Autonomous Homeless and Social Center (PSTO) @psto.bethlehem is a squatting movement in Salatiga, Indonesia. On Sunday, June 7, 2020, Bethlehem resumed occupying the building after almost two months without a place. After being evicted in the last squat, we rented a boarding house and a shop to serve as a public kitchen to extend the breath of our struggle. This space does not fit to accommodate 16 homeless people and many urban poor who have been assisted by Bethlehem. In the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis, we had to occupy an two-years abandoned private property.
It should be emphasized, we are not just about to make a shelter and provide a bed. We plan to build a social center consisting of a library, public kitchen, safe room for women, suitable goods cooperative, urban garden, people school, a secretariat for workers and students, and a creative and community spaces of the urban poor in Salatiga.
We have repeatedly cleaned the building and get evicted. We asked for approval and solidarity from local residents before making this occupation. But residents repeatedly said that they preferred the building to be destroyed rather than being cared for and occupied after their bad experiences with old residents of the building. Neither the residents nor us have the legal authority to use the building. But leaving it displaced and letting us remain displaced during the crisis amid a pandemic shows that in the minds of the people, property law is above humanitarian law!
If we are trash, you are the one throw us away.