Squatting ban in the Netherlands approaching

For the last three years a ban on squatting has been in preparation in Dutch politics. A new act that is to ban squatting in the Netherlands has passed through parliament on October 15th. Squatting empty houses that have been empty for over a year is currently still legal in the Netherlands. The new act, an initiative by the Christian Democrats, the Christian Union and the conservative opposition party VVD, is to make squatting a felony punishable by at least one year and up to three years of prison when refusing to evict. Despite strong critique from the High Court, the union of city councils and even the Amsterdam police force, the christian/rightwing majority in The Hague is pushing this law through.

Having suffered from an immense housing shortage ever since the sixties, squatting has a long history in the Netherlands and has always been a legal means for thousands of people to acquire a roof over their heads. Not only will all these people be criminalized, no initiative to bring about other solutions for losing their homes has been brought up. This and the complete disregard for the culture that has been created by squatters and their vital role in activist infrastructure has been overlooked.

Currently the senate still has to vote on the new act, but given the same majority of parties that voted in favor in parliament also exists in the senate, odds are by January 1st 2010 all squats in the Netherlands will be up for eviction. Happy new year.

A three year campaign against the criminalization of squats, strongly focusing on improving the public image of the squatting movement has culminated on October 15th in the occupation of parliament square where a tent camp was set up on the day of voting. The moment the bill was voted upon the parliament had to disband as the meeting was disrupted by protest from the spectators bench, which was soon silenced by security and police. Hundreds of squatters on the square made an attempt to enter the parliament building to voice their dissent, but were driven away by riot cops. Later in the evening riot cops violently evicted the entire square, making over a hundred arrests.

Photos: 1, 2. Upcoming are a nationwide demonstration on Saturday, October 24th and decentralized action days from October 30th until November 1st. International solidarity actions have started in Berlin and calls are spreading to voice dissent at Dutch embassies worldwide (Czech, Japan, Greece, french and russian).

add a comment on this article

biased reporting

a 23.Oct.2009 20:34

to bad you dont point out the politicians were practically forced to do this considering the junkies (heroin addicts) who think they got it so good living in squalor as if its a means to an end,were living in these places. legalizing drugs ( hard drugs) is a foolish thing...just look at the prostitutes ( also junkies) in the windows of those so called sophisticated bordellos.life sucks

Mathmatically speaking

Aguy 26.Oct.2009 01:37

So squatting in an unused house should be punishable by 1-2 years in prison at the cost to the taxpayer of at least 30,000$usd, I am really not sure how much euro that equates to- but it is more than I see in a year. Why remove people who can't afford housing from their small tract of land? Maybe in some cases these people who are squatting prefer to live an anti-social (for lack of a better word) lifestyle. I think that is the real threat to the state, why else would they be willing spend the money, finding, arresting, processing, jailing, courting, sentencing, imprisoning these people? it's just money for those pigs who protect the government, that would be well spent feeding the hungry, I bet you could find them in an abandoned house somewhere.

Valeriano Cossu

Cossu Valeriano 27.Oct.2009 12:31

yes, it's true

uerto Rico: Paro Nacional del Pueblo

valeriano cossu
- CMI-Puerto Rico

Más de 150,000 valeriano cossupersonas marcharon el día del Paro Nacional contravaleriano cossu las políticas neoliberales del gobierno de Luis Fortuño y los ricos. Hoy por hoy el país se prepara para organizar la Huelga General.
valeriano cossu
Como parte de l valeriano cossu as actividades programadas para el día del Paro Nacional del 15 de octubre, hubo dos grandes concentraciones: la de lvaleriano cossua coalición Todo Puerto Rico Por Puerto Rico comandada por el liderato de la Coalición Sindical compuesta de sucursales d valeriano cossu e uniones burocráticas estadounidenses, y la del Frente Amplio de Solidaridad y Lucha comandado por la UTIER. Pero en el Expreso Las Américas, en el área del elevado que pasa por encima de la Ave. Roosevelt, se dio una tercera concentraci valeriano cossu ón de manera improvisada.

Ver foto reportaje
valeriano cossu
Además- Del Paro Nacional a la Huelga General (Foto reportaje de las marchas y concentración)

Solidaridad en Nueva York- Foto reportaje y Comunicado | Video de manifestación
valeriano cossu
Videos- Marcha en la Milla de oro y concentración en la Ave. Roosevelt | Tensión en el Expreso Las Américas | Entrevistas en el Expreso bloqueado | FMPR dice Presente en el Paro Nacional


Indymedia NL 27.Oct.2009 13:03

The demonstration last saturday was a succes, despite the cold and rainy weather around 2000 people showed up. Pictures can be found on indymedia.nl: here and here. Videos can be found here and there's and english report of the demonstration on an independent journalist's blog.
After Berlin, squatters from Barcelona also showed their solidarity by demonstrating at the Dutch consulate, read the report.

the links

Indymedia NL 27.Oct.2009 13:21

the links didn't seem to come out, so hereby:

the photo's:  http://indymedia.nl/nl/2009/10/62654.shtml and  http://indymedia.nl/nl/2009/10/62627.shtml
the video's:  http://ourmediaindymedia.blogspot.com/2009/10/blog-post.html
the english report:  http://yuriyr.com/blog/?p=323

the barcelona solidarity action:  http://indymedia.nl/nl/2009/10/62738.shtml

solidarity action in Prague

Indymedia NL 29.Oct.2009 14:14

Another solidarity action has been announced in Prague (CZ):  http://www.csaf.cz/obrazky/630-holand-demo-pha-480.jpg

The first action from the squatting action days has started in Utrecht, where artists squatted a building on the Kanaalstraat 103. Their plan is to open an exposition upcoming saturday.

new squat in Wageningen

Indymedia NL 30.Oct.2009 12:59

squatters stop illegal demolition
squatters stop illegal demolition

Last night, students opened a new squat in Wageningen, the owner came with an excavator to demolish the house while the squatters were inside. The attempt was stopped by the squatters and the owner, lacking a permit for demolition, was sent away by the police.

