Amsterdam: 30 year anniversary of the Molli

About 30 years ago Squatbar The Molli started to exist. In this year 1979 the number of empty houses reached epidemic proportions and the squatting movement grew as a cabbage. Everywhere in the city squatting bars opened their doors to offer a spot for activists to meet each other. These spaces also offered the possibility to host consultation hours where people were informed and helped with squatting a house. The Molli is, with its 30 years, the longest existing squatting bar of Amsterdam and is still on Monday nights the domain of Kraak Spreekuur De Pijp and Kraakgroep De Pijp.

Of course The Molli revolves around more than squatting alone (read: social housing struggle ). The activities vary in theme, for example, feminism, Anti fascism, radical environment activism to preparing vegan dinners on Thursday evening. The Molli is maintained by a collective of volunteers. This collective wants to offer a place where everyone can feel safe. Sexism, discrimination, racism and Fascism is not permitted.

In 2009, squatting is still alive but on a much smaller scale. Most of the squatting bars have been closed for a long time but some survive till this very day. However there is another threat on the horizon, which is the squatting ban. Instead of discussing the real problem at hand; the need for housing, vacancy, housing speculation and creating own safe free zones for people, it is the egoistic capitalist trade mentality which takes the central role and is being portrait as ”the highest good”.

But as also stated in the communique of Kraakgroep De Pijp: ” For years we have held direct action and we will continue to do so, everything to keep our lives and environment in our own hands. We are busy with what is going on in our neighborhoods, things that need to be done to prevent the social ties from being ripped apart and not to let the neighborhood get anti socialised and yuppified. We have given examples with our action of how it is possible, however, without begging for policy change. As long as (public) space has been classified on economic interests, we will fight. Therefore also if the need for housing is `solved’, we will continue to squat. To live free of commerce, remuneration slavery and hierarchy. And to inspire people towards this goal.

With the possibility of the squatting ban insight, we don not change our attitude. We are who we are, sometimes we brake some windows and when necessary we help move our elderly neighbour. We do not fit in a black and white picture of good and evil.

For this reason we are having an open house on Saturday the 31st of October during the rural Squatting days. Besides our 30 year anniversary, we want to show what we as squatters, ex-squatters, political activists stood and stand for. Come around, enjoy snacks and drinks, examine ours photograph exhibition of ”actions in the Time”. Small films will be shown and in the meantime we can discuss how we as squatters/activists continue social housing struggle. molli AT