(Fwd) Dutch Squatting Action Against Euro Union conference

Lyn Gerry (linjin@tao.ca)
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 10:39:56 pst


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Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 06:32:00 -0700 (PDT) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> Subject: (en) Dutch Squatting Action Against Euro Union conference

April 5, 1997 - Leiden, Holland.

Dutch Squatting Action Against European Union Conference Leiden/Noordwijk, Holland

In the early morning of April 3rd, a group of 60 people from various places in Holland squatted a large hotel in Noordwijk, a beachtown. It was a well-prepared action against the ECOFIN conference, a heavily secured meeting by the European ministers of Economics and Finance, also in Noordwijk.

The activists wanted to have a "counter-summit" in the squatted hotel at the Queen Astridboulevard 58 in Noordwijk, with discussion, music, demonstrations, and theatre. They also wanted to discuss further action s during the big Eurotop in Amsterdam next June. The counter summit, a non-violent happening of three days with the motto "SQUAT EUROPE!", was expected to attract over 200 people.

The hotel had been unused for over 6 years, so under Dutch law the squat was legal.

However, at 9'o clock in the evening of April 3rd, police cars arrived in front of the squatted building. This was strange, because the squat seemed to be arranged with the police and the mayor of Noordwijk. But it soon became clear that the police wanted the activists to leave. A few minutes after the police arrived, 8 arrest buses of riot police stopped before the building. The activists had barricaded the building, but not sufficient to prevent the breakteam of the riot police from entering the hotel. Some people threw things at the incoming riot police, but most activists decided not to use violence, because in the first place the squatters were outnumbered by the riot police, and in the second place because there was an alternative building (to be squatted...) for the counter summit.

The activists were not arrested, and were allowed to take their stuff with them out of the building. One person was arrested for suspicion of theft.

Apparantly, the authorities could not accept a strong protest against the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) so close to the official ECOFIN summit. 200 activists 500 meters away from the prestigious Huis ter Duin hotel in Noordwijk, the place of the ECOFIN summit, was considered to be too great of a security risk.

Of course, the eviction of the squat was a disappointment for us. The positive point, on the other hand, is that it shows how easy it is to scare the authorities with well-organized actions. Security in Noordwijk was increased immediately after the squatting action.

After the eviction, the activists regrouped in the town of Leiden, 10 kilometers away. The next morning, they squatted an empty school in this town, this time with more success. The counter summit could proceed, and at this moment it is still going on. It is attracting lots of young people and journalists, and police, and the atmosphere is very good.

Today we will organize a loud demonstration through Noordwijk, because the Europoliticians there are not finished with us....

[snip]

more info ( in Dutch,) visit http://stad.dsl.nl/~robbel

contact: Group Informal Counter Summit P.O. Box 2228 2301 CE Leiden Netherlands

e-mail robbel@stad.dsl.nl

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