Groningen. Netherlands. Kraaienest (Crow’s nest, Enough 14) at the Spilsluizen in Groningen has been evicted. On Tuesday morning, 5 July 2022, the verdict of the Arnhem-Leeuwarden Court in the appeal proceedings was announced. We had to leave within three days with the threat of a fine of 10,000 euros for every day we stayed (plus 4500 euros in legal costs). The reason was that Stichting Valquest had sold the property to the real estate company LMJD B.V. before we came to live there, even though the real estate company had not yet explicitly announced its concrete plans. He wanted to start renovating immediately, so that “there would be no more actual vacancy”. When we won the preliminary relief proceedings in January, the court in preliminary relief proceedings found that there was no urgent interest to evict, and that our living interests temporarily outweighed ours. Now a ruling has been given against this decision. What interests are we talking about? The only interest for the real estate speculators like Joshua Camera and all those other capitalists who would have a vested interest in this is to make money that they already have enough. That is not an interest, that is profiting on the backs of others. Our interests are our lives and the struggle for justice. This capitalist logic of property has almost put us on the street. We already knew that the courts protect private property, so we are not surprised. It does not make us any less angry.
Originally published by Indymedia NL.
According to the law, the eviction of a squatted building should not lead to unjustified vacancy. But how justified is a building that is transformed into something that only a small group of people can afford? The rules of the game may sometimes fall in our favour, but they are fundamentally unjust. The fact that we are now homeless and have to couchsurf with friends does not bring in any money. Property owners do not use houses, but own them according to the system.
The city does not need another grand café or luxury flats, but cheap housing and accessible social space. Real estate certainly makes big money, but that is because the price is paid by the lower classes who always have to pay for it. We create the wealth while getting only indirect forms of violence like eviction and precarious living conditions as a consolation prize. Capitalism is violence, we fight back. It is not surprising that property is protected, because when people have stolen something they want to keep it. Property is theft. Sky-high rents are very normal these days, but few people say out loud that it feels like being robbed every month. We squatters don’t want to be the only ones without rent, we don’t want anyone to have to spend so much money to a landlord.
Aren’t houses only for the rich also a kind of unjustified vacancy? Fuck this gentrification! Commercialisation of the city and housing continues while the poor are pushed further and further out of the centre. Squatting is just one example of resistance to this.
This half year of Kraaienest lives on. The rapid relocation was stressful, but our group did not get divided. This may be the end of a chapter, but it is also the beginning of new possibilities. We will not let repression destroy us. If this does not work to get us down, we can make cracks in the system where we can create breathing space. This verdict robs us of our home and a place to put our dreams into practice. But what was created and built here is within us. A group of friends and comrades and a network is not attached to a house. We have learned from the experiences and from each other. Too much has happened to mention. Meetings, information evenings, benefits, trainings, reading groups, concerts, every week a collective kitchen and social centre (with a library and a free shop), film evenings, spontaneous initiatives… Groningen Pride picnic, Free Ujang benefit, writing letters for anarchist prisoners, Ter Apel refugee solidarity, a pop-up tattoo shop, lots of talks and more coffee…
Away with this whole system with its courts, landlords, police, tax authorities, pollution, inhumanity and all forms of oppression, exploitation and repression!
A big black and red flag flew in Groningen, as a symbol for all this. A flag of resistance will always be raised again.
YOU CAN’T EVICT IDEALS, SQUATTING CONTINUES!