Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Short History of Kraken

((•)) Hear This Text

Published in the Italian publication, spring 2005.

Our house.....

As I write this article, the house where I live under the threat of immanent deportation. Perhaps our case is typical of contemporary Dutch squatting: We are a small vibrant community of four, not strong enough to organize a political campaign around our house and isolated gentrified neighborhood that we live at the forefront of the battle for home is no longer in the streets, but in the court - through a stereotyped process of legal disputes on the procedures for engineering and construction. In court, there is a small chance that we will save time. But in the months ahead, we are bound to lose. We will have to move (and the process repeats).
 Short History of Kraken
mythical legends stories
myths mythology
Perhaps in our case is also a symptom of some broader changes taking place within the city center of Amsterdam. Partial privatization of the Amsterdam public transport company (GVB), the edge moves to the office after the city sold the office of the GVB has created a monumental four-star hotel. We bent down and part of the building that left prematurely. We use state of transition - between the time of the welfare state and welfare were the central institutions of Dutch society, and the time in which public funds are increasingly being sold and moved away. When the center of Amsterdam to convert the area gentrified tourist. Like all the squatters, who live in the open for a period of transition in the city?

Now, in this article should not be read as another sad story, nostalgic about the legendary motion squats in Amsterdam in 1980 bites the dust, because there is still a small but active in the squatter (and I'm too young to compare). The article traces the changing socio-economic conditions, which are transferred to the stage squatting positions in place at the margins of Dutch society.

In Memoriam
 History of Kraken

kraken supercomputer

kraken movie
Of course, once - or Kraken as it is called in Dutch, the sound of the breaking of a door - is not itself particularly new. As long as there was private property, there was a profession. Empty places abandoned because of war, famine, economic crisis or other reasons have been quietly (and sometimes violently) reoccupied. But as a political practice is held responsible for squat here in Holland was drawn historians squatters [I] for some 40 years ago.

Fortunately, squatting is legally permitted in the Netherlands by a verdict of the Supreme Council in 1914. Unlike other countries, "breach of the peace of mind" as it is called in Dutch law, refers to the protection of the use of a house instead of the house. Practice with an infamous occupation table ", a bed and a chair" is sufficient to establish an inner peace Kramer all rights.

The devastation and the lack of construction activity due to World War II lead to a severe housing shortage. In the mid-1960s the post-war "baby boom challenge conformist climate of the Netherlands. There was a time when the university found them moving from an elite school for a popular institution that gave birth the growing student movement. These factors proved to be fertile ground for a movement to grow.
mythological monster
legend creature
In 1965 and 1966 should be the climax of "Provo" - a group of intellectuals, artists and students, to the collapse of the authoritarian and conservative by political provocation. After the self-abolition of Provo in 1967 and began a part of the group's objective explicit politicization of squat. They created "Woningbureau the Kraken" - a service bureau organizes squats squatting action. After squatting some places with success, the group was overwhelmed by massive amounts of people asking for help in the Kraken. They are published and distributed manually Netherlands and the first strike has abolished the office shortly thereafter. At the end of the revolutionary turmoil of the 1960s, the movement had emerged from the ashes of Abutter Provo, new groups have taken over the first initiatives crouch and Kraken was a political act.

Currently the district Nieuwmarkt - semi-desert and wait for the complete destruction following the development of the (underground), underground line - had become the center of the battle, which would give the emerging form of a squat movement for many years. The city was to create a Central Business District (CBD) in downtown Amsterdam; you can enter a four-lane highway and a vast underground network. Just as in other neighborhoods, residents - mostly in the lower center and the working class - were to move into newly built suburbs around the city core.

From 1968-1975, an intensive campaign environment - combined with the infrastructure development of the occupants of a list of warning sirens and telephone, pirate radio, newsletters, neighborhood, a printer, an instrument Renewal of cooperation and funding - makes it virtually impossible for workers to start the demolition of the land for the construction of the metro. The squatters of Nieuwmarkt Aktiegroep coordination group, in partnership with neighborhood groups, at the request of an action and an intense lobbying campaign that forced the city government for the knees, while the subway line finally completed, four-lane highway and subway lines were canceled. The model of the CBD was replaced by a more social to regenerate areas for the resident population - by building housing mainly. This process became the dominant model of urban planning in the Netherlands.

