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Rotterdam, Netherlands: You can’t evict a movement

Rotterdam. Netherlands. April 7. 2021. This week we are threatened with eviction by Woonbron who have called in the police. We expect the presence of many police in the street, the media may also drop by to write a piece about ‘the squatters in Havenstreet’. We don’t want to leave until we are forced to. We want to explain our side of the story in this text, and thank you for your support.

Update, April 7, 06:38pm: And then suddenly the bailiff came to report that the police had no capacity that day. There were a lot of us and the cops were not prepared for that! So the bailiff postponed the eviction until next Wednesday, April 14.

Originally published by havenstraat 231.

Dear neighbours,

This week are threatened with eviction by Woonbron. The police will arrive on the street and the local news might write an article about “squatters in the Havenstraat”. We will not leave the building until we are forced to do so. We want to take a moment to explain our perspective and thank you for your support.

We are not criminals. We have been working to setup a neighbourhood social center in the Havenstraat for over 2 months as part of a campaign to create political pressure for more affordable and well maintained social housing and a higher minimum wage. Since we have occupied this building, we have made it accessible to the neighbourhood and the city, repaired the damage caused by Woonbron’s neglect in the building and organised public activities.

Woonbron used false claims to win a court case against us and force an eviction. Please see the post on our website (source) where we make a public response. Unfortunately, we know there are no clear plans for  socially responsible use of this building. Because of this, we want to propose a new name for Woonbron: Leegstandsbron.We have met some of you visiting in the building, showing solidarity with posters on your windows and some of you have even made press statements in support of our action. We would like to thank you very much for your support.

We will continue our campaign in another location in Delfshaven. We still believe direct action is the most effective way to solve the social crises we are all facing. We won’t wait on the politicians, landlords and property developers.

YOU CAN’T EVICT A MOVEMENT

Solidarity,

The HS231 neighbourhood social center group


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