An Appeal for Solidarity from Dutch Squatters

[Thanks to Reclaiming Spaces for sending this down the line.]

We are squatters from the Netherlands. We are asking you to organize a protest (for example by dutch embassy) in your country against squatting prohibition in the Netherlands. We suggest to organize your protests between 26 and 28 of November, because Eerste Kamer (First Chamber of dutch parliament) will vote about squatting prohibition beginning of December.
To all the people who are against squatting prohibition, 
to all the squatters, 
to all ex-squatters, 
to all young people who would like to become squatters in the future, 
to all the friends of the squatters, 
to all political activists, 
to all antifascist activists, 
to all artists who create art and/or perform in the squats, 
to all bandmembers and DJ’s that play in the squats, 
to all people who enjoy parties and concerts in the squats, 
to all travellers who visit and stay in the squats, 
to all of you who are not mentioned above. 

As you probably might know dark days are coming for the squatting movement in the Netherlands. On 15.10.2009 the Tweede Kamer (Second Chamber of the dutch parliament) voted for a squatting prohibition. Please remember this would not have happened without the support of racist and xenophobic politicians as Rita Verdonk and Geert Wilders. From 1st January 2010 squatting can be illegal in the Netherlands. Beginning of December Eerste Kamer (First Chamber of the dutch parliament) will discuss and vote about squatting prohibition. If First Chamber of the dutch parliament approve this law, persons that try to occupy an empty building, will be considered a criminal and punished by dutch authorities. Penalties are very high and range from one year up to two years of prison! 

This is very serious threat! Don’t let politicians destroy squatting movement in the Netherlands! We can’t wait! We must act now! 

The future of the dutch squatting movement is in our hands. It is a big responsibility as well. We should show respect to those previous squatting generations who made squatting possible in the Netherlands. They sacrified a lot of time and energy for us. We should think about all the youth who would like to have the possibility to live in squats in the future. 

Mass media and politicians say that we are few, but our spirit is stronger then this rotten and unhumane law that politicians have created! We are willing to show politicians and police forces our determination in the defence of our rights for housing. There is lack of cheap houses in the Netherlands. For example in Amsterdam price of renting one room range from 300 till 550 euros a month!

Mass media and politicains say that we are violent, but those christians from CDU (Christian Democratic Party), CU (Christian Union) and SGP (Orthodox Protestant Party) are violent. For them empty buildings are more important than human beings searching for a house. Those christians decided that police will come to arrest us, if we try to occupy a house after 31st December 2009. 

We are proud of who we are and we are willing to defend our rights to occupy empty buildings. We won’t give up without struggle! Some of you remember those proud and angry youth from Kopenhagen who were fighting for Ungdomshuset and dignity. Some of you probably have joined the struggle. If will be necessary, we are willing to bring the spirit of youth from Denmark and Greece to our streets! 

Politicians did not leave us another choice! From 1st January we have to choose between being homeless or criminals. This choice is not suitable for us! We won’t live on the streets or in the prison! We are human beings and we deserve respect! 

There is few hundreds squats in the Netherlands. We can’t afford to lose this enormous infrastructure! There are houses, autonomous centers, places for cultural activities. In all those buildings we live and/or practice and promote our political ideas. We use that space to promote independent art and underground counter culture in opposition to mainstream pop culture and art. 

Let us be a bit sentimental. For many of us to be a squatter is way of life. A lot of us spent the best times living in the squats. We had unforgettable adventures together. We have plenty of invaluable experiences, like living in self-organized communities or housing collectives. Many of us met their best friends in the squats. Yet another reasons to struggle against squatting prohibition. 

Don’t ignore serious threats for squatting movement in the Netherlands! Use your imagination, open your eyes, stand up and act! 

Our struggle is for a world without capitalism, race and gender differences, poverty and war! 

We are going to be very thankful for all your support. Solidarity is our weapon!

You can write your complaint to Eerste Kamer, e-mail address:
postbus@eerstekamer.nl

“Spirit of the unity” collective.

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Filed under activism, international affairs, open letters, manifestos, appeals, urban movements (right to the city)

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