Amsterdam: open call in solidarity with Villa Fuerte hearing

In 2010 the squatting ban was introduced. In theory, this law was created to criminalize squatting whilst fighting against houses being empty. In reality, its purpose was to please some politicians and their questionable neoliberal agenda. We see that there is no political will to fight emptiness, the local governments never put any effort into finding the owners that keep their houses empty. This law has only been used to evict squatters and make them homeless, while still many houses are left empty. In June 2022, another new law has been put into practice. It had as its goal to shorten the time span between the announcement of eviction and the moment of the actual eviction. By doing this they take away the rights of the squatters to legally defend themselves. Now after one year of this law existing in Amsterdam, we feel the repression. We are worried about how the hearings are going and how unjust their practice is. The way squatters are being evicted now is not through a court case but through a criminal hearing. The judge commissioner (RC) is the one to decide if the squatters will be evicted or not. To get all the information for the case, the RC invites the officer of justice who is an investigator cop, her name is Petra van Laeren. There is nobody to witness how these hearings go, it is not a public court case so no media or people interested in the case can be there. We, the squatters in Amsterdam, are starting to see that these hearings are a joke of justice. We figured out that there is a connection between the RC and the officer of justice, showing that they know each other better than just from the court. In the hearings, intimidation is going on, cops are waiting in front of the room to take pictures of the squatters. It is the same people taking the same decisions all the time behind closed doors and the decisions are not publicly posted. It is unfair that we have to blindly go to these hearings under their conditions. To not have an audience, no media, nothing is published. It is a blur of what goes on in these office rooms and how the decisions are being made. Justice is out of balance and we are mad about it.

Squatting is a natural phenomenon during a housing crisis, where people are in need of houses and there are houses left empty. Since 2010 many of our squats and communities have disappeared. Having open house squats and public spaces that are self-organized, separate from the state, is needed to build new communities and to take care of each other with solidarity. To share what we have and exist outside of capitalism . If these places do not exist cities will be gentrified and more people will become homeless. Everywhere in Europe, the big cities are turned into a playground for tourists and rich people. The newly squatted Villa Fuerte, on Herengracht 377, is owned by royalties that keep the house empty and ready for them if they want to take their yearly visit to Amsterdam. We disagree that people own a giant house like this and keep it empty for 1,5 years while there are many people living on the streets. We squatted this place to show that we will not allow this unlawfulness. We squatted this to show how the rich will keep on hoarding places if the law doesn’t stop them. They are the reason the city is not liveable anymore, so we will take what belongs to us: the homeless and the squatters in solidarity. But of course, the officer of justice believes differently and is taking the squatters to a hearing – Friday 30 June at 1:30 – Parnassusweg 280 – to decide if they will get evicted. We don’t need to go because we already know the answer. But we still go and we want to invite everybody to come with us. It is possible nobody is allowed to witness the court, but we are done with following their conditions. It is time we start playing our own game. We don’t want to wait for the repression to become worse, we want to put a stop to the unjustness of these hearings and want to make public what our experience is and what is actually happening. It is important everybody shows up to the hearing because alone we cannot win this fight. The officer of justice has her opinion ready, things won’t change if we do not stand in solidarity with each other. The game is rigged, but we are with more.

Friday 30 june at 1:30 – Parnassusweg 280, RECHTBANK(COURT) AMSTERDAM ZUID



This is an initiative from the squatters of Amsterdam

Some squats in the Netherlands:
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in the Netherlands:
Events in the Netherlands: