Netherlands: New Squatting Law. Squat Wars IV, Return of the squatting ban

The Dutch government recently passed a new law, Wet Handhaving Kraakverbod (or law to Enforce the Squatting Ban), with the aim of evicting squatters more quickly. There is a lot of confusion and uncertainty about what exactly this law will entail and especially what influence this will have on squatters and their housing rights.

Unfortunately, this text will not be able to answer all questions since this law has been written by politicians who see squatting as a terrible thing and want to get rid of it, without actually seeming to have much understanding of the legal protocols and procedures. The result is a law that says that from now on, squatters must be evacuated more quickly without clearly establishing exactly how this should work. Both the Public Prosecution Service, the Council of Judiciary and Bond of Lawyers strongly criticised the proposal and called for this law not to be adopted, nevertheless a large majority voted in favour and this law entered into effect on 19 May, 2021. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Anarcha-Feminist Group Squat a building on Kinkerstraat 16, Medusa Squat & Social Centre

Today we announce our new squat on the Kinkerstraat 16.

We have been living on the Kinkerstraat 16 for about a week now. After many tries it seems that we have now managed to avoid a speed eviction and we might actually be able to stay for some time- though all squats are temporary and under neo-liberal, late capitalism, precarity has become the norm, something that does not just apply for squats. The time to get organised, to built alternative structures that are directly opposed to and in conflict with the structures of the state – is now! We call on all Flint* people who agree with our manifesto and who have a willingness to participate to join us. This space belongs to all that struggle against capitalism, the state and the patriarchy. For us that dream of a world where we can all be free and equal, without hierarchies and cages. If you have an idea for an event, want to use to space to organise in, or want to help out, please get in touch by writing an email. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Anarcha-Feminst Group squat building on Sint Willibrodrusstraat

New chapter in the zero tolerance policy towards squatting in Amsterdam. In the evening of friday 4 June 2021, many people are taking part in a squatting action in the Pijp. A house is squatted, banners hanged, slogans chanted, fireworks lighted up, a neighborhood letter handed out. Cops are showing up in big numbers, claiming squatters are caught in the act. They want to evict right away. The big group and neighbors are all together pushed away from the area. Later in the evening, riot cops won’t find anybody inside the squatted house which is ending boarded up by a private company. No arrests are reported.

Statement by the Anarcha-Feminst Group Amsterdam:

Today we squatted Sint Willibrodrusstraat 15 owned by ‘evil corp’ Blackstone. This building has been empty for a long time. today we ended this situation of emptiness and speculation by giving the house back its purpose.

Fuck Blackstone, eat the rich!
Stop speculation, squat the world

We are told that there are not enough houses for everyone, that there are not enough spaces for the refugees and migrants coming here fleeing imperialist wars and economies that have been destroyed by (neo)colonialism. It is unacceptable that the media blame migration for the fact that we all seem to struggle to find a home.There is no problem of a lack of space, there is no “housing crisis”, the only problem is the unequal distribution of wealth. The problem is capitalism. [Read More]

Amsterdam: squat eviction, what happened at Oudezijds Voorburgwal 136

This is going to be personal, this is going to be emotional. We are people with feelings, with political convictions, with longing for freedom. Our struggle and our wounds are written and felt in our bodies. We are angry and we are sad, we are tired and we are determined. Evictions are public spectacles, collective traumas. Certain people are to blame. So we will name them and we will shame them.

Why we squatted Oudezijds Voorburgwal 136:

There are many reasons to squat. The line between personal reasons and political is – as always – blurred. We not only squat because of a need for affordable housing with an imagination of what this space could be, but also with anger towards the racism, colonialism and capitalism this building represents. Watch the video to see our political statement. [Read More]

Amsterdam: report back from the 8th of March squatting action

Today, in honor of 8th of March, we, Anarcha-Feminist Group Amsterdam, organized squatting action (in the Spuistraat) with demonstration. Due to security concerns, it was organized silently, sharing call-out in private channels. Despite this, more that 60 comrades came to support our action! 3 banners (“Woman life freedom”, “Sex work is work”, “destroy patriarchy, fight capitalism, smash the state”) were dropped with flares from the windows of the squatted building. Police were present, but no one was arrested.

