Amsterdam (The Netherlands): June 2013 at Joe’s Garage


Since 2010, the anti squat law is stating house owners would get fined if they leave their buildings empty for more than six months. Well, years later, not a single owner has been fined. That’s is no surprise knowing the City of Amsterdam. Parallel to that, 15% of office buildings in Amsterdam are officially empty. The reality would be the double.
Amsterdam is gearing up to evict squatters these coming days. The house on Swammerdamstraat 12 will be evicted for a fourth time in a few years. Let’s hope this ‘monument’ won’t make place to a sand yard for the coming years. Other squats in Amsterdam who received the eviction announcement are Bessemerstraat 23 (El Taller), Cornelis Drebbelstraat 35 (LaRage), Simon Stevinsstraat 25hs (Willem Beukels Alternatief).
On May 31st, activists and squatters were taking over the empty office building on the Jan Tooropstraat 29. The door magically opened and within minutes, the refugees from the Vluchtkerk moved in. Off course, Eberhard van der Laan the apathetic mayor was again forced to show a bit of concern. Lucky us, there weren’t any comment from the Dutch squatting expert Eric D. that day. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): May 2013 Joe’s Garage Program


Welcome to post gentrification. Forget about affordable housing, these words are gone from the vocabulary. In Amsterdam, the price per meter square is higher in social housing than on the market price. Tenants are waiting in temporary housing for a proper one. These anti-squatters, also called “guardians” to preserve their image, haven’t been given the rights of a normal tenant. They even pay to guard houses. Not only young people and students live in this precariat. Anti-squat companies have seen their benefits exploding in recent years, while former social housing corporations have been cashing big money and forgotten since long about their social purpose.
People who can’t afford to live in the city have to go. They are denied the right to live in the city, they are made feeling guilty and ashamed of being social tenants. Our policy makers want people to move around in this monetary driven housing market. Social dramas on individual scales are common, people can’t sell back their house, the money they make is used to pay back mortgages. In Germany, a group like Recht Auf Stadt put back these issues on the political agenda. Some political parties have now an opinion about that. In the Netherlands, the discourse is still the same, “there is no problem”. SNS nationalised, the Russian roulette game has reached money lender Rabobank. For how long? [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): April 2013 Joe’s Garage Program


‘There are still squatted houses in Amsterdam…”, that is the shocking gossip recently reported in the Dutch media. Is the zealous mayor of Amsterdam such an incompetent politician in matters of housing policy and in cracking down on squatters? These last years, the city of Amsterdam did evict numerous squats but failed in eradicating our political structures, in making squatting history.
Not only squatters and activists, many individuals are daily becoming conscious and organized, building networks, taking action, sharing skills, bringing out solidarity here and there. The State could erase the (legalized) social centers from the map, call out extraordinary laws, reopen re-education camps (read – feed us more television). People would still have the will to throw down the State, disrupt the money making machine.
End of April, fiscal paradise the Netherlands will finally reach world news with a fresh new young king. The media and various intelligence services are already trying to decrypt early signs of a popular revolt, starving as they are for sensation. That makes it no surprise this racist local government has no intention to lift a finger for the migrants squatting a church these last months. Opportunist politicians feeling concerned about undocumented people only brings more anger against the apathy of the State. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): March 2013 Joe’s Garage program

A deepening crisis, a social housing policy crushed, a constant precarisation of life and work, what a promising future. The masses aren’t dreaming any more. The glitter that has been fed to us by the government and the media won’t last for long.
We are not done with protesting and taking action. Knowing your rights and responsibilities when you are arrested is crucial. Joke Kaviaar will be tackling these issues during an info night. Throughout March, local activists and the many volunteers will take over Joe’s Garage to support various initiatives, SVZV (Support Group Women Without Papers), and Anarchists Against the Wall. Other local projects, LaRage, Roomtuintje Oostbos and Soweto will provide you a deeper insight on the neighbourhood. People eating, talking together, exchanging ideas, making projects, forgetting about the role models society is imposing…, all this and more is happening at Joe’s. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): February 2013 Joe’s Garage program

Squatted social center Joe’s Garage and its volunteers are bringing you another full month of events. As surprise appetiser, we serve an info night about rights in custody. Always useful when it comes to squatting empty buildings, demonstrating in the street and planing subversive activities. Further, you’ll be enjoying various benefits, for the SVZV (Support Group Women Without Papers), Soweto and the Black Fish. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): January 2013 Joe’s Garage program

You’ve heard it many times. While under arrest, never declare anything to the cops. But is that enough? Should you stop phoning, publishing pictures of your friends without their permission, choosing another email provider? When do you think you are not providing passive intelligence to the police? Political social centers and activist groups communicating on monitored “social media”, that is all good for the cops, they love it. Not only you are taking risks but you may put other people in danger. On the SO36 website, you’ll find a list of non-commercial providers for you to communicate in a safer way or where to move your website.
For a local insight about police intimidation in Amsterdam, have a read to Observant, the December newsletter from Buro Jansen & Jansen, the Dutch research institute on intelligence and police matters.
One of the favorite activities of Amsterdam’s mayor is throwing money out the window, evicting houses for emptiness. State sponsored gentrification, greedy housing corporations, we all know for who Van der Laan is working. The four times squatted Swammerdamstraat 12 will need your support. Later in the month, it will be the turn of the Arent Krijtsstraat 1 in Diemen. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): December 2012 Joe’s Garage program

