Leeuwenhoek (amsterdam): one year later

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more information about the Leeuwenhoek -> http://squat.net/leeuwenhoek

One year later..

Alsmost exactly one year ago -9th April- Leeuwenhoekstraat numbers 4-7 were occupied by a group of young people in need of housing and with a vision of creating a diverse and creative community together.

The houses were transformed back from empty shells into homes again, the roofs were made into vegetable and herb gardens, a ground floor became the first CIA infocafe; a public space where people could have free tea and cheap tasty food while reading free information often marginalised by corporate media. The square was often bustling with activity as people met, chatted and gave and received mutual support.

When the houses on Eerste Boerhavestraat and Swammerdamstraat were squatted soon after, we worked together on making a community garden out of unused land between the houses, opening it up for the neighbourhood with an evening of outdoor cinema, a cooking fire and free food for all.

Prior to being squatted, all the houses had been social housing. The owners - De Key housing company - are the City of amsterdam's business solution to what should be a social service; in effect a privatised housing department competing in the marketplace.

the city, the police and De Key treated us as a 'top priority' to be evicted; removing us cost around 600,000 guilders - just to make wau for unaffordable luxury apartments. On the morning of the eviction day many of the squatters made an action at De Key's offices, putting mattresses on the street and demanding a meeting with the people responsible for making 60 people homeless in one single day. The company's justification was that construction work had to start immediately. Now, one yoear later, the houses still stand empty, with just sporadic and irregular construction work taking place. Of course, they have made sure the houses are not in a condition where anyone would think of living in them ...

to add insult to injury, De Key are now claiming that they need even more subsidies from the City and are reducing even more the social housing in fabour of private apartments.

We condemn the corporatisation of public services as socially irresponsible and unaccountable. We will continue to resist the repression and intimidation by both the police and City of autonomous creative cultural initiatives. Was our self-organisation and the level of support we attracted just to embarrassing for them ...?

-end of leaflet-

May the 6th 2001 one empty apartment was squatted in the same project. The floors were destroyed.


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