Frankfurt (Germany): Arson attacks against squats and self-organized spaces

Since September, five arson against squats and other self-organized spaces have taken place in the region Frankfurt. On 15th September, the first attack took place in Schwalbach, a village just on the outskirts of Frankfurt. A barn at the self-organized project “Knotenpunkt” was set on fire and the fire spread to other buildings including one people living in. It became uninhabitable as a result of the fire and the subsequent firefighting, luckily no one got injured. Property damage is estimated at more than 200,000 Euros. On 13th and 15th November, three arson attacks against squats in Frankfurt (“Au” and “Assenland”) took place, but in every case the fire were the fire was noticed quickly and the comrades were able to extinguish the fire directly. On December 3rd, a shed in the project “Schwarze 7” in Hanau – small city 30km from Frankfurt – was burned down as well. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Support Mobiele Eenheid at the city council

This is a call out for everyone who supports the Mobiele Eenheid to come and show up at the meeting of the city council on Thursday 6 December, 13:30 @ Stopera!
Those of you who have been following our news know that the judge ordered us to leave our current location on 1st of February. We believe that this will lead to unnecessary emptiness. The owner will definitely not begin the construction of his (unwanted) hotel by then, and is most probably waiting to see what the future of the neighborhood looks like and what effect this could have on his wallet.
We intend to make the city council aware of our situation and hold them to their promise not to evict for emptiness and their intention to limit the number of hotels in the city.
If you can make it we would very much appreciate your support and think that showing we are many may make a bigger statement. [Read More]

Berlin: They‘re coming closer! International call to support Rigaer94

On the 15th of November, five hundred cops, including special forces with assault rifles, attacked Rigaer94 to make a house search in the case of a trouble in a shop some month before. The investigation is labeled as „robbery and bodily harm“. A video published by the shop owner shows, that this is an obvious lie in order to create a reason for a martial attack against rebellious structures. The pigs came at 6 o‘clock in the morning and managed to open the doors quickly, meanwhile aiming with their rifles towards anyone showing up at the windows.

In the same moment, four other houses were searched in different areas of Berlin in this issue. Later the Minister of Interior, Andreas Geisel (Socialdemocratic Party), declared that all this was not politically motivated but instead was an offensive against the criminal underworld. But everyone knows that the raids were nothing else than attacks on anti-authoritarian ideas and combative structures in order to claim the monopoly on violence.

In addition to the pigs, the guy who declares himself the lawyer of the official housowner (the british mailbox company Lafone Investments Ltd.) entered the scene in Rigaer Strasse in the company of some construction workers in order to destroy the doors of the house. But he was stopped by the presence of comrades and finally sent away by legal threats by the lawyer of Rigaer94. Nevertheless the presence of the dubious circles that claim the ownership of the house for several years now, is again a meaningful sign. [Read More]

Amsterdam: No eviction for hotels! The squatting collective ‘De Mobiele Eenheid’ stays!

Building squatted
The squat collective De Mobiele Eenheid has squatted the Gedempte Hamerkanaal 86 / Spijkerkade 2 building a few weeks ago and has started a non-commercial social centre with a program of activities almost every day. After only a few weeks that the collective released the building from the control of real estate violence, an end to this freedom was threatening: The owner, Uri Ben Yakir, stepped to court because he intends to turn the building into a hotel.

The judge ruled yesterday, November the 20th, that the squat collective Mobiele Eenheid can stay until February 1, 2019. The collective demands action from politicians and considers to appeal the decision in court and oppose the eviction.

Overcrowded with hotels
Amsterdam is full of hotels and overcrowded with tourists. There is little to show of the so-called Hotel stop that announced the previous city council. The owner of the squatted building in the Gedempte Hamerkanaal 86 / Spijkerkade 2, a diamond merchant, also knows that real diamonds nowadays have two legs, enter through Schiphol and pull roll-up luggage. If it is up to De Mobiele Eenheid, no hotel in the city will be added. As long as politics does not succeed, squatting is necessary. [Read More]

Maastricht: Petition for the continuation of the Mandril

Dear lovely people, the continued existence of our beloved Mandril is at risk! The 5 year contract that was established in 2014 to use the space in Cabergerweg 45, is ending in November 2019. We are fighting for a contract renewal so that we can continue being an open space for creative expression, collaboration, and political engagement.

