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Czech Republic: Activists, evictees to hold open meeting on housing in Ostrava

Ostrava, 29.7.2014 15:57, (ROMEA)
The poster announcing the 2 August 2014 meeting on  Přednádraží Street in Ostrava features the slogan
The poster announcing the 2 August 2014 meeting on Přednádraží Street in Ostrava features the slogan "Housing is not a privilege but a universal right!"

The following is a press release from the former residents of Přednádraží Street:

On 2 August 2014 an open meeting will be held on Přednádraží Street in Ostrava-Přívoz by the former occupants of that street, their acquaintances and friends. Two years ago, these people were told by the authorities that they all had to move out by midnight.  

What followed was their brave struggle against this decision and long-lasting efforts to save at least one of the buildings. Ultimately, however, all of the occupants ended up in residential hotels that were hygienically substandard, overcrowded, overpriced and socially inconvenient, depsite the fact that there are hundreds of vacant apartment units on the territory of the city of Ostrava that have long gone unused.

"They took the home from us where we had lived for several decades. Now for two years we have been moving from one apartment to another, we don't know what will happen next month, we basically have nothing," Ms Helena, formerly a long-term occupant of Přednádraží Street, summed up the situation of the evicted families.  

Through this event, we want to call for an end to this speculation on the apartment market and trafficking in poverty, as well as to express our disagreement with the fact that the actual non-existence of dignified social housing is just as much of a reality today as it was two years ago. "We understand this meeting on Přednádraží Street to be a symbolic reminder of the fact that two years after being expelled from our homes, we are still here and our work continues," says activist Imrich, another organizer of the event who grew up on Přednádraží Street and now takes an active interest in the issue of social housing policy.  

The event will begin at 17:00 and will feature a discussion, a music performance, the screening of a film in the evening and refreshments. You are sincerely invited to the meeting by the former residents of Přednádraží Street and their friends.

Ondřej Marek, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Ostrava, Přednádraží, sociální bydlení, ubytovny



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