Two squats under attack from the authorities are mobilising to beat back the latest round of evictions on the European scene.
Writing on Indymedia Netherlands, Bajesdorp in Amsterdam explained they are on the front line of a major redevelopment project due to be on the agenda of council meetings today, the ¨bestemmingsplan.¨ They said:
Our message is clear: We want a social city and we won´t move for hotels, speculation and tax advantages.
The Bijlmer Bajes (local prison) got sold last September to a project developer to realize city expansion. After lobbying within the council, the city granted extra points to developers (there was a competition) who would take us into consideration. AM won the competition and their development project included us a ¨part¨ of their plan, even advertising with Bajesdorp festival in 2021.
They promised us space within their plans and alternatively, another location for us to be, work and live. However, in the last meeting we had with them, we were told that the majority of Bajesdorp will be sold off to a third party and that half of Bajesdorp will demolished in Februari 2018 due to tax advantages. That third party will eventually build a hotel on site in 2021, but apparently needs to demolish half of Bajesdorp — including our social centre — three years prior to development.
The last squatted house in Biel, Wahnhof, meanwhile is looking at a possible eviction by the end of the year. The property-management department wants to knock down the house – but is not planning any upcoming construction-projects.
The occupiers are responding with a Reclaim The Streets rally against gentrification and the destruction of autonomous spaces on Saturday november 25th, from 3.30pm at Guisanplatz in Biel/Bienne. The crew said:
Wahnhof is all about DIY. We squatted the house on August 1st 2016, and since then we have had a few functional workshops, for wood, metal, bicycles, screen-printing, etc. There is a concert venue and a practice space as well, a freeshop of course and even a library in the garden … come check it out and get active!
Pic: Communal meal at Bajesdorp