Amsterdam: Pieter Vlamingstraat 98 resists eviction

Today, Friday the 16th, the building is not yet evicted.

The buildings on the Pieter Vlamingstraat 94-96-98 had been empty since 2008, when the tenants were kicked out. The demolition of these and other surrounding buildings started in 2009 with the exception of Pieter Vlamingstraat 98, where the owner of the coffeshop on the ground floor refused to leave. The original plan of De Key was to demolish the existing social houses for building luxury apartments for the free market. The neighbors protested against the plan, started a court-case and the project was eventually rejected. De Key then proposed to build both social and private sector apartments, but this was rejected as well. Eventually De Key proposed to build 145 apartments for students, and the projects got finally approved despite the opposition of the neighbors, who started yet another court case against De Key but lost it at the end of 2014.

In July 2012 a group of people squatted the Pieter Vlamingstraat 98 and the empty field that was left after the demolition of the buildings aside. These fields are quite common in Amsterdam Oost, where housing corporations like De Key, after demolishing entire social housing blocks, run out of money to complete the project and left only waste lands behind. At the time of the occupation, the state of the house was very poor. All the basic infrastructures were missing, and the structure of the building was rotting away. The squatters massively renovated the building to make it livable. Through these years more then 30 people have called this building ‘home’. A lively communally grew around it, and started a number of activities for the neighborhood such as a neighborhood garden (Roomtuintje Oostbos), a give away shop and a free library.

While squatters and neighbors constantly aim at making the city for people rather than for profits, housing corporations keep on destroying these initiatives for their investments and commercial purposes. The new plan is to build expensive apartments for students, which are going to be unfordable for most of regular students. This is yet another weapon of destruction of the existing community, that operates by relocating existing tenants, moving in upper classes, and turning the neighborhood into an expensive, commercialized and consumerist place, where houses, shops and fancy cafes are unaccessible for the average working classes. For these reasons the neighborhood has constantly struggled against the plans of De Key.

The squatters of the Pieter Vlamingstraat are taking a stand against this process and are actively resisting the eviction of the house. They are also standing against all the evictions happening all over Amsterdam and The Netherlands, where the squat ban led to a situation where squats are constantly being evicted for giving space to gentrification and real estate investments. The reality of those who are squatting is getting every day more precarious. The city and the state are taking over long-standing social and living squatted projects, illegally evicting new squats, and enforcing stricter surveillance and control on squatters. It is necessary to keep on actively resisting this state violence.

Come to support us or take your own action on the streets!!!

Update: 20/01/2015. The riot police has evicted the Pieter Vlamingstraat 98.

Update: 21/01/2015. The nine people arrested during the eviction of the Pieter Vlamingstraat 98 have been released from custody on Wednesday evening.