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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 184.108.40.206. www.blitz.no
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.
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."
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.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org web: http://squat.net/boligaksjonen/