Amsterdam: Vluchtmarkt, call out for support and update on the owners’ response


On Sunday, April 13th, the ‘We Are Here‘ group occupied three empty spaces on Ten Katestraat 49, 61 and 63 in Amsterdam: ‘De VluchtMarkt’. The project will house a group of undocumented women who have been without shelter since last week. The neighbourhood and local politicians have shown their support, because they prefer to see the properties in good use rather than empty.

Ten Katestraat 61 and 63 used to be social houses owned by Rochdale, who started the demolition process to convert them into luxury apartments. Due to the financial crisis the renovation project has not been completed and, as is the case with many other Rochdale properties, the houses have been empty for years. The buildings are part of a larger block of houses including 53, 55 and 57 which, in the past had been squatted and evicted twice, and at the moment are still empty and rotting.

Within 24 hours of the occupation, Rochdale sent a letter asking the group to leave. Rochdale claims they have plans to start working on the properties during the summer. However they seem to have no concrete project nor financial resources for doing so. The group does not want to leave spontaneously, and are putting pressure on Rochdale to show proof of their intentions to renovate TKstraat 53, 55, 57, which are not occupied, and to let the ‘We are Here’ group stay in Ten Katestraat 61 and 63 in the meanwhile.

Ten Katestraat 49 is a large commercial space on the ground floor owned by Batavia BV. The company is part of the Van der Vloodt family, real estate speculators who own many premises in the city of Amsterdam. The property is listed for sale at almost 800.000 € and for 6.500 €/month. So far, no buyers or renters have shown any interest.

2014-04-13_kraak_Vluchtmarkt_Ten_Katestraat_AmsterdamThe owner of TKS 49 sent a letter to the occupants asking them to leave within one week. The neighbourhood police claim there are plans to renovate the building and make a hotel. This is obviously a lie, since the place has no windows and there are no permits for any large-scale reconstruction.

As long as the European laws do not permit freedom of movement or the right to a decent life for everybody, and as long as undocumented migrants have no access to any rights, squatting is the only possible alternative to life on the streets and in detention.


On Saturday, April 19th there be an info point at the corner of Ten Katestraat and Bellamystraat to explain the project to the neighbourhood and to gather supporters. Next week, the ‘We are Here’ group will participate in the neighbourhood meeting: everybody is welcome to come and show their support by showing up. The meeting will take place at Bos en Lommer Plein 250 on Tuesday, April 22nd at 7:30 p.m.


All the buildings are in need of large renovations since they lack basic facilities. The ‘We Are Here’ group and their supporters are transforming these empty buildings into liveable spaces. Due to the large amount of work, resources and finances required, the group would like to invite supporters to help with the renovations, the materials, and finances.

– Gips Plates
– Shower Plates
– Water pipes and connectors
– Pallets
– Carpets / plastic floors
– Isolation materials
– Cooking supplies

[Published on Indymedia]