On Friday July 14th 2005, ten people had to appear in the court of Amsterdam. They were prosecuted because of their participation in actions against the eviction of six squats in Amsterdam. Eight of them were already locked up since the evictions on Tuesday May 31st. That day around 70 people gathered in front of the Rokin squat in the center of Amsterdam. They made barricades on the street, set them on fire and blocked all traffic for hours. When the riotpolice arrived people started to attack them with stones, bottles and paintbombs. The clash on the streets went on for an hour, the eviction for five hours.
Two of the ten people that had to appear in court, were declared innocent ; seven people were convicted for 6 weeks prison (exactly the time they had spend inside already, so they were released the next day) ; and one woman got sentenced for 5 months, so she still has to spend 3 ½ months in prison ! When arrested a molotov cocktail was found on her body. Though nobody threw a molotov and there is no film or photograph footage from the police, she is convicted of throwing a molotov cocktail. All the accusations are based on the article of “public violence from a organised group”, with variations in : walking between the barricades, throwing water on police officers, throwing with objects like speaker boxes, empty beer cans, bread, molotov cocktails, fruit, a red coffee cup, bricks and pillows. During the court case the judge and the officer of justice made some remarkable political statements, that are very uncommon in dutch court. They compared the situation with “city guerrilla” because there were actions in a organised way that crossed the boundaries of violence.
According to the officer of justice the accused were anyway guilty of public violence cause they were at the eviction and didn’t distance themselves from the violence that was being used. At the same moment he had the ridiculous idea to criticize the accused about their daily life : he made comments about drinking beer at 7 o’clock in the morning, and aimed at a non Dutch person “you are taking advantaged of the Dutch hospitality”. The judge declared that the police is not invented to eat stones and bricks, “This has to stop” he said.
During the declaration of the verdicts the so called independence of the courthouse was hard to find. The judge made some political statements towards the public that came to support the accused : “Let this be a warning. You all heard the verdicts. It is enough, the people are sick of the violence”. In this way he put the public in the seat of the accused. A clear political process, the court didn’t look at the criminal act by itself, but to the motivation behind it. This was also said during the trial : one of the defending lawyers came with the example of soccer hooligans that rioted with the police and injured 52 cops (good one) some months before, and all got sentenced to do community services. The officer of justice reacted with “that was not political motivated violence”. The system shows its fear for people who want to change the fundaments of society completely, and don’t agree with those who own the city. People who are working in a active way to create their own lives. In convicting people with these sentences they try to intimidate people who are resisting the property right. That’s why we have to give a clear answer to repression and support the people that got confronted with this repression. We are not alone in this one, the struggle continues !!!
If you want you can support Yolanda, she has to stay in prison for 3 ½ more months and will be released in mid November. She is an active anarchist and is involved in a dozen of collectives and participated in numerous actions. You can write to her in German, English and Spanish.
3430 BH Nieuwengein