Squatters occupy empty building in Laeken: ‘Only for women’
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Squatters occupy empty building in Laeken: ‘Only for women’

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An empty building in Laeken has been occupied by squatters since Friday in an effort organised by the squatters collective Solidaire Opvordering.

“The aim of this solidarity claim is to provide stable and safe shelter and refuge to badly housed or homeless women in precarious conditions, with or without children and with or without papers,” said the collective.

Since the second lockdown, the Solidaire Opvordering squatters collective has already occupied several other empty buildings in Brussels, according to Bruzz.

Laeken is the collective’s seventh attempt at occupation. Two previous attempts had failed. The building in the Avenue Charles Demeer in Laeken has now been occupied by a dozen people since Friday.

“The building has been empty for more than a year and still has no planning permission. It is therefore possible to make this building available for a solidarity project until the actual work begins,” says the collective.

They have contacted the City of Brussels, and in the meantime, police have already paid a visit to check the building.

The collective announced at the end of March that it would stop occupying empty buildings, which it was doing in large parts because of freezing winter temperatures.

But according to the squatters themselves, the need for such initiatives has not disappeared.

In the Laeken building, the collective only wants to offer shelter to women and the initiative is supported by Angela D., a non-profit organisation dedicated to women’s housing.

“This temporary occupation is far from ideal, but it is the only solution for these women in Brussels today,” said the association.

The Brussels Times