Zeist (Netherlands): Callout for support in resistance to illegal eviction

Yesterday the police illegally evicted the recently squatted building at Utrechtseweg 86, Zeist. The squatters had written statement from a neighbour that he had seen them in the building for over 24 hours, but still the police claimed the squatters were ‘caught in the act’, and evicted on those grounds.
The police refused to arrest or ID anyone, even when they had to forcefully evict the building. One person refused to cooperate to the point that they were forced to arrest them, but they were released hours later without charge. This unwillingness to bring this case to court proves that the police know that they are acting illegally.
Today the building was re-squatted. After long discussion between the acting officer of justice, the squatters, and the police, the squatters were given until 18.00 to leave. We will not leave!
This is a call out for support inside and outside of the building. The police in and around Utrecht are increasingly deciding to ignore the house-peace of squatters, and are finding any excuse to evict squats in the moment which they appear. We aim to gather as many people as possible inside and outside the building, to make it as difficult as we can for them to do so.
We have a working legal team, the deadline for the eviction is 18,00 today. [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]

Amsterdam: ADM sympathizers squat in centre

ADM Sympathizers squatted out of protest a premises in the city center

On Sunday 28 October, a number of ADM sympathizers squatted a building in the Red-light district; Oudekerksplein 30.

The fringes of Amsterdam also belong in the city center

After hearing alderman Kock’s proposal to move the ADM to Almere in two years, many were stunned. One could not believe that the alderman had so little understanding of the social added value that Free-spaces & Fringes have for the city of Amsterdam. Recently, even in the media it was pointed out that the city loses its soul now that the fringes of Amsterdam are in Zaandam. Does Kock really want to move the fringes of Amsterdam to Almere?
[Read More]

Amsterdam: Mobiele Eenheid, new collective on the Gedempt Hamerkanaal in Noord

Press statement, 17 october 2018

Today, the Mobiele Eenheid, a collective of involved Amsterdammers, occupied the old Gedempt Hamerkanaal 86. The building has been empty for over a year without any concrete plans for use in the near future. We plan to transform this badly maintained building into a non-commercial social center; a space by and for people to come together, exchange ideas and skills, work collectively and actively influence the developments in the city.

We oppose the current developments in the city. Over the last 5 years the average price of a house in Amsterdam has gone up by more than 80%. Due to high rent many inhabitants have been pushed out (of their homes) and the city. Many are forced to give up their tenancy rights and live in anti-squats, currently a conventional alternative to renting, even though it enables real estate speculation. In addition, gentrification and tourism are changing Amsterdam. Space for people with a small wallet or non-profit initiatives have basically disappeared. The last free-spaces are currently under threat. Amsterdam is increasingly becoming an expensive, predictable, individualistic and exclusive city, whereas we want to live in a city that is diverse and inclusive. [Read More]

Montreuil (Paris-banlieue): opening of l’Écharde

Monday October 1st, 2018, while Jardin d’Alice‘s docile artists were giving back their building’s keys (at 19 rue Garibaldi, in Montreuil), about thirty people came to disrupt their plans, occupying the building. After three years of caretaking, this space was about to be given back to Nexity, French “master” of property business, who is managing the building on behalf of the EPFIF (Public Land Office of the Paris region). While the state is trying to empty the meaning of housing struggles by signing precarious occupancy agreements to artists (like Jardin d’Alice) and zadists, while the left-wing mayors talk about requisitioning to scrounge a few ballot papers, we, like many others, are squatting. [Read More]

Germany: We squatted Mannheim! Friedenstrasse 44 occupied

Two weeks ago humans were chased from their homes in Hambacher Forst. Whilst the main public focus was on the protests in the forest, already for years people have been forced out of the surrounding villages. And so also in Mannheim.
Rather than only concerning local inhabitants, coal mining in the Rhineland is also a global problem.
It doesn‘t matter if it‘s a question of the dormouse seeing their old oak being destroyed, local farmers seeing their fields dry out and settlements being torn down, humans having to leave the streets in which they first learnt to ride a bicycle, or Peruvian villages being threatened by melting glaciers. All living creatures suffer in common, from this problem from the behaviour of RWE and this destructive culture in general. Multinationals like RWE and politicians need to take responsibility for this issue. If they are not willing to change their methods of energy production, then we as ordinary people are obliged to act.
We are not willing to accept the destruction of these homes, so we‘re occupying them to prevent this. In doing so, we intend to open up a space for free and self-organised living, one that encourages creativity and quality of life and supports each one another in the struggles against RWE. We demand from RWE to give those people the houses back who want to return.
Living in rural areas became attractive to a lot of humans. Far away from an anonymous life in small, unpayable flats in the concrete jungles all over the world where people can help each other, live together and where living projects of different generations can be possible.
We want to make this possible together in unity. With people who live together in Mannheim since decades. With people who lived here and already left with their families. With people who came here to fight the structural destruction of nature. And with people who were forced to flee from their homes in other parts of the world, just to be chased away once again from here. [Read More]

London: The Battle for Deptford and Beyond

In Deptford in south east London, local campaigners have occupied a 20-year old community garden to prevent it from being boarded up and razed to the ground by Lewisham Council and the housing association, Peabody. They are also highlighting the absurdity of proposals to demolish 16 structurally sound council flats next door to build new social housing.

