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<nettime> Abbenay Hackerspace - Call for Support
Sébastien Bourdeauducq on Thu, 1 Oct 2009 12:16:31 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Abbenay Hackerspace - Call for Support

The Abbenay hacklab [1] opened early this month in Stockholm [2],
where a housing crisis is at full blow.

We are set up in a place that was squatted downtown by Kommando Carl
Bildt since late August, called AK4. The house was empty since June,
and there was no plans to use it until one year and a half.

Unfortunately, squats are very unusual in Sweden, and the discussions
with the landlord and the city of Stockholm are extremely difficult,
even though many newspapers speak positively about AK4. The place
currently sets a record for the country, with a life time of one month
(and counting) while most squats usually get raided by the police in a
few days.

We are however facing an imminent eviction threat and police pressure
has been significantly increasing lately - with civil cops coming very
often to take pictures of the house and sirens waking us up early in
the morning.

This call is asking you to contact the landlord to show support to
the hacklab and the squat. So far, he has been very closed minded. He
only proposed that we leave the place and talked about an expensive
and abusive rental contract. It was about a much smaller office, and
according to which we would not be allowed to sleep in the premises,
we would not be allowed to host concerts, cafes or parties, etc.

The landlord is Fredrik Winberg; he is the CEO of Cementa AB [3],
part of HeidelbergCement Global with a revenue of 15 billion euros
per year. He also runs the Biteam AB company [4]. We do not believe
that he or any of his fellows will turn poor should we definitely get
the house in Stockholm, and we think that his behavior is basically
motivated by the capitalist idea that the right to stay somewhere must
always be paid for.

We hereby ask you to contact him to expose your views on squatting and
hackerspaces in order to give him a more comprehensive view on the
subject than what he could have had as a capitalist entrepreneur. His
contact email is fredrik.winberg at cementa.se and he can be reached
by phone at +46 (0)708 25 68 04 (NB: this contact information is
available from the WWW).

We do not give a "copy and paste" email to send him, since mail
bombing would probably not be effective and only increase tensions.
Also, please do not be aggressive nor engage in any other activity
(defacing etc.) which would not lead anywhere.

You are also most welcome to join the AK4 Squat Support Group on
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=146697601021

Thank you,
The Abbenay Hacklab

PS. We are very grateful for any distribution of this call. Print it, forward 
it, post it on your blog, upload it to your favorite social network, etc.

[1] http://www.abbenay.org/
[2] http://lekernel.net/blog/?p=544
[3] http://www.masterclub.se/konsulter.html (Swedish)
[4] http://www.biteam.com/

Example email below

Dear Sir,

I'm aware that one of your premises in Stockholm is being squatted by a
group called AK4, of Anarchist affiliation. Although that may sound
antagonist to your principles and ethics, or even paradoxical, I urge you to
consider the following arguments in support of their action.

Abbenay HackSpace is a HackerSpace[1], an ad-hoc, associative, civil &
public laboratory where advanced techniques and off-bounds concepts are
researched and transformed into technologies, where people join forces,
resources and brain-power to explore issues that would otherwise be ignored
for the lack of immediate (or obvious) profitability or the lack of
mainstream attention.

Such research and development includes electronic devices, next-generation
tools and software, self-fabrication workshops, etc. Recent examples include
robotic self-replicating builders, operational drones, pollution monitoring
solutions, even advanced pattern knitting that could benefit from your
Biteam 3D printing technology.

Although their methods are questionable, please consider what benefits you
and your fellow citizens could enjoy from having such a dedicated team of
goofy researchers in your capital city. Beyond the obvious press coverage
from the place being squatted, you would be surprised of how productive and
ingenious these people can be, and how shaking and beneficial such an
endeavor can be for the local community.

Hackerspaces fill the gap and setup bridges between academic knowledge and
corporate research, between the scientist and the artist, between engineers
and the public. They can help discover new talents and seed innovation.

Many successful hackerspace venues abound around the world, such as the
Metalab[2] in Vienna, the C-Base[3] in Berlin, HacDC[4] in Washington DC or
/tmp/lab[5] in Paris. They attract highly skilled people in many technology
or art-related fields, as well as a public audience eager to learn about
technology. Workshops are held regularly in such places, and open to anyone,
from kids to retired people, to share know-how and techno-savvy culture with
the community. From computer programming to electronic devices soldering,
from machine design to space exploration, hackerspaces help the people catch
up with technological acceleration and lead the way towards a comprehensive
and open society.

Please, mister Winberg, give the Abbenay HackSpace a chance to demonstrate
what kind of talents the Swedish hacker community can deploy with an
adequate venue and focus. Hackers are dedicated people, they respond to a
creative impulse and a drive to seek and build knowledge. Hereby you can
make history by granting them a space for a couple of years: this is an
island of another way through the world, that won't harm anyone but give a
chance to see things differently.

I thank you, mister Winberg, for your attention and generosity,


[1] http://hackerspaces.org/
[2] http://metalab.at/
[3] http://www.c-base.org/
[4] http://hacdc.org/
[5] http://www.tmplab.org/

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