Netherlands: Events and actions against the squatting ban (october 2010 - january 2011)

A timeline of events and actions in the Netherlands during the squatting ban

October 1st, 2010
The first day of the squatting ban.
Head of the police and a public prosecutor known for his hatred towards squatters are placed under 24-hour surveillance and protection after threatening texts (for example "an accident is just around the corner") are supposedly painted outside their houses the previous night.
In Amsterdam 1000 people take part in a demonstration against the squatting ban. During the demonstration a house is squatted, and slightly later a riot breaks out when the cops charge the crowd. The police uses tear gas for the first time in years. 2 cops, 3 cop horses and several squatters are injured. One squatter is beaten severely and ends up in hospital with a fractured skull. 11 people get arrested.

October 2nd
Around 600 people demonstrate in Nijmegen against the squatting ban. Confrontations with the police. 13 people get arrested.

October 4th
The house squatted on the 1st of October gets evicted. Massive amounts of riot police, vans and horses present but nobody was found inside the house.

October 5th
Squatters in Ede bring furniture and thus make a living room in the main entrance of a housing corporation in order to raise awareness of housing shortage in the area.

October 7th
A former hospital squatted two weeks earlier is evicted in Bloemendaal. The cops state they evict the building based on the new law making squatting illegal.
In Amsterdam a large office building inhabited only by a few anti-squatters is attacked. Windows of rooms where nobody lives in, and that have posters of the anti-squat agency on them, are thrown in.

October 13th
Five of the eleven people arrested during the riot on the 1st of October are trialled. Four of them get sentenced for public violence. The sentences range from 40 to 80 hours of community service.

October 14th
The inhabitants of two squats take the state to court, challenging evictions under the squatting ban. They argue that evicting under the the new law is not in accordance with the European Treaty for Human Rights. The verdict is delivered a few days later; the squatters lose the case.

October 20th
A squat in Tilburg is evicted because the owner, the city of Tilburg, wants to place anti-squatters in the building. The occupants are given half an hour to remove their belongings from the house.

October 30th
A building is squatted in Zaandam.

October 31st
A huge office building is squatted in Utrecht.

November 1st
A small house is squatted in Amsterdam to celebrate the one month anniversary of the squatting ban.
The day-old squat in Utrecht gets evicted. 17 people are arrested in a brutal manner. Two of them refuse to tell the police their identities and will have to wait for their court case, which will take place in the end of November, in jail.
During the night the office of the housing corporation that owns the building gets paint bombed. Several windows are also smashed.

November 3rd
The city of Amsterdam announces the list of houses to be evicted in the first "eviction wave" since the new law. According to the calculations over 100 people would become homeless in one day. The city decides to evict even the houses that have a pending court case to challenge the eviction. The squatters start a fast court procedure.

November 4th
A group of squatters disrupt city council meeting in Utrecht. They read out loud a statement and demand freedom for their arrested comrades and a clear eviction policy.
Police station in Amsterdam West gets attacked with molotov's. Unfortunately the station doesn't catch fire.

November 6th
A terrain is squatted in The Hague. The terrain had been standing empty for seven years, ever since the demolition of a house that was squatted for 23 years. 12 buses of riot police show up and order the occupiers to leave, which they in the end do.

November 7th
Approximately 300 people demonstrate in The Hague against the squatting ban and against housing shortage. The march is forced to start earlier than planned after city and the police announce that demonstrating is not allowed after five o'clock in the afternoon. One person gets arrested on suspicion of sedition, refuses to tell the police his identity and will have to wait in jail for his court case that takes place in mid-November.

November 8th
Verdict from a higher court in The Hague states that evicting houses solely under the new squatting ban is illegal. Most houses planned to be evicted the following day get off the eviction list.
700 people demonstrate in Amsterdam for cultural free spaces.
During the night the office of the political party PvdA, which the current mayor is a member of, gets attacked. Paint bombs are thrown, windows smashed and wooden pallets piled against the door are set on fire.

November 9th
Eviction wave in Amsterdam. Two big blocks of houses get evicted; both had lost a civil court case before the squatting ban. Five people are arrested.
During the evictions a quick noise demo takes place inside the city hall. Squatters run around the building chanting slogans, throwing fireworks and making noise.

November 10th
During the night four anti-squat agencies get attacked. Windows are smashed and paint bombs thrown. A letter is left behind: "This is the first course. Are you ready for the whole menu? Do not put anti-squatters in evicted houses. Squatting goes on!".
Windows of Rabobank get smashed as a symbolic action against the evictions.

