(eng) Dutch Squatters Invade Iraqi Embassy

Arm The Spirit (ats@locust.cic.net)
Mon, 15 Jul 1996 02:51:43 +0200

Squatters Invade Embassy Of Iraq

In the night of June 29th to June 30th a group of squatters
occupied the Embassy Of The Republic Of Iraq at the Johan de
Wittlaan 16 in the The Hague, The Netherlands. After climbing
over the fence, they found the door to the embassy-building could
be opened in less than 15 seconds. Inside they found a working
telephone, fax and telex as well as portraits of Saddam,
contracts for baby-food, airplanes and agreements with Dutch
electronics-company Philips.
The Embassy had been empty since the beginning of the Gulf
War in 1990. The squatters had not expected to find the remains
of the sudden departure of the Ambassador and his staff. Once
they were inside, having found all these documents, the squatters
decided not only to live here, but also to start an International
Centre For Peace, based on solidarity with all oppressed people
in the world. They made a press-statement telling so on paper
with Embassy Of The Republic Of Iraq-headers, and sent this to
the press.
All night long people kept climbing over the fence, going in
and out of the embassy, but the police never noticed a thing.
They showed up after the squatters called them in the morning to
inform them they had found a new home. It took the police hours
of conferring with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to
realize the squatters had actually invaded Iraqi Territory, wich
is in breach of international treaties.
The squatters said they were expecting the police to evict
them, but they had never thought of causing some sort of
international conflict. They said the action was to make a point
to the City of The Hague. There's a large housing problem in The
Hague (as in other Dutch cities) and a lot of empty
(office)buildings. The instant success of this action and the
confusion after occupying the embassy should have resulted in the
squatters offering the empty embassy to Kurdish groups as an
alternative Kurdish Embassy, some squatters said after the
At five o'clock in the afternoon the police showed up at the
embassy again, this time to evict the squatters. Only a few of
them were in the building. Most squatters had gone to the (free)
rock festival Parkpop in another part of The Hague. The remaining
squatters did not resist and left the embassy themselves. They
still wonder who gave the eviction-order: The Dutch Government or

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