Groningen: Statement by Akerkstraat squatters to the council

Dear Councillors,

As the people who live in Akerkstraat 16a we are pleased to be able to speak at this needed debate about the housing shortage among students, mostly internationals, in Groningen. It is clear to us that this is a matter of urgency. Every year thousands of international students are lured to the city to come and study here. What should have been a wonderful time in a beautiful city turns out to be a tragedy for many of them, just as this year. There are not enough houses, especially ones that are affordable, in the city to accommodate all those students. At this moment hundreds of students are in the emergency shelter they are expected to leave at the end of this month. Most of them have not yet found alternative housing. [Read More]

Utrecht: Derelict buildings squatted out of housing shortage and protest against vacancy

Since last weekend, a group of young people have been living in the long since vacant houses at the Burgemeester Reigerstraat 48-53 in Utrecht.

The occupation is both a direct approach to a need for life – the young people are looking for housing – and a protest against the current housing policy. The action, part of a national wave, criticized Squatting and Vacancy Act from 2010 and the intention to tackle squatting even harder. “The residents are of the opinion that not squatting, but vacancy and housing shortage must be tackled”, according to a spokesman. The buildings on Burgemeester Reigerstraat have been vacant for more than five years. Owner Marcel Paping plans to demolish the four buildings and build four new buildings and retail space in their place. A parking garage is to be built under the buildings. He has the permits for his plan, except for the entrance to the basement. Many neighbours are of the opinion that a large underground car park will seriously disturb the peace and quiet in the street. Paping plans to nail up the empty buildings if the Municipality does not grant him all the permits. Half a year ago, the buildings were also squatted. Then the police went on a wrongful eviction. “Hopefully this time the police will be wise enough not to go for the owner’s trolley and go the right way”, says one of the squatters. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Oops we did again! Amstel 45 squatted.

Sunday, 22-09-19 we successfully squatted the building at Amstel 45. The owner of this building is the biggest real-estate owner of Amsterdam and an speculator. There have been buildings owned by Veldhuijzen squatted before, Amstelkade 20 (2016), Admiraal de Ruijterweg 76 (2008). Johannes Cornelis Martinus Veldhuijzen is the owner of 512 properties in Amsterdam, he has more buildings on his name than Prince Bernhard van Oranje Nassau! (see for details the Parool article mentioned below). We know the building has been empty for 2 years and currently there is a building stop, which means the owner is prohibited to work on the building any further and he also doesn’t have any plans for the building at this moment.
We are against vacancy, leaving buildings empty and left to rot, and we squat because of vacancy! During the first week of occupation, we didn’t have any contact with the owner. Wednesday the 26 of September, we received the court papers for a fast civil procedure. His story had a lot of inconsistency and no concrete plans and because of this and the new squatting law that is coming, we decided it’s a good time to fight back! We went to court on the 1st of October and now we are waiting for the verdict, the 15th of October. The owner himself did not show up in court and he still has shown no willingness to communicate with us in any way. Will keep you guys updated!
[Read More]

Germany: October 18-29, squatting Days Freiburg

Squatting Days Freiburg: October 18-29, 2019. Do-It-Together: squatters convention, festival and other resistances

We would like to invite you to extend the summer in Freiburg and participate in the squatting days, to celebrate the birthdays of the KTS and the InfoShop and to come together for a libertarian outlook.

Freiburg is a small town in the southern part of the black forest, where official maps draw the borders between Switzerland, Germany and France. It is a friendly region between the Rhine nuclear power plants, major economic logistic points and the armament industry of the black forest and which lends itself well to various subversive activities. Moreover, winter does not arrive as quickly as in the rest of the republic. Our squatting days want to focus on housing and gentrification issues, but we find ourselves in times where struggles and resistance can only be effective through an intersectional approach and squats represent only a part of the necessary anti-fascist, feminist and anti-capitalist struggles. [Read More]

Groningen: Former Heijkens building squatted by students

A few days ago, a group of students occupied the former Heijkens building on Akerkstraat. The youngsters who are looking for housing are trying to raise the issue of the national housing shortage. The squatting action is part of a national campaign in the context of the nine-year squatting ban. “During this time, it was mainly squatters who had to suffer, while landowners and speculators get away with vacancy. So the ban is not a solution to the housing shortage”, according to the students’ spokesman.

Since 1 October 2010, the Squatting and Vacancy Act applies. The purpose of this law was to reduce the vacancy rate in the Netherlands. However, research commissioned by the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Ministry of the Interior shows that the effects of the vacancy policy are hardly visible. At the beginning of this year, some 96,500 m² of office space was vacant in the city of Groningen, half of which is not even for rent or sale. The vacancy rate of office buildings in the Netherlands has almost doubled. [Read More]

Berlin: Tu Mal Wat! VilLA54 squatted

During the Tu-Mal-Wat action days, we squatted the old brewery in Lansberger Allee 54. Where old east berliner houses meet new and sterile luxury accommodations, is this beautiful building, that’s already empty since seven years. Instead of having a non-hierarchical, self organized neighborhood space, until now, speculative vacancy was overtaking.