One way of contributing to the continued existence of the Mandril Cultural and Political Center is through this online petition. If you care about the Mandril and the continuation of this vibrant project sign & share this petition! We need you!!! Sign this petition to show that you support and value this self-organized, autonomous cultural freezone – a space of empowerment, creation, education, connection, and inspiration.

More information about the history & current situation:

The Mandril Cultural and Political Center was originally established as a squat in 2009 in Boschstraat and forced to relocate to its current location in 2014 to the former office building of the Radium factory. With the help of more than twenty volunteers, the rooms of the building were transformed from neglected, moldy spaces, full of stuff, to become usable for the continued activities and events of the Mandril. [Read More]

London: Squatters digest- low tide. Next comes the flood

Welcome to the Squatter’s Digest, a new column for Freedom News, highlighting the ongoings of the squat scene in London and beyond, along with providing opinions on the politics of said goings-on. Quality and coherence are not guaranteed.

The 29th of October saw 150 high-court bailiffs and police descend upon the Tidemill Community Garden in Deptford, London, at 6am, pulling people from their tents, dragging them out of tree-houses, and laying waste to the entire occupation. Occupiers climbed the trees and refused to vacate, while outside fights broke out between the supporters and bailiffs (County Enforcement, well-known to squatters, see Corporate Watch’s latest article on them), who of course were protected by members of the Metropolitan Police force. At some point in the afternoon the last squatter was removed from the trees and the garden was all but lost. But this didn’t stop the people outside from trying for one last push to regain entry to the site. Rushing for the fences, people were thrown to the ground and detained by bailiffs and police, but also linked arms and refused to allow their fellow protestors to be taken to the arrest vans, defiant to the last. [Read More]

Amsterdam: ADM Action at Chidda Vastgoed BV

Today we went to the headquarters of Chidda Vastgoed BV to present a cheque of 100 million euros to the heirs of Bertus Lüske in a massive golden box. There were about 50 people at the action, and none of the heirs of Lüske came out to pick up the present.

Why did we do that?
The city of Amsterdam gives an absurd gift of 100 million euros to the heirs of Bertus Lüske, by evicting the residents of the ADM.
Today we went to give a huge gift to Chidda Vastgoed B.V. on behalf of the city of Amsterdam.
Due to the evacuation of the residents of the ADM site and allowing demolition- and asbestos removal company Koole BV to move to the ADM site, while their activities are not fitting with the perpetual clause that is part of the site, the value of the site is increasing enormously. Money that shouldn’t go to the real-estate mafia but back to the citizens of Amsterdam!
The Amsterdam’ municipality can prevent this but does not dare to make tough decisions. Symbolically we therefore handed over the ‘ship with money’ on behalf of the municipality. And what is more symbolic than a sea container of the former Amsterdam’ Drydock Company. [Read More]

Almada (Portugal): The Center for Libertarian Culture needs your support!

The Centro de Cultura Libertária, an anarchist association with 44 years of activity in Cacilhas-Almada, Portugal, is again threatened. The continued pressure of the real estate business, the change in the rental law and the gentrification that forces the departure of residents from the central spaces of cities, the destruction of non-profit spaces or the closure of neighborhood stores, now also touches the CCL.

What is happening?
This is not the first time that the CCL’s permanence in its historic headquarters has been called into question.
Between 2009 and 2011 the Centro de Cultura Libertária resisted an eviction procedure initiated by the landlord. Only the solidarity of many collectives and individuals here and beyond allowed us to face the costs of the judicial process, which led to two trials and one appeal. In the end, we reached a rent increase agreement that allowed us to continue in the space without changes in the duration of the contract.
However, in 2014, as a result of the changes in the rent law in favor of property owners’ interests, the CCL contract duration was set at five years. At the end of 2018, we have reached the point where, as has happened to thousands of tenants, the continuation of the rent of our space will be at the mercy of the owner’s will and the conditions that he wants to impose on us. [Read More]

