The City Is Ours

The City Is Ours: Squatting and Autonomous Movements in Europe from the 1970s to the Present

Bart Van Der Steen and Ask Katzeff


Squatters and autonomous movements have been in the forefront of radical politics in Europe for nearly a half-century—from struggles against urban renewal and gentrification, to large-scale peace and environmental campaigns, to spearheading the antiausterity protests sweeping the continent.

Through the compilation of the local movement histories of eight different cities—including Amsterdam, Berlin, and other famous centers of autonomous insurgence along with underdocumented cities such as Poznan and Athens—'The City Is Ours' paints a broad and complex picture of Europe’s squatting and autonomous movements. Each chapter focuses on one city and provides a clear chronological narrative and analysis accompanied by photographs and illustrations. The chapters focus on the most important events and developments in the history of these movements.

Furthermore, they identify the specificities of the local movements and deal with issues such as the relation between politics and subculture, generational shifts, the role of confrontation and violence, and changes in political tactics.

All chapters are written by politically-engaged authors who combine academic scrutiny with accessible writing. Readers with an interest in the history of the newest social movements will find plenty to mull over here. Contributors include Nazima Kadir, Gregor Kritidis, Claudio Cattaneo, Enrique Tudela, Alex Vasudevan, Needle Collective and the Bash Street Kids, René Karpantschof, Flemming Mikkelsen, Lucy Finchett-Maddock, Grzegorz Piotrowski, and Robert Foltin.