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We Are Still Here demonstration: Permanent Residency [Amsterdam, Netherlands]

their right to be accepted and respected. The demo was strong and powerful, with 250 people chanting slogans during the whole route of 7 km in Amsterdam east, the Pijp and the eastern part of the city center.

Originally published by Indymedia NL. Image above by Nikki Veldkamp.

We spread over 2000 flyers and we got mostly positive reactions from bystanders. Some of them instantly joined the protest <3

We were with 250 this time and we hope to be with even more next time. The organising group was very happy with the turnout and the energy in the demo. We will discuss next actions and keep you updated.

One of the many problems is that people that stay in the LVV (pilot Landelijk Vreemdelingenvoorziening) program in Amsterdam are told their program has finished, nothing else can be done and they are supposed to go out on the streets again. All (so called) help from the municipality ends. The people effected by this and supporters are looking for ways to stop and prevent further evictions. The LVV locations are not great to live in, there is always stress because all the time you are asked to do things that are not your choice of action. But you feel obliged to cooperate cause otherwise they might kick you out. For example you have to visit the embassy of the country you fled from again, cause the IND doesn’t believe you come from that country. But the people in this embassy are not to be trusted and will probably treat you like trash. And even if you go it will not result in anything that will be accepted by the IND. The IND will always find a new argument to say they still don’t believe you. For example if you would manage to get a document from the embassy the IND will state that it’s no hard proof cause the embassy might be bribed. So what is the point of being forced to go to the embassy in the first place? And in the same time you might endanger people (friends and family) who still live in your country of origin.
Or you have to pretend you are cooperating in leaving the Netherlands, in order to not loose your shelter. Some actually would very much like to leave the Netherlands as their stay here hasn’t been good at all. But where to go to? The country you fled from is not an option, and all other EU countries are not going to accept you as you will always be referred back to the Netherlands. Any other country will also not give you residency.

In the shelter you always have to share your room. At times that might be nice, but there will certainly be many times that you are in need of more privacy and you want to be alone for a bit. And everyone around you in your home has their own stress about so many things: where to stay if this shelter kicks you out, when will you ever be accepted in this country or anywhere for that matter, and when will you be able to make future plans again and start a life. On top of all that their might also be a lot of stress about bad things that are going on in your country of origin.

Walking in the city seeing police stresses you out, cause what will they do? Maybe they will ask you for papers, maybe they will take you with force to foreign detention, and maybe you will have to spend again a year of your life inside prison because the Netherlands is refusing to accept you.

Trying to have a fun activity to break the circle of stress also became more complicated. Because of course even getting a qr-code has been made impossible for you cause you lack a bsn and digid. They say they are working on a solution for this, but it takes a damn long time and even with the help of social workers calling to the GGD spending hours to discuss with the GGD finally being promised a code, you still didn’t receive one.

All this and many more reasons to keep on fighting for changing the system, clearly the LVV is not the solution people are looking for.

For more reports on the demo of 23 October see:

We would also like to recommend you to check out the new podcast: De Verbranders. The second episode is with Maryama Omar, she speaks about her time in We Are Here.
(and also to be found in other podcast apps)

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