Last weekend a group of asylum seekers squatted 11 homes and a shop on Rudolf Dieselstraat in Amsterdam Oost. The squatters renamed the street ‘We Are Here Village’ and hope to turn it into a space available not only to them, but also to homeless women and children.
The vacant properties belong to a housing corporation, who neglected their properties for many years and now is planning to hand them to the property guardian company Camelot before demolishing them to make way for new apartment blocks. The demolition and construction work is due to start this year. For now, Amasterdam municipality asked that the owners don’t request an eviction.
We Are Here wants to manage the houses for as long as they are empty and together with the renters still living there ‘turn them to a beautiful village’. A neighborhood garden party is planned for Saturday.
According to their facebook page, We Are Here is a group of refugees in Amsterdam that does not get any housing provided by the government but also is not allowed to work and therefore should live on the street. The group decided to make the inhumane situation that they have to live in visible, by no longer hiding, but showing the situation of refugees whose asylum requests are rejected in The Netherlands. Thanks to the power of the refugees and the help of many supporters, the group exists since 2012.