Background: squattingban & threatened squats

For half a year Holland faces a squatting ban. Since that time, squatting
has continued and squatting surely won’t stop in the future. The
government’s reaction to squatting has changed though. In some cities,
governments turn a blind eye, but in others they maintain a strict law and
order policy. Politicians in Amsterdam and Utrecht for example, stated
before the ban that they would turn a blind eye when the law was put in
effect. It proved to be a complete lie: squatters in both cities now face
severe repression to new squatting actions. Squatters in both cities are
on an almost war like situation with the authorities. But also some other
cities are aggressive towards new squatting actions. The symbolic molotov
cocktail through the windows of squatters led to an explosive athmosphere
straight away. There were physical confrontations on demonstrations in
Amsterdam and Nijmegen. Consequently, almost all of the 20 squats squatted
in Amsterdam after the ban have been evicted, together with a number of
squats squatted before the ban.

Currently, the government of Amsterdam and its prosecutor are trying to
evict Schijnheilig from its current base for the third time. Through the
years, Schijnheilig has become a nationally and internationally well known
and well respected cultural centre in which more than 1500 artists,
musicians, painters, students, poets have performed. The former school on
the Passeerdersgracht 23 in which Schijnheilig is based, knows a history
of emptiness and speculation and was empty for 10 years before it got
squatted. It was just rotting away before. This sad history will be its
future again after the coming eviction wave. Well: the government wants to
put in a so called anti-squatter; 1 person that will temporarily inhabit
the place, without having any renters rights. Schijnheilig strongly
opposes such deals where people give up their long fought renters right,
just to have a cheap place temporarily, hereby replacing an incredibly
lively cultural centre in which hundreds of people enjoy cultural
experience every week. This is a frontal attack on non-commercial cultural
expression, and a stimulation on practices that hollow out renters rights
which are long fought for by our parents.

The Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 35 squat is another one on the eviction wave
list. And this too is a sad example of the pervert effect of the dreadful
squatting ban. It has been squatted 2001, after being empty and rot away
for 20 years. In the 9 years it has been squatted it changed owners 9
times, all of which are speculators. While these speculators filled their
already well filled pockets, the squatters revived the building and lived
in it ever since. They created living space in a city which knows great
housing shortage. But while the thoroughly corrupt mafia speculators are
being rewarded with more profitable projects and bonuses, squatters are
declared criminal and face eviction. Meanwhile, the owners of the place
don’t even have a planning permission: Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 35 is bound
to face a long emptiness again. This is how it goes in Amsterdam, this is
how Amsterdam conforms itself to a trend in which a political and
economical elite aggressively attacks squatters, renters, misfits and
everyone who might affect their profits.

Mayor of Amsterdam Van der Laan clearly chooses side of the interest of
mafia, speculators and money in general, over the interest of the people
he is suppose to govern. Let this be very clear: the choice he makes to
favour the interest of money over the interest of people, makes this
struggle inseparable from struggles in Greece, in Berlin, against general
cuts, and all other struggles against this rotten system. This system
tries to squeezes us, to rule us, to conquer us: but we say to here and
further. We won’t let them make us homeless without resistance. This is a
call-out to resist these unjust practices. Resistance they’ll face, we
won’t let them conquer us: sowing eviction means harvesting resistance!

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Een gedachte over “Background: squattingban & threatened squats

  1. Pingback: Eviction Day | World Wide Stoners

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