The Squat was Evicted

Despite having won a court-case, and having had the support of many in the neighbourhood, the squatters of the Cruquisweg 86 were evicted last June. The police had quite some problems getting into the building. They tried entering on a few spots but encountered heavy barrication, and finally took recourse to bringing a bulldozer to accomplish the task.

The writers of this blog will be back soon, telling you more about the desolate state of the Cruquisweg-region three months after.

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How the Court Case was Won

Cruquiusweg 86, squatted since March 2010

Cruquiusweg 86, squatted since March 2010

On December 15th, the Judge issued a definitive verdict about the squatters of Cruquiusweg 86. After 3 months of struggle, city officials at Stadsdeel Zeeburg could now officially feel reassured. The old car repair shop at Cruquiusweg 86 having been abandonned in 2008, it was squatted in March 2010, while waiting for renovations that never came.

The struggle with the City Council started with something as banal and innocuous as a barbecue in July 2011. It took a month for the Gemeente Amsterdam to express their disapproval, with a city official showing up at their door, introducing himself as “Johnny” (also known as the infamous John Stoelinga).

Summoms to appear in court were received by the Cruquiusweg 86 on October 5th, the very same day the squatters attended an information evening at Stadsdeel Zeeburg about the new rules and development plans for the neighbourhood. Among others Stichting Cruquius 2015 was present, and all in all there reigned a rather flashy atmosphere.

To introduce a saner, more realistic view amid all the ostentatiousness, the squatters distributed a pamphlet to the crowd (the text can be read here), also received by Thijs Reuten, municipal councillor Grote Projecten in Amsterdam East.

The date of the courtcase came around on October 19th. The city of Amsterdam and Drenth BV, the former renter, took the squatters to court on which we reported earlier.

A preliminary verdict was issued on October 27th, allowing the fire brigade to check the building. However, before the fire brigade appeared, the City Council sent, on November 11th, an unannounced team of experts in construction, who could suddenly be heard walking spookily over the roof from the inside of the house. They must have noticed some of the leaks in the roofing, but in case they were looking for the wood stove chimneys mentionned in court, it is certain none were found.

On November 16th, the local council produced a memo about the Cruquius squatters (to which we answered on the Inspraakavond of the 16th of January with a flyer).

Kopgebouw, fiascoop de Zeeburgerkade

The Harbour Club coming in the Wijn Terminal. A future sand beach in the Cruquiusgebied?

In this memo it transpires that for the Stadsdeel the construction of the Kopgebouw is basically a fait accompli, disregarding the fact that neighbourhood organisation Red Het Blauw is still involved in court-cases against some of the building permits, and that the economic crisis has stalled plans elsewhere in the city completely, which cannot be a good omen for a plan as ambitious as this one.

The Gemeente and project developer OCN (a joint venture of corporations Amvest and PFC²) together own 70% of the Cruquiusweg area. PFC², a company directed by Hans Woerlee and Rens Smid, is established on Cruquiusweg 111. The intentional speculation going on in the area means that land prices are going up. The money some greedy politicians at the Gemeente intend to invest in the neighbourhood is your money, the retirement money you hear about everyday on the radio.

Kopgebouw, fiasco op de Zeeburgerkade

Kopgebouw, another fiasco for Stadsdeel Oost?

It is clear that a small minority in the neighborhood will profit from a luxury marina and the Kopgebouw, but that the neighbourhood in general will hardly profit from these projects and others, like a newly planned nightclub on the beginning of the street.

The inspection of the squat at Cruquiusweg 86 by the fire brigade came around on November 23rd. In the report following a week later safety of the building was duely attested.

Finally, on December 15th, the judge announced the definitive verdict: It was a positive one for the squatters.

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In de lopende dialoog met de Gemeente als antwoord op de memo op de agenda van de inspraakavond van Commissie Wonen de 16.01.2012

Een stad is een organisch levend iets dat niet abstract ontworpen kan worden zoals de Gemeente probeert te doen.
Wat zij voor ogen hebben is een Marina voor Luxe jachten en het zogenoemde kopgebouw, en een megalomaan multifunctioneel Hotel & Conferentie centrum wat zou passen in het gebied bij Centraal station maar niet in een verweg gelegen industrie gebied als de Cruquiusweg naast dichtbevolkte woonwijken.
Het beleid van de Gemeente om “de Markt te laten leiden” is een zekere Methode die de lokale bevolking zal vervreemden.

