Is there really peace, joy and pancakes here in Bochum?
With its old buildings, Haldenstraße in the Hamme district appears tidy and inconspicuous when DER WESTEN is there. There is a day care center, lots of trees – and an empty residential building covered with banners, flags and painted symbols.
House number 47 has been occupied by activists since October 15. No one thinks of giving up here. Because they have a clear demand on the diaconia, which owns the house!
Bochum: house squatters in Hamme!
The residential building has been empty for some time, the Diakonie wants to demolish the building and build a home for the disabled on the site. This is exactly what the 30 to 50 activists who are in the house or overgrown garden around the clock want to prevent.
Instead build a “community place for the neighborhood”. The fact that occupying the house is a criminal offense is not an obstacle. Activist Simon Wiesenthal told DER WESTEN: “We also want to draw attention to the housing shortage here, especially in this time of crisis. It is unacceptable that such a building has stood empty for years and become unusable.”
Activists want to create a “place of networking” in Bochum
Lena B. (21), who also occupies the house and does not want to be photographed, explains further: “There was an initial conversation with the Diakonie. The concern is worth supporting, we have nothing against a home for the disabled. But it will be a long time before it gets here. Until then, we want to make the house a place for networking and celebrations.”
What the duo imagines: people drop by, get to know the occupiers and their concerns, you sit, eat and drink together – a place for socializing. The fact that occupying a house constitutes a criminal offense is not an impediment.
Police Bochum with large-scale use
The fire brigade and police arrived on the first day of the occupation and opened the barricaded doors. The unemployed Simon Wiesenthal to DER WESTEN: “At some point the fire brigade got stuck because the attic could not be opened properly. An eviction did not take place.”
Although it may be a matter of trespassing, the owner, the Diakonie, must report it. Since that didn’t happen, the police left.
Activist: “Diakonie shoots itself in the foot when the house is cleared”
Until then, Simon Wiesenthal and Lena B. definitely want to stay. Wiesenthal, who is in his mid-twenties, says: “We eat and sleep here, even if it’s uncomfortable at night. But there is someone here around the clock, the house does not remain unoccupied.” And further: “The Diakonie shoots itself in the foot if it has the house evicted by force and it then stands lifeless and abandoned again. You have to do a lot here, we’re just beautifying everything so that residents also feel comfortable here.”
But they still react cautiously. A man who walks his dog told DER WESTEN: “You greet each other in a friendly way, but I haven’t really spoken to them yet. I have nothing against the cast, but I wouldn’t want to live next door.” It remains to be seen how the events surrounding “Haldi 47” develop… (with cf)