a raid without search warrant the occupiers brought
a charge against the police.
Peter Johannes Meier
started all harmless: Two measurement engineers of a
building contractor requested access to the house at
the Kreuzplatz. The property is a demolition building
and should give way to a controversial new building
project with 23 apartments. The men were let in. They
marked a spot on the roof, where a pole should be erected
for the construction later. They announced to come around
again for the erection the next days. The occupiers
asked for an announcement because they work irregularly.
That was last August.
days later the occupiers were torn out of sleep: "Open
up, Police, or we will kick in the door." That had already
happened when baffled occupiers still in underpants
saw themselves confronted to twelve police officers.
On the question for a search warrant they got the reply:
"We don't need one." Police had to guarantee workers
access to the roof, one officer said.
demolition building is occupied without written lease
since three years. "We pay for electricity, water and
all other charges. The home-owner showed no interest
for a lease from beginning on", an occupier explained.
All properties around the Kreuzplatz being part of the
new building project are occupied without lease since
March 2000. All tenants - except one shop - received
the notice to quit despite the date of construction
start still being uncertain.
did not restrict their action on "instruction to guarantee
but faned out in the house and confiscated several items.
One of the police officers took photos in the livingroom
and in the workroom. "After about one hour we were allowed
to dress", an occupier said. Police officers felled
with a chainsaw several plants on the roof, among them
hemp. "There was absolutely no reason for that. The
plants were no obstacle to erect the pole", an occupier
explains annoyed. After the workers have erected the
pole, the police officers left the house - to return
to take even more pictures two hours later. one occupier
decided to take photos himself of the police action
then. The film was confiscated. Some of the confiscated
items - a statement does not exist - were given back,
others obviously being destroyed. The responsible police
officer explained to an occupier, that this was the
fault of the cleaning lady.
answer of the Criminal Investigation Department
of the occupiers brought a lawyer in then. She demanded
an explanation of the police of Zurich, on what legal
basis they think to base their action on. "I have no
answer until now", lawyer Barbara Hug said yesterday.
She brought a charge against the police officers because
of abuse of their position already end of November.
Responsible head of meanwhile dissolved task force "fire
and attempts", Erwin Zuend, did not want to give his
opinion because of the ongoing proceedings.
occupiers of the property are convinced that the police
action should intimidate all occupiers: "Police wanted
to show us that they can visit people without lease
any time. But a house occupied without lease is still
no lawless space."