The identical building next to mine used for student housing was empty for the first month or two of my stay.  But quickly, it was overrun by Amsterdam’s populous opportunists.  The laws in Amsterdam were apparently quite liberal when it came to empty housing around the city.  If you could move a mattress and a dining table into an empty apartment or living space, you could legally live in the space.

A couple weeks ago, however, the police started enforcing the new law, which makes it illegal for ‘squatters’ to use abandoned and empty living spaces – probably because of landlord lobbying.  The police subsequently raided the building next to ours, forcing the ‘illegal’ tenants out – after cutting the power supply.

They boarded up the front entrance to the building – and ironically they left this poster in the front window in stark contrast to the ‘keep out boards’:

"Capitalism Breaks My Heart. Stop Evictions!" This poster is slapped on the inside of the entryway window in the empty building, behind is the boards boarding the place up.

Here is a close up of their ‘radical’ and ‘extremist’ ideology, as stated on the poster:

Sounds pretty reasonable, doesn't it?

The same problems are, of course, not specific to Amsterdam.


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