Society

Pizza Punk: When Vienna Fights Gentrification

Article published on Oct. 22, 2014
Article published on Oct. 22, 2014

As in other European cities, Vienna is touched by gentrification. Renters with modest incomes are evicted to make way for bourgeois families, altering the face of the city. But the reply won't wait long; it echoes from 12 Mühlfeldgasse. Welcome to Pizzeria Anarchia.

In the 2nd district of Vienna, it has been months since a building has been the silent witness of extreme acts. From sabotage to threats and intimidation, the owners will stop at nothing to evict the current occupants in order to rent their apartments at a higher price. As part of a last ditch effort, they asked a group of punks to come and kindly squat on their property for more than a year in an effort to push the inhabitants out of their homes.

But as the deadline approached, the situation took a new twist. In the end, the punks decided to stay and defend Nada, the last renter who wished to stay in her apartment, and denounce the barely legal methods used to expulse her. For three years, 12 Mühlfeldgasse becomes a symbol of Viennese solidarity. The collective adopts the name Pizzeria Anarchia, thanks to its pizza oven open to everyone. In July 2014, the 19 squatters were finally kicked out by 1,700 police officers.

Celia and Mitl were part of the Pizzeria Anarchia collective. For cafébabel, they return to their squatter years that marked their spirits.

Pizza Punk - Antoine Le Lay, 2014. 

THIS REPORTAGE IS A PART OF “EUTOPIA: TIME TO VOTE,” A PROJECT CO-FINANCED BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISION, THE FRENCH MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, HIPPOCRÉNE FOUNDATION, THE CHARLES LÉOPOLD MAYER FOUNDATION AND THE EVENS FOUNDATION.