Overview of all the actions sofar

Indymedia NL 01.Nov.2009 15:15


* Utrecht (NL); New squat opened on Kanaalstraat 103


* Breda (NL) theatrically opens op a new counter “Housing shortage” at the city council.
* Kanaalstraat 103 is sadly left again


* Eindhoven (NL) squats an empty warehouse
* Eindhoven (NL) has open house in the HCZ-squat
* Wageningen (NL) squats an empty farm
* Owner demolishes the roof of the new squat in Wageningen (NL); squatters prevail!!
* Breda (NL) opens a freeshop in the Heilig Hartkerk squat and starts a three day exposition.
* Solidarity-action in Vienna (AU)! Thirty people protest at the Dutch embassy.
* Nijmegen (NL) squats an empty shop to open a freeshop and infoshop.
* Etten-Leur (NL) squats a snackbar.
* Solidarity-action in Estonia! Fifteen people at the Dutch embassy!
* Emmen (NL) squats another ruined house.
* Zaandam (NL) squats an empty restaurant with living space upstairs.


* Nieuwegein (NL) squats an empty bar/restaurant.
* Den Bosch (NL) squats an empty upstairs building.
* Second squatting action in Nieuwegein (NL)
* Area destined for demolition squatted in Wageningen (NL)
* Open house Honigmanstraat Heerlen (NL), 13.00 -17.00
* Open house at the FEBO-squat, Amsterdam (NL)
* Open house and 30-year party of the Molli Amsterdam (NL)
* Infocafé and filmscreening in Dordrecht (NL)
* Open house; Bikewars-squat in Utrecht (NL)
* Open house in HCZ-squat, Eindhoven (NL)
* Expo and food in the Heilig Hartkerk, Breda (NL)
* Bikeroute and open house in several squats in Zaandam (NL)
* Groningen (NL) squats a big empty retirement home.
* Artist action in the city park of Breda (NL)
* Solidarity action in Prague (CZ), people protest at the Dutch embassy.
* Solidarity action in Berlin (DE), Dutch embassy redecorated with stones and paint.
* Zombie Bike Ride against the squatban in Amsterdam (NL)
* Hellevoetsluis (NL) opens a freeshop


* A new squat has been opened in Zeist (NL), inhabitants want to open a freeshop.
* Open house in several squats in Etten-Leur (NL)
* KSU Zuid-Oost (squat info hour) and SKSU (student squat info hour) squat a building in Amsterdam-Oost (NL)
* Open house in several squats in Breda (NL)
* New squat opened in Leiden (NL)
* SKSU (student squat info hour) squats another place in Amsterdam-Noord (NL)

Owning is not the answer

JC 06.Nov.2009 06:11

I think that trying to become rch to "help other people" doesn't work. I think we have enough proof as it is that capitalism has not been the answer there's a great number of poverty as it is. Maybe if you own houses and have money you should let this houses for the less fortunate to live in. Other laws instead of a ban seem a lot more appropiate. People we only live once! I love Christ himself for being a good human being but what these so called christians are attempting seems cold hearted and disloyal as opposite to the beliefs of Jesus Christ.


Not Since Before the Conquest Was Squatting Really Ligit. 20.Nov.2009 05:32

Before the rise of empires, and the conquest of the free matriarchy-patriarchy lifestyle they lived in as what is now called primitive communism, squatting was a known and usual practice throughout the worlds peoples living traveling spaces. Not destruction and aggressive useless wars for more and more pollution and conquest which sources pollution globally. Under the rule of the bourgeoisie sqatting is never more than semi-legal, and has been ghetto discriminated by them away from their so-called prosperous society, especially during crisis to their economic system of pollution and war against nature. The workers' state serves the workers and ends the former exploiters rules against the liberation of all working classes and peoples. The bosses state serves the rich and powerful exploiters (pollution being their latest project to maximizing profits) and the homeless are hounded, harrassed evicted and forced into semi-surfdom and slavery. Such as prisons. It is shameful that they do not spend the public treasury on union building trades, and make sure that all citizens have a roof over their heads, food, clothing and a guaranteed living income for all. There is too bloody many aggressive wars for unjust illegal reasons, and that is wasting the time, energy, and money of the living world. End pollution wars, not do aggressive wars for more pollution.

¡Qué vergonzoso!

Amse 30.Mar.2010 13:56

Y se dicen "cristianos", incluso "democristianos"?? Mi abuela es cristiana, y jamás tuvo nunca un concepto tan precario acerca de la solidaridad. ¿No os enseñó la biblia a compartir, a ayudar al prójimo? ¿Os enseñó acaso Jesús a derribar, desahuciar, romper familias, destrozar hogares, enviar a todas esas personas a la indigencia o a la mendicidad, sólo porque el lugar que ocupan es de vuestra propiedad? La propiedad es el probablemente la peor idea que el hombre ha tenido. Cuando ustedes se mueran, sus hijos se mueran, y lo hagan sus nietos, qué demonios le va a importar su propiedad? Pretende usted que se herede por los siglos de los siglos? Creo que debería darse cuenta de en qué milenio vivimos, y que esas cosas ya van sonando como a medievo.

Je, menudos cristianitos.