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]

Utrecht: save the Reactorweg

A squat in the city of Utrecht at Reactorweg in the district of Lage Weide is being threatened with eviction. The reason? The Utrechts Studenten Corps (Utrecht Student Association, USC from here), a Fraternity, wants to throw its 77th annual “lustre” party in the 3 squatted buildings that house 25 people and numerous social, cultural, and political initiatives. To make such an eviction during the COVID-pandemic and a housing crisis in Utrecht, the students are essentially helping the owner evict the 25 squatters, putting them on the streets.
But we still have hope! If we manage to raise sufficient funding we can initiate a higher appeal, in which other judges will revise the case.

The situation

A court ruling last week decided that the people living at the Reactorweg in Utrecht will be evicted to facilitate a week-long party organized by the USC.
The living groups think it is unacceptable that a student party gets precedence over their right to proper and affordable housing. Consequently, the living groups went to court to prevent this from happening. “The people living here are very diverse. Some live here as there are no alternatives, others live here more out of ideological reasons.” In the court case, the squatters emphasized the urgency of the case and said they will be homeless if the eviction continues. “Some have applied for social housing a decade ago and still can’t find proper housing,” one of the defendants explained. [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]

Rotterdam: You can’t evict a movement

Dear neighbours,
This week are threatened with eviction by Woonbron. The police will arrive on the street and the local news might write an article about “squatters in the Havenstraat”. We will not leave the building until we are forced to do so. We want to take a moment to explain our perspective and thank you for your support.
We are not criminals. We have been working to setup a neighbourhood social center in the Havenstraat for over 2 months as part of a campaign to create political pressure for more affordable and well maintained social housing and a higher minimum wage. Since we have occupied this building, we have made it accessible to the neighbourhood and the city, repaired the damage caused by Woonbron’s neglect in the building and organised public activities.
Woonbron used false claims to win a court case against us and force an eviction. Please see the post where we make a public response. Unfortunately, we know there are no clear plans for socially responsible use of this building. Because of this, we want to propose a new name for Woonbron: Leegstandsbron.
We have met some of you visiting in the building, showing solidarity with posters on your windows and some of you have even made press statements in support of our action. We would like to thank you very much for your support. [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]

Rotterdam: building squatted in Delfshaven

A number of Rotterdammers have squatted a building in Delfshaven. They want to make a statement to the city council. Rotterdam has been pushing people on the minimum wage out of the city for years. The activists are now drawing a line and want a higher minimum wage and affordable housing.
Inequality in Rotterdam is becoming more and more visible. Everywhere in the city, social housing is poorly maintained and demolished to make way for expensive housing. Rents continue to rise in our city and the income of Rotterdammers with a minimum wage or a benefit is lagging behind. There is also less and less room for their social activities and initiatives. They are being pushed out of our city. There seems to be no place for them anymore.
We do not accept this. That is why we support the Rotterdammers who have moved into the building at Havenstraat 231. They are claiming back a piece of Rotterdam to draw attention to the struggle of many Rotterdammers. Together with them we want the wealth and space in our city to be distributed more fairly. Only then can every Rotterdammer participate and have a place. This can be done by raising the minimum wage to 14 euros per hour in 2022 and by properly maintaining and renovating social housing.
Our city council did not want to listen before. Once again we call on them to ensure that every Rotterdammer can live affordably and have a decent income. We call on the City of Rotterdam to choose for us.
We want a thriving, colorful city in which everyone can live and thrive instead of survive. [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]

Wassenaar: Bats at Ivicke

Potential Roost Destroyed And Building In Danger After Municipality Of Wassenaar Ignores Directive To Stop All Works.
The municipality of Wassenaar removed Ivicke’s gutter despite an Omgevingsdienst Zuid-Holland directive to stop all works on the building immediately due to the suspected presence of bats. The removal of the gutter also did not accord with the municipality’s own work plan, meaning Ivicke is now at serious risk of water damage.

On Tuesday 24 November, Omgevingsdienst (OD) Zuid-Holland ordered the municipality of Wassenaar to stop the works on Ivicke because of the strong possibility of bats roosting in and around the building. The municipality hasn’t conducted any assessment on this, or sought permits for the work in general, even though this is precisely why the owner, Ronnie van de Putte, was prevented from carrying out works on the building several months ago. The workers left the site early on Tuesday 24 and weren’t here on Wednesday 25, pending the results of the OD’s investigation.

(At this stage of the municipality’s works (4 weeks in), there’s scaffolding all around the building, more or less at the height of the now-removed gutter, but it’s not yet fully erect. Before the works stopped, the scaffolding was due to be completed by November 30, according to the plan submitted to us by the architect of the project.) [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]

Wassenaar: Municipality Wants To Ivickt Us Without A Court Hearing Or A Plan

The mayor and executive board (B&W) of Wassenaar rejected our request to suspend our eviction from Ivicke until at least six weeks after a court has ruled on the case.

After almost two and a half years of our residency at Ivicke during which we have cooperated to ensure the municipality can start essential repairs to the building, the B&W demands we leave without exercising our right to represent our interests in front of a judge, nor with a plan in place for Ivicke’s future use. The B&W says a postponement would neither serve the interests of the owner or the public, though it offers no explanation behind this assertion nor an opinion on our interests as Ivicke’s current residents.

Let’s be clear. The B&W’s eviction order has nothing to do with Ivicke’s repair works. At least, legally speaking. The municipality’s contractors are currently preparing the terrain. Our presence here doesn’t prevent the works from happening. [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]