Amsterdam: Spinhuis to be evicted. We are militant and determined to resist

On the 28th of August, almost two years after the abandoned dungeon under the bridge was squatted, the Spinhuis will be evicted. The autonomous social centre will be swept away. What will come in its place will be a closed, ostensibly ‘neigbourhood initiative’ for canal homeowners, but which is widely known to be a vessel for the ambitions of Peter Hagendoorn (son of the well-known real estate speculant).
Whoever thought that we would just let this happen is wrong. Long have we fought for a social and independent Spinhuis to remain, using all the tools we had: from crowbars on doors, to negotiations with the municipality, and all the rhetorical skills and political wrangling that come with dealing with bureaucrats. However the fate of the squat had already been decided upon. Nevertheless, we remain ready to fight. From under the bridge we will take to the streets to resist the evictions of the Spinhuis and ADM, and the overwhelming commercialisation and gentrification of our city. Here follows a reflection on the past two years and the battle that is yet to come. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Bad news for the ADM

admThe municipality of Amsterdam lost from the so-called owners (‘the Chidda’s) in the court case about ‘enforcing’ (the fact that one isn’t allowed to live on the ADM, according to the zoning plan). This means in fact that the municipality is now forced to make plans to evict the ADM and has to make a decision within 6 weeks about the time schedule. The municipality could appeal this verdict, but will they? We also expect very soon the verdict in the appeal of the ‘bodemprocedure (in depth court case) The question is then also how they’re in relation to each other. We can appeal this decision as well. More information about what we’re going to do will follow… [Read More]

Waverveen (Netherlands): An empty school has been squatted

A school building that has been empty for 7 years was squatted in Waverveen, Netherlands.

On Sunday June 4th a convoy arrived into the green village of Waverveen to squat a small school, on the Botsholsedwarsweg 13A. Owned by the Gemeente de Ronde Venen, the school named ‘Poldertrots’ has been empty for 7 years.

Sunday:
The cops have been and gone after some mild confusion, so we will wait for the arrival of more authorities or Geemente representatives. [Read More]

Amsterdam: ADM court cases update

Verdicts in 2 most important court cases postponed till July 4th 2017.

The verdicts in the appeal of the ‘in depth’ court case (Chidda’s versus ADM) and the verdict in the ‘short’ court case (Chidda’s versus Municipality of Amsterdam) are both postponed till (at least) July 4th. 2017
In the appeal of the ‘in depth’ court case we have tried last minute to bring in evidence (deriving from the recent appeal court case (Chidda’s versus ADM) about the permit issuing for our XIX birthday festival. In this case, which we won, the court ruled that we should be regarded as the holders of the ADM terrain, since we act as if we ‘re the owners and because of the fact that children are born and raised here, that we build our own roads and that we generate our own electricity, through our 200 solar panels, but on June 9th. the court told us that they won’t take this evidence into account. For now it’s unknown when the court is giving their verdict, somehow it seems logical if this date will be July 4th. 2017…

The verdict in the ‘short’ court case is now due to be given on July 4th.
In both court cases the Chidda’s (heirs of Bertus Lüske) are trying to get us evicted. [Read More]

Squatting: the urban space as a common good

London_squatters_outside_the_Mayfair“Housing is a need, not a privilege”, “Housing for people, not for profit”. Banners with slogans like these hang from windows in any number of European cities. Across Europe, increasing social inequality is making some urban spaces inaccessible to those who used to inhabit them. Gentrification, corporatization and so-called “urban regeneration” projects are leading to the demolition of social and accessible housing, replaced by unaffordable apartments. This leads to the increased eviction and displacement of tenants from their homes and their relocation to the suburbs and peripheries.

Houses, once owned by councils or their occupants, have become investment opportunities for large corporations. With up to 200,000 living spaces intentionally kept vacant in the UK, houses are being stripped of their social value and becoming objects to secure the elites’ wealth. Workers in precarious positions, families, low wage households and students are being displaced or made homeless, while surrounded by vacant properties. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Refugee collective We Are Here wins court case and can stay in the Vluchtlumumba till 3 july

20170409_Amsterdam_Wij_Zijn_Hier_Vlucht_LumumbaYesterday, the Somali group of We Are Here won the court case against the State of the Netherlands with regard to their stay at Florijn 8-11 in Amsterdam-Zuidoost. The authorities ordered the immediate eviction of the ‘Vluchtlumumba’, which they started to inhabit on 9 April 2017. However, their request to stay until the end of the Ramadan has been granted by the Court of Amsterdam.

The group consists of 20 men who have been in the Netherlands for a long time. Some of them have been here for up to 20 years, without the possibility to go back, or to lead a normal life in The Netherlands. After being evicted from a previous building last year, they were on the street for four months. As many of them have various health problems and as they needed more time to find another place, the group decided not to leave the building as ordered, but demanded to be allowed to stay until 3 July. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Two houses re-squatted on the Minckelersstraat

Two houses were today re-squatted in Jeruzalem (Amsterdam) after being left empty by Rochdale since the eviction of the previous squatters in January.

