Amsterdam: Refugee collective We Are Here wins court case and can stay in the Vluchtlumumba till 3 july

20170409_Amsterdam_Wij_Zijn_Hier_Vlucht_LumumbaYesterday, the Somali group of We Are Here won the court case against the State of the Netherlands with regard to their stay at Florijn 8-11 in Amsterdam-Zuidoost. The authorities ordered the immediate eviction of the ‘Vluchtlumumba’, which they started to inhabit on 9 April 2017. However, their request to stay until the end of the Ramadan has been granted by the Court of Amsterdam.

The group consists of 20 men who have been in the Netherlands for a long time. Some of them have been here for up to 20 years, without the possibility to go back, or to lead a normal life in The Netherlands. After being evicted from a previous building last year, they were on the street for four months. As many of them have various health problems and as they needed more time to find another place, the group decided not to leave the building as ordered, but demanded to be allowed to stay until 3 July. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Two houses re-squatted on the Minckelersstraat

Two houses were today re-squatted in Jeruzalem (Amsterdam) after being left empty by Rochdale since the eviction of the previous squatters in January.

Today two houses were re-squatted in the neighbourhood of Jeruzalem (Amsterdam). These houses on Minckelersstraat have been left empty by the housing corporation Rochdale since the eviction of the previous squatters at the end of January 2017.

The neighbourhood contains a mix of social and free sector housing, and the entire area is being renovated or demolished and redeveloped. The previous squatters were presented with court documents by Rochdale detailing their plans for the houses which today were re-squatted – they were to be used as modelwoning, to demonstrate to residents what to expect from their renovations. However, this purported use of the properties never materialised, instead they were boarded up and left vacant.

According to Rochdale’s concept plan for the renovations (dated March 2017), modelwoning exist elsewhere in the neighbourhood. Residents of the block concerned had the opportunity to view these in March. In other words, the previous squatters were evicted for no reason other than to leave these houses empty. [Read More]

Amsterdam: The living breathing lungs of ADM terrain Westpoort

ADM_AmsterdamOn the edge of an expanding industrial area in Amsterdam called Westpoort, a special development took place.

A group of people created a forest. The forest functions as a natural filter for emissions from local industries. It filters particulate matter, which are small particles of toxic debris and dust from the coal, concrete and petroleum industries located in the nearby area.

On the ADM terrain the trees and plants continually capture these small particles and hold on to them with their leaves and branches until they are washed away naturally by the rain. This is a pollution barrier at work.

The ADM trees also work as a sound barrier to the activity in the industrial freight and coal terminals located in the area. The trees also capture and store CO2 gas. This sound barrier, natural air filter and CO2 storage works every day.

At present the ADM forest forms a direct benefit for the surrounding living areas such as Westzaan and Zaandam, but also for the environment in a much bigger sense. [Read More]

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Amsterdam: Finally clarity about ADM terrain

ADM_AmsterdamChidda admits, Koole Maritime is not intending building a shipyard.

The ADM terrain in the port of Amsterdam has been disused since 1977. From that time, the land was ‘owned’ by various speculators, who however still had to deal with a limitation that the municipality had included in the Act of Ownership, when they gifted the then ADM shipyard in 1970; “the terrain is destined for a company, which aims to build and repair ships.” The Supreme Court ruled earlier that this destination restriction (the ‘perpetual clause’) is still in place. The current ‘owner’, Chidda Vastgoed BV, argued for some time that they had found a company that would indeed plan to launch a genuine shipyard on the terrain. In the appeal court-case of the ‘Bodemprocedure’ (=> in-depth court case), which took place Tuesday (March 28th. 2017), Chidda was forced to admit that it is not about a shipyard, but “a displacement of the current activities.” The company in question, Koole Maritime BV, is known for, among others, asbestos removal, waste treatment and excavation works.

