Squatter Victory in Vienna

Squatter Victory in Vienna

I recently visited Vienna and got to see the home of Kinoki, a huge squat in the center of Vienna. It is the largest and longest term squat in Austria. The building had been the home of the Communist Party and after the fall of the wall, it was taken over by activists who turned it into an info shop, a cinema (Kinoki) and home for many immigrants. (Several families of Kurdish refugees live on the upper floors.) Austrian indymedia also had a home there. On my visit a few weeks ago, however, all was in a great state of agitation, as the owners (social democrats who inherited the bldg from the Party) had sold it to a right wing org. As I entered the building, lines of activists were exiting carrying boxes of sleeping bags, CDs, magazines and computers. They were expecting to be evicted on July 1. Others were in the back yard bricking up the windows in preparation for a violent take-over by the Austrian police. But this story has a happy ending! I just heard from my friend Tom, one of the Kinoki founders who has been associated with EKH house from the beginning. EKH is Ernst Kirchweger House, named for an anti-racist activist killed by Austrian police in 1965. Tom told me good news: "A few days before eviction should be executed, a comité of (socialdemocratic) local politican entered in somekind of negociacion with the squatters. seems that they had reflected, that a bunch of furious young energic people could cause them some problems in the autuum held local elections. at 2. of july a very cordial letter from the nobel-winner literate elfriede jelinek demanded a public and political solution for the squat and claimed the responsability of the city governement. afterwards the spokesman of the socialdemocratic comité declared that they are willing to buy the house in terms of mutual acceptance with the squatters. till now the transaction isn´t complete, but the actual owner (a radical right-wing security manager) said that he is open to negociation.... so the definitive summer party at the ekh is still going on..." The picture included with this story is of Peter and Tom from the projection booth at the squat, behind they you can see their large theater. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publixtheatre_Caravan http://indymedia.nl/nl/2005/07/29118.shtml