The Hague (NL): Autonoom Centrum Den Haag eviction threat

The Autonomous Center (AC) located at Willem van Outhoornstraat 17 in The Hague is being threatened with eviction. The AC has already been squatted for 5 years and provides space for such activities as a vegan folks-kitchen and the alternative bookstore Opstand. During the past 5 years, nights devoted to information, films, and debate have been organized, and there is also room for music and meetings.

A short time ago, we received a letter stating that we have to vacate the premises by January 30th, 2016. This letter was not from the owner of the building, but from the tenant. This needs to be explained further. The building in which AC is located is the property of Pub Stone BV, a company that owns many bars. Pub Stone BV rents the building to Inbev, the largest beer brewer in the world, a business worth billions. Inbev rented the building again to a pub operator. Even when the building became vacant and was squatted in 2010, Inbev continued renting the building. Inbev now wants to end its rental contract and must therefore return the building empty to Pub Stone. Because of this, the lawyers from Inbev sent us a letter that we must leave the building by January 30, 2016.

It is completely unclear what will happen to the building after Inbev hands it over. In all of the years that it has been squatted, they tried to rent it out to 4 people, but nobody wanted it. Considering the current financial situation, the state of the building, and the way the neighborhood is, it does not seem likely that a normal bar will be able to be established there. The chance of long term vacancy is therefore quite high.

The Autonomous Centre is an important place for the anti-capitalist movement. It is a place where people can get informed and organize. Besides this aspect, AC offers space to many initiatives that have no other place. The AC has for 5 years provided space for a vegan folk kitchen, the alternative bookstore Opstand, information about squatting, film and info evenings, and band performances. Even students from the nearby conservatory have a place to organize performances without concern for profit. All of these activities are run by volunteers on a purely non-profit basis.

More and more places where radical politics and culture are organized from the bottom up are being threatened with eviction. First De Vloek Social Center in the Scheveningen harbor, and now also the Autonomous Center. These places are important for working toward a world without exploitation, racism, and sexism. We are of the opinion that these places should be defended. Support the Autonomous Center and keep and eye on our website for the latest news.

Autonomous Center will stay. Willem van Outhoornstraat 17 is risk capital!

Autonoom Centrum Den Haag
Willem van Outhoornstraat 17
Den Haag