November 12th
A huge banner is hung on scaffolding in the center of Amsterdam to advertise a demonstration on the following day.

November 13th
Demonstration with the slogan "Space for everyone - against the deconstruction policy" gathers around 200 people: squatters, renters and neighbourhood activists.
In reaction to the verdict of the higher court on the 8th of November, the Het Openbaar Ministerie, The Public Prosecution Service, announces that it will try to patch up the holes in the hastily prepared squatting ban. Until there is a new policy for evictions, no squats will be evicted, they say.

November 14th
A house is squatted in Utrecht, from the same owner as the previously evicted house.
A former office of the city district of Amsterdam South, where an anti-squatter now lives, gets paint bombed.

November 16th
The squatter arrested on the 7th of November in suspicion of sedition gets sentenced to 25 days of jail, the maximum penalty for his charges.

November 19th
A YouTube channel, called Squatter Sounds, is started in order to collect and share squatting-related music.
Check it out:

November 21st
A house is squatted in Amsterdam.

November 25th
Around 60 people demonstrate in Utrecht to symbolically bury the failed law. The police decides to confiscate the cargobike with the sound system and attack the people around it. Police horses ride through the protesters injuring people.

November 26th
Court case about the eviction on the 1st of November in Utrecht takes place. It is the first court case based on article 138a, the new squatting ban. During the court case a demonstration under the slogan "Your laws, not ours" gathers around 150 people.
Six out of the eight accused get sentenced to 40 hours of community service or 20 days in jail. Two of the accused, who were both arrested outside, get acquitted because it can't be proved they were inside the evicted building. The judge declares the eviction unlawful but the actions of the public prosecution service (that led to the eviction) acceptable. The squatters do not get the house back. In the evening a new house is squatted in the center of Utrecht.
In miniature city Madurodam, a major tourist attraction in The Hague, pro-squatting banners appear on the tiny houses.

December 4th
The person arrested on the 7th of November in The Hague is released from prison after serving his sentence of 25 days. The whole time he refused to tell the cops his identity and he is still anonymous when released.

December 6th
A building is squatted in Ede.

December 17th
A building is squatted in Wageningen.

December 20th
A call out for countrywide squatting days is published on Indymedia. The squatting days will take place in the beginning of January.
The call out.

December 26th
The city of Zaandam announces that the squatting ban will not change their policy towards squatting, stating that executing the squatting ban would lead into increasing emptiness of buildings.

January 8th, 2011
Nationwide squatting days begin! In Arnhem the municipality is obviously scared of squatters and places security in a neighbourhood where several municipality-owned buildings are squatted. A house is squatted in Utrecht. In Tilburg 250 people attend a demonstration and afterwards a squat a building. In Doordrecht squatters invite children to see a puppet show about squatting.
Photos of the puppet show.

January 9th
In Utrecht a house is squatted and evicted during the same day. A few people get arrested. Later the same night the squatters get released and immediately proceed to re-squat the building.
In Amsterdam 100 people participate in squatting three buildings. Two out of the three buildings had been squatted before and left voluntarily months earlier when the owner was supposed to start renovating these social rent houses. A few hours later another building, owned by a known speculant, is squatted in the city center. A huge banner is hung from the house, stating "These Amsterdammer squatters wish all speculators an exciting 2011!".
Photos [1] [2]

January 13th
The legendary radio Patapoe is on air again!
Listen to radio Patapoe:

January 14th
A squat in Amsterdam wins their bodemprocedure/main proceedings. The verdict states that the owner couldn't prove to have enough interest for the eviction of the house and that an eventual eviction would only lead to emptiness.

January 17th
Squatters make noise outside the building where the VVD, a right-wing party known for their hatred of squatters and having just demanded immediate evictions for the houses squatted during the action weekend, is throwing having their new year party.

January 22nd
Two squats in Utrecht receive letters from the public prosecutor, stating that the houses will be evicted based on the new law.

January 23rd
A building is re-squatted in Utrecht. The former autonomous center was left voluntarily in November when the squatters got told it would be used for a homeless shelter. Since then nothing had happened with the building. The squatters plan to open a give away shop there.
An appartment is squatted in Amsterdam.

January 24th
In Amsterdam the mayor, the public prosecutor and the district chief of the police release a statement announcing how squats will be evicted in the future based on the new law. In general, the squatters will be informed that the eviction will take place within the next eight weeks, and will then have one week to take the case to court in order to challenge the eviction decision.


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