Archiv der Kategorie 'switzerland'

Asylum Seekers Squat Church in Zurich (Switzerland)

On Friday, 19 December 2008, around 150 Sans-Papiers and solidarity activists squatted the „Prediger“ Church in Zurich, Switzerland. The squatters demanded from the Canton Zurich documents for everyone, work permits for all and the implementation of the hardship provision
Switzerland in general and the Canton Zurich specifically have a very restrictive regime for asylum seekers and those whose asylum claim was rejected. Migrants who get the so called „non-admissibility-decision“ (NEE) on the asylum claim have to leave the country. However, many of them prefer to stay. According to Swiss law, they‘re not entitled to receive social assistance, but only emergency assistance. In the Canton Zurich, migrants with NEE are given accommodation in emergency centers, but they are obliged to change the place once a week. Furthermore, they‘re only given 8.5 Swiss Francs (US$ 8) a day. This amount isn‘t being given in cash, but in Migros coupons. Migros is a major Swiss supermarket chain. The Canton doesn‘t pay for transportation, although the migrants have to change accommodation once a week and often end up staying somewhere far away from a Migros supermarket.

Spaces disappearing for Geneva’s alternative culture

Geneva’s alternative scene is facing major problems. Throughout the eighties and nineties, there were more squats per capita than in anywhere else in Europe. And artistic activity filled these places. Now that is all changing. Squats full of artist ateliers and venues are being closed down to make way for more condos and green spaces. Young artists may soon have no place left in the city.


Contested places: Squatting and the construction of `the urban‘ in Swiss cities

This paper examines urban social movements through a case study directed toward housing and urban culture in Berne,
Switzerland. Urban movements set the stage for ways of understanding, interpreting, and challenging unspoken norms in
city life. Taking an actor-oriented perspective, I focus on subjective motivations in forming a collective movement and relate
these to a wider context of social change. The study is based on qualitative interviews with former squatters and participants
in the movement.