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VIDEO: “We are protesting, because the human right to housing is being violated”
Luxembourg

VIDEO: “We are protesting, because the human right to housing is being violated”

1 03.07.2013 From our online archive
Police tried to evict a group of people protesting against real estate speculation in Luxembourg from a property on Route d'Arlon on Monday morning, with one young man, the only occupant of the house at the time, escaping to the house's roof.
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(CS/mim) Police tried to evict a group of people protesting against real estate speculation in Luxembourg from a property on Route d'Arlon on Monday morning, with one young man, the only occupant of the house at the time, escaping to the house's roof.

A member of the group speaking to the “Luxemburger Wort” said that the house on Route d'Arlon had been vacant for several years. Together, the group had decided to move in, cleaning the house and even planting fruit in the garden.

The group brought in furniture and books, wanting to create an open space where everyone is welcome. Additionally, the house served as a swap-shop where everyone can bring something and then exchange it for something else in return.

At the same time, the people wanted to demonstrate against high real estate prices in Luxembourg, saying that construction companies and banks were keeping properties empty for the purpose of real estate speculation. This results in profits for the companies and high mortgages for people wishing to buy a home, the source, known as Mo, said.

“We are protesting, because the human right to housing is being violated,” Mo added.

The group “luxresistances” issued a statement in the late afternoon, explaining that the squatters had tried to speak to the owner, but that the latter had refused.

They explained that alcohol, tobacco and other drugs had been prohibited at the house and that they were trying to organise a solidarity protest outside the property with the number 319 Route d'Arlon on Monday evening.

The young man who had escaped to the roof of the building on Monday was the only occupant of the house at the time of arrival of police. According to “luxresistances” police and the owner had refused to speak to the young man and had entered the building by force, despite the peaceful nature of the protest.

The Route d'Arlon was closed for several hours on Monday, but was re-opened eventually while police were still on site trying to get the man to vacate the building.

Around 7.15pm police announced that they were withdrawing from the premises as there was no immediate danger for the man or the general public. However, police added that they would carry out sporadic patrols over the course of the evening.