Autonomous Center Cologne: Dismissal of Usage Contract

(go to the german version)

The usage contract of the Autonomous Center (AZ) in Cologne will be dismissed soon.

The city of Cologne is most likely buying the building (an old canteen of an abandoned industrial complex) from its current owner, the Sparkasse KölnBonn (a local savings bank) in November 2012. The responsibility for the further existence of the AZ shifts then into the hands of the city and its political agents.

In the meantime their signals are clear: with the ownership transfer of the building to the city, the current use contract with the AZ is going to be dismissed within a notice period of three month.

Since the opening of the AZ in April 2010 (with a massive squatting action) we aim to find a solution for a long term continuation of our space, by being in direct contact with the city and the local political parties. We hold talks with them on and on and showed our willingness to discuss. On and on we got the runaround and got nothing then promises by them.

Even in summer this year there had been promising negotiations about an alternative building, at first glance. But especially the social democrats (SPD) didn’t show any willingness to proceed with those negotiations and in the meantime, parts of the alternative building have been rented again – a big chance for a mutual solution had been squandered.

Since almost three years many people are self-organizing a diverse amount of non-commercial political and cultural events at the AZ. More then 10.000 visitors and activists are speaking a clear language about the importance of the center. Why the red-green majority in the city council is up to destroy a project that doesn’t cost them a cent remains
their secret.

There is still enough time to find a mutual solution. We expect from the city’s political agents concrete suggestions now. We are, as always, ready for talks, but we will also not just sit around until the contract got cancelled, the house got evicted and finally demolished.

Therefore we are calling everybody to conduct actions for the continuation of AZ. Let us hold the responsible politicians accountable for their decisions and fight for many more years of autonomous art, culture and politics at the AZ in Cologne.

Whatever they say AZ will stay