De plannen van de Gemeente zijn nog heel vaag, maar het lijkt erop dat zij veel geld willen investeren om het gebied plat te gooien met de hoop op een grote Jackpot in de vorm van de Marina en het Kopgebouw die mogelijk nooit zullen komen.
Kijk maar wat er op het Polderweg gebied door de huidige Economische Crisis gebeurde, een enorme lege vlakte voor jaren.

Veel mensen die aan en in de omgeving van de Cruquiusweg wonen en werken houden van het Industriële karakter.
Wij willen dan ook dat het gebied ontwikkeld wordt als het industriële gebied dat het altijd al was.
Dit zou ook Economisch rendabel wezen als de Gemeente zijn strakke greep zou laten varen welke de afgelopen jaren voor leegloop heeft gezorgd.

Wij pleiten ervoor dat de Gemeente stopt met luchtkastelen bouwen en begint om pragmatisch te werk te gaan.

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Vonnis Cruquiusweg 86

2011-12-15, Vonnis Cruquiusweg 86

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Report of the Fire Inspection

On Wednesday, the 23rd of November, we finally had a fire inspection, as was announced to happen in the preliminary verdict (see below). Present that day on our side were the members of the living group (we even took a half day off work), a few friends who came to support, and two members of the neighbourhood organisation Red Het Blauw who had previously been around the squatted house.
Two friendly, uniformed firemen came in, and first accepted two cups of coffee and we chatted.
The two ladies from Red Het Blauw, one of them a lawyer, the organisation’s juridical advisor, impressed on the two firemen how much more orderly the house is now, and how well taken care of it is compared to the lamentable state of disrepair and squalor in which the former renters abandonned it.
The inspection lasted maybe forty minutes.
The result which came within a week after, asserted in bold letters: “Onze conclusie is dat het gebruik van de bedrijfsloods voor woondoeleinden, voor wat betreft de brandveiligheid, voldoet aan de hierboven genoemde regelgeving.” – “Our conclusion is that the usage of the company building as a living space is commensurate with fire safety regulations as stated above.”

Our lawyer, as well as the living group of the Cruquiusweg 86, expect the final verdict of the court-case to be positive, that seems the only logical conclusion.

There are some points mentionned which can be improved in the house – one fire exit door has been left barricaded by the former enter, Drenth. We already started working on making it operational again.

Other than that Drenth’s archives and other implements, now long fallen into disuse, but which are being stored inside, should be taken out, since they cluster up some parts of the building – for this we will wait that Mr. Ijzenbrandt make an appointment with our lawyer.

This is a trite old story to us, since Drenth was offered to pick up things immediately after the squatting action, but never acted on the offer.

Another thing that baffles us is that they seem to still suspect us of having wood burners. These firemen came in, and had a look around, and there is not a trace of chimneys in our house, yet we are not believed. We do not have wood burners, but use zibra heaters.

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Tussenvonnis Cruquiusweg 86

27 oktober 2011 Tussenvonnis.pdf

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Report from the Court Case

Cruquiusweg 86, Drenth weg i.v.m. renovatieOn Wednesday the 19th of October we presented ourselves at court. The Gemeente Amsterdam realizing they did not have a strong case, ours was a civil court case. In the current climate after the illegalization of squatting in 2010, this is quite unusual. Most of the times squatters have to open a court-case against the state to fight for their right of habitation.

On the plaintiff’s side, two lawyers and their clients were present. It was easy for us to figure out who was who at first sight – the meagre man on the left from us a City Council representative, in fact Mr. F. van Dijk, coordinator of Real Estate Administration at the Stadsdeel Zeeburg; the stout man to the right the former renter, Mr. Th. Mulder, directeur from Drenth Autoschade B.V.

From the very beginning of the session, the judge seemed to be keenly aware of the main contradiction on part of the accusants – how come the City Council and the renters suddenly decided it was so urgent to get rid of us, if it took them 1,5 years to come around to do a court-case in the first place?

