New chapter in the zero tolerance policy towards squatting in Amsterdam. In the evening of friday 4 June 2021, many people are taking part in a squatting action in the Pijp. A house is squatted, banners hanged, slogans chanted, fireworks lighted up, a neighborhood letter handed out. Cops are showing up in big numbers, claiming squatters are caught in the act. They want to evict right away. The big group and neighbors are all together pushed away from the area. Later in the evening, riot cops won’t find anybody inside the squatted house which is ending boarded up by a private company. No arrests are reported.
Statement by the Anarcha-Feminst Group Amsterdam:
Today we squatted Sint Willibrodrusstraat 15 owned by ‘evil corp’ Blackstone. This building has been empty for a long time. today we ended this situation of emptiness and speculation by giving the house back its purpose.
Fuck Blackstone, eat the rich!
Stop speculation, squat the world
We are told that there are not enough houses for everyone, that there are not enough spaces for the refugees and migrants coming here fleeing imperialist wars and economies that have been destroyed by (neo)colonialism. It is unacceptable that the media blame migration for the fact that we all seem to struggle to find a home.There is no problem of a lack of space, there is no “housing crisis”, the only problem is the unequal distribution of wealth. The problem is capitalism.
We are being pushed out of our city by rising rent prices and gentrification. Social housing is being sold off privately and the lack of affordable housing means people are forced to leave the city. People struggle to pay rent while investors are given free range to do as they please.
The owner of this building, Blackstone is an International company that speculates on the prices of housing to make the rich richer. Blackstone is one of the largest commercial owners of housing in the world with 140 billion dollars in property, and is notorious for its abuse of renters and violent evictions. In 2019, they purchased 250 million euros worth of housing in the Netherlands. Through these mass purchase of housing, the company profits off the privitization of housing, making it increasily inaccessible and turning basic needs into a commodity. This is unacceptable, rent is theft! Blackstone abuses and exploits its tenants so that its investors can get richer.
We, Anarcha Feminist Group Amsterdam squat this building as a protest against property for profit and against the privitisation of our city. We squat this building out of a belief that no houses should remain empty while others are homeless. The state that criminalises homelessness and lets homes sit vacant for years is the real criminal. To Blackstone, this building is one out of the thousands that sit rotting on the market but for us this building will become a home for many and a queer feminist political centre from which our community will flourish. So Blackstone can Fuck off!
We are in a pandemic, another crisis and while multinationals receive billions in bailouts it is those already in precarious positions that are forced to carry the burden.
First we are called essential workers- then we are evicted from our houses when we can not afford the rent any more. It is time to take backs space. To say: enough is enough. It is only when we get organised, take action and fight back against the harm done to our bodies and minds that we stand any chance. Let there be no illusion, if we want anything we will have to fight for it ourselves. The only way to win ground, to find sanity and to survive is through fighting together against the exploitation done by this capitalist system.
So lets take back the streets & the houses left empty.
Today is a collective act of taking back a space from those in power. We might not succeed all the time, we might fail and we might fail hard. We have been through many evictions in the last months. But we are more angry than we are tired. With every direct action we learn. Our actions must serve to extend the networks of solidarity, to contribute to the construction of a society based on mutual aid, to destroy all authority based on violence.
It is in these moments that we get together and experience our collective power, that we can imagine what could be possible. It is these moments that allow us to dream.
Some squats in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/NL/squated/squat
Groups (social centers, collectives, squats) in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/NL
Events in the Netherlands: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/NL
Statement published on Indymedia Nederland https://indymedia.nl/node/49891