order not to leave the house and the family alone. Police has not tried again to take the house, but they can come at any moment, as the eviction order for the building allows them to enter until the end of august.

But activists have not limited themselves to be waiting for the arrival of police to the house. On Monday 19th they brought their fight to the doors of Spanish Olympics committee, with the aim of signalling them as promoters of real-estate speculation in Madrid. In fact, Madrid 2020 and Ofelia Nieto 29 are faces of the same problem.

Madrid 2020 steals money from the workers to put in the hands of big construction companies as Grupo Ortiz. At Ofelia Nieto 29, MadridCity steals benefits from future promotions in the property to put them in the hands of Grupo Ortiz Again. This company is under the shadows of Gürtel corruption plot. At the same time, the family and other activists occupied the urbanism office to call for a stop of the illegal process.

The tear down of Ofelia Nieto expired

On the 28th of August by 23:59, the judge permission given to Madrid City Council to tear down Ofelia Nieto 29 finishes.

At this time there will finish fifteen days of resistance where the people’s power has defended Gracia González family from the robbery that City Council wants to commit. Any new tear down trial after that date would require a new judicial permission. Without it, Madrid City Council would commit a clearly illegal act.

This battle is won. Madrid City Council has been defeated by the pressure put on them bringing the fight out of the house: to the City Hall, to Spanish Olympic Committee, to the Urbanism Office, to the District Hall, …

They have not tried to attempt a new eviction of the house after they failed on the morning of August 14th. Since then, hundreds of activists have turned to not leave the family alone in their fight. Comrades of housing groups from Tetuán, Manoteras, Chamberí, Barrio del Pilar, Lavapiés, Ciudad Lineal, Latina, Usera, Carabanchel, Vallecas, Alcalá, Majadahonda, Aranjuez, Sierra Norte, Alcobendas, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Getafe…Girona, Guadalajara, Córdoba or even Milano have passed by these days. The cenit was reached during the dawn of August 26th, when more than 150 activists slept in the house in a final defensive sprint.

The fight will go on

But the war is not yet over. Madrid City Council and the corrupt businessmen with interest in the house are not going to renounce to their plans. In fact we know that City Council asked yesterday for an extension of the permission from the judge. Thus, we’ll keep protecting Gracia Gonzalez family from real-estate speculation, together with all the families we have defended since we stopped the first eviction at Naranjo Street back in June 2011. We’ll keep fighting for the housing right independently of the specific problem: squatting, mortgages, rentals, expropriations… Fight at Ofelia Nieto 29 has made nothing but strength the network of collectives fighting for the housing right. We’ll keep chasing bankers, construction companies, real-estate speculators, politics and other people of that sort.

Resources

Ofelia Neto 29

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