Until the mid 1970's, the social composition of the work consisted mainly of students live off the state of research and marginalized youth. But this was soon to change. The world oil crisis in 1973 and the crisis in the sector in developed countries, to create a base of a recession and widespread unemployment. Eligibility criteria for unemployment benefits subsequently removed from abusive on the basis of income. The first generation of protest - mainly made up of pacifists, ecologists, Communists and radical students - would be evenly filter institutional positions in the political and media elite. After generation, dubbed the "lost generation", were less optimistic expectations. "There is no future" was the slogan krakens preferably copied to the media would have more confrontational tactics.

And so a combination of factors combines to accelerate the movement squat. Industrial activity starting in the city, the buildings left empty, while the crisis in the real estate speculators in the market with a market incentive to leave their houses empty and expect demand to increase. A continuing need for housing, combined with state cuts, the youth unemployment and a faltering fight regeneration process endowed with widespread legitimacy and popular support.

Massive amounts of houses were occupied. In the 1980s, the squat movement has exploded to include about 20,000 people. Bars, theaters, radio pirates, invaders Information Service, cinema, kitchens, workshops, bike clubs, and the press has provided the infrastructure for a growing network of autonomous spaces. Two large - the trends that compete for power within the movement - but broken:

Industrial buildings and monuments in the historic center was occupied by squatters from relatively affluent communities, to experiment with different forms of joint work and live. They missed the neighborhood context, but used their homes as a basis for political intervention on other topics (the anti-nuclear, environmental and anti-apartheid struggle.) The apartment in dilapidated neighborhoods was often occupied by people with a background of the working class. They had a strong connection with local organizations and struggles. In these neighborhoods were macho and violent tactics more frequently, sometimes central buildings were taken to the stage of confrontation with the government. (Grote Keizer, Lucky Luck)

When the city will accelerate regeneration, and many facilities district was abolished in coups, the squat movement became more isolated. A cycle of confrontation and escalating government repression discredited the movement further. The government's "stick and carrot strategy" for the purchase and to legalize the squats and criminalize the remaining radicals have been successful. Finally, the isolation of the movement and the collapse in the mid-1980s.

Sometimes poor

When the frenetic activity of the movement died down, the government was finally able to pass a law that allowed owners to challenge squatters anonymously and used for temporary leases. With this, the legal basis for anti-Kraal Bureau started operations, offering a temporary inhabitant of the house owners (mostly students) to avoid squats. Currently, only the area of ​​Amsterdam in 5000 is estimated anti-squatters, has a population of a few hundreds of squatters.

Just as the young anti-Kraal have become accustomed to the level of the differences between supply and demand, structural change in the labor market and the increase in the Temp agencies have given us the role of a reserve army flexible. Generations past were able to use these differences to create a movement. At the moment, though, our "flexible" is used for the production of machine oil, and sugar, which could bust.

Fortunately, we still benefit from moving assets in the form of a large amount of infrastructure. , Is a certified buildings, some are introverted, connection loss of movement and political activity. Others atmosphere. Political agreement, neighborhood and tenant organizations, there are strong presence of squatters.

Although the first quarter and the Alliance has been squatting in a position to change the pattern of urban regeneration, at this moment a new wave of urban regeneration takes place, where social housing has been privatized and sold. The economic boom and the housing market of the nineties, along with strict land use in the Netherlands led to a wave of gentrification and the high turnover of properties. Occupant space is harder to find, even though the office market collapsed, which offers hope to launch a challenge to the current right-wing politics.

The current government has been a resurgence of the right wing, cuts and new repressive legislation (in particular, to the immigrants) is manifold. In the lobby law, which prohibits employment has become active, but have not yet succeeded. A fifth of housing should be "liberated", and the social security system is dressed down. Compulsory identification begins in January. The consequences of squatters are still unknown, especially in a series of lively and international level active.

Currently, the maximum stress will be channeled through Islam "clash of civilizations" thesis Dutch media and politicians. Most of the (radical), the left has lost the initiative, paralyzed, watching the sideline. All this is expected to transmit or to build a protest. When this happens, we will be there.

Meanwhile, squatting spread to the rest of the country where similar struggles have taken (for example, in Utrecht and Nijmegen).


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