That real estate company Chidda BV insisted this long that it indeed was about a shipyard, has to do with the fact that they’re attempting already for about two years to remove the more than 200 residents, who settled in the area in the past 40 years, through various procedures. However, in order to accomplish this, the real estate company must have a “demonstrable and law respecting interest in the matter”, according to the judges in the three previous court cases. For the ADM terrain it means that there must be serious plans presented for a shipyard. These plans were proven again and again below par. Last Tuesday it became finally clear why. [Read More]

Amsterdam: New squat on the Singel

20170319_Singel_356_AmsterdamThis afternoon a building was squatted at Singel 356 in Amsterdam. The canal house, which has monument status, was last sold in 2014 to a British hedge fund banker based in Switzerland. Prior to the sale, the building was uninhabited for a number of years, with planning permits denied, and only minor works carried out by a now bankrupt construction firm. Since acquiring the property in 2014, the current owner has continued the trend of his predecessor: leaving the building vacant.

Like the majority of these typical Amsterdam canal houses, the property has been deemed monumental. Generally, this status is given to structures and buildings of significance in particular to preserve an area’s historic architectural value. Future plans for this property remain unclear, and we strongly believe that unique, significant monumental buildings such as this should not be left empty to deteriorate over time – particularly when the reasons behind this likely involve some means of speculation. As a group we intend to look after this property, which its current wealthy owner appears to be unconcerned with.

The continuing housing crisis in Amsterdam shows no sign of improvement anytime soon. The accommodation shortage we are witnessing is driven by surging prices in both real estate and rental accommodation. At the same time, increasing numbers of social housing properties are being switched into the free sector or even sold, with very few being added to the social sector. Understandably, waiting lists for social housing have ballooned in recent years – 15-20 years on average across the city. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Future of the Torensluis. The city wants an exclusive Canal District

torensluisbrugLast night the Dagelijks Bestuur of the Central city district made a decision about the future of the Torensluis. The district wants to begin renovations soon, after which neighborhood groups will be abloe to sign a contract with them. As soon as the necessary permits have been obtained (which will probably be around May or June), the district will no longer tolerate us in the space.

The negotiations about a joint plan for the future use of the space were reaching their final stage in November 2016 when our negotiating partners, Stadsdorp 7 and Brug9buurt abruptly left the talks. It turned out that they did not want to sign our jointly devised plan because they wanted to submit their own proposal.

Contrary to the proposal of our former negotiating partners, the Spinhuis Collective wanted to keep the space open for use by a range of groups. We therefore saw the necessity of submitting our own proposal, in which we articulated our vision about public space in the city, specifically in the Torensluis. We therefore went in search of other socially engaged projects for possible collaborations. Neighborhood center D’Oude Stadt and Stichting Het Gespuis, both of whom have been forced to find a new space because of the commercialization of the city center, indicated their willingness to work with us in the future. [Read More]

Amsterdam: squatters celebrate christmas by squatting a house!

20161225_Amsterdam_Weteringschans_209_squattedThe building, Weteringschans 209, is owned by associates of well know speculators Libra B.V. who are currently also trying to evict the ADM.
We wish everyone happy holidays, and solidarity with all squats and squatters worldwide!
Happy holidays!
Greetings from Amsterdam Oost. [Read More]

Amsterdam: We Are Here refugees squat building on Amstelstraat 29-31

20161224_Amsterdam_We_Are_Here_refugees_squat_building_on_Amstelstraat_29_31Amsterdam, 24 december 2016 – Today, we, a Swahili subgroup of the refugee action collective We Are Here, squatted a building on the Amstelstraat 29-31. We had no other option because we were evicted from our previous location at the Rijswijkstraat.
We have asked the municipality many times to help us with sattisfying our basic needs, such as a simple proper shelter for day and night, but nothing has happened so far. Therefore we have to continue to squat buildings.
We are a small group and want to take good care for the building. We had friendly contact with the owners of our buildings before and we hope to come to a good agreement again. We also welcome all our neighbours to visit us. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Update on arrests of today’s squatting action

