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Norwegian Hood: Squatting in Norway

Long Live Blitz!!

This May sees BLITZ, Norway's best known squat, celebrating a double decade of activism - "20 years out of control"

BLITZ was born during the heyday of Oslo squatting in the eighties, when hundreds of folks got pissed off with having nowhere to go. Picking up their crowbars and defending their right to free space against police brutality and harsh penalties, over 100 people took over the four storied central Oslo house in 1982.

Since then several generations of activists have passed through Blitz, helping defeat the local Conservative Government's repeated attempts to shut it down. For years much of the political activism was directed against the City's building and housing policies, but lately the focus has switched to anti-fascism. Blitz based activists gather intelligence on what the Nazis are up to, and spread that information via a magazine, as well as militantly stopping Nazi gigs and concerts. The closest the building came to closure was in 1994, when it was bombed as a result of it's anti fascist actions and campaigns, luckily no one was hurt.

Those who like the music say Blitz has been the city's best underground concert scene for years - Bands like 'Life... But How To Live it?" 'So Much Hate' and 'Stengte Dører' (all influential on the continental Hard Core scene in the late 80's early 90's,) have all rocked the space. On top of which RadiOrakel, the first women's radio station broadcasts from the loft, and there's also a bookshop, vegetarian café, meeting space, banner painting room, and band practice space.

Visit BLITZ at Pilestredet 30c, 0164 Oslo, Norway

call 0047

Brakkebygrenda (BBG) 'With Homes On Wheels'

After a second trip to Berlin with a friend we both bought caravans in which to live, and we settled in Oldtown, Oslo in May 99. During the two first weeks of squatting land a couple more people joined us with their caravans, then another. A month later we got evicted and moved 15 metres away, got evicted again and moved 20 metres further. After four evictions in three months we had moved 150 metres from the first place and the local authorities were pissed at us. Ha-Ha!

They towed us away and gave us a fine. We paid the fine and got our homes back and moved to an unused and deserted area in the same part of town. We got evicted and moved around in the same neighbourhood two more times. After finding a deserted, seemingly ownerless and preservable house from 1840 severely damaged by fire and neglected since1987, with a spacious back yard with plenty of room for homes on wheels, our numbers grew fast. We've now got nine people, a dog, cat and a rat living on the 600-700 m2 of land all year round. We cleared the space, which seemingly had been used as a local dumping ground, built a toilet, composts, a common livingroom/kitchen and a storeroom, and are constantly trying to develop environmental and ecological solutions for our waste. Living in BBG in the city feels like living in a secret garden - with all its trees and singing birds of the summer.

With nine single homes now in BBG there's no space for any more. Now it's up to other people to create more "wagenburgs" in Oslo whilst we hope to develop out squat, and to fight for our right to stay, and to be a resource to our local community."

Hausmannsgate 40

In September 1999 Boligaksjonen, a local housing action group, squatted Hausmannsgate 40, an old three storied nineteenth century building. Initially providing a home for 20 people, the squat is one of three still going strong in Oslo today. Boligaksjonen are growing stronger and gaining a broader network of activists. Now established in several cities in Norway, they are working for more social housing, establishing housing co-ops and the right for a place to live, as well as ploughing through the bureaucracy, squatting and pie throwing of course.

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