Amsterdam: Violettenstraat 10-12 squatted

Neighborhood letter

Dear neighbors,

We are your new neighbors living in Jordaan. We are group of four young people, who are not rich enough to be able to find a roof over our heads in what is fast becoming “Disneyland Amsterdam”.

We are here today to bring life to an unloved, derelict place. We intend to collectively renovate a space left to rot by the squander of a profit hungry corporation and transform it into a quiet, cosy home.

The property we are squatting has been empty for 2 years. Libra International BV, a real estate speculation company, is the owner. This company owns more than a thousand properties in the Netherlands and is well known to operate in the area “between illegal and legal”; they perform house-price raising “property swaps” between their numerous shell corporations; they deliberately render buildings unlivable and leave them empty, degrading, in order to speculate on the land value; they deliberately refrain from their duties as a landlord, withholding their obligated basic maintenance of properties as a means to pressure renters who get in the way of their plans to leave. They render homes into mere sums of money to speculate over, making the city unaffordable, and unlivable for common people.

In this case the company has refrained from basic of maintenance work in the building, deliberately making it difficult to live in for the current renters. At the same time keeps the ground floor empty, maintaining a vacant space in a neighborhood where the housing demand is huge. In this manner the company puts indirect pressure to the renters to force them to leave “of their own choice”, leaving the corporation unimpeded in extracting as much profit out of the land value, with no thought given to the housing needs of ordinary people in Amsterdam.

We use squatting to fight against the gentrification and touristification of our city, by occupying empty buildings which are left to degrade. Squats are laboratories of everyday-life emancipation, creativity, self-education, self-organisation and solidarity.

We live in Amsterdam and we want to create a fair city where housing is granted to everyone, especially to those who are not privileged. A city where land speculation is not allowed. A city that belongs to its residents and not to a few companies who have the right to displace people according to their profit plans.
A city where neighborhood communities can decide for their future and the people whom they want to live around with.

For more information feel free to send us an email at huizennietwinst [at] riseup [dot] net.

Friendly regards,
Your new neighbors in Jordaan
Violettenstraat 10-12, ground floor

Indymedia Nederland