Louvain: Skwattus Dei menacé d’expulsion

6 mars 2007

Salut les étrangers!

Je vous envoie ce « newsletter » qui vient de Louvain qui fait l’écho de ce qui se passe là, surtout sur le niveau de l’urbanisme. C’est assez local, mais je le vous envoie plutôt comme prétexte pour vous dire que le Skwattus va bientôt être expulsé. Il est au bout de son trajet judiciaire. Personne ne sait pour quand ça sera, et c’est bien le but et la stratégie du pouvoir. Repousser jusqu’à plus personne ne sait où ça en est. « Quoi? Le Skwattus, ce n’était pas encore expulsé? »

Un peu plus d’explication peut-être. Le Skwattus dei est un très grand bâtiment avec super jardin. Il est la propriété du secte catholique « Opus Dei ». Il a été squatté il y a 6 ans et a servi de lieu de rencontre depuis (bouffe populaire, infothèque, lectures, concerts, etc). Après un très très long trajet judiciaire (l’Opus Dei avait fait une demande de « construction »?; pour raser une grande partie pour en faire des studios d’étudiants, comme elle en a deux autres à Louvain), la ville avait d’abord dit non quelques fois et puis ça a été accepté sur un plus haut niveau.

Pour être tenu(e) au courant des activités dans les deux squats (oui, il y en a deux!) ou par rapport à l’expulsion (pour être mis sur la liste d’urgence par exemple) écrivez sociaalcentrum at hotmail.com

Gros bisou à vous tous


Silence before the storm…

It has become a short newsletter this month. Although there are some things about to happen… The Autonomous center Villa Skwattus Dei (in the Schapenstraat) can be evicted any day now. The squatters still want to respond to this with a manifestation on the day of the eviction (meeting 20.00 at the Grote Markt). Also the squatted building at the Vaartkom is still being threatened with eviction. All this will not pass unnoticed. There will be some exciting times…

.City projects.

For the project ‘Kop van Kessel-Lo’ 13 houses have to be destroyed. At this moment the building promoter CIP (through a well broker) tries to buy the houses. But the inhabitants think the offered sum of money is too low and they say they’re neglected by the city council. City councilor Brouwers on the contrary considers the sale as a private matter. But the city council has just recently approved the spatial implementation plan (RUP) for the project. Above all they provide the needed leverage for the negotiations, because they can expropriate the inhabitants if they don’t want to leave. That’s the ‘nice’ part of public-private cooperations, projects in which governments en companies work together. That is a coalition between political en economical power, according to proponents they balance each other out. But in practice they only broaden each others power; in this case the city hall lets the other one do the dirty work and the building promoter can use the threat of expropriation to buy the houses cheaper and more easy.

At the ‘Geldenaaksebaan’ they are transforming a terrain of about 15 hectares to a company zone (against the one that already exists at the ‘expresweg’), a ‘tree park’ (they mean a grass field with dots of trees) and houses (‘park houses’ and a garden district, in total 215 houses). They already have a name for this project: ‘Parkveld’ (?). Also in Wilsele-Dorp they’re planning new houses at a new street between Eikenbergstraat and Roeselbergdal. All the new housing projects are being put together on the website of Leuven. Indeed, the city is very busy with attracting young families, young families with a certain amount of capital of course. That speaks for itself…


3 Weeks ago Opus Dei has got her building permit for the squatted building in the Schapenstraat. The procedure took a while at city hall, but the now the city council has approved the application to start ‘internal works’. Now it’s waiting for Opus Dei to go to the judge with these papers to get an eviction order for Villa Skwattus Dei.


Thanks to a new law Tobback can impose closing hours upon the night shops in Leuven or even close them down. Another tool of repression in the hands of Tobback&Co who declared war against people who prefer to drink outdoors rather than in a pub (and spend their money in the night shops instead of the bars in the city) .

Also the prison guards of Leuven have taken part in the national action on the 14th of February by transferring to a ‘sunday regime’. The guards always seem to succeed in turning things around. It are the prisoners that are taken hostage, being locked way in cells that are too small, being subjected to a system of punishment by arbitrariness, defenseless towards the aggression of their guards. In the same time the guards are actually the executioners, hired by the state to lock up, guard and punish people. Do they expect thank you words (or a ‘save working environment’)? And then they only make the situation of the prisoners only worse with their actions.

In the meanwhile in Leuven there is a court case running against some guards and ex-inmates because of dealing drugs in the prison Leuven-Central. With this Leuven follows nicely the example of many different prisons in Belgium where guards are on trial for dealing drugs and abusing prisoners.

.Time for action(news)!.

-In the night of the 15th of February the ‘werkwinkel’ was attacked. Ten windows got smashed. Three weeks ago the ‘werkwinkel’ was already the target of this kind of attack. Then ‘arbeit macht frei’ was sprayed on the wall and three windows got smashed. Apparently the window dealer can’t catch up with all the orders (it is special ‘safety glass’).
(Source: Het Laatste Nieuws & Het Nieuwsblad, 17/02/2006)
(werkwinkel= ANPE)


-Every wednesday: VEGAN peoples kitchen in Villa Skwattus Dei/cooking starts at 15.00/eating starts at 19.00/free donation (pointed price 1,5 pleuro)

-24th of March: Nightscapes Free Party with Format C, Roms, Sada… / in squat at Vaartkom (www.nightscapes.be)

Thierry Lafraude