Political-cultural Center VRANKRIJK under threat

March 2001

After two years of threats by the City Counsil, Administrative Force against Vrankrijk can be applied since january 5th. This means that Political-cultural Center Vrankrijk can be closed down by the police and the authorities at any moment. Vrankrijk has become the next Freeplace that has to be destroyed by the authorities, as a result of a policy to erradicate all independent initiatives. In their opinion Amsterdam has to be in service of big-bussiness, tourists, and the upper classes. Collective and independent initiatives have no right of existence in a Euro oriëntated Amsterdam.

For 18 years Vrankrijk has tried to be an alternative for moneyhungry and commercialized nightlife. Vrankrijk is run on a voluntary basis. Collectively we take responsibility for Vrankrijk, so people can have a good time and are safe for, for example, fire-hazards as well. Vrankrijk respects everyone for whoever or whatever they are, not for what their financial status or position is. The underlying goal is not to just be an alternative, but also to support numerous groups and people who try to make an effort for a just society based on solidarity and autonomy.

Now the City Counsil is trying to ?normalise? this initiative by forcing police control by means of a permit or license. As an excuse they use the argument that normal nightlife facilities have to accept the rules as well. This is rubbish! Vrankrijk can not be considered normal commercial nightlife, but should be accepted as an independent political-cultural Freeplace. We have always been open to coöperation with the firebrigade or enviromental services, but we will never accept police inspection nor hand over membership lists. By demanding this the City Counsil is willingly forcing a conflict with the volunteers and sympathisers of Vrankrijk. They must not be allowed to force us into there regulations of profit, selfishness and the biggest common denominator. They should realise that Amsterdam needs independent non-profit initiatives like Vrankrijk. These places should not be forced into the straightjacket of regulated commercial life.

Now, after two years of talks, their restrictive and repressive policies threaten to lead to a forcefull closure of Vrankrijk. The Amsterdam authorities have repeatedly been trying to criminalise and de-politisize the Vranrijk volunteers and sympathisers. Most recently after the eviction of the Kalenderpanden and earlier in reaction to protests during the Euro-summit.

Recent soothing words, officially used to deëscalate, have proven to be of no value. It is evident that the Amsterdam police department has been blocking any possible solution that involves any loss of control and authority on their part.

Whatever happens, we will not give in to their repressive demands or any other form of faulty city-policy.

For Autonomy and solidarity Stop the closure of Vrankrijk!! http://www.vrankrijk.org/ or info@vrankrijk.org


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