Amsterdam: Keizersgracht 318 resquatted

Since thursday (july 9th) a building was squatted in Amsterdam, on the Keizersgracht number 318. This sunday afternoon the squatters made their presence known. A statement from the squatters:

Since some time we are living in the building at the Keizersgracht number 318. Today we make our presence known. The building has been vacant for years. In 2015 it was also squatted. Back then it got evicted pretty quickly, because the owner claimed to still use it. Looking at the state of the building, that wasn’t very apparent. Later, in 2017, the owner got caught illegally demolishing the monumental interior of this building. The municipality decided to put a building stop on the building. It was prohibited for the owner to do anything else with the building, before the monumental interior was rebuild to its original state.
Now, 3 years later, nothing has changed. The building is still empty, nothing has been restored, and the decay continues.
All this while the homelessness numbers in Amsterdam are rising, the rents are skyrocketing, the waiting lists for social rent are getting close to 20 years and hotel after hotel is being build.
For us, reason enough to start using this building, we want to have a house! [Read More]

Athens: Solidarity action for Dervenion 56. An international call for solidarity

On friday 26 june, in Exarchia, the Greek state evicted and sealed Dervenion 56 and the building at Dervenion 52. An immediate gathering of solidarity was held on Exarcheia square for several hours. In the evening of the same day, a solidarity march was held with the participation of 300 people. The march ended at the Dervenion squat, barricades were set up around the perimeter and then comrades broke the concrete blocks of shame. Police never came and after some hours the protesters left. Riot cops made again an operation the next morning, building again a concrete wall in front of the squat’s door. According to information, in the following days, various solidarity actions followed, a demonstration took place on the main shopping street of Athens, Ermou, where slogans were shouted, and apparently some people attacked multinational clothing companies in Ermou in the occupied -by the police-, center of Athens. Even the rich yuppie nephew of the Prime Minister, the mayor of Athens, Costas Bakogiannis, could not escape the anger caused by the evictions. The pioneer of violent gentrification and his bodyguards were attacked with coffees and other items by dozens of people at a local religious festival. In the following days a march was held again at Exarcheia where comrades demolished the walls of the sealed migrants’ squats at Themistokleous 58 and Spirou Trikoupi 15. All these days, texts of solidarity were written and banners were put in various locations in Greece. [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]

Athens: Villa Kouvelou resquatted

Today 22 december, Villa Kouvelou was resquatted with a lot of people. We left organized, we decided to make a demonstration in the streets of Marousi and at the shopping center in Marousi. After the demonstration, cops from OPKE and riot cops from MAT attacked without reason. They threw tear gas on the people doing their shopping at the shopping center. Most of the people left all together but there is no image nor picture of this moment.
More news will follow with a full translation of this communique.

The fire we started will never stop
Villa Kouvelou remains squatted
[Read More]

Utrecht: Derelict buildings squatted out of housing shortage and protest against vacancy

Since last weekend, a group of young people have been living in the long since vacant houses at the Burgemeester Reigerstraat 48-53 in Utrecht.

The occupation is both a direct approach to a need for life – the young people are looking for housing – and a protest against the current housing policy. The action, part of a national wave, criticized Squatting and Vacancy Act from 2010 and the intention to tackle squatting even harder. “The residents are of the opinion that not squatting, but vacancy and housing shortage must be tackled”, according to a spokesman. The buildings on Burgemeester Reigerstraat have been vacant for more than five years. Owner Marcel Paping plans to demolish the four buildings and build four new buildings and retail space in their place. A parking garage is to be built under the buildings. He has the permits for his plan, except for the entrance to the basement. Many neighbours are of the opinion that a large underground car park will seriously disturb the peace and quiet in the street. Paping plans to nail up the empty buildings if the Municipality does not grant him all the permits. Half a year ago, the buildings were also squatted. Then the police went on a wrongful eviction. “Hopefully this time the police will be wise enough not to go for the owner’s trolley and go the right way”, says one of the squatters. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Squatting goes on!

Since the 1960s, squatting has been going on in the Netherlands. Since then, the housing shortage has only increased. And so it is still being squatted. You could call it a contrary tradition. Today, too, but today we make ourselves extra visible.
Why?
In opposition to the recently tabled amendment proposal for the Squatting and Vacancy Act.
Although the above mentioned law already came into force in 2010 and squatting became illegal, some politicians want to make the illegal use of housing even more illegal. The proposal is to make emergency evictions, including emergency lawsuits, the norm within a time frame of 3 days.
This seems superfluous, because at the moment, too, homeowners have sufficient resources at their disposal to be able to evacuate squatters. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Pretoriusstraat 89hs resquatted

Today 8 september 2019, Pretoriusstraat 89 ground floor has been resquatted. Owner is the family van Zijl from Wilnis, known as infamous real estate speculators in Amsterdam. Until 2013, the building has been used by several butcheries. After, it stood empty for a few years until it was squatted in February 2016. The squatters had to leave in 2018, because the owner wanted to renovate the neglected building and convert its function to living. Since then, not much has happened, the floor is empty and stripped, draughts and rain further damage the property.

The van Zijl family is known for its speculative real estate business, which is conducted through vacancy and neglect. Harry van Zijl, has been called the “Amsterdam King of the Slums”. His son, who takes over the company with a portfolio of more than 80 properties in Amsterdam, employs the same strategy. The more neglected a building, the easier it is to obtain different permits, for example converting its function. The longer it takes, the more it pays off. The housing shortage is not a social problem, but an opportunity for enrichment. That is why many of their houses have been squatted and re-squatted over the years. [Read More]

Barcelona: We reoccupied Ca La Trava

We have returned to Ca La Trava, now an empty plot, and we are not planning to leave. This space, until now closed, will again be open to the neighborhood, and we will defend it as we have defended our houses. We want it to be again a trench from which to resist the onslaught of the speculators and give war to all those who are destroying our neighborhood. If in Ca La Trava they make luxury flats we all lose, and we can’t allow that.

These are times of empty phrases, of euphemisms, of symbolisms without content and of politicians contradicting each new declaration. For this reason, we want to make it clear that when we say “Ca La Trava will never be luxury flats” we say it as seriously as possible. The struggle of Ca La Trava is not a lost struggle, and resquatting is not an improvised decision or the fruit of sentimentalism. Our goal is to win and we are convinced that we will. [Read More]

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]

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]

Amsterdam: Gedempt Hamerkanaal 92, Spijkerkade 2 squatted

Yesterday 14 October 2018, the building on the Spijkerkade 2 and Gedempt Hamerkanaal 92 has been resquatted. Not much happened there since it was for a first time squatted on 17 December 2006. [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]