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A former trailer of the Thun – Beatenbucht trolleybus in use as a caravan, 2003

The "Free Land Zaffaraya " was originally a tent and wagon village on the gas works area in Marzili in Bern . It was built on July 31, 1985 in the wake of the youth riots . The Zaffaraya, together with the riding arena , the steam center and the gas boiler, became a symbol of the youth unrest in Bern and a political issue that was discussed throughout Switzerland. On November 17, 1987, the police evacuated the Zaffaraya. The forcible eviction led to large protest demonstrations and school strikes.

In October 1988 the former site in the gas works was reoccupied. After 4 days, the 20 or so squatters were evicted by the police. The Zaffaraya then spontaneously occupied Bern train station . From the church side, the residents of Zaffaraya were given a parish hall in Wabern, where negotiations with the city took place. As a result, the municipal council of the city of Bern opened the campsite in Eichholz (which is closed in winter) for temporary use.

In the spring of 1989, after several negotiations with the city of Bern, the Zaffaraya was offered a "temporary solution" in Neufeld (on a hill on the outskirts, next to the motorway). Despite internal contradictions, the Zaffaraya accepted this offer. Since the city could not find an alternative site to the Neufeld and the residents of the Zaffaraya defended themselves with protest actions against the dissolution of their living space, the local council approved "a stay until further notice" in the Neufeld.

Since then, the highway debris hill has been transformed by the residents of Zaffaraya into a habitat with trees and gardens, a pond and many different residential buildings. The group consists of around 26 people aged 1 to 60 years. Although the Zaffaraya seems to have disappeared from everyday urban life due to its geographical (and political) location, cultural events take place there every year. This location of the Zaffaraya was threatened by a road construction project (“Neufeld feeder”), which provided for an entrance to a tunnel across the site.

However, destruction of the Zaffaraya project was averted. The city of Bern made a new site available to the residents, only a few hundred meters away from the previous one. The move and the start of construction on the Neufeld Tunnel began in the summer of 2006 - more than 20 years after the Zaffaraya was built.

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Coordinates: 46 ° 57 ′ 52 "  N , 7 ° 25 ′ 55"  E ; CH1903:  599,489  /  201478