Court Case VluchtMarkt - Ten Katestraat 49

Hier kun je discussieren over Court Case VluchtMarkt - Ten Katestraat 49.
Today, May 21st, the owner of Ten Katestraat 49 brought the 'We are here' group to court. The company, Batavia B.V, intends to rent the property to another company, W.M. Honselaar Onroerend Goed B.V.. Their plan is to build yet another hotel, that will 'contribute' to the massive gentrification project that is taking place in the Kinkerbuurt. The hotel will be a 'special concept', so called 'City Hub', where tourists can drop their luggage and their dead bodies after one night party.

The space is currently used by undocumented migrants both for housing and as a social, cultural and political centre, where different groups of people can encounter and mobilise for further political action. Undocumented migrants are criminalised everywhere, in each space of European society. Thus opening a social and political centre was a step further in our struggle, as what is needed is not only a roof for surviving, not only basic human rights, but also the possibility of living a decent life, wich includes the possiblity of socialisation, communication, and recreation.

However, the current legislation give no chance of winning the case. The law is by definition against illegalised people, especially when they need to undertake criminalised actions in order to be able to live. For defending ourselves in court we would have to provide the name of a person, and to pay the legal expenses in case of loss. Both conditions are not fulfillable by undocumented migrants, who cannot provide identification papers, and who cannot afford the costs of a court case.

For these reasons we decided to be present during the court case as 'We are here' group, but not to be represented by a lawyer, as to make these paradoxes visible, and to explain that the absence of the lawyer is not due to our unwillingness to defend ourselves, but to the impossiblity of exercising our basic human rights.

To this statements the judge replied that althought we were there, it counted as if we were not there; that although we spoke, our voice could not be considered for the verdict. She repeated that according to the law, in order to speak in court, one has to provide an ID and to pay. 'This is how justice works'.

We will loose the case, and we will have to leave the space by the end of the month, but we will keep on showing to European society that We Are Here, although they do not want to see us, to hear us, and to let us live.

Refugees welcome, tourists fuck off!!!

The VluchtMarkt

BILWET on (anti-) tourism

Hmmm. Re: the fucking off of tourists, these observations by Bilwet may be of some value still. From (the translator's rough draft of) their *Cracking the Movement* (*Bewegingsleer*): "The Great Victory of the Household Garbage: The Self-Abuse of Nolympics":

'Squatters had experimented before with arguments against so-called
"cityvorming" ... Around the
umpteenth imminent eviction at Singel 114 an "attack with high
sensational value" was committed on "the tourist product Amsterdam." ...
The moment that the tour boat stopped was the signal for the attack:
the paint splashed all around and, more quickly than expected, great
panic ensued among the captain and passengers. A few tourists crawled
under the benches. An American woman screamed, 'So this is nice
Amsterdam.' Tourist-hunting season got off to a turbulent start."

The tour boat action's effect was astonishing. A picture of the boat
amid clouds of smoke made the world press. The residents of Singel 114
gave "international interviews" day in day out about the new
phenomenon of anti-tourism. The "paint and smoke treatment" to the
city's image proved to hit the mark infinitely harder than attacking
objects belonging to the city or the speculators. A few more steps
were undertaken along the same lines, yet despite all surprise people
balked at consistently carrying this strategy through. On the one hand
because they had nothing against tourists per se; they were regularly
"tourist in their own city" (and elsewhere) themselves, and tourists
and tourism were so difficult to separate. On the other hand, these
mediumistic actions took place on such an abstract level that the
direct connection with one's own place and experience was already
getting too tenous.

The good old-fashioned method of throwing stuff was extremely
attractive, but difficult to defend afterward. However concrete, the
action remained too theoretical to bring up with people inside and
outside the scenes. This sort of actions could have nothing whatsoever
to do with a movement which is enlarged by sucking in outsiders.
Tourist actions were aimed at keeping aliens away. The paradox of a
movement which grows because people are deterred is unresolvable. ...'

... Full text at .

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