This times are over now. Whilst city council for construction, Florian Schmidt, wishes to leave 10% of this complex for non commercial usage, we wont just wait until the politicians act and take the matter into our own hands. We are not interested in the profit logic of the big companies but in a place free from ruling, where everybody is welcome who wants to participate. Weather neighbors, illegalized or societal marginalized people, initiatives and groups which are looking for rooms and also just people who are curious. [Read More]

Athens (Greece): Anarchists Take Riot Police by Surprise and Reoccupy Evicted Squat in Exarcheia

On Friday September 20, 2019, on the three years anniversary of the occupation of the building that became known as “Spirou Trikoupi 17 Squat,” housing refugees in the heart of Exarcheia (Athens, Greece), anarchists were not deterred by the fact that the Squat had been evacuated on Monday August 26, 2019, following a massive police raid and that the neighbourhood of Exarchia has been turned into a “militarized” zone, with constant riot police attacks against people in the area and social centers. [Read More]

Amsterdam: New move from the municipality on the squatted bowling in Noord

Urban resort planning to evict a squat. The squatting community needs your help!

Urban Resort is currently making plans to evict a squat in the North of Amsterdam, called ‘the Krakers Bowlwerk’ (squatted in March 2016). The municipality who owns the building asked them to put a broedplaats (breeding grounds) in place, and Urban Resort gladly said yes to this business opportunity.

They are on a mission to clear the area and make it ready for richer tenants, a process called gentrification. Here’s the catch though: Urban Resort had a lot of ties to the squatting scene, so we will be able to stop them. They were founded by our comrades after all at the time of the squatting ban in 2005. With the aim to safeguard sub-cultural niches, that we as a community created. Niches that they are now helping to break down. [Read More]

Utrecht: Squatting during national day of action – police proceed to unlawful eviction

The national day of action against the ban on squatting was also held in Utrecht today. A group of squatters has just added the vacant building at Reactorweg 164-172 to the housing stock. Help with the occupation is welcome, so come along!

The building, owned by De Waal Beheer, has been empty for quite some time now and plans for use by the owner seem to be lacking. While the CDA and VVD in their own-initiative law are working on new legislation to protect property owners even better against squatters, this action shows that squatting is still the only effective means for people searching for housing to combat vacancy. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Squatting goes on!

Since the 1960s, squatting has been going on in the Netherlands. Since then, the housing shortage has only increased. And so it is still being squatted. You could call it a contrary tradition. Today, too, but today we make ourselves extra visible.
Why?
In opposition to the recently tabled amendment proposal for the Squatting and Vacancy Act.
Although the above mentioned law already came into force in 2010 and squatting became illegal, some politicians want to make the illegal use of housing even more illegal. The proposal is to make emergency evictions, including emergency lawsuits, the norm within a time frame of 3 days.
This seems superfluous, because at the moment, too, homeowners have sufficient resources at their disposal to be able to evacuate squatters. [Read More]

Netherlands: National day of action against the ban on squatting


Ban the squatting ban!

Since the 1960s, squatting has functioned as a mean of action to stress out a failing housing and vacancy policy: the reason why for decades a squatting ban was regarded as undesirable without any associated effective measures to prevent vacancy. Although squatting has been banned by law since 2010, vacancy and housing shortage have doubled in the past 10 years. And so people are still squatting. The VVD and the CDA do not see vacancies and housing shortages as a problem, but squatting is. At the moment, these parties are working hard for a change in the law to ensure that squatters can be evicted more quickly, without tackling the underlying problems. Because this law will put the legal position of squatters and precarious residents under severe pressure and will only further increase the historically high vacancy rates and homelessness, actions are taking place in various parts of the country today.

One-sided effectuation Squatting and Vacancy Act

Almost 10 years ago, the Squatting and Vacancy Act was passed, on the condition that not only squatting, but also vacancy had to be reduced. Whereas squatting has always been (and still is!) an important stick behind the door of pawnbrokers, from now on municipalities should play a more active role in tackling speculation on vacant property and impoverishment. Fines for structural vacancy, however, have hardly been imposed and thanks to the gigantic boost of vacancy management/property guardianship, it has only become easier for speculators to conceal vacancy under the guise of ‘occupancy through temporary renting’. [Read More]

Greece: Why is the state attacking Exarcheia?

The Greek state’s long anticipated attack on the rebellious district of Exarcheia began with the eviction of four occupied spaces and a provocative and dangerous attack on the social centre K*Vox. Since the return to power of right-wing New Democracy in the July elections the move has been expected and a difficult struggle lies ahead for Exarcheia and the anarchist and anti-authoritarian space in Greece. The short-term fixations of New Democracy and the right explain the police operation but the attack on Exarcheia is part of a deeper desire by the state draw a line under its decade long crisis and declare total victory.

New Democracy have their own reasons for the attack on Exarcheia.1 While in opposition they raised the right’s traditional banner of ‘law and order’ and helped by a cooperative media painted a picture of a society spiralling into lawlessness. None of this was true, after all SYRIZA evicted occupied centres and refugee solidarity projects as well as sending the riot police into the neighbourhood and against demonstrations countless times while one of SYRIZA’s final campaign rallies for the July elections was attended by prominent police officials. Still the new Prime Minister Mitsotakis repeatedly threatened to ‘end’ Exarcheia while in opposition. That the refugee and migrant occupations were targeted first along with other announcements that the government will speed up deportations demonstrates that an anti-immigration agenda will be a priority. This reaffirms New Democracy’s connections with the far-right despite the liberal ‘centrist’ presentation of Mitsotakis. [Read More]