Utrecht: Watertower squatted to protest squatban, later evicted

Yesterday (October 1) a water tower in Utrecht (in the Netherlands) was squatted to mark seven years since the criminalisation of squatting. The long empty building (which was already squatted in the past) is a perfect example of the necessity to occupy empty buildings. A big banner was put on the building saying ‘Fuck the squatban.’ Unfortunately the state responded with overwhelming force and evicted the building the same day. According to reports, seven people were arrested, six squatters and one person outside for “insulting the police”. Solidarity with the arrestees!

Here follows a (quickly translated) statement from the squatters:

Today it is exactly 7 years since the squatban was introduced. The watertower on the Amsterdamsestraatweg in Utrecht (approximately 20 years empty) was occupied to highlight the mismanagement of housing, emptiness and squatting.

The ‘Squatting and Emptiness Act’ (wet Kraken en Leegstand) has been exposed on many juridical fronts and is no longer useful. Further, the legitimacy of squatting has only grown. Stupidly long waiting lists for social housing, degradation of affordable housing and speculation are just some of the reasons why.

The squatted watertower is part of the Amsterdamsestraatweg redevelopment plans and until now has not been given a new function. Twenty years in oblivion, but today it has been put back into use. Squatters and their sympathisers have clearly identified the need for squatting with this action.

As long as emptiness and housing need exist at the same time, there will always be a legitimate reason for us to squat.

Fuck the squatban.

Squatting continues! (Kraken gaat door)
EN source / NL source