Haarlem (Netherlands): Antillenweg squatted and evicted


HAARLEM – On the 11th of May Kraapgroep Haarlem occupied multiple buildings on the c in Schalkwijk. It involves nine consecutive appartments on the Belcanto site.

On the 11th of May Kraapgroep Haarlem occupied multiple buildings on the Antillenweg in Schalkwijk. It involves nine consecutive appartments on the Belcanto site. All homes are empty for some time awaiting demolition and redevelopment. The Belcanto project has been shut down indefinitely by the housing associations Elan, Pre living and Ymere in April 2013 because they do not have sufficient liquidity to fund the project. Due to the crisis

The action
Kraakgroep Haarlem considers it unacceptable that social housing associations to leave fine homes for years vacant. This while the waiting lists for social housing only get longer. This action was tried to end the prolonged vacancy to an end. The current social housing is constrained by large ambitious projects primarily rental housing in the private sector.

The local police wanted to evict with a lot of violence and on their own initiatif. The squatters have demanted a conversation in which they said that the police couldn’t evict, and that the eviction should first be assessed by a court. However, this was ignored by the police who were present, and yet it decided to go on with the eviction. The squatters decided not to use violence and the evacuation went on in a peaceful atmosphere. The reason the eviction proceeded, was because the police stated that the squatters where “caught in the act”, this was impossible, considering the circumstances. The public prosecutor has asked to put on the eviction of the premises, because there could be no question of domestic house peace. About this fact there are still several court cases about when you have created house peace, also on appeal. According to the squatting group there was already house peace established and is broken by the police due to the eviction. With the result that the houses on the Antillenweg are currently uninhabited are remain so in the future.

The police stated that the homes are renovated. This is impossible, given the state of the houses, and that will be vacant until they start demolition The police uses here also apparently a different definition of “renovation” than usual: The 9 properties were clearly not occupied for quite some time. The doors and windows were boarded up with wooden planks and some of the houses had already been partially demolished. The police has given the housing associations a helping hand with the demolition by breaking the windows and make the houses less liveable.

During the evacuation, there are more than 20 people arrested for counteracting the vacancy and occupying the houses.

The actions of the police can be called at least extrajudicial. That the eviction is not examined by the court and violating the rights of residence and the domestic house peace of the new residents. Clearly the police in Haarlem was not equipped for the large group. The arrestees were held up for more than 6 hours at the police station of Haarlem, they were detained in the car wash and horse stable. According one of the squatters, “We were brought up in a building site where soon a table and a chair were put up to interrogate the arrestees shortly. It was also a big mess at the police station, they did not know who they had in front of them and which arrestend number they had given them. During the great switch between the stable and the car wash, they also lost a prisoner.” Later in the evening, the lawyer for the squatters arrived at the scene, she was talking with the group in the car wash, the police put up for her a dirty table and a chair. Esther shortly after her release: “It was dirty, untidy and slightly eastern bloc feel, she says laughing, another experience richer”. “During the conversation with the lawyer, the police walked into the room and people were picked up for questioning, there was not really room for a bit of privicy”. After having spent over 6 hours in the car wash and horse stable, there are a number of detainees interrogated and they finally got some food, that were frozen sandwiches.

Kraakgroep Haarlem http://www.kraakgroephaarlem.nl/