Zeist (Netherlands): Callout for support in resistance to illegal eviction

Yesterday the police illegally evicted the recently squatted building at Utrechtseweg 86, Zeist. The squatters had written statement from a neighbour that he had seen them in the building for over 24 hours, but still the police claimed the squatters were ‘caught in the act’, and evicted on those grounds.
The police refused to arrest or ID anyone, even when they had to forcefully evict the building. One person refused to cooperate to the point that they were forced to arrest them, but they were released hours later without charge. This unwillingness to bring this case to court proves that the police know that they are acting illegally.
Today the building was re-squatted. After long discussion between the acting officer of justice, the squatters, and the police, the squatters were given until 18.00 to leave. We will not leave!
This is a call out for support inside and outside of the building. The police in and around Utrecht are increasingly deciding to ignore the house-peace of squatters, and are finding any excuse to evict squats in the moment which they appear. We aim to gather as many people as possible inside and outside the building, to make it as difficult as we can for them to do so.
We have a working legal team, the deadline for the eviction is 18,00 today. [Read More]

The Hague: Pand Egypte squatted and evicted

Today (6 november) a recently squatted house in the Archipelbuurt in The Hague was evicted. The building is owned by the Egyptian government and served for decades as the residence of the Egyptian ambassador. After more than 10 years of vacancy it is in a miserable condition. Instead of respecting the domestic peace established by the squatters, the police decided today to evict the building under false pretexts. It is already the 4th unlawful eviction by the Haaglanden police force this year.

This afternoon the squatters of Surinamestraat 20 announced to the owner and police that they have been using the building as a living space since Saturday. The Egyptian ambassador and his lads, not charmed by the action, used threatening language on the spot. They thought that the building would be on Egyptian territory and that therefore no Dutch laws would apply. The police, who had been informed of the action by a written notification and by telephone by the squatters, confirmed after consultation that the territory table did not give cause for eviction. Nor did a situation arise that made it opportune for the police to evict on criminal grounds.

Initially, a discussion between the embassy police, the squatters’ spokesperson and the Egyptians was started, but when the Hague police force started to interfere in the situation, it soon became clear that they would not be taking the facts and observing the policy line on squatting drawn up by the Public Prosecution Service so closely this afternoon. Out of sheer powerlessness, it was thrown back into a ‘red-handedness’, even though it was the squatters themselves who had informed the police of the newly started habitation. [Read More]

Amsterdam: 15 december, demonstration against the eviction of Amsterdam!

15 december 2018, 15:00, Daniel Meyerplein, Amsterdam

We are angry about the sale of the city: tourism, Airbnb, gentrification, sale of the social housing stock, segregation of neighborhoods and neighborhoods, the hunt on social centers and non-profit organizations, small businesses get into trouble because of extreme rents.  The city is becoming unaffordable. Young people and students can’t find an affordable place anywhere. Amsterdammers no longer know where their children should live. Teacher shortage because there is no affordable housing for new teachers, nurses, anymore. Tenants’ rights are being eroded. More and more temporary rental contracts, good housing disappearing from the social stock, waiting lists are endless. Properties are bought up to be used as Airbnb hotels. As the city becomes more commercial, free spaces disappear to make way for monoculture. All of Amsterdam has an interest in the preservation of the ADM, as the largest international sanctuary. 150 residents and countless small businesses and initiatives, unique events and festivals that cannot take place anywhere else in Amsterdam have to make way for a nonsensical and unrealistic business plan. But that doesn’t matter because once vacated, the land and port will increase in value enormously and that’s what it’s all about. Precisely to prevent speculation, the city council decided that only a shipyard may be built on the site, but now the city suddenly does not have a hard time. [Read More]

Amsterdam: De Mobiele Eenheid goes to court!

Three weeks ago, the collective De Mobiele Eenheid squatted the building Gedempt Hamerkanaal 86, Spijkerkade 2 in Amsterdam Noord. To counteract the commercialisation, mass-tourism and precarious housing market, we have created a social centre offering a weekly program. Soon after the building’s occupation in opposition to an all-encompassing property-based violence, the end is near. Following dangerous threats, the owner of the building is summoning the collective to court, based on his supposed plan to turn the building into a hotel.

Amsterdam contains a disproportionate number of hotels and is completely over-crowded. The hotel stop decreed by the previous city government, is hardly noticeable. But the owner in question, a diamond merchant and property speculator, knows that real diamonds nowadays have two legs, arrive in Schiphol and pull wheelie bags.

His presented plans are not only problematic, but also highly questionable. In 2006, the building was squatted for the first time and already then, the plan was to build a hotel. Besides an environmental permit in 2013, the owner has undertaken little to no action hinting at reconstruction of the building. Overall, the greatest part of his property has been standing empty for many years. [Read More]