20161217_Martelaarsgracht_AmsterdamToday (17/12/2016) in the afternoon we attempted to squat an apartment in the city centre of Amsterdam. Unfortunately, the people from the neighbouring bar became excessively violent leading to the situation escalating. As a result, 9 people were arrested as far we know, and all of them have been released without charges. However if you do have any information about someone still being held, please get in contact with Jebbink Soeteman. [Read More]

Amsterdam: We Are Here claims government building

20161212_Wij_Zijn_Hier_bezetting_Hoogtekadijk_401_AmsterdamThe We Are Here group asks for support at Hoogte Kadijk 401 where they have a sit-in / sleep-in in front of a building that is owned by the governement and where a few anti-squatters live. The police stated that they will tolerate the action till 9 pm tonight. Warm drinks, warm food en warm blankets are very welcome!

We are here, we are refugees & we need a solution.
Again our building was evicted on December 13. Our group We Are Here is struggling for over 4 years now and building after building has been evicted, over 20 times in 4 years now. Staying on the street is no solution, nightshelter for a few of us is no solution. We need a real solution and this is permission to stay and building our lives. We are people. We would like to study, we would like to work, we would like to be with the ones we love. Just like you! We are no different. We are refugees and asked for asylum in the Netherlands. We went through a lot in our countries of origin and in our travel to a safe Europe. We told our stories but they are not believed. In order to get asylum we have to come with new proof of our stories, that are hard or even impossible to get or would put our lives even in more danger. We do not get any housing but are also not allowed to work, therefore we are out on the street. We didn’t expect to find ourselves in this situation when we came here as a refugee. That is why we started our action. First in a tent camp, followed by many different squatted buildings. Vluchtkerk, Vluchtkerkluchtflat, Vluchtkantoor, Vluchtgarage, Vluchtgemeente, etc. [Read More]

Amsterdam: De Rooie Nies, Lange Niezel 25 squatted

20161209_DeRooieNies_LangeNiezel25Neighbourhood letter:

Hello!

Lange Niezel 25 has been squatted as of Sunday December 4th. This means that the squatters are the new official residents. The reasons for this action are:
- the shortage of housing in Amsterdam, particularly social housing
- corrupt housing corporations with waiting lists years long
- a house that’s been out of use for more than 8 years
- a street that hasn’t actually been improved by Project 1012
- the simple reason that a few people want to live there

We can imagine that you’re worried about this, probably because of the bad reputation squatters have. We have absolutely no plan to make this house into a den of thieves.  We’ve chosen a select group of people to live here and we want to fit into the neighborhood as much as possible.  This means that we want to avoid creating nuisances such as trash and noise problems.  More importantly, we’d like to give the building a presentable appearance and finally, to restore its monumental value.

“…Some of the floors above shops are currently standing empty, and are ideal for residential space. Having people living in a neighbourhood makes it a safer and more pleasant area to be in, residents make it more liveable and lively, providing social control and cohesion. [Read More]

Amsterdam: News from Wijde Heisteeg 7

We, the living group of Wijde Heisteeg 7 are facing the court case against our evection. This is a call out for everybody to come and show support on the 8th December at 09:30 at Parnassusweg, for the court case of Wijde Heisteeg 7 against the state. The O.M. decided that we should leave the house, for the very important reason of putting antikraak inside. We kind of disagree with this idea of being on the street just because, so we will go to court. If you want we can meet at 08:45 at Wijde Heisteeg 7 Amsterdam, to go together.

Update 25/12/2016 - Eviction Wijde Heeisteg 7 - On Friday 23rd December, less than 16h after the negative verdict for WH7 the cops and construction worker show up at 8 am and evict the house with the inhabitants and their animals inside. Everyone gets arrested and the dog and cat were put also in the police van and transport to Marnixstraat main police station. the animals could go from police station free after one hour. The 4 arrested were kept in custody for squatting until 10.30 at night. 3 of them were released . The last one because unpaid fines was sent to Zuidoost cellencomplex and then to different prisons in center Holland. Today midday that person also get released, so right now everyone is free.
Kraken gaat door. [Read More]