Sans-papiers demonstrate against possible eviction from KBC building

Sans-papiers demonstrate against possible eviction from KBC building
Image of the occupied building in September 2020. Photo from Twitter.

The undocumented migrants who have been occupying the old KBC headquarters in the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek since the end of August held a protest on Monday against their possible eviction.

Between 160 and 200 undocumented migrants have occupied the building since the end of August, reports Bruzz, but the collective that represents them says those days may be numbered.

“The commune of Molenbeek has just informed us of a possible eviction today,” Saïd Elouizi of the collective told Bruzz, adding that while they were told the construction work to renovate the building would begin on Monday, “we have not seen anyone yet.”

Translation: See you at 2pm! SOS – Support for the occupiers of the “Neutral Zone Collective. IMMINENT EXPULSION of the KBC building. We call on those who can to come en masse to support our undocumented comrades.

The police denied that an eviction was due to take place. “We have not planned anything today. An eviction is not on the cards for the time being,” spokesperson for Brussels-West police zone Dennis Sutherland told the Dutch-language publication.

“In any case, if an eviction is planned, it will first be discussed with all parties concerned.”

A unified group

The occupiers call themselves the ‘zone neutre’ collective, a reference to the initiative of State Secretary Sammy Mahdi (CD&V) who in July set up a neutral zone for hunger strikers in the Beguinage church. They remain unconvinced that an eviction isn’t imminent.

“We have had three meetings with the municipality. They suggested that we house the group in hotels for the time being, but we don’t want that,” said Elouizi.

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“In that scenario, we would be spread out in two groups: one of about 70, and another of about 30 people. We don’t want that. And moreover: what would happen to the rest of the group?”

The collective says that housing is only part of the equation: “We strive for a higher goal. We demand collective regularisation. It is a political question and that goes beyond a temporary solution.”

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