Amsterdam: Infonight Housing for All (Cologne) and KoZe (Hamburg)

20161029_Infonight_Housing_for_all_KoZeSaturday 29th of October 2016 – 7pm @ Joe’s Garage, Pretoriusstraat 43, Amsterdam.
Infonight and Food – Housing for all//Cologne + KoZe//Hamburg

At the end of October, two collectives from Cologne and Hamburg will be in Amsterdam in order to exchange ideas and experiences about the local struggles for housing and the establishment of solidary structures in our cities and beyond its limits.

Housing for All is a recent movement in Cologne that suggests practical ways of re-appropriating real estate properties in word and action. We are happy to visit our friends at Joe’s and meeting people from KoZe as well! Looking forward to it.

Koze is the ‘Collective Center/Kollektives Zentrum’ in Hamburg, that was founded through a squatting action in 2014 and is currently under thread of eviction. [Read More]

Amsterdam: 10 years Joe’s Garage

2015_2005_10_years_joesgarageFor 10 years, Joe’s Garage organizes political action, film and debate evenings, discussions and demonstrations. Everyone is welcome whether it’s for advice in precarious housing, employment and other life issues or for a bowl of soup, a good conversation, nice music or a free raincoat from the Giveaway Shop.

As known, there is a desperate shortage of housing in Amsterdam. That is, we believe, generally not because of a lack of actual buildings but due to shortcomings of housing policy, power struggles in politics and greed in this capitalist capital. None of the 50 shades of the cabinet has ever really been able to solve this urgent problem.
Therefore we squat houses. After all, in hollow promises, one can’t live from pretty words and symbolic politics. [Read More]

Czech squatting weekend in Amsterdam

20150220_Czech_squatting_weekend_in_AmsterdamCzech squatting weekend in Amsterdam, February 20th – 22nd 2015. Klinika on tour!
Friday 20.02.2015 Klinika soli night with food, presentation, discussion & more @ Squatted autonomous space Joe’s Garage

19:00 Soli dinner (some Czech traditional dish in the vegan style)
20:00 Presentation
21:00 Discussion, maybe some movie about current squatting theme in Czech Republic and maybe some acoustic concert

Some members of Czech squatting movement are coming to Amsterdam to present and discuss about the actual breakthrough in the squatting movement in Czech Republic. On Saturday, November 29th, an abandoned building of a former clinic in Prague district of Žižkov was occupied by a group of activists. Cleaning works, reconstruction and program started immediately. Despite widespread support, including neighbors, politicians, artists, journalists etc., the owner of the house – Office for Government Representation in Property Affairs – withdrawed from negotiations. Regarding to some sources, the “anti-extremist” department of Czech police played an important role in this decision.

20150220_Klinika_Soli_nightAutonomní sociální centrum Klinika (Autonomous Social Centre Klinika /Clinic ) was evicted December 9th after ten days of struggle and hundreds of people participating. Spontaneous demonstrations immediately took place in front and inside of Žižkov city hall and in office of the owner. After a few days, one thousand people demonstrated in support of the autonomous center. The building is now being guarded, but the struggle isn’t over yet. Žižkov councilors agreed that they will start negotiations with the state. The public support of squatting is now the highest in Czech history. The ministers of interior, finance and social affairs publicly admitted the possibility of decriminalization of squatting. We, as a group supporting a project of social centre, are calling for international support! A pressure on Czech state can help us to create a historical success. Every city needs it’s clinic!

Saturday 21.02.2015, Soli concert and party @ DisKontrol, Papaverweg 7, Amsterdam Noord [Read More]

Amsterdam: Rent Rebels, screenings and discussion with activists from Berlin

On the weekend of the 21th and 22nd of November we are welcoming people from Berlin to screen with us the very recent film about the Renter Rebels in the Berlin, a quite popular and diverse movement that emerged in the last couple of years and that struggles against massive gentrification and forced evictions of renters that take place at high pace. That weekend shall serve as space for discussion and exchange with the people from Berlin, about experiences being made in struggle, the urban restructuring that goes on in Berlin, and the self-organisation of all kinds of people to fight against it. Besides of being inspirational the events shall also be a space to come together and exchange ideas and experiences related to the unacceptable housing situation in Amsterdam and necessary housing struggles. Descent housing in its various forms and shapes and the city itself is not for profit but for us, the people, and a basic need of everybody independent of social status. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Joe’s Garage, May news


Eight weeks to go for the Valreep. Mayor van der Laan was getting too impatient to evict the Valreep, social centre squatted since 24 july 2011. At the end of April, after yet another proposal by the squatters to legalise the building, the eviction letter was delivered not by some random cop but by Leen Schaap himself, the nostalgic police chief, commanding police forces during every eviction in Amsterdam. Schaap did not hesitate to climb the fences to make his way to the Valreep. “How do you feel about this?” dares he to ask while handing the letter. Idealen ontruim niet! (You can’t evict ideals!) announces the Valreep website. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Joe’s Garage, April news


Despite the continuous efforts by the government to keep squatted spaces under the threat of repression and eviction, new autonomous and creative projects keep on emerging in Amsterdam. On March the 1st, the buildings on the Vechtstraat 1, 5, 7 were squatted.