Today two houses were re-squatted in the neighbourhood of Jeruzalem (Amsterdam). These houses on Minckelersstraat have been left empty by the housing corporation Rochdale since the eviction of the previous squatters at the end of January 2017.

The neighbourhood contains a mix of social and free sector housing, and the entire area is being renovated or demolished and redeveloped. The previous squatters were presented with court documents by Rochdale detailing their plans for the houses which today were re-squatted – they were to be used as modelwoning, to demonstrate to residents what to expect from their renovations. However, this purported use of the properties never materialised, instead they were boarded up and left vacant.

According to Rochdale’s concept plan for the renovations (dated March 2017), modelwoning exist elsewhere in the neighbourhood. Residents of the block concerned had the opportunity to view these in March. In other words, the previous squatters were evicted for no reason other than to leave these houses empty. [Read More]

The Hague: Spui 275A and 277 squatted

201704_Den-Haag_Spui_275_277_gekraaktToday 24th April, we squatted Spui 275A and 277, two buildings empty for many years.

We decided to squat the buildings because we find it unacceptable that in times of housing shortages in the Hague many buildings are empty to produce profits with speculation by the owner. A city is there for its citizens and not for gaining profits by capitalist elements. One of the squatters said: “That squatting is being criminalized since 2010 means nothing to us.” He continued by saying: “Squatting might be illegal but for us its a legitimate method of action which produces a direct result, it contests vacantness and provides living space.”

The latest plans that are known for the buildings at Spui 275A/277 are that they will be demolished for the construction of a new hotel instead of renovating it for affordable living space in a city with more and more gentrification. Its another sign that the owners are only interested in making profits and interests of society are losing ground. While the average citizen of the Hague is on a waiting list for years to get an apartment which he or she can afford, speculating owners can do what they want to gain their profits. [Read More]

Amsterdam: New squat on the Singel

20170319_Singel_356_AmsterdamThis afternoon a building was squatted at Singel 356 in Amsterdam. The canal house, which has monument status, was last sold in 2014 to a British hedge fund banker based in Switzerland. Prior to the sale, the building was uninhabited for a number of years, with planning permits denied, and only minor works carried out by a now bankrupt construction firm. Since acquiring the property in 2014, the current owner has continued the trend of his predecessor: leaving the building vacant.

Like the majority of these typical Amsterdam canal houses, the property has been deemed monumental. Generally, this status is given to structures and buildings of significance in particular to preserve an area’s historic architectural value. Future plans for this property remain unclear, and we strongly believe that unique, significant monumental buildings such as this should not be left empty to deteriorate over time – particularly when the reasons behind this likely involve some means of speculation. As a group we intend to look after this property, which its current wealthy owner appears to be unconcerned with.

The continuing housing crisis in Amsterdam shows no sign of improvement anytime soon. The accommodation shortage we are witnessing is driven by surging prices in both real estate and rental accommodation. At the same time, increasing numbers of social housing properties are being switched into the free sector or even sold, with very few being added to the social sector. Understandably, waiting lists for social housing have ballooned in recent years – 15-20 years on average across the city. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Future of the Torensluis. The city wants an exclusive Canal District

torensluisbrugLast night the Dagelijks Bestuur of the Central city district made a decision about the future of the Torensluis. The district wants to begin renovations soon, after which neighborhood groups will be abloe to sign a contract with them. As soon as the necessary permits have been obtained (which will probably be around May or June), the district will no longer tolerate us in the space.

The negotiations about a joint plan for the future use of the space were reaching their final stage in November 2016 when our negotiating partners, Stadsdorp 7 and Brug9buurt abruptly left the talks. It turned out that they did not want to sign our jointly devised plan because they wanted to submit their own proposal.

Contrary to the proposal of our former negotiating partners, the Spinhuis Collective wanted to keep the space open for use by a range of groups. We therefore saw the necessity of submitting our own proposal, in which we articulated our vision about public space in the city, specifically in the Torensluis. We therefore went in search of other socially engaged projects for possible collaborations. Neighborhood center D’Oude Stadt and Stichting Het Gespuis, both of whom have been forced to find a new space because of the commercialization of the city center, indicated their willingness to work with us in the future. [Read More]

Zaandam: Swimming pool resquatted

Today (20/2/17) we liberated an old Swimming Pool! The pool has been squatted before for 10 years after being empty for 7 years, in 2012 it got evicted to build a “Paramedical centre”. This never got build because the owner [J. H. Bakker] went partly bankrupt in 2014, its been empty since then. More pictures below. Source
[Read More]

Den Haag: De Vloek eviction, verdict claiming 30.030,35 euros

On the 21st of December 2016 the court in The Hague sentenced ten people who were arrested during the eviction De Vloek free space to pay 30.030.35 in damages to the city council.

De Vloek, after being squatted for 13 years, was evicted on the 9th of September 2015 by an excessive police force, the army, anti terror units, water canons and a sniper. [Vloek on S!N] Ten people were arrested and later sentenced for squatting and five of the ten for violence against police officers. Those five also spent two weeks in prison.
[Read More]