Amsterdam: Housing justice now! Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 302 squatted

Sunday 23 october, rolling out a giant banner, squatters’ collective Mokum Kraakt announced that it has squatted four days ago Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 302. House peace is set, preventing the police to immediately evict. Here their public statement:

The city is cracking at the seams. The housing crisis is far from over. On top of that the energy and inflation crises are causing daily life as such to be unaffordable. At the same time, real estate investors, landlords and speculators are being pampered while mass tourism and gentrification are wrecking the liveability of the city.

The people of Amsterdam are succumbing under capital’s dead weight. Mokum is succumbing under the lack of space for young people, working people, poor people, refugees and old people. Mokum is succumbing under the stranglehold of the rich and the proprietors and the slow suffocation of alternative culture.

But Mokum fights back. We no longer accept that our city is for the rich only. That the economic and commercial interests of real estate owners are unassailable. That we can no longer give shape to our own city, its culture, the way that we live. And that living space is wasted on vacancy and neglect when most Amsterdammers may soon not be able to afford their flats, their energy or their food.

And that’s why we demand housing justice. The current crisis is a crisis for the precarious masses. For real estate owners it is a party. They dance on the rhythm of skyrocketing real estate prices and the sound of the cash register pinging for each luxury apartment sold. Our overly costly lives are their livelihoods. We can no longer tolerate this. We need housing justice if we want an affordable life and city.

We’re squatting for housing justice. We’re squatting Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 302, a property owned by notorious real estate owner Hagedoorn. For years this Vacancy King has purposefully neglected this national monument in order to speculate on its value. While he owns it to ruin, we squat it back to recovery. We call this newly reappropriated free space The Monument: a monument to that all that is possible when the people of this city take matters into their own hands. And from here we make our demands.

We demand housing justice: a rent cap for all housing; drastic increase of social housing; expropriation of big landlords; abolishment of temporary rental contracts; mandatory insulation of housing paid for by landlords; a stop to segregation by gentrification; prohibition of vacancy and neglect. And the legalisation of squatting.

We need housing justice. Not next year, but now. We call on everybody who is suffering from the housing crisis to join us in the struggle for housing justice!

Mokum Kraakt
Amsterdam, Netherlands
mokumkraakt [at] riseup [dot] net

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