“What is going to happen here?”

Berlin, Barcelona, Lisbon and of course, Dublin. What do all the aforementioned European cities have in common? They are severely hit by housing crisis. Thousands of people do have a place to live, while many live in poverty, in cities that are supposed to be great examples of economic miracles.

However, in such cities, even a salary paid in time does not guarantee anymore that the rent for a tiny apartment in bad condition could be affordable. People have tried everything, in order to keep their life in reasonably acceptable standards; sharing apartments, sharing rooms, sharing beds (!), paying two thirds of their salary for a hole 1 hour away from their working place and yet, none of the above has been enough. Families get evicted and put themselves in survival mode. Yes, families, not just individuals. Numbers for Dublin and Ireland are atrocious – more than 10,000 homeless people in Ireland according to the latest figures. Landlords and Letting Agencies keep setting the tone; short term lettings and greediness, along with extensive tourism are forcing Dublin to a violent gentrification – a change that has been more than clear in the last 5 years. Cranes everywhere, while people sleep in tents under them. Dystopia.

Is there hope? Yes. Lisbon proves it everyday. Barcelona same. Athens same. People fighting against housing crisis and count losses, but also count wins. It’s not easy – we must get organised, we must be united, we must be active. We must stand in solidarity and never forget we are humans.

Left Hand Rotation in collaboration with Stop Despejos and Habita! have produced a documentary that shows how activists from Lisbon have been fighting against housing crisis and gentrification of their city. It’s very easy to find the similarities to Ireland; same narratives, IMF, landlords, construction sector multinational firms, gentrification, endless tourism… On their own words:

A documentary movie about the social movement advocating the right to live in the city of Lisbon, at a time when the various fights for the urban space have increased – the result of the expansion of finance capitalism that concentrates wealth in the hands of a few people, and increases social inequalities.

A documentary about those who challenge the transformation of the city into a merchandise, those who disobey in front of injustice by building power structures for and with the ones who need a place to live.

A documentary by Left Hand Rotation in collaboration with Stop Despejos and Habita!

Please watch the documentary (at the end of the page) and help the producers by talking about it and spreading the word. Let’s see what’s going on there and take the lesson on how we should react here. An excellent work that must be shared and its message must be spread around. The final goal is difficult, but it’s in our hands. Let’s think beyond ourselves, organise and as we said a couple of years ago ‘take back the city‘!


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