Anti-Betuweline Campaign Update 12/12/99

Anti-Betuweline Campaign Update 12/12/99

Here’s some info on the main direct action campaign in the Netherlands. Please publish! The English stuff is a synopsis as not to bore you… Please reply to groenfr [at] dds [dot] nl.

Last Wednesday there’s been the third occupation of the largest Betuweline buildingsite near Dordrecht (in the west of the Netherlands). Two weeks after the first (in the September Actionweek), the second took place on 29/9 and seven people were arrested. They had to appear in court on 8/12 but would not defend themselves. Claims were trespassing and destruction of property and a sue for damage by a subcontractor of about 40.000 euros for delays in work (reaffirming the succes of our strategy). Instead, they participated in a new occupation, making clear that for every sue for damage, we will create at the least equally more economical damage.

The mass tresspassing was publicly announced except for the location, but the railwaypolice had figured it out as there was a quadrupling of security, riot police was on standby and most of the machines were taken off site. The cost of this operation alone had made us win before we even had to do anything. While one group of activists faced security and dogbites, others occupied the remaining machinery and locked on. The last of ‘m were removed at noon by riotpolice in a very brutal manner; people were being thrown face down of cranes, police taking it in on testicles etc. One person ended up in hospital, but there were no lasting injuries. 35 people were arrested but sent out again after half a day. On the police side they’ve started a central information point of eight police cores and the Dutch security/intelligence agency to try and stop any more actions before they take place. However, the action on 8/12 shows that this could show too much of a challenge for them.

In the meanwhile letters have arrived at the eight anti-Betuwelijn squats saying sues for eviction will follow next week. Thus evictions are expected in the beginning of January (please come and help resisting). We won’t let them off easy, though. We are accelerating our fortificationworks and tunneling.

You are very welcome to visit us, contact +31 30 2870711 (general nr.), Zetten camp (+31 6 21995055), Meteren camp (+31 6 16252347) or Ressen/Elst camps (+31 6 29183202). Email groenfr [at] dds [dot] nl, website