A huge police operation to evict squatters from a house in Vienna’s 2nd district lasted for more than ten hours on Monday.
Pizzeria Anarchia has been cleared by the police in Vienna Monday July 28. The ‘Gründerzeithaus’ in Vienna Mühlfeldgasse will now be restored and converted into money. After ten hours the police succeeded on Monday evening to 19 squatters who had holed up on the third floor to penetrate. The 13 young men and six women were arrested for resisting and assault. A further twelve people who sympathized with the squatters apparently, also fell into police custody.
However the Pizzeria Anarchia activists had spent days preparing for the event, welding steel doors and blocking the entrance to the house with sofas and bulky furniture.
The explusion was like a house fighting in a war zone. The Interior Ministry got reinforcements from Upper Austria using water cannons and armored vehicles. They also used barricades that the police had erected earlier that morning and then left unattended – something the police admitted was a “logistical error”.
Castella GmbH currently owns the building, and went to court to request the eviction.
With the expulsion of Pizzeria Anarchia a chapter perfidious property speculation has reached its peak. The house had been occupied by the activists for over two years. The owner of the building actually invited them to move into an empty apartment himself, in November 2011, for six months. The place is badly in need of renovations and the owner hoped that the anarchists would scare off the older tenants who were refusing to move, and clear the way for a new real estate project.
However, the squatters became sympathetic to the tenants’ plight.
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