Our political statement:

We are told that there are not enough houses for everyone, that there are not enough spaces for the refugees and migrants coming here fleeing imperialist wars and economies that have been destroyed by (neo)colonialism. It is unacceptable that the media blame migration for the fact that we all seem to struggle to find a home. This is an example of scapegoating migrants and refugees.
There is no problem of a lack of space, there is no “housing crisis”, the only problem is the unequal distribution of wealth. The problem is capitalism.
We are being pushed out of our city by rising rent prices and gentrification. Social housing is being sold off privately and the lack of affordable housing means working class people are forced to leave the city. Even people with essential professions such as teachers, healthcare workers and social workers are forced to move. People struggle to pay rent while speculators are given free range to do as they please. Some private investors have hundreds of houses, for example, prince Bernhard has more than 600 houses, and the owner of this building, Anthonie Mans, owns over 100 other properties in the Netherlands. Waiting lists for social housing are ridiculous and it can take from 8 to 14 years for people to get a place. But for every homeless person there is an estimate of 750m2 of empty building in Amsterdam. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Public announcement of the occupation of Afrin squat

Since the 29th of December 2020, the anarchist organisation for reconstruction of militant proletariat occupied a building in Amsterdam. (the address of the squat will be announced together with the call for an open assembly inside the squat).

Aims and principles & Points of Unity of Afrin Squat Assembly:

All the problems we face today are caused by- and made worse by the existence of the state and capitalism, which serves and protects the interests of the ruling class and the bourgeoisie. While the rich benefit of disaster capitalism and get even richer of the crises, the proletariat has to bare the burden of the crisis and pay for the bailouts of the rich. The real virus is neo-liberalism and the dangerous pandemic is capitalism. We believe nothing is more important than for the struggle to continue, to be in class solidarity with each other and to self organise against all forms of exploitation and authority.

We believe in solidarity and the need for self-defence by any means necessary. Capitalisms needs crises and the state will always use these emergencies, whether it is imperialistic state war or a public health crisis, to increase their power and to suppress self organisation and resistance. The state is the one responsible for any death as a result of the pandemic, as the public health system is gutted, funding for imperialist wars and the military is still increasing.

As long as the state and capitalism exist, safety only exist for the rich and for fascists, and such a word as safety does not have any practical meaning to the oppressed. Social control and suppression created by the state during the pandemic tries to criminalise any type of class solidarity and resistance against the state and capitalism. The social problems such as homelessness, unemployment, poverty and the horrible conditions of immigrants locked up in concentration camps (AZC) are only made worse in these times.
[Read More]

Amsterdam: Het Schip, Queer Feminist Squat opened

About two weeks ago a house in de Kinkerbuurt was re-squatted. The building was left empty for over a year after the previous occupiers were asked to leave, as supposedly it was to be demolished and replaced with four luxury apartments. The resquatting was done silently and after a few days the cops recognised the occupiers domestic peace. (It’s the 3rd time within 5 years Jan Hanzenstraat 115 is squatted).

A message from the occupiers:
We are against the state, patriarchy, police violence, capitalism and all forms of hierarchy and oppression. We will defend ourselves, and our right to exist and live the way we want. Gentrification is a direct attack on our communities, our livelihood and our freedom to be in the city. We are queer, feminist, antifascist and we are tired of this shit. Our free spaces are under attack everywhere and we will not stand by quietly watching their destruction. The time to occupy, resist and strike is now. The pandemic has had a disproportionately negative effect on working class people, womxn, Queer and BAME folks and other marginalised groups. We will not let ourselves be the collateral damage of this crisis. We take care of us. We stand in solidarity with womxn and queer people everywhere, fighting capitalism and patriarchy. Solidarity to our neighbours from Liebig 34. Our movement is international, it cannot be evicted by the state or contained within national borders. [Read More]

Netherlands: Actions against the ban on squatting

This year, October 1st marks the ten year anniversary of the Squatting Ban coming into effect in the Netherlands.

Much like what we saw in the UK following the criminalisation of squatting in 2012, the repercussions have been drastic for our community and our movement. We’ve been pushed out of city centres, drastically reducing our visibility and contact with the public outside our own community. The number of squats across the country has been divided by ten, and the legal risks surrounding squatting have risen. Perhaps most damaging of all, our community is sorely lacking in participation from a “new generation”. A large number of people in that age group are totally oblivious to the concept of squatting.

Since the squatting ban came into effect, homelessness has doubled. Simultaneously, waiting lists for social housing have grown enormously, the average waiting time being nine years. The total lack of affordable housing constitutes a housing crisis which, since 2020, is being referred to as a housing emergency. [Read More]

Netherlands: Actions after 10 years of squatting ban

10 Years On! And you still can’t live in a waiting list!

Today, October 1st, 2020 marks the 10 year anniversary of the criminalisation of squatting in the Netherlands through the Kraken en Leegstand (Squatting & Emptiness) law.
Despite the law, kraken gaat door (squatting continues).
On the face of it, the law was created to end both squatting and emptiness. It has done neither. Buildings are still empty and for many people squatting remains a necessity. After all, it is not the existence of empty buildings that leads to squatting, but rather the lack of accessible housing.
Whether you are squatting, renting, or looking to buy a home, finding an available (let alone affordable) house is a struggle. [Read More]

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]