Amsterdam: Call for help from Commelinstraat

We are a group that squatted Commelinstraat 246 – 250 on Sunday 15th of February. On Monday morning we were awakened by a group of at least ten men, led by Menno Jeen Bos (the owner of this building) into the house. They broke down the door, and threatening physical violence, they demanded that we leave within ten seconds.

By breaking into this house, where we had secured the right to domestic peace, they took the law into their own hands. They throw us out onto the street and then threw our belongings down from the second floor onto our heads. Due to these actions a few people sustained physical injuries.

The police came and asked mister Bos the reason for the disturbance. He claimed that the house had not been empty for a year and that anti-squatters were living there last sunmmer. We know this is a lie for we have received from several neighbours, declarations that say that the house is empty for at least a year (average astimation – 2 years). When mister Bos could not reproduce any documentation for his story, the police respected our legal rights to be there and let us back into the building, with no further immediate action taken against mister Bos.

On the same evening, agent from Nuon Company, together with 2 police officers appeared in our door, send by mr. Bos. We allowed the Nuon agent in, but refused to let the police join him. The police was threatening to use force and to cut the electricity. At that point we called an alarm, some people arrived to support us. As a result, the winds were calmed, Nuon and police left calmly after declaring that electricity is safely used.

Till this moment, we had no further contact with the owner, nor the police.

We are busy occupying, working hard on cleaning, building and fixing the building. Our goal is to make it a beautiful warm house, and in the future, as well create an open public space in the lower floors. It is a large space with big potential for the community in the middle of the city. It is as well a politically important case for the future of squatting in Amsterdam.


How Could You Help?

1 – We need people to occupy the place for the first period. Sharing shifts to keep the place occupied with as many people possible at all times. Come and be with us.

2 – Building materials. Everything is welcome, but we are specially looking for: – Copper pipes (no. 22 and 15) – Chimney pipes – Connection bites for gas pipes – Gyps (plaster) boards – Wood – Electric wires – Doors – Smoke detectors – Banners – Sink

3 – Help in work, cleaning and building. We need your hands! If you have some sort of knowledge and experience – great, but if not, no worries, we can closely direct you to work safely (and happily).

If you have any other suggestions, ideas or initiatives, they are more then welcome. We have a new space with open arms. Mail us (address below) or, simple and best – just pass by Commelinstraat 246 – 250 (near the corner of the Dappermarkt).

Thanks to all of you, hope to see you soon,

The Commelin Group – Esmeralda Dapperbuur