Letter from La Casika C.S.O.A. - Call for international support
La Casika is a squatted, self-managed social center in existence for 14 years. During these years, numerous collectives of various types (ecologist, feminist, collectives that defend animal rights, antifascist, anticapitalist, neighborhood movements, educational, cultural…) have felt that this space is theirs, forming part of it, using and developing a range of activities: lectures, educational workshops, music, film, and theater festivals, art expositions, debates….the diversity and quantity of activities developed at La Casika, have made it into a cultural, social, and political reference point not only for Mostoles, but also for the rest of Madrid and the State, and has provided our town with a meeting point for reflection and alternative action, where the values of the capitalist system have been overcome by self-management.
Last December 5th, La Casika C.S.O.A turned 14 years old, the reasons that made a group of young people give life to this abandoned home were:
-Denounce speculation and the thousands of empty houses that surrounded us.
-Show squatting as an alternative to the lack of “serious and reasonable” opportunities for acquiring a home
-Denounce the lack of spaces for individual, social, cultural, and political development of people
-Show that self-management, solidarity, respect, participation, and commitment are the values and tools that make us grow as people and as a society.
The reasons from 14 years ago are still valid and our hopes and experience have grown along with the dreams and joys of those that teach us to believe daily that in our hunger and our dreams we rule.
The repression towards La Casika and some of its participants has also grown from the municipal institutions, since their lack of capacity to manage cultural activities without a budget of millions is put in evidence. This rise in repression in the form of fines, identity checks, insults, and threats only serves to reaffirm that we are doing it well, that our attitude is the correct one, that they are angry that we do “Corto y Cambio,” a short film festival with more glamour and less money than they do, they’re pissed that have 14 years of doing the Festikmaf festival that does more for Mostolan artists than any town government tema, that in La Casika’s activities more people participate than in the majority of Mostoles cultural, political, or entertainment centers, that we have a cultural agenda more varied and popular than that of many towns in the area, that what we’re doing is done for and by the people, without a need for managers, councilmen, or mayors. And what really hurts them is not that we manage resources better or that we’re Mostoles’ alternative cultural reference, what bothers them and makes them lose sleep is that they can’t cut our budget. Because self-management versus subsidies works, because solidarity and union versus the entertainment business works, and because our commitment to keep on taking our ideas into practice is more present than ever.
We want to explain La Casika’s situation and ask for a support of all those people that are concerned because there are several repressive processes in place and we feel threatened: They have pressed charges against us for squatting and two compañerxs have a hearing for misappropriation on June 5. There is also an administrative ruling (in appeal in court) that orders an end to the cultural activities, meetings, lunch room, etc., under a threat to seal everything up. There is also a criminal proceeding in place against a compañero for disorderly conduct for participating in La Casika.
For all these reasons we call you to a demonstration that will take place in Mostoles on June 16, 2012 in defense of La Casika and all CSOs.
SUPPORT, DEFEND, LOVE
C.S.O.A. LA CASIKA
(Note from La Gatonera: “CSOA” stands for “self-organized, squatted, social centre”)