26 April 2017 – Taking aim at the most powerful oligarchs in the Philippines, rural poor militants are striking at colonial-style feudalism through #OccupyLuisita.
In a bid to reassert their right to rural lands, farm workers and peasants in the Philippines have directly seized and occupied property claimed by one of the archipelago’s largest banks and main oligarch families, the Aquino clan. The move is an escalation of a long campaign to dismantle the unjust system of feudalism and landlord rule inherited from the period of Spanish colonialism.
Gathered in the hundreds and carrying signs with slogans such as, “Land to the Tillers, Not to Their Killers,” members and supporters of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas — a militant mass movement of small farmers, landless peasants, farm workers, rural youth and women — converged on a walled-off section of Hacienda Luisita, a massive sugar plantation in the Tarlac province controlled by the Cojuangco-Aquino political dynasty..As hundreds of police and private security guards looked on, 700 farmers took turns destroying a concrete wall enclosing large tracts of land that were illegally sold to the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation. Eventually, a farm tractor was brought in to pull sections of the wall down. While the farmers dispersed that afternoon, they swore to return and undertake the collective cultivation of the land.
For the farmers, the walled-off enclosure represents the broken promise of land reform that the Philippine rural poor have been fighting for decades to win in the face of illegal and semi-legal methods of dispossession and open robbery by ruling elite families.
“Kadamay expresses its full support for the #OccupyLuisita movement as it echoes our own call for the government to own up to its sins and finally begin to give to people what is due them,” Kadamay chair Gloria Arellano said, noting that the land remains abandoned “simply because the landlords and the government hold on to their spoils rather than fulfill their duties to the people. Just like the idle housing units, the ruling class would rather see homes and land go unused rather than be owned or made productive by the broad masses of the Filipino people.”
The mass action, given the hashtag #OccupyLuisita by the peasant movement, recalled the recent successful takeover and redistribution of government housing undertaken by allied urban group Kadamay in Bulacan province, called #OccupyBulacan.
26 September: The battle over the derelict Newtown squat that sold for $1.725 million last weekend has broken into a bitter war of words, with inflammatory messages from both sides posted throughout the building.
Warnings aimed at the new owners have been spray-painted across the facade with the words “Be careful what you bid for” and “Yuppies, developers, investors beware”.
23 September: At some stage on Saturday night or early Sunday morning “Evict the rich” and “Developers f— off our city” were spray-painted across the windows of Cooley Auctions headquarters in Double Bay. The locks of the office were also filled with super glue.
Damien Cooley, from Cooley Auctions suggested the incident could be related to the scheduled auction of 164-166 Wilson Street, Newtown, a warehouse in Newtown that had been used as a long-running squat. It sold for $1,725,000 under the hammer.
“As well as spray-painting all sorts of colourful words they also spray-painted a symbol,” Mr Cooley said of the vandals. He said the symbol, an O with a zig-zag through the middle, also featured on a banner that appeared outside the Newtown squat.
16 September: They had stocked the kitchen with food, hauled in crate-loads of belongings and even brought their tortoiseshell cat.
But the two-month long rent-free bliss enjoyed by a group of squatters at Millers Point ended abruptly on Tuesday, as the state government pushed ahead with its plan to empty the harbourside suburb of vulnerable residents.
The small group of 20-somethings left the Argyle Place property about midday after being ordered out by police.
The Argyle Place property “is being prepared for sale”, officials said. Banners draped from the balcony read “Millers Point Not 4 Sale” and “Communities Not Commodities”.
Tayce, a 27-year-old squatter who declined to give her last name, said the eviction was a “farce”. “I’m homeless – there are so many people on the waiting list for [public] housing and this house was empty for two years,” she said. “There is nothing wrong with the house, it’s beautiful. I don’t think houses should be sitting empty.” The house was connected to electricity and, despite a bit of mould, was otherwise “amazing”, Tayce said.
About four squatters had occupied the terrace house after finding the back door unlocked and the property empty. Squatters are also known to be occupying other homes in the area.
Friday 12 September, at 5 o’clock in the morning. Pandang Raya inhabitants and other rebels, build a barricade across the street with wood, tires, and rocks. At 6am, there’s appearance of pigs without uniform watching the blockade. Two of them watching the blockade close by. About an hour more, police vehicles filled with 600 pigs in uniform, including 365 the notorious Brimob (special police–my ass).
Not long after that the battle began: Pandang Raya combatants throw molotovs, rocks, and other traditional weapon (such as arrows). The resistance were responded by huge blows of water canons and after that, large numbers of gangsters, who claimed that they got orders from Court of Law tried to entered the fights but were denied by the pigs because they don’t carry their ID’s.
At 8.30 the pigs have successfully break the resistance. Other combatants have successfully fled from police arrest. But 9 person were arrested.
Afterwards, several years of organizing side by side with anti-authoritarians, leftist, and other organisations; creating library and meeting place; in which Pandang Raya have already become their own ‘Cinema Paradiso’, have been destroyed to the ground entirely using big excavators and other heavy machines. The last stand and they were lost.
Ps: Rich people and their politicians, and also with their dogs or pigs in uniform, wanted Pandang Raya to be developed for their business purposes due to its strategic geographical location in the city.
31 July 2014- Australia: A known squat in the territory known as Sydney has been evicted
Some courageous occupiers and supporters made the decision to barricade and defend as much as they could a space full of history, dreams and resistance.
The autonomous, liberated social centre known as the Hat Factory has for over at least 12 years hosted hundreds of events and people in its quarters – encouraging creativity, mutual aid, rebelliousness and respect.
At the time of its eviction, the Hat Factory was known for is great fundraisers, library, its free shop, where people could come and find free clothes and a whole array of tools and facilities to take care of spaces and each other.
1 August: The group evicted from an iconic Newtown squat and community hub this week have vowed to find a new base.
Dozens of police donned riot gear to search the premises after smashing in the now boarded up doors of the Hat Factory Social Centre shortly after 3.30pm on Thursday afternoon. Many were wearing helmets and several in white police jump suits.
Two Aboriginal flags and several home-made banners had been unfurled along the property earlier in the week. One declared the property “reclaimed community space”.
Reading from a statement prepared by the group, resident Jack Summers-Webb said the eviction was difficult for residents, who intended to continue to reclaim unused buildings.