Since some days now we, the Anarcha Feminist Group Amsterdam, have been residing at Ringdijk 8. We have decided to expropriate this building because we think it is disgusting that houses are being kept empty for years while we are in a housing crisis, many people are living in precarity and homelessness has doubled in the last 10 years.
In previous actions we have targeted big speculators such as Blackstone, squatted buildings in solidarity with sexworkers being pushed out of our city and against the greenwashing and promition colonialsers and gentrification done by NV Zeedijk in the red light district.
Today we take an autonomous action as part of the ongoing housing demonstrations. Just marching and hoping the government will listen to us is not enough, actually the government listened to the demands made by the housing movement and their answer has been loud and clear: no measure taken to solve the problem, but instead they sent cops to silent us, mutilating our bodies, making blacklists and arresting us.
We need to confront injustices directly whenever and wherever we see them. Today we target the housing cooperation Eigen Haard. This building, owned by Eigen Haard, has been squatted before and has now been empty and left to rot again for a long time.
Although these housing cooperations are supposedly there to provide affordable housing for working class people, people in need of social welfare and refugees, they often exploit those that need social housing by not adhering to their responsibilities as a housing corporation and selling off social housing to hipsters and yuppies. Tenants who try to fight the exploitation often can’t find time, energy nor understand the bureaucratic language which makes them depended of care-and welfare workers that can’t do the job good enough. The state doesn’t provide quality care but with just enough money they provide for quantity care that leaves people in unhealty conditions.
Eigen Haard has stated that they will demolish the building and build social housing here. This plan has however been around for years and nothing has been done so far. Even though building social housing might initially seem like a good thing, Eigen Haard clearly does not care enough about social housing to actually do something with these buildings. We are in the midst of a housing crisis. The waiting lists for social housing in Amsterdam are more than 10 years and the prices in the so-called liberalized market are sky high. All the while, Eigen Haard purposely chooses to leave these houses empty for years and years.
Moreover, Eigen Haard has been treating its tenants like shit. In many of their so-called renovation projects people are forced to reside in unlivable conditions without water, electricity and gas, as recently happened to people in Amsterdam Noord whose apartments were being ‘renovated’. Furthermore, a couple of years ago Eigen Haard also ‘renovated’ buildings in the Wegener Sleeswijk neighborhood in Geuzenveld where they forced tenants to live in their homes during the renovation. In this project Eigen Haard showed their true nature. The renovations implemented in the project were done as cheap as possible, leaving the renters afterwards with houses that were worse than before. In some cases mice were coming out of the walls, and in almost all cases the balconies were made smaller, since Eigen Haard did not bother to replace the old walls but merely put a new wall on the old wall, thereby taking space away from the renters.
Housing corporations like Eigen Haard do not care about their renters or making housing accessible to the working class and people that need it. They merely care about making money and extorting their renters. Housing corporations have been selling off social housing for years, and renters are forced to pay ridiculous amounts of so-called service costs without actually getting any service from these housing corporations.
We will continue to take direct action against those that attack our livelihoods. Real change needs to come from below. Freedom has never been handed to us, we have to fight for it.
We stand in solidarity with our comrades from Bond Precaire Woonvormen who have been offering practical and legal support to precarious renters in their fight against leaching landlords and our comrades from Niet Te Koop who have been fighting against social housing being sold of privately. We stand in solidarity with everyone who cannot find housing, everyone who fights for a better world without police, detention centres and private property.
Refugees and migrants In
Yuppen and tourists out
Anarcha Feminist Group Amsterdam
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