A new social centre, De Strijd, on Vechtstraat 7, opened just two weeks after the occupation. The ongoing workshops (language classes, martial arts), vegan kitchen, and give away shop immediately transformed these buildings from objects of real estate speculation into spaces for the experimentation of radical politics. The support of the neighbours and the large participation of many groups of activists show the vital importance of creating autonomous and collective sites of struggle to contrast the political desertification of the city. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Joe’s Garage, Newsletter February 2014


During the last months various squats were opened and closed in Amsterdam and surroundings. Yet, the eviction procedure is becoming easier for the cops. Recently, the police came out with an old trick, the speed- eviction: despite squatting being illegal, squatters still have the right to domestic peace, to get notified 8 weeks in advance, and to be able to start a court case to defend themselves. However, in the last weeks two office buildings in the Amsterdam’s surroundings were evicted by regular cops without any notice, just a few days after the occupation. The squatters were arrested and quickly released without charges.
Evictions without notice and without a court ruling are illegal, as they violate the right to domestic privacy of the inhabitants. The cops know this well, but too often they put themselves ‘above the law’ to serve the interests of private property owners.
To stop the trend of illegal speed-evictions, the Amsterdam squatting groups are about to sue the state, and made a call out to other groups of squatters for collecting cases of speed-eviction. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): October 2013 at Joe’s Garage


As a squatted social center, how do we communicate to the outside world? Where do you find us on-line and where do you NOT find us? We are not here to provide passive intelligence to state intelligence agencies, or to make their task easier. Making ourselves visible on a website hosted by a radical and political server is a first necessary step. Being able to reach other activists and squatters, not only the ones based in the Netherlands, is something we would not want to miss. In the will to be an open space for political initiatives, we want to reach further than the neighbourhood, further than a city and its squatting scene.

Being a squat and having a squat scene active and visible on decent platforms may have some importance in these times of repression. Reading about houses being squatted and evicted is one thing, being able to find each other, not only on-line, knowing which are our public events has its importance to strengthen us all. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): September 2013 at Joe’s Garage


Time for some news, summer has been quite busy at Joe’s Garage and around. The one year squatted office building on the Arent Krijtsstraat 1 in Diemen is gone, back to the owner, with a fence around it but not much of a future. On June 30th, after seven years of emptiness, the Cruquiusweg 117 was squatted, making place for a new project, De Binderij, bringing some new life to this spooky Cruquiusgebied. Numerous anti-squatted buildings are rotting away in this desolate neighbourhood, symbolising more than ever the failure of local politicians in developing a neighbourhood or just keeping life going on. On July 2nd, the City of Amsterdam launched its second eviction wave of the year, unleashing its dogs to evict nine squats. Swammerdamstraat 12 was evicted for the fourth time. The greedy owner did not wait long to demolish it, infuriating still more neighbours. Thanks to the mayor, an extra sand yard has appeared! Squats on the Czaar Peterstraat, the Simon Stevinstraat 25 (Willem Beukels Alternatief), the Cornelis Drebbelstraat 35 (LaRage) and the Bessemerstraat 23 (El Taller social center) were also evicted. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): June 2013 at Joe’s Garage


Since 2010, the anti squat law is stating house owners would get fined if they leave their buildings empty for more than six months. Well, years later, not a single owner has been fined. That’s is no surprise knowing the City of Amsterdam. Parallel to that, 15% of office buildings in Amsterdam are officially empty. The reality would be the double.
Amsterdam is gearing up to evict squatters these coming days. The house on Swammerdamstraat 12 will be evicted for a fourth time in a few years. Let’s hope this ‘monument’ won’t make place to a sand yard for the coming years. Other squats in Amsterdam who received the eviction announcement are Bessemerstraat 23 (El Taller), Cornelis Drebbelstraat 35 (LaRage), Simon Stevinsstraat 25hs (Willem Beukels Alternatief).
On May 31st, activists and squatters were taking over the empty office building on the Jan Tooropstraat 29. The door magically opened and within minutes, the refugees from the Vluchtkerk moved in. Off course, Eberhard van der Laan the apathetic mayor was again forced to show a bit of concern. Lucky us, there weren’t any comment from the Dutch squatting expert Eric D. that day. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): May 2013 Joe’s Garage Program


Welcome to post gentrification. Forget about affordable housing, these words are gone from the vocabulary. In Amsterdam, the price per meter square is higher in social housing than on the market price. Tenants are waiting in temporary housing for a proper one. These anti-squatters, also called “guardians” to preserve their image, haven’t been given the rights of a normal tenant. They even pay to guard houses. Not only young people and students live in this precariat. Anti-squat companies have seen their benefits exploding in recent years, while former social housing corporations have been cashing big money and forgotten since long about their social purpose.
People who can’t afford to live in the city have to go. They are denied the right to live in the city, they are made feeling guilty and ashamed of being social tenants. Our policy makers want people to move around in this monetary driven housing market. Social dramas on individual scales are common, people can’t sell back their house, the money they make is used to pay back mortgages. In Germany, a group like Recht Auf Stadt put back these issues on the political agenda. Some political parties have now an opinion about that. In the Netherlands, the discourse is still the same, “there is no problem”. SNS nationalised, the Russian roulette game has reached money lender Rabobank. For how long? [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): April 2013 Joe’s Garage Program


‘There are still squatted houses in Amsterdam…”, that is the shocking gossip recently reported in the Dutch media. Is the zealous mayor of Amsterdam such an incompetent politician in matters of housing policy and in cracking down on squatters? These last years, the city of Amsterdam did evict numerous squats but failed in eradicating our political structures, in making squatting history.
Not only squatters and activists, many individuals are daily becoming conscious and organized, building networks, taking action, sharing skills, bringing out solidarity here and there. The State could erase the (legalized) social centers from the map, call out extraordinary laws, reopen re-education camps (read – feed us more television). People would still have the will to throw down the State, disrupt the money making machine.
End of April, fiscal paradise the Netherlands will finally reach world news with a fresh new young king. The media and various intelligence services are already trying to decrypt early signs of a popular revolt, starving as they are for sensation. That makes it no surprise this racist local government has no intention to lift a finger for the migrants squatting a church these last months. Opportunist politicians feeling concerned about undocumented people only brings more anger against the apathy of the State. [Read More]