June 4, 2019
With the beginning of June the last of eight court decisions that prevented the city government of Ljubljana from taking control of the Rog bicycle factory turned squat were decided in the city’s favour, and thus the authorities are expected to begin their long-planned renovation process. However, even though the court ordered eight of the squatters to leave the land, there remain about a hundred other users who refuse to leave the premises.
Some of the current Rog users, worried the city government might begin their work any time now, began building a barricade to prevent construction machinery from entering the main yard. In doing so they have entered into several conflicts, one with the police and two with the construction workers that are currently replacing pipes on Trubarjeva Road. The first incident occurred with workers walking into the Rog yard in order to inspect and start digging for the heating pipes there, the second when local citizens noticed how Rog users went into Trubarjeva Road in order to collect material from the construction site, presumably to be used in their barricade.
Although some of the self-styled representatives of the Rog squat are calling for more dialogue with the city government, in an interview for MMC from January this year Mayor Jankovič expressed frustration with the mediation process, stating that at a certain point the city was offering Rog users 500 sq metres of renovated properties to use. When this offer was rejected, he said that the city government lost interest in continuing talks with the squatters.
Last week the city government declared the beginning of the renovation works by choosing the construction company that is going to build an access ramp for the underground parking garage that is planned at the site of the new Rog Centre project.
We are not sure how the construction of the ramp is going to be possible under the current circumstances, but can presume it will not be smooth, fast nor cheap.