As the other sides’ lawyers started discoursing, there was no hiding the unfoundedness of their accusations, for example with statements such as “they had a fire, well, not a real fire”. Whereas in the summons Drenth had written they were using the house on a regular basis before the moving in of the squatters, in front of the judge they had to admit: “Yes, the house has been in a very bad state for a long time, the waterpipes have been cracked and spurting since two years ago”. The signs announcing Drenth moved “i.v.m. renovatie” (“because of renovations”) are still hanging outside our gate and house, but no kind of renovations were ever initiated.
They claimed to have been paying 1258,25 euros rent a month but could not even show any documents to prove so, nor could they prove any intentions to use the house again. There was a moment when Mr. Mulder tried to play a tear-jerking lament, but became ensnared in his own guile: “I feel bereaved they took our building, it was so useful for the postcode.” You could hardly come up with a more explicit statement to show his company really does not care about the abandonned building. This was only one of the points where our initial impression that Drenth only joined the court case because he was pushed by the city was corroborated.
Yet, even the postcode story is entirely implausible, because Drenth unregistered from the Cruquiusweg in 2008 already, two years before it was squatted.

As for the second party against us present, the representative of the City Council could not have been more vague about the development plans for the terrain of Cruquiusweg 84/86 (“Well, we want to do something. But we have no plans…”), and did not seem to have much else to say. Maybe they thought evoking the disputed luxury marina would sound too far-fetched and controversial?

The main accusations levelled against us were those of having had campfires, outside and in the house, the latter a most ridiculous notion (although we had two small barbecues outside). There also was the impromptu new allegation of us supposedly using wood stoves, which is completely not true.

When coming round to another ludicrous accusation stated in the summons, that of us catering to supposed “customers” in our house, our representative was up to the mark: “No, we don’t sell art pieces”, she stated, and went on to extemporize “we are not that good.” Hard fact though this may be, that made for some laughter.

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Nog meer bedreigingen van Stadsdeel Oost richting Cruquiusweg 86

Cruquiusweg 84-86Gemeente Amsterdam, Stadsdeel Oost heeft vandaag een concept-dagvaarding gestuurd naar de advocaat van de bewoners van de Cruquiusweg 86. De rechtzaak zal plaats vinden op 19 Oktober om 9:30 op de Parnassusweg 220-228.

Stadsdeel Oost was afgelopen zomer niet zo blij met een gehouden barbeque. Op 25 Augustus heeft de Bouw- en Woningtoezicht inspecteur de heer Stoelinga een barbeque geconstanteerd. Dit terwijl verderop in de dagvaarding staat dat de bewoners tot nu toe iedereen de toegang weigeren.

Morgen 5 Oktober 2011 is er tussen 18:00 en 20:00 op Cruquiusweg 92 een informatie bijeenkomst over de spelregels en spelregelkaarten voor de ontwikkelingen van het Cruquiusweg Zeeburgpad gebied []. Wij zullen aanwezig zijn om het Stadsdeelte herinneren aan onze visie op de buurt.

Lees meer over de prachtige plannen van de gemeente over het gebied in deze artikelen:

Gemeente Amsterdam Hals Over Kop Door De Speculatie Woestijn: []

Cruquiusweg 86 bedreigd: []

Lees meer over deze posting op Indymedia []

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Cruquius en Zeeburgerpad op

Het volgende hoofdpijndossier biedt zich alweer aan: Cruquius en Zeeburgerpad. Dit hele gebied wil het stadsdeel ‘hoogwaardig’ opknappen…
Verder lezen →

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Cruquiusweg 86 op Indymedia

[A'dam] Cruquiusweg 86 bedreigd / Reactie op
Wat een goed verhaal zeg! echt goed uitzoekwerk en mooi gekoppeld aan speculatie, buurt en wijkontwikkeling en de rol van krakers daarin.

Oost is zowieso goed bezig met het Dierenasiel/Valreep en Lineausstraat en nog wel meer.
Binnenkort waarschijnlijk het laatste stadsdeel in Amsterdam waar het nog leuk is. dankzij de intelligente en strijdbare mensen die onder andere deze zaken uitzoeken, opschrijven en op straat nivo aktie voeren!
ik kom naar Oost om mn solidariteit te tonen!! echt wel.


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