Dutch customs continued
Visitors impressed by squatters’ homes during open day
Last Saturday was open day for the squatters movement in the Netherlands.
They opened their homes to the public so that people could come and see for
themselves what squatting involves. Between thirty and sixty people visited
the five squats in Wageningen.
The national open day was organised in reaction to a motion put forward by
a CDA member of parliament to outlaw squatting in non-residential
buildings. The reason given is the fear that these kinds of buildings are
used by foreign criminal groups. The atmosphere in Wageningen was one of
enthusiasm. The students living in ‘Hummelzicht’, an old school in the
Zeemanstraat, received many positive comments in their visitors’ book. Many
were impressed by the living style of the squatters, which includes using
wood burning stoves for heating.
The squatters in De Groene Ark, in the grounds of the old building
Hinkeloord on the Generaal Foulkesweg, had organised a ‘ghostly tour’ of
their cellar, along with eastern snacks and music. One of the squatters,
Marieke, said she enjoyed showing people where she lives and explaining why
she does it. “A lot of people have prejudices about squatters. They think
that squats are dirty and that we don’t care about our housing. But we are
just a regular group of people who live together. What’s different is that
we have to study by candlelight as we have no electricity. But on the
positive side we have workshop space and spare accommodation for six