Den Haag: De Vloek evicted: Convict the repression! Freedom for the ‘Vloek 5’!

Five of the 10 activist who have been arrested last Wednesday for defending De Vloek against eviction will be held in custody until their court case on the 23th of September. Yesterday they have been spread over five different jails throughout the country.

The ‘Vloek 5’ are suspected of violating the anti-squatting law (art. 138a) and of public violence (art. 141). A sixth anonymous person eventually got identified and was brought before the ‘super-fast-court’ and got a 500 euro fine (of which 250 euro conditionally and 100 euro deduction because of its detention of 2 days) for breaking the anti-squatting law, and has now been released. The other people were released Thursday evening with a summons, just in time for them to join the noise demonstration which was held in front of the police station for those still in custody.

Bottom-up initiative evicted by capital-serving, strikebreaking cops.
De Vloek, situated in the harbor of Scheveningen was squatted 13 years ago. De Vloek has fought against it’s demolition and against the yuppification of the harbor in an action campaign that lasted for more than a year. The Vloek offered space to artists and non-profit initiatives and was visited by hundreds of people every week. A DIY, anti-capitalist social center. This initiative was evicted last Wednesday, to make way for a prestige project for the elite, by capital-serving, strikebreaking cops. [1]

On Thursday September 3rd, De Vloek declared its independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and founded the Independent Autonomous Zone De Vloek. The following days, by use of barricades and paint, De Vloek made clear that it would defend itself against the eviction, and that it would not just give way to the rich. The eviction of the Vloek began on Wednesday morning with an invasion of the harbor. Just on the hellingweg (street of De Vloek) alone there were 15 ME-buses, 2 BRATRA (‘fire and teargas-unit’) vans, 2 watercannons, a SWAT-unit and all kinds of other police equipment driving towards the Vloek, where they were welcomed with paint and slogans. After resisting on the roof, activists went inside the barricaded building, where eventually 5 activists got cut out of and got arrested.


On top of the roof of the former ‘Piratenbar’ (concert hall of De Vloek) two pirates with flares held up in a crows nest. It took two hours and a displacement of the hoisting crane before the BRATRA could reach the crows nest.

After the removal of the pirates, the police reported triumphantly that the building was empty… however, they did not anticipate that 3 meters underground, two more activists where in a lock-on. Over 12 hours and a few dozen grinding wheels later the last activist was arrested.


Violence comes from the State
We want to emphasize that no glass or stones have been thrown at the cops, and that whatever may be claimed by the police is a lie. For us it’s perfectly clear that these lies are intended to justify the absurd police presence.
From at least a week before the eviction the police manned a permanent observation post in the apartment building across from De Vloek. During the eviction, the activists in the crows nest clearly saw a sniper on the roof of that same building. To those who were being arrested in the front side of the building the police shouted that they would ‘shoot immediately if anyone resisted’. Furthermore the police threw a 1,5 meter iron rod through a roof, while they knew there were people underneath.

False reports by the police as well as the spreading of the ‘Vloek 5’ throughout different jails in the country is a repressive tactic. This criminalization and breaking up of the group is used with the intent of breaking solidarity. But we will not be intimidated and we will continue our fight. We regard the resistance against the eviction of De Vloek and against a project for the elite as legitimate and necessary.

Solidarity = Forever
We will not let those in power break our solidarity. We fully support the ‘Vloek 5’ and demand their immediate release. Until then, we will call on everyone to show their solidarity and let it be heard on the streets and at the prisons. Very soon we will announce actions to support the ‘Vloek 5’. We will continue our fight against top-down urban development projects!

You can’t evict ideas!

We want to express our thanks to everyone who for the last 13 years and especially in these last weeks stood by De Vloek, for freedom and autonomy.

Scheveningen, we will miss you.

De Vloek, Saturday 12 september 2015

[1] Dutch police have been on ‘strike’ because they feel they deserve a higher pay. The so called ‘strike’ includes not writing fines below 200€ and not assisting bailiffs for house evictions.