Friday, January 06, 2006


When last I heard, residents of Rhino, one of Geneva's oldest squats were facing immediate eviction. Then the story disappeared from the papers. Now, Swiss reporter (and former squatter) Philippe de Rougemont has sent this update:

Rhino appealed to the federal court against the evacuation order that was set for mid-November. They used procedural grounds. And won. Now a Geneva court has to rule again and has time till March to do so.

Still, there is no "suspension of evacuation" delivered by the federal court. The Geneva prosecutor has the legal right to evict the squatters. Worse, the owners have refused to sell the building to the city of Geneva, which had sugested it could then keep the inhabitants.

As far as I can see, the countdown to evacuation has started. But the future is not written, and you never know for what reason, Rhino may be around in 10 years time, but new squats can not flourish: no empty buildings left (except those reserved for commercial or industrial purposes, those are no-no places to squat, immediate police evacuation). We'll have to wait for the next period when prices will hit the ceiling and owners will keep buildings empty in order to sell them fast at the good moment, and then the next owner does the same thing. Then those buildings stay empty and theres a possibility.

Visit for more info (in French).

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