Rotterdam: About police actions in Tweebosbuurt

We’ve been silently listening to lots of different people talking about squatters in Tweebosbuurt in the last few days. From the leftist parties supporting squatters and newspapers calling them “heroes of Tweebosbuurt” to far right activists calling them criminals and claiming that they should be jailed or kicked out of the country. We thought that most of what could be said about squatters in Tweebosbuurt has been said. But then Wim Hoonhout, head of communication of Rotterdam’s police, decided to give his opinion on twitter as well, and it says a lot about how this city works: “Anti-capitalists, anarchists and extremists from Europe choose Tweebosbuurt for their actions. Thereby threaten the safety of residents. This requires a strict approach. Police [is] committed to ensuring that safety. Violence must be proportional and subsidiary. These people seek to undermine the rule of law. Leon [a journalist supporting squatters] trivializes their behavior and condemns our action”.

This is important and needs to be analyzed carefully.

Let’s start with squatting: as you might know, squatting is illegal in the Netherlands and was considered a criminal offense. But you should also know that since the 2 December 2010, the state court has ruled that the law forbidding squatting was illegal. Since then, squatting is legally considered as a civil issue, a disagreement of interest between two private parties. It’s not a criminal offense anymore. [Read More]

Athens: Update from the trial for the eviction of Gare squat

Three were the accused at yesterday’s trial for the police operation of the 26th of August 2019, when the new wave of state attacks against squats begun. The charges were those relevant with illegal occupation, in another words the offense to private property, and the new package of prosecutions against squatters which is theft of water and electricity.

The accused, each with their own speech , defended the moral right to the use of an abandoned building for social and political work, on top of the “housing needs” and they denied entirely the responsibility of the charges . They referred to the open procedures, events, political and cultural which Gare squat housed, and to the public bath which was operating daily and in a self organized way by its users , the migrants, homeless and excluded. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Free Anton !

He has a smiling face, his eyes are filled with sweetness and in the midst of silence, I can still hear him shouting Fuck them and their law.

He recounts how he got arrested. How he just wanted to go back to see some friends, saw cops passing. And no luck, they started following him. Abusive identity check. The arrest quickly turned into a humiliating and violent chase. He was the first victim of the heightening repression in the neighbourhood. January the 22nd two thousand and twenty. 1:12 p.m. [Read More]

Rotterdam: letter from the Tweebosbuurt

Some inhabitants wrote a public letter to call to support Anton. Note that it is based on their current understanding of the situation.

“Hello, we’re a group of inhabitants of the neighborhood of Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam, Netherlands. We’re organizing against it’s demolition and the gentrification of the District for several months. The situation were actually in our favor, the court made a decision against the demolition. However, during the past few days, police of Rotterdam started an awful harassment campaign against the inhabitants of the neighborhood. 25 people were arrested in the past few days, 19 activists supporting the local struggle and 6 other inhabitants during “random” identity controls. A police car is driving by our street two or three time every hour, day and night, and they ask ID documents to people walking in the streets of the neighborhood. If that person “looks like an activist” or is not able to immediately provide ID documents they’re immediately locked up for several hours. Several people (at least 3) got beaten up in their cells. One of them (EU citizen) got evicted of the country after 30 hours of custody because she was walking her dog without a leach in the neighborhood. Another one is still in detention and is facing deportation in a country where he’s danger, and is not provided any medical care in detention despite several broken bones during his arrest. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Alarming situation in Tweebosbuurt

The situation in Tweebosbuurt suddenly changed.

Two days ago, one of the squat got illegally evicted and we discovered that Vestia, the company owning the buildings we squat, illegally added new documents to the court case against one of the squats in the last moment so we cannot defend from them. We also heard that someone from the neighborhood got attacked tonight in the streets with a metal pipe because he was parking his bike close to the squat that was evicted a few days ago. Hopefully he’s not hurt. The attackers ran always after a single hit. In the same time, we’re facing an awful harassment campaign by the police. A car is assigned to the neighborhood day and night, and they control everyone of us any time we walk in the neighborhood. Some inhabitants are almost locked up inside because of police harassment. Someone have been even arrested twice in two days. In addition to the 19 arrested during the eviction two days ago, 5 other people living in the neighborhood got arrested during ID controls without legal motives already. Another person is missing, probably also arrested. We don’t know for sure because police refuses to give us any information. Three of them were injured during the arrest or during custody. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Two other evictions and 19 new arrests in Tweebosbuurt

Yesterday, one apartment was evicted by the police on Tweebosbuurt. On their way back, the police stopped in front of one of the squats in the neighborhood and tried to get in. This place is protected by house peace and an ongoing legal procedure.
The inhabitants went outside to talk to the police and ask them to stop. The police refused to give the reason of their presence, and asked for everyone’s ID (some people were even still inside) without legal justifications. Two employees from Vestia were with them, laughing at the situation. Some inhabitants refused this abusive and illegal control. Somebody was arrested. They brought them at Zuidplein Police Station for a few hours, and physically forced them to give fingerprints and took pictures of their face. They got out of the police station 4 hours latter and came home safely.
We though it was going to calm down, but we were wrong. Today, we saw the neighborhood police going back and forth Tweebosstraat controlling people’s ID. One of the inhabitants rang to the door of one of the squat and got arrested almost immediately while he was walking in. Some people went downstairs immediately and asked the police the reason for this arrest. They wouldn’t say. They asked for everyone’s ID again, without any legitimate motive. People insisted to know the reason of the arrest, and they answered “You don’t have anything to do with this kind of people, go home and let us do our job”. Most likely, this was a racist statement because the person that was arrested was obviously not Dutch. They threatened that person of being “removed” of the country. [Read More]

Greece: Repression, eviction and dispossession in New Democracy’s Greece

The latest attack on the squatting movement in Greece is the preamble for a massive operation of housing dispossession by the right-wing government.