What’s happening in Deptford reflects two pressing concerns in the capital today. The first is the prioritising of house-building projects over pressing environmental concerns. The second is the destruction of social housing to create new developments that consist of three elements: housing for private sale, shared ownership deals that are fraught with problems, and new social housing that’s smaller, more expensive and offering tenants less security than what is being destroyed.

The proposed destruction is part of a plan to build new housing not only on the site of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden and Reginald House flats, but also on the site of the old Tidemill Primary School, which closed in 2012. Peabody intends to build 209 units of new housing on the site, of which 51 will be for private sale, with 41 for shared ownership, and 117 at what is described as “equivalent to social rent”, although that is untrue. The rents on the latter will fall under London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s London Affordable Rent, which is around 63% higher than existing council rents in Lewisham.
[Read More]

Dublin: Third building occupied by Take Back the City

Saturday 8th of September saw another building occupied in Dublin as part of the Take Back the City campaign, this is the 3rd occupation in a little over a month. The new occupied building is on 41 Belvedere Place as the video shows over 100 people gathered outside in support of the occupation.

[Read More]

Dublin: 34 Frederick street occupied

After an injunction was obtained against the occupiers of the evicted house on Summerhill they vacated it only to march to another vacant house at 34 Fredrick street and occupy that. At the time of writing an injunction has again been granted but this time the occupiers have said if there is sufficient support they intend to remain in occupation. Since lunchtime today when the injunction came into effect dozens of people have been on the pavement outside the occupation.

As the occupation of 34 North Frederick St. passed the week mark, those occupying on Saturday 25th August were made up exclusively of women and children. This was a deliberate action in response to the visit of Pope Francis to Dublin.
[Read More]

South Africa: New Land Occupation in Germiston

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement May 12 (with update May 13 below)

Last night more than two hundred people occupied unused land in Germiston,
on the East Rand in Gauteng. We laid out our design for the occupation in
the afternoon, built throughout the night and slept on the occupied land.
Around 350 stands have been marked out via a democratic and carefully
planned process. The new occupation has been named the Zikode Extension in
honour of S’bu Zikode.

On the 8th of November last year residents of the Good Hope Settlement in
Germiston attended the Land Summit called by Gauteng MEC of Human
Settlements Paul Mashatile. He told us that we must identity available land
and that his Department would then sit and talk with us with a view to
acquiring that land.
[Read More]

Amsterdam: We Are Here village in the Rudolf Dieselstraat

Hello everyone! We would like to inform you that we have today successfully squatted 6 houses in the Rudolf Dieselstraat. We also have good news: after five years and for the first time, we have opened an office at Rudolf Dieselstraat 6. You are welcome at the We Are Here Village, next to Frankendael, under the Ringdijk.
We are also looking for volunteers and home items such as blankets, furniture, mattresses and more.
Ymere, the owner from the whole Rudolf Dieselstraat, has neglected the street for many years and wants now to hand it over to Camelot, a property guardian company. Together with the renters still living there, we are going to make a nice village of the street.
According people living in the neighborhood, the houses would remain in this state until August. This is the perfect moment to make our own village. How are we going to achieve that? Let’s talk about it this afternoon at the squatted church, on the James Wattstraat 58. Come along! [Read More]

Amsterdam: Violettenstraat 10-12 squatted

Neighborhood letter

Dear neighbors,

We are your new neighbors living in Jordaan. We are group of four young people, who are not rich enough to be able to find a roof over our heads in what is fast becoming “Disneyland Amsterdam”.

We are here today to bring life to an unloved, derelict place. We intend to collectively renovate a space left to rot by the squander of a profit hungry corporation and transform it into a quiet, cosy home.

The property we are squatting has been empty for 2 years. Libra International BV, a real estate speculation company, is the owner. This company owns more than a thousand properties in the Netherlands and is well known to operate in the area “between illegal and legal”; they perform house-price raising “property swaps” between their numerous shell corporations; they deliberately render buildings unlivable and leave them empty, degrading, in order to speculate on the land value; they deliberately refrain from their duties as a landlord, withholding their obligated basic maintenance of properties as a means to pressure renters who get in the way of their plans to leave. They render homes into mere sums of money to speculate over, making the city unaffordable, and unlivable for common people. [Read More]