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Webinar: Housing Crisis and Labour Conflict: Essential Struggles during the Covid19 Pandemic

We present here a webinar that is part of a series coordinated by LevFem and Transnational Social Strike Platform, following up the first webinar organized before the summer. The discussions are based on exchanges taking place within a new emerging network called EAST (Essential Autonomous Struggles Transnational). Recognizing that European initiatives cannot be built without looking at what happens in Eastern and Central Europe, the EAST network connects collectives and struggles from Central/Eastern Europe and beyond involved in different struggles in the terrains of social reproduction, migration and labour. With this series of webinars, we want to initiate a public discussion about the struggles in the social reproduction sectors that have been intensified by Covid19, thus seeking ways to interconnect these moments of protest into a powerful transnational initiative. On September 6th we will talk about housing and labor struggles with Veda Popovici (Romania), Magda Malin (Poland) and Ana Vilenica (Serbia). On the 20th of September another webinar will deal with struggles around care work and migration. In October we will hold a public assembly taking up some results of this webinars and discussing together what it takes to build a transnational initiative starting from Eastern and Central Europe and dealing with the crucial field of social reproduction in all its extent. 
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The intensity of housing struggles during the current pandemic is in direct relation to the strained conditions of social reproduction, labour and migration in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.
The COVID-19 emergency exacerbated the already existing crisis in the field of housing caused by privatisation and financialization – growing levels of housing precarity, soaring household debt and an increase in domestic labour, mostly performed by women. This situation significantly affected labour and wage conditions and increased institutional racism, xenophobia and stigmatisation both against workers who remain in their home countries, and for those who migrate. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the poor state and institutional management of the pandemic became especially evident in overcrowded households, informal housing spaces, workers’ dormitories, homeless shelters, and reception centers for migrants where the precarious housing conditions made people more vulnerable towards the virus. The fact that Roma people, migrants, refugees, while often performing essential work in (health-)care, agriculture, logistics, are among those most exposed to such living conditions sparked further stigmatisation and racist threats.
During this webinar we will hear from speakers involved in housing, anti-eviction, migrants’ and workers’ struggles in Serbia, Romania and Poland, who have organised strikes, direct actions, legal aid and mutual care initiatives together with those most affected before and during the pandemic.
We will discuss questions such as: how to connect existing housing struggles transnationally? How to activate new transnational struggles identifying common targets? How to bridge labour struggles, housing struggles, migrants’ struggles, feminist struggles? And how to show the intertwinement of different social and political conditions of exploitation and oppression?
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Participants:
Ana Vilenica (Independent researcher and a member of the The Radical Housing Journal editorial collective and The Roof, anti-eviction organisation from Serbia)
Veda Popovici (Macaz cooperative & Frontul Comun pentru Dreptul la Locuire (FCDL)The Common Front for Housing Rights, Romania)
Magda Malin (Workers’ Initiative, Poland)
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Join us for the online webinar on September 6th at 18.00 (CEST)!
(Live streamed on the pages of LevFem, Transnational Social Strike, Friedrich Ebert Foundation Bulgaria and in the event page)
For further infos or for getting in touch please write to: [email protected]
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**Stay tuned for our upcoming webinar on Care Work & Migration (on Sept 20th )
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Links:
LevFem: https://levfem.org/
Transnational Social Strike: https://www.transnational-strike.info/
Supported by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Bulgaria: https://www.fes-bulgaria.org/
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Connected previous events: https://www.facebook.com/TSSPlatform/videos/3954797941261667
Text on Struggles in Social reproduction from our first webinar from this series: https://www.transnational-strike.info/2020/07/24/struggles-in-social-reproduction-during-covid19-from-east-to-west-and-beyond/
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Text on Serbia’s Housing Struggles by Ana Vilenica
https://roarmag.org/essays/serbia-housing-justice-struggle
Organising for housing justice in times of the COVID-19 pandemic A Report of the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City, Editors: Veda Popovici, Adina Marincea
https://housingnotprofit.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Report_Covid19_EuropeanActionCoalition.pdf
Covid-19 and housing struggles: The (re)makings of austerity, disaster capitalism, and the no return to normal, The RHJ Editorial Collective
https://radicalhousingjournal.org/2020/covid-19-and-housing-struggles/