[PRESS RELEASE] – Thursday evening, september 27th, the Utrecht police called PUSCII, the hoster facilitating the Bikefest 2012 website. In this call the hoster was put under pressure to take the site offline. The officer mentioned he had a court order to take the site down as it was calling out to disturb the peace. No such order was ever shown.
Bikefest is an event focused on durability, bicycles and ‘Do It Yourself’ bikerepair and maintenance. The fourth edition of this event was planned to be held in Utrecht for the first time. Previous editions in Scheveningen and Amsterdam have never led to any troubles, nor did they disturb the peace.
On friday the municipality of Utrecht sent a letter to the location where Bikefest was to be held. Herein it orders the eviction of the building, based on firesafety regulations. It seems unlikely this is the true reason, as the building is a stable construction of steel and concrete, has many escape routes and has several extinguishers placed throughout the building. [Read More]
You might think that squatting in the Netherlands has died a death since criminalisation in 2010. But that’s simply not true!
By Our man in Amsterdam
A new documentary on the squatters’ movement by João Romão, a Portuguese economist and activist living in Amsterdam, has just been released. Squatted Freedom, a one-hour limited-budget film, combines archival footage and interviews with current and former squatters to examine the history and politics of the movement as well as the wave of recent, violent evictions of squats in Amsterdam.
Squatted Freedom is a fascinating film. The story of the squatters’ movement, past and present, is both captivating and inspiring. Violent confrontations between police and squatters have been taking place since the 1980s and continue into the present. Squatted Freedom reaches its climax during an intense standoff and eventual confrontation between squatters and riot police attempting to evict a prominent Amsterdam squat, a scene which Romão and his colleagues were lucky enough to capture on film. [Read More]
Today saw our dear server Squat!Net unreachable for several hours due to a court order directed at http://grotebroek.nl. The public prosecutor didn’t take kindly to a picture (mirror) of a poster announcing the Hang The Queen Party at this legalised squat in Nijmegen (NL). Considering this an insult to the monarchy and thus a felony offense, they ordered the datacenter colocating our server, Leaseweb, to take down the site.
A timeline of events and actions in the Netherlands during the squatting ban
October 1st, 2010
The first day of the squatting ban.
Head of the police and a public prosecutor known for his hatred towards squatters are placed under 24-hour surveillance and protection after threatening texts (for example “an accident is just around the corner”) are supposedly painted outside their houses the previous night.
In Amsterdam 1000 people take part in a demonstration against the squatting ban. During the demonstration a house is squatted, and slightly later a riot breaks out when the cops charge the crowd. The police uses tear gas for the first time in years. 2 cops, 3 cop horses and several squatters are injured. One squatter is beaten severely and ends up in hospital with a fractured skull. 11 people get arrested.
A group of people squatted a building, and started to paint, and hang out flags and banners.
Lots of nice photos : http://indymedia.nl/nl/2010/10/70743.shtml
The banner says : “With hollow laws you cannot fill empty houses”.
Fast translation from a communiqué written in french:
Banner and fire, in solidarity with the squats
During the night of november 1st to november 2nd, party of the dead, we did awake !
We’ve put a banner on the wall of an ex-squat, on Phalanstère street, in Grenoble city-center. This building is empty for years, its owner is Actis, who is “managing” business with “social housing” and so on (owning a lot of empty spaces). This building has been squatted in 2005-2006 (Parad is Yack) and in 2007 (La Poulie / Parad is Back).
Everytime, it has been evicted by the Justice & Police crew… The second floor has been burnt a few weeks after the last eviction, to impeach the squatters to come back. The building is still empty.
Last Thursday [oct. 15th 2009] the Dutch parliament has passed a new law making squatting a felony. Only the senate still has to vote on it’s passing now.
However, with a rightwing majority, odds are effectively january 1st all squats in the Netherlands will be up for eviction. This will mark the end of an era, a carte blanche for the destruction of our social centers and infrastructure. Not to mention the criminalisation of thousands of people suffering from the housing shortage, for whom squatting has always been a legal means of acquiring a roof over their heads.
An occupation of parliament square during the voting ended with riot cops charging into the tent camp and arresting about one hundred people. Photo’s can be seen on http://www.indymedia.nl/nl/2009/10/62251.shtml (during the day) and http://www.indymedia.nl/nl/2009/10/62308.shtml(the eviction).
15.10.2009 – 22:47
A blend of right wingers and christian democrats have managed to push through a ban on squatting, instead of a ban on emptiness. How fucked up is that?
Squatting has been banned in the Netherlands. Fuck know what this means in practise for the thousands of established squats.
The vote passed today in the Tweede Kamer (House of Commons) and will no doubt be ratified by the Eerste Kamer (House of Lords equivalent).
80-100 squatters have been arrested already in Den Haag outside the Parliament.
It could get a lot more heavy.
New Anti Squatting Law of the agenda
Last week came the answer, from the State Secretary for economic matter, on motion “Ten Hoopen” to prohibit squatting company spaces. According to Van Gennip modification of the legislation is not possible, not necessary and also not desirable. The Anti-squatting law -Kraakverbod- seems with that of the table.
No Kraakverbod for non-residential spaces
Autumn 2003: Jan Ten Hoopen, Christian democrat, proposed anti squatting legislation. A Committee was formed to protest against the plans, a lobby-group was set up and a press offensive started. About 50 squatted non-residential spaces held an open day to show what we would be missing if there was to be an anti-squating law. Many non-squatters were informed and supported the campaign. The squatters managed to display the broader function of squatting in Dutch society, a function beyound that of provideing living spaces for the squatters them selves. The Dutch squatters movement also pointed to the millions of square meters of empty office space available in the Netherlands at this moment.
In 18 cities and villages Dutch squatters had an ‘open day’ in more than 50 squats to show their neighbours, media and other interested people what squatting is and how squatters live.
The open day is a reaction to the proposal to make squatting of commercial buildings illegal (see-> http://squat.net/en/news/dutchlaw181003.html). Since this proposal squatters and squat actions draw a lot of attention. Squatters in the netherlands continue their daily squat actions.
Next tuesday the Dutch parliament will vote on a proposal to make squatting in the Netherlands more difficult. The proposal was made by Christian Democrat Ten Hoopen and is aimed against ‘criminal organisations who squat buildings to have parties’. Ten Hoopen proposed this to the parliament with a right wing majority after ten years of silence on the subject of squatting on national political level.
According to Ten Hoopen the squatters profit from free electricity and they make life more difficult for real estate owners. In an interview he said he wanted all squatting to be illegal. The next few days he got loads of counter arguments in the main stream media and it became clear he didn’t know what he was talking about. Even his colleage from the Christian Democrat party ‘CDA’ responsible for housing issues said he didn’t want to talk about making squatting in general illegal and preferred making plans against the housing shortage.