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Argentina: Hotel Bauen eviction called off at last minute

Argentina: Hotel Bauen eviction called off at last minute

Famed worker-occupied building Hotel Bauen got a stay of execution last night after the National Chamber of Appeals in Buenos Aires allowed an injunction against its eviction, just hours before the site was due to be forced out.

In its comments the court overturned an order by María Paula Hualde that Bauen’s 140 workers had no right to appeal their eviction. It said she had “erred” in rushing through the order. Hualde’s overenthusiastic ruling followed President Mauricio Macri’s decision to veto a Senate agreement last year to give the building over to the workers.

Over the last month staff at the Bauen have been building solidarity and organising support events to raise awareness about the threat to the hotel, which has been under occupation for 14 years and is a mainstay of left-wing organising in the city. City bosses have been reluctant to take on the hotel, which is a national symbol for the co-operative movement and has a long history of successfully seeing off eviction attempts.

Yesterday the co-op said it was still on alert. It had been due to organise a a festival against eviction, including milonga, a type of ballroom dancing, but in a statement last night they said:

Due to the lifting of the eviction order, plus climatic conditions (rain, thunder) and it being an outdoor event we have been forced to suspend the activity “Milonga by Bauen.” We are grateful for the collaboration and stay tuned for the new call. Thank you.

The Bauen staff, who took over their then-abandoned building as part of the fábricas recuperadas movement in 2003, have been fighting both in the courts on constitutional grounds and in the Senate, where they hope to gain enough votes to void Macri’s veto. Last year they won a Senate vote to allow formal expropriation of the site.

Solidarity messages can be sent to, or if you speak Spanish, to the Bauen Facebook page.

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