In a rather unexpected twist of events, yesterday afternoon Raad van State, the Dutch High Court for administrative law, decided that ADM squat in Amsterdam will not be evicted for the time being and is safe until at least Summer 2018, when the appeal court case will take place. The Hight Court decision is an interim measure protecting squatters rights to occupy ADM until their appeal against the municipality plans to evict it is heard. The appeal outcome remains uncertain.
ADM is a derelict shipyard previously known as the Amsterdam Drydock Company. It was first squatted in 1980’s, only to be evicted few years later by the owner claiming they ‘need it urgently’. It was however left empty, and occupied again in 1997. It is a home to thriving diverse community of some 200 people, and important landmark on Amsterdam’s cultural map. Over years, it hosted countless events, from a cafe and yoga sessions to well-attended festivals.
Currently, it belongs to a property management company Chidda Vastgoed B.V. The recent ADM’s legal trouble started in 2015.
The owner of ADM site is furious with the court verdict. Niels Kooijman, a spokesperson for Chidda Vastgoed, called the decision ‘too crazy for words’ . ‘They have been living there for twenty years, four times per week I tell them that they have to move out. They have had four years to find alternative, replacement living space’, he added. Despite of that, the judge decided that the squatters can not be made homeless.
Although the court ruled that the site can not yet be evicted, it also pointed out that it is a temporarily solution and that in all likelihood the squatters will have to leave in the near future. The judge advised them to look for alternative housing solutions. Despite of that, the squatters say that they are ‘very, very relieved’ by the verdict. They also hope that the new Amsterdam government, due to be elected in March 2018, could change things in their favour.
One of the residents stated that he thinks the best course of action now will be to wait for the Summer appeal case and that there is no reason yet to be alarmed. ‘I am working on the concept that this place will be given back to the rightful people of the city. I have become part of the community of Amsterdam […] and I think it is important that free spaces remain in this city. I will continue to dedicate myself to that.’
Video: Dasa Raimanova