Dimitris Indares was still in his pyjamas when the police knocked on his door in the neighborhood of Koukaki, in Athens, in the early hours of Wednesday, December 18. Not long after that, he was lying down on the floor of his home’s terrace, with a Special Operations policeman’s boot on his head. He and his two adult sons were beaten up, handcuffed, blindfolded and taken under police custody. What was Indares’ crime? He had refused to let the police go through his home without a warrant in its operation to evict the squat that was right next door. [Read More]

Greece: Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear

Repression and resistance in Greece, december 2019.

Continuing our coverage of the struggle in Greece between the new repressive New Democracy government and the longstanding anarchist movement, we present the following report, drawing on eyewitness accounts from street mobilizations and the defense of several squats. The Greek state continues to throw its full weight behind an all-out assault on refugees, anarchists, and student movements, encouraging gratuitous police brutality against both human beings and their animal companions while seeking to exonerate right-wing murderers including members of the Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn who faced conspiracy charges in the murder of Pavlos Fyssas and the police officer who murdered the 15-year-old anarchist Alexis Grigoropoulos 11 years ago this month.

We hope to inspire international solidarity actions with the movement in Greece and to equip readers for action and analysis in other contexts in an era in which state violence and grassroots resistance are escalating worldwide. The struggle continues. [Read More]

Athens: Statement by the Koukaki Squat Community

We may have fallen, but we’ve fallen on their heads.

Statement of the squatters and comrades who defended Matrozou 45 and escaped from the MAT, OPKE, and EKAM police forces of repression. While facing a police raid, we were informed to the fate of the other houses in our squatted community.

We immediately barricaded the house and entered conflict with the forces of repression. Furniture, electrical appliances, boilers, paint, fire extinguishers, everything and anything in the house fell upon their heads. They responded by shooting and injuring us with plastic bullets as well as with stun grenades thrown directly into our home. We shouted “Here we live, here is our home, here we will die!”—”Fuck your development and Airbnb.” [Read More]

Athens: Solidarity call with the Koukaki Squat Community

The state’s spectacular repression made another show this morning with the eviction of three living spaces, squats of housing and struggle, those of the Koukaki Squat Community (*). Armed to the teeth state guards, using all their gadgets, broke down doors, shot tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets into the houses and the bodies of those living inside, in order to “return the buildings to their rightful owners”, in other words, to the desert of private ownership and capitalism. During the operation, they even tortured and arrested neighbours who dared question their all mightiness.

The message carried out by the bastard torturers and murderers, those bodyguards of fat cats and their politicians, was one of sweeping state terrorism against the social body.

The Koukaki squat community 3 years ago, opened up a space that kept growing, for the needs of the struggle for social self organization, against capitalist and state oppression. The community has defended its ground combatively whenever this was called for. This morning’s battle returned a bit of the violence to its institutional beares, proving in deed that the only lost battle is the one not fought for. [Read More]

Athens: Evictions in Marousi and Koukaki

Today in the early morning hours, Villa Kouvelos in Marousi (northern part of Athens) was evicted by a strong state anti-terrorist police force.
The empty and dilapidated building was squatted by anarchists in April 2010 and quickly developed into a nationally known social center, providing the district with concerts, lectures, discussions, political events, etc.
The villa has also been the target of attacks by right-wing groups such as the Golden Dawn. In the north of Athens, Villa Kouvelos was an institution and its eviction is a catastrophe for the neighborhood in cultural terms alone, leaving behind – similar to the eviction of the Villa Zografou – a socio-cultural desert. As far as is known, there is also no special reason for the eviction, there are no plans to use the building or sell the land. The eviction is therefore a purely populist act. [Read More]

Greece: New Democracy, the new face of state violence

A view from Exarchia as the showdown looms. Interview with an anarchist in Athens about current situation.

he neighborhood of Exarchia in Athens, Greece is known worldwide as an epicenter of combative anarchism. For many years, anarchists and refugees have worked together to occupy buildings, establishing housing collectives and social centers that provide a variety of services outside the control of the state. Starting in August, the new government has carried out a series of massive raids targeting immigrants, anarchists, and other rebels, while revoking the autonomy previously granted to universities and introducing a wide range of new repressive measures and technologies. Now the government has given all the remaining occupations in Greece two weeks to conclude lease agreements with the owners or face the same fate. This deadline coincides with December 6, a day that anarchists have observed for ten years as the anniversary of the police murder of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos and the uprising that followed it.

The new governing party of Greece, aptly named New Democracy, is described by some media outlets as “center right,” in contrast to outright fascist parties like Golden Dawn; in fact, New Democracy has adopted much of its repressive and xenophobic agenda directly from the fascist right, while pursuing a neoliberal agenda in service of international finance capital. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mytsotakis, a hereditary representative of the capitalist class whose father was also prime minister, exemplifies the political caste that seeks to destroy the last safeguards protecting workers and poor people while scapegoating those who resist. [Read More]