Amsterdam’s lost FREE heaven

In 2019, after 21 years of occupation, one of the world’s most incredible free spaces was demolished, and its residents evicted, in order to make space to … nothing at all!

Our friend Anita, a member of Underkonstruction sound system and part of the amazing Nostruckture travelling stage, has been visiting the ADM community for several years.

We asked her a few questions about the past, present and future of ADM.

[Read More]

Amsterdam: Keizersgracht 318 resquatted

Since thursday (july 9th) a building was squatted in Amsterdam, on the Keizersgracht number 318. This sunday afternoon the squatters made their presence known. A statement from the squatters:

Since some time we are living in the building at the Keizersgracht number 318. Today we make our presence known. The building has been vacant for years. In 2015 it was also squatted. Back then it got evicted pretty quickly, because the owner claimed to still use it. Looking at the state of the building, that wasn’t very apparent. Later, in 2017, the owner got caught illegally demolishing the monumental interior of this building. The municipality decided to put a building stop on the building. It was prohibited for the owner to do anything else with the building, before the monumental interior was rebuild to its original state.
Now, 3 years later, nothing has changed. The building is still empty, nothing has been restored, and the decay continues.
All this while the homelessness numbers in Amsterdam are rising, the rents are skyrocketing, the waiting lists for social rent are getting close to 20 years and hotel after hotel is being build.
For us, reason enough to start using this building, we want to have a house! [Read More]

Amsterdam: Always Anti-Anti-kraak

Sunday afternoon there was a small action at a former squat in Amsterdam Noord. The squatters are angry, because in the evicted building is now an anti squat workspace. The building, that had been squatted already for 3 times, got evicted last summer. It turns out it got evicted for anti-squat. Below a statement of the squatters:

Today we are here to put the situation surrounding the building in the middle of your neighborhood under attention. The old pizzeria on Statenjachtstraat 598. Probably the recent history of this building is still known to you, but to summarize:
After years of vacancy, last year the building got bought by to rich real estate dealers, Axel Veldboom and Frans Blom. Last summer, the place got resquatted (it was already squatted 2 times before). It was clear for the squatters that there were no short term plans for the building. But the owners did have a plan. A pretty ambitious and unrealistic plan, to build an enormous building in the middle of the neigbourhood.
The state decided to start a procedure to evict the squatters, squatting is forbidden, and the owner claims to have a plan. The squatters decided to fight the state in court, to prevent the eviction. In a court case like this the importance of interests is being weighed against each other by a judge, or at least it should be. On one side the needs of the state for having the place evicted, and on the other side the needs of the squatters, to be able to have a place to live. [Read More]

Amsterdam: ADM community has to pack again!

A first update from the Slibvelden crew itself was made public on May 24th 2020. One big part of the former ADM crew relocated at the Slibvelden on Buikslotermeerdijk 95 in Amsterdam Noord. The following statement is published on Indymedia on June 4th by Stichting ADM Leeft, an organization registered at Louwesweg 1 in Amsterdam, with Hay Schoolmeesters, mister Urban Resort himself, Free Spaces Accord, holding the pen:

ADM community has to pack again!

Almost a year and a half ago, the ADM site was evicted inappropriately. Under the supervision of the municipality, all that was from and dear to the more than 125 residents was completely destroyed by the owner of the site. Part of the close-knit community ended up on the Sludge Fields of the former Water Purification in Amsterdam North. Now this group is forced to relocate on November 1 this year, without any necessity.

At the end of 2018, a motion was passed by the Amsterdam city council, which instructed the college to work with the ADM community to find a definitive location where the community could continue their way of living and livelihood after the sludge fields. The sludge fields were made available to the ADM community for 2 years by means of a tolerance decision. In a recent meeting with the Municipality Noord, it turned out that, despite the motion and despite the fact that no other location is in the picture, the Municipality nevertheless wants to remove the ADM community from the site! [Read More]

Amsterdam: The continuation of eradication policy of Free Spaces

Update by the Slibvelden crew, May 24th 2020.

Wednesday morning we had a meeting with the relevant officials talked about the Slibvelden (sludge fields) and the end date of November 1 that is imposed us. We entered the conversation with the hope that Erna Berends (City District chairman Amsterdam North, SP) that we could find mutual ground in our stay on the sludge fields. We left this digital meeting trembling from the reconfirmation that nevertheless all beautiful slogans and open conversations Amsterdam is stuck in their extermination policy free space.

After the eviction of the ADM Terrain in January 2019, we where offered an alternative place. This is the Sludge Fields – former water purification company Amsterdam Noord. The deal was that we could say for two years and in the meantime we and the municipality would look for a sustainable solution. In one and a half years we have bandaged the wounds and the community itself is healing. We managed to use the terrain for what it is. There is a communal garden, kitchen, workshop, concert space built up. And there have been some small-scale events and neighborhood activities organized. [Read More]

Amsterdam: New Policy. No Eviction for Emptiness…

As a squatter in Amsterdam, looking back on the past year is painful. 2019 dealt heavy blows to a movement that didn’t seem capable of much more than taking the beating. The city has lost its largest squats and despite numerous squatting actions, hardly any new buildings have survived the end of the year. What’s more, politicians tried to introduce a law at national level to further criminalise squatters while the media reported time and time again how afflicted property owners are being deceived repeatedly by squatters. To top it all off, the mayor concludes the year with a report on a new policy designed to implement a more rigorous approach to squatting.
There’s not much left to say beyond 2019 having been a rather grim year, making it difficult to paint a hopeful picture for squatting in Amsterdam in 2020.

We look back on a year in which we, above all, lost a lot. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Sarphatipark 87-H squatted

This afternoon a vacant building in Amsterdam got new inhabitants

The vacant building, Sarphatipark 87-H, has been empty for a while now. It is owned by the recently deceased real estate owner van Zijl. An owner that had a lot of buildings in Amsterdam, known for being vacant for a long time.
At this moment there are no concrete plans for the building.
The action went smooth, cops came verified the house was indeed squatted, and left. Some hours later, some other cops showed up, told the squatters that they were caught red handed and that there was no house peace. They told the squatters to immediately leave the house.
The squatters did not comply. You can’t really say they are caught in the act, several hours after their colleges already verified that people are living there. Also, the lack of house peace is being disputed by the squatters. By that time there has been a nice dinner, people took showers, some took a nap. Pretty homy.
The police insisted that they want to evict the place. It looks like tonight that it is not going to happen. They drove by a few times but that was it.
The squatters welcome everyone to come and help with the occupation

Fight for your rights!
Houses for everybody! [Read More]

Amsterdam: Five years since Bungehuis occupation

2019 was the year of the demonstration. 2020 will be the year of the uprising. That’s why we’re not only looking forward to this film night with the Vrije Bond Amsterdam, but also look back on previous protests to see what we can learn from them for the future. We pay special attention to the student protests. We will watch Street Politics 101 and have a discussion with veterans of the student protests, but also with the new generation of demonstrators.

We will hold a somewhat special performance of the film evening to mark the fifth anniversary of the Bungehuis occupation. We will also try to learn from this history and talk about new protests, such as the occupation of the P.C. Hoofthuis in 2018. What can we learn from each other for years to come where an even more repressive state and further deterioration of social services threaten? How can we work together towards more freedom and solidarity?

Vrijebond

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]

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]

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]