RECAP WEEK 2
Here is a little recap of what happened in week 2 + 3 of our occupation of the Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 in Den Haag, Zeeheldenkwartier. Follow the timeline of our actions and how the situation around the building developed.
[ Monday 11th of May until Friday 22nd of May]
Monday, 11th of may
As mentioned, phase 1 was successful! With support from neighbors, press and a successfully squatted place it was time to start of phase 2. Posters arrived! Therefore the streets of the neighbourhood turned into an reminder of our project.
Tuesday 12th of may
A day of meetings, but also a day of SOLIDARITY. We made a callout for supporting the squatting project in the Tweebosbuurt in Rotterdam, accompanied by a picture of us, COVID19-adequatedly dressed on the roof-roof of our house, the skyline of Den Haag in the back. 3 Cities – 1 Fight! Solidarity with the Tweebosbuurt! Against the sell-out of the city!
Wednesday, 13th of may
We publicized an article an indymedia, ‘Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872: About the owners, gentrification and resistance’. We worked intensly on enlargening our press list.
Thursday, 14th of may
Stickers arrived, the website had been reworked. Stickers were distributed to supporters around the city to get people’s attention for this protest squatting action and the dubious project of RE:BORN. Zeeheldennieuws made an article about us.
Strategizing and planning actions for the coming week took some time, and since this Thursday we have been busy with the preparation of an action on Monday 18th of may. A bannerdesign was made, and the concept of it was worked out based on the ‘5 recommandments’ of RE:BORN.
Friday 15th of may
The banner was done within half a day, which could only be accomplished by listening to old school punk from the hague on CD!
Also we had a photojournalist from Getty Images Den Haag coming by to talk with us and start a photographic series about our struggle.
After working of press and media, doing laundry and working on the house, we spent the first evening doing nothing and having some drinks on the roof terrace watching the sunset. Besides this, we got a supernice solidarity video straight out of the Zaanstreek.
Saturday + Sunday 16th + 17th of May
The weekend was, besides the desperate need for some good night’s rest, filled with preparations for an action in Amsterdam, at the Headquarter/office of RE:BORN.
It involved timing, task distribution, device preparation and asking around for help, writing scripts, writing press statements, and so forth.
Monday 18th of May
At 9.15, we had an interview with DEN HAAG FM
The day of executing our action plans. We went by train to Amsterdam-Zuid, where The World Trade Center is located. In there, RE:BORN has their office at the 15th floor, Tower H.
RE:BORN has to take social responsibility, just as any other private party or company.
We made a short video clip of handing over an open letter to the CEOs of RE:BORN, Niel Slob and Saman Mohammadi, and presenting our 5 re:commandments.
We were demanding: Affordable and social housing; no short-stay appartements in Zeeheldenkwartier; inspraak (?) van inhabitants; the city as common property, not as a business model and housing stability instead of flexibility.
We set a deadline and were awaiting their answer on Friday, the 22nd of may, 12.00 GMT+1, and also tagged them on social media.
On the way home we got a call from one flatmate telling us that the electricity has been shut off by Stedin. It seemed that the energy provider did make a mistake with filing our request, and therefore did not submit our contractual details to the netbeheer, Stedin. RE:BORN also ordered Stedin to come and shut off our electricity, which is also but not only why we made a contract. After numerous calls with Stedin it seemed that they have a bias towards squatters. We would need to pay the reconnecting costs, because they made a mistake. Luckily we have supportive neighbours lending us their living rooms and electricity.
Making the video and spreading it via our press list and social media then took up the rest of the day. What a nice reward that A LOT of people were watching our video. A local politician also took the chance to call out Saman Mohammadi (the only CEO of RE:BORN who has twitter).
That day we did not get a reply from RE:BORN.
ALSO we got the letter from the lawyers office Cogens Advocaten that we are served to a courtcase labelled ‘urgent’ on the following Monday, the 25th of may.
Also one of our spokespersons was summoned. Worrying was the reason: the neighbourhood cop was trying to put this persons the words in their mouth, they would be one of the squatters, so eventually, after asking his ‘privacyfunctionaris’, gave the gegevens to the owner’s lawyer. It indeed was weird, that the gegevens of our policespokesperson (during the announcement of our squatting action) was not served.
Tuesday 19th of May
We have been dealing with working through the daagvaarding, and delivering it ourselves to our lawyer. Also we started researching about what the opposite party claimed to be facts in the dagvaarding.
An article was written about Biz Stay, a company working together with RE:BORN, renting out hilariously expensