The Hague : Short Stay? No Way! Nothing’s over, we’re just getting started!

Today, Monday the 8th of June, we left the building at the Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 (WP872) in The Hague. After a month of occupation as a protest against the planned construction of luxury short-stay apartments in the Zeeheldenkwartier, the Court of The Hague has given permission for the eviction of the building. We have therefore decided to leave the building within the aforementioned period of three days, not out of good-will nor out of understanding, but with our eyes looking at the future.

The squatting of the building on the Waldeck Pyrmontkade was a first step in the fight against short-stay apartments and gentrification in The Hague and in the Zeeheldenkwartier in particular. At the basis of this struggle lies the issue of ownership and housing law. As a group we had decided to break ownership and claim our right to live. This is a necessary step since real estate companies do what they want with (potential) homes under the guise that “they are theirs”. We are not talking about private property here, but about ownership, the property right that is going crazy and is unleashing a dictatorial dynamic in many neighborhoods of our city. It is built for profit and not for needs, real estate is a profitable thing. Neighbourhoods are sold out and the houses that are built are sold and rented for the maximum price. The possibilities to raise this issue in an administrative or legal way are almost non-existent. In a courtroom there is little to gain from the start: the judge always judges in favour of the owner, no matter how awkward the situation is. Possession, ownership and corporatism outweigh a fundamental human right, the right of residence. Such a ground is written in the law book, it is written in black and white. A problematic case. [Read More]

The Hague: Summary of the court case Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872

The court case against the occupants of the Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 in The Hague took place on the 25th of May 2020. The owners of this building, RE:BORN real estate, had started an urgent court case in a sped up procedure to evict the occupants. They were also claiming an indemnity of 100.000 euro. We had taken the decision to not yield in front of their pressure, and to take on this court case.

RE:BORN’s story was out of its hinges throughout the court case. Although their file appeared impressive at the first glance, a closer look revealed it to be rather hollow. The blueprints, contracts with contractors and renting companies were for the most dating back to two years ago and had been signed back then (although signatures were missing here and there). The ‘plan’ was clearly already there, but was probably on the shelf for 2 years already. As RE:BORN said themselves in an article published by Den Haag Centraal: “we have had to put various projects in the freezer” (23-04-2019). With the documents they delivered, it became clear that there was no emergency in this case. There was also no indication of when the construction would start. There were just a couple of dates summed up, from the past two weeks, to try and prove in this way that the `squatters were frustrating the project´ and so to legitimate the indemnity of 100.000 euro. [Read More]

The Hague: Short Stay? No Way! First week occupation summary

Here is a little recap of what happened in the first week of our campaign and occupation of the Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 in The Hague. The aim is to create an overview of what we’ve done and why, and list our victories as well as the things we want to work on in the future.

Friday 1st of May
The first steps are made in the squatting of the building. There couldn’t be a better day!

Monday 4th of May
Before we could start our struggle against the building of Short Stay apartments it was necessary for us to occupy and keep the building on the Waldeck Pyrmontkade successfully. Preparations were made to prevent an immediate eviction by the police, as is often the case in The Hague, and a possible reaction on part of the owner.
At 9a.m. some sympathizers, with whom we had discussed the strategy beforehand, called the neighbourhood cop in our name, to inform them of our occupation. Faced with the impossibility to reach the neighbourhood cop we decided to postpone the announcement to the next day. [Read More]

The Hague: Crush economic powers! Against the sale of the city!

Short Stay, No Way!

Recently we occupied the building at Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 in Den Haag-Zeeheldenkwartier. The ongoing corona crisis has not only exposed but also exacerbated the housing shortage and financial scarcity. The consequences of the crisis are certainly felt by us young adults.
The only things that are available to us are flex-contracts and temporary rents, which cause uncertainty and stress and offer no security.

At this time in particular, it is important for everyone to have a secure home. Especially women and LHBT+ young people, who are a target of patriarchal oppression and as a result often have lower incomes and precarious jobs, should have access to a safe and stable living situation. Even young people who have no choice but to enter into zero-hour contracts are now slaving in supermarkets and delivery services while their living situation is as precarious as their income. That is why we have taken action.

The property has been used for years by support organisations against domestic violence and for youth support. These organizations have moved because of the high rent. Now the property has been purchased by the Amsterdam investment fund RE:BORN real-estate. RE:BORN wants to transform this former office building into 30 luxury apartments, with a “short stay” construction. Short stay apartments are homes, where a tenant may stay for a maximum of six months. These apartments are therefore fully aimed at expats who are staying in The Hague for a short period of time. They often work in our city’s established multinationals and international organizations such as Shell, KLM, Total, Siemens, ICC, Europol and the numerous embassies. [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]

Netherlands: JaKra! squatting yearbook 2018 released

JaKra! is initiated by KSU Den Haag (The Hague Squatting Info Centre). In this book project we would like to look back on a number of developments and events in the past year, together with squatters and housing activists in different places.
It turns out that squatting is still necessary and useful — as some of the stories in the first JaKra! issue (squatting yearbook 2018) demonstrate. Housing is a necessity. There needs to be space for autonomy. Protests against speculation, social degradation, and miserable urban regeneration are necessary. We must fight for an inclusive city with sufficient affordable housing and non-commercial places to go out and meet people.
By sharing some of our successes and setbacks on an annual basis, we hope to contribute to creating more intercity involvement and solidarity between squatters and housing activists in the Netherlands and beyond and to inspire more people to become active themselves, helping to build an effective movement for the housing struggle.
In the Netherlands JaKra! #1 will soon be available for 5 euros in the subversive bookshops Rosa (Groningen), the Opstand (Den Haag) and the Fort van Sjakoo (Amsterdam) and soon also available to download. The book is bilingual, Dutch-English. [Read More]

The Hague: Acquittal in Fight Repression case

On 19 November 2016 about 250 people gathered on Kerkplein to demonstrate from there against the repression that has been spreading in recent years against anarchists and anti-fascists in The Hague and beyond. Repression such as the constant prohibition of demonstrations and the mapping of anti-fascists and anarchists in order to be able to take repressive measures. And this demonstration was also suppressed with repression and violence from the police, in which 166 people were arrested.

Almost two years later, the Public Prosecution Service decided to prosecute the 166 people arrested on Kerkplein. The first 50 people came to court last month. After two full days in court, the judge ruled on 3 December. The first 50 people were acquitted. Yesterday (13-12-2018), the Public Prosecution Service announced that it would not appeal and dismiss the remaining 166 cases. [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]

The Hague: Prosecutions for anti-repression demonstrators

We have been informed by our lawyers that the Public Prosecution will start summoning people to court who took part in the anti-repression demonstration in November 2016 in The Hague. Some people have already receive subpoenas to attend court (on November 14th).

For the upcoming court case the lawyers Ineke van den Brûle and Juanita van Lunen will be available for the defense. If you wish to be defended and represented by them you can contact us. Because the case consists of 166 arrests of which all will likely be prosecuted we need to be sure to give the most complete and accurate information to our lawyers. The required information is: [Read More]

The Hague: IND raids squat in Schilderswijk

This morning at 07:10 the police and the IND raided a squat in the Schilderswijk to arrest our friend Ali.

In the early morning the dogs of the police and IND raided the house of our friend Ali because he supposedly does not possess the correct paperwork to remain in the country. About ten cops were ready with battering rams to break open the door, this was not necessary because Ali opened the door himself. He has been brought to the main police station.
According to his lawyer people are being deported back to Iraq since a short time. At this moment it is not clear if the deportation services (Dienst Terugkeer en Vertrek) have planned his deportation. His lawyer is checking on this. An update will be placed when more information is available. It is important to warn people you know from Iraq who do not have a permit to stay in the country about the situation.
We are angry that our friend Ali has been arrested. We are angry at the migrant hunters of the IND and the police. No attack will be left unanswered! [Read More]

Netherlands: Squatting Office Hour The Hague

Gentrification and the sale of council houses are causing renting to become more and more expensive, while the private housing market remains out of reach for many people. Despite the critical shortage of affordable housing, many houses in The Hague and its surrounding needlessly remain empty for a long period of time. Against this background, anti-squat (property guardian) companies portray themselves as the solution, but by housing people in precarious situations they only further dismantle tenant rights.
Government and private companies won’t solve the housing crisis. As long as there has been housing shortage, there are people who claim their right of residence in vacant spaces. This worldwide phenomenon is called squatting: the act of taking into use abandoned buildings or sites — without permission of the owner. Up until today squatting offers solutions; from providing housing to the creation of spaces for social initiatives.
KSU The Hague is such an initiative. We want to be an information point for people with questions about housing rights in general and the theory and practice of squatting in particular. Please don’t hesitate to drop by or send us an email!

Every Wednesday from 19:00 till 21:00
Spui 277, 2511BR, Den Haag
ksu-denhaag [at] riseup [dot] net
https://kraakspreekuurdenhaag.noblogs.org/
https://radar.squat.net/nl/den-haag/kraakspreekuur-den-haag

The Hague: 1st february, support De Vloek 10! Come to the Court of Appeal!

On the 1st of February the appeal of the 10 people who resisted against the eviction of De Vloek. The city of The Hague (Netherlands) tries to impose a fine of 50,000 Euro against the 10, earlier the 10 were convicted to pay 33,000 Euro. The court case will start at 09:30am at the court in The Hague.
On the February the 9th, 2015 the free space De Vloek was evicted. De Vloek was squatted for 13 years and offered people a place to live, a vegan and organic eat café, a space for concerts, several working spaces and the development of extra parliamentary politics. After a one and a half year campaign to save De Vloek the free space was evicted for a sailing center.
During the eviction 10 people were arrested. All arrestees were prosecuted, five of them were imprisoned for 2 weeks. The city of The Hague now also demands 50,000 Euro “damages” from the 10 in a civil court case. The claim for damages by city authorities is a repressive way to punish the 10 people double who resisted against the eviction. This absurd claim must be off the table!

Come to the court case and support De Vloek 10!
Date: 01/02/2018 Time: 9am
Location: Paleis van Justitie, Prins Clauslaan 60 , The hague, Netherlands
[Read More]