The weather may be cooling down but the conflicts are still heating up:
The French Prime Minister is green in the gills about his Green coalition partners opposition to his private airport, not to mention his private security police cutting out the supports of the platform they stand on like their political masters do. The Mexican government is still un-comradely with the comrades of Guadalajara and the southern mountains of Chiapas. The Belgian government is still not modifying it’s position on Monsanto, the modifier (and seller) of nature.
And closer to home the refugees will have to seek refuge from their nutty village in Osdorp, west Amsterdam where the Labour Party (former housing corporation lawyer) mayor has recently announced a prohibition of protests at the refugee protest camp, and the defeated squatters who wouldn’t need another hot eviction wave haven’t given up even after the latest heated wave of evictions, not to mention the never ending battle between the beleaguered Saint Nikolaas and the American invader Santa.
And here in Joe’s Garage we’ve had inspiring evenings with the visit from two ZADists, the Mexican provinces, the village of the refugees and many more places.
But don’t think we will be sleeping cozy by the yuletide fire because we have many events in store even now, with or without a hoodie!
This month we have various benefits : Anarchist Black Cross Mexico, Mapuche Indian communities from Chile, FLM (Field Liberation Movement), various movie nights with In Time, Standard Operating Procedure, Larks on a String, Mars Attacks!, and even a sneak preview super 8 night on the barricades against Santa Inc. And let us not forget the free freegan sermons every Wednesday. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): November 2012 Joe’s Garage program

Get ready, a European Strike is announced for November 14th. Would governments fear a global insurrection? The deepening crisis is spreading like a plague. Chaos hasn’t reached the Netherlands yet. The Dutch government has never spent so much money on security per capita as now. Travelling anonymously is becoming a luxury. Your moves and communications are being traced, recorded and analysed. And you still worry about your privacy?
Another fear is visible, in Greece. The one for every migrant walking in the street. Golden Dawn has infiltrated all layers of society. The myth of a superior race hasn’t yet vanished. International solidarity is more needed than ever for Greece for those fighting fascism and facing repression on a daily basis. In the Netherlands, refugees are building camps in cities. There is lots of work to be done in front of your own door. Your active participation at Joe’s Garage is also welcome. Choose your day.

This month, Joe’s goes out again, to the Bajesdorp Festival and to the Krugerplein to celebrate a sustainable Transvaalbuurt. Further, you can drop by on a benefit night; for the Osdorp Notweg refugee camp, for the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Campaign, for the people getting arrested on November 14th, for the Roomtuintje Oostbos and for the ZAD in France. You can inform yourself about Zapatistas at the Infonight Zapatista Indigenous Communities in Chiapas, or you can join the cosy cinema on sunday night with Loners, Freedom Ahead or Jonas will be 25 in the year 2000. Joe’s Garage is open six days a week, thanks to you. [Read More]

Amsterdam Squatting: Crime or Creative Space Use?

Joe’s Garage, autonomous social centre in a squat in Amsterdam Oost

When one door closes, another door opens. Well, that’s hardly ever the case, but who gives a shit anyway? Certainly not the Amsterdam squatter who didn’t hold a key to any front door in the first place.

The Dutch squatting ban has fueled countless discussions over the past two years. Squatters have been around in The Netherlands as the front runners of social action since the early 1960s. As part of a broader political force, the squatting movement in Amsterdam in particular was a direct response to the tremendous housing shortage the city still faces to this date, characterised by high rents and a large number of vacant or abandoned properties. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): October 2012 Joe’s Garage program

If you are ever standing under the rain, in front of a closed door at Joe’s it is because nobody has volunteered to open the space, cook some food, make coffee. We do everything D(o)I(t)Y(ourself) and your active participation is really needed in this squatted social center. We are swinging back into action after the summer and your energy is needed now more than ever! Contact Joe’s now! Email to joe [at] squat [dot] net

Another serie of benefits is announced in October: DJP Defend Job Philippine, Kurdish Dutch Cultural Centre Amsterdam (KNCCA), Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Campaign, Red Nose Delicious Arab Spring, Zapatista Autonomous Community. And Jeffrey will of course be back with a film from Olivier Assayas, Cold Water.  Keep an eye on-line for updates. [Read More]

Amsterdam (The Netherlands): September 2012 Joe’s Garage program

Will Joe’s Garage open 6 days a week in September? Are you ready to give some of your time, put some creativity and subversion into Joe’s? We are waiting for your active participation, there is plenty to do, cooking and helping every monday and thursday with the Volkseten Vegazulu people’s kitchen, running every tuesday the Kraakspreekuur Oost (Squatting Assistance), (de)socializing every wednesday afternoon during the the Lonely Collective Day Cafe, helping out every saturday afternoon at the Give Away Shop, programming, organizing film/info nights every sunday. Come along with your ideas. Click here and get involved at Joe’s Garage. Keep an eye on our program and on Radar, more events will be announced. You also can get involved a bit further in the neighbourhood, at the Valreep, at the Bajesdorp, at the Roomtuintje Oostbos, the recently squatted gardens in the Dapperbuurt, on the Pieter Vlamingstraat 86.

The coming benefits this month: Leonard Peltier,  Screen Print Studio, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Campaign, Volkskeuken Zeeburgerpad 22, Anarcho Queer Punk Festival. Films to be screened: Incident at Oglala, Diamonds of the Night, The Miners’ Hymns. [Read More]