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]

Amsterdam: The continuation of eradication policy of Free Spaces

Update by the Slibvelden crew, May 24th 2020.

Wednesday morning we had a meeting with the relevant officials talked about the Slibvelden (sludge fields) and the end date of November 1 that is imposed us. We entered the conversation with the hope that Erna Berends (City District chairman Amsterdam North, SP) that we could find mutual ground in our stay on the sludge fields. We left this digital meeting trembling from the reconfirmation that nevertheless all beautiful slogans and open conversations Amsterdam is stuck in their extermination policy free space.

After the eviction of the ADM Terrain in January 2019, we where offered an alternative place. This is the Sludge Fields – former water purification company Amsterdam Noord. The deal was that we could say for two years and in the meantime we and the municipality would look for a sustainable solution. In one and a half years we have bandaged the wounds and the community itself is healing. We managed to use the terrain for what it is. There is a communal garden, kitchen, workshop, concert space built up. And there have been some small-scale events and neighborhood activities organized. [Read More]

Amsterdam: New Policy. No Eviction for Emptiness…

As a squatter in Amsterdam, looking back on the past year is painful. 2019 dealt heavy blows to a movement that didn’t seem capable of much more than taking the beating. The city has lost its largest squats and despite numerous squatting actions, hardly any new buildings have survived the end of the year. What’s more, politicians tried to introduce a law at national level to further criminalise squatters while the media reported time and time again how afflicted property owners are being deceived repeatedly by squatters. To top it all off, the mayor concludes the year with a report on a new policy designed to implement a more rigorous approach to squatting.
There’s not much left to say beyond 2019 having been a rather grim year, making it difficult to paint a hopeful picture for squatting in Amsterdam in 2020.

We look back on a year in which we, above all, lost a lot. [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]

Rotterdam : 6 squats evicted in the Tweebosbuurt

In the early morning of the 6th of March, residents of the Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam were shaken awake by police forces. The entire neighbourhood was locked down for a militarized eviction of 6 squats. 6 houses of which the residents were put on the street with their right to a home.
Beyond these symbolic houses, which brought some life back into the emptying neighbourhood, it’s all residents of the Tweebosbuurt that are the target here. Since several months, life in the area has turned into a more joyful reality again, in which residents’ resignation in the face of the demolition of their neighbourhood was seeping away. The authorities have thus decided to destroy these sparkles of hope: no squats, no solidarity, no joy, no hope.
But let them know that the destruction of our living spaces will not suppress our desire for freedom.
Squatting goes on. [Read More]

Zwolle: 17 squatters arrested

Sunday night March 8th (technically Monday morning March 9th) 17 squatters were arrested in Zwolle, Netherlands.

The building was occupied by squatters after 5 years of vacancy. Unfortunately the police got wind of the situation and after a while they were at the door with all their might and power. Not soon after the police entered and the squatters were summoned to get down on their knees, with hands on their heads. The squatters were handcuffed and taken to the police station, where they were all detained for more than 16 hours. During the arrest, breaking tools were also found by the police.

All squatters are now free. They have all received a fine (€225) for trespassing, which is a strange situation for people who are homeless or barely able to pay their rent. During the arrest the squatters were not given the opportunity to pack their belongings, these things are still in the building.

After Sunday night there are two losers and only one winner: The police had to use violence and some of the squatters are still homeless. The winner is Janssen Vastgoed: his building (one of many vacant premises) is still empty and as far as we know the company is not being bothered by the municipality. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Sarphatipark 87-H squatted

This afternoon a vacant building in Amsterdam got new inhabitants

The vacant building, Sarphatipark 87-H, has been empty for a while now. It is owned by the recently deceased real estate owner van Zijl. An owner that had a lot of buildings in Amsterdam, known for being vacant for a long time.
At this moment there are no concrete plans for the building.
The action went smooth, cops came verified the house was indeed squatted, and left. Some hours later, some other cops showed up, told the squatters that they were caught red handed and that there was no house peace. They told the squatters to immediately leave the house.
The squatters did not comply. You can’t really say they are caught in the act, several hours after their colleges already verified that people are living there. Also, the lack of house peace is being disputed by the squatters. By that time there has been a nice dinner, people took showers, some took a nap. Pretty homy.
The police insisted that they want to evict the place. It looks like tonight that it is not going to happen. They drove by a few times but that was it.
The squatters welcome everyone to come and help with the occupation

Fight for your rights!
Houses for everybody! [Read More]

Rotterdam: Illegal eviction of Tweebosstraat 120

On the 26th of February, employees of Vestia came to the door of a squat on Tweebosstraat 120. They knocked at the door, introducing themselves as the police. Obviously the squatters didn’t believe them, and refused to open the door anyway. Vestia threatened them to call the police, so they gave them the following documents proving they were living here for more than a week. Those documents were stamped by the OM on the 19th of February to prove the authenticity of the date.
According to Dutch law, those documents mean that Vestia is supposed to do a court case against the squatters in order to get an eviction order. After 48 hours of occupancy it’s illegal to evict a squat without an order from a judge. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Tweebosbuurt callout for solidarity

For the freedom to occupy abandoned places, an eviction, 10 occupations!

In a few days from now, next Wednesday March 4th, 6 squats (3 of which officially and the rest very likely) are facing eviction, 6 homes people have been transforming and living in for months, whilst also fighting against the demolition and gentrification of the neighborhood. 6 houses whose residents will be thrown out onto the street with all their possessions by the police. The date of 4 March is decisive, both for the future of these homes and for the continuation of the battle here in Tweebosbuurt. We are therefore launching a call out to come and support us and to be present in solidarity during the evictions. [Read More]

Rotterdam: Squatted house evicted within a day. Nocturnal dialogue with Vestia

Police and Vestia think they can do anything with impunity again!

The police evicted a squat in the Tweebosstraat in Rotterdam-Zuid on Wednesday evening. Squatters had entrenched themselves on the balcony and the roof. Four arrests were made. A group of squatters entered the empty building earlier in the day. The police were present with many officers to remove the group. The houses in the Tweebosstraat are on the nomination to be demolished. Earlier, there were also houses squatted for a short period of time in the neighbourhood to protest against the current vacancy.


The Hague: A nocturnal dialogue with Vestia.

In the night of February 25th a nightly visit was made to the Vestia office at the Loevesteinlaan in The Hague. Several windows were smashed and paint bombs were thrown on the building. Vestia is a mafia embraced by the state. The housing corporation is well known for its malpractices and its total disregard for tenants. After the 2008 crisis, the company continued to cheerfully raise rents, sell out social housing and postpone crucial maintenance of social housing. People were struggling with leakage, moisture and mold problems, and Vestia didn’t seem to care.
Now Vestia is once again demolishing more than 500 social housing units in the Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam. The corporation will only rebuild 130 social housing units, the rest will be business premises and owner-occupied houses. Vestia’s project in the Tweebosbuurt is one of brutal gentrification. [Read More]

Groningen: Solidarity with 10 squatters

Call for solidarity with the 10 people who were arrested during the eviction of the Heykens-building in the Akerkstraat in Groningen in October 2019. They all are convicted for article 138a.
The judge agreed with the demand of the prosecutor and all have to pay a fine of 300 euro. With legal costs of 150 euro per person op top of that, this amounts to high costs and they could use some support.

Please donate if you can
Solidariteitsfonds Het Zwarte Gat, NL41 TRIO 0391 0365 64, and mention “heykenspand”

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