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: 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]

Amsterdam: Understanding and resisting the corporatisation of the university

Two months ago the former Common Room of the Spinhuis was squatted. We see our action and presence in the Spinhuis as an act of resistance against the top-down run university. A university that is increasingly run by managers in a corporate manner, focusing on efficiency and output. Anything that does not directly lead to diplomas or a higher spot on the international rankings, is seen as a waste of time and money. We want to have an evening of discussion in our space, the day before the verdict of the university’s court-case against us.

We will first have several speakers providing a bit of background behind the neoliberalisation of higher education in the last decades. For instance, the financialization of the university (in particular the UvA) after the university took over the management of real estate from the Dutch state. Afterwards there will be space for discussion on what we can do about it. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Spinhuis update

Spinhuis Newsletter Week 7
Dear all,

It’s been some time since the last email. Quite a lot of things have happened in the last week that require an update, but lets start with this week’s program. At this moment a group of people participating in the workshop Situationist psychogeography are confusing themselves and the tourists around them through the rain in central Amsterdam. This Thursday 20.00 we have an exciting storytelling evening with stories that you do not hear from the news or the papers, stories from people who occupied places and tried to change things for the better. Besides stories there will also be great klezmer music from Caspian Scratch! On Friday evening there will be music in the Spinhuis as well, with To Twelve (and maybe more) playing some funky tunes [Read More]

Amsterdam: Response to UvA board threats to legal action

As many of you have probably noticed, the media have reported that we’ve received a letter from the UvA in which they threaten to take judicial action against our use of the Spinhuis. Firstly, we want to take away any fears by declaring that we will stay open for at least the next few weeks. If the board of directors of the UvA do indeed decide to follow up on their threat it will take a while before we will be evicted from the Spinhuis. In the meantime we we will continue offering a full programme (to be found below), especially because more and more people and groups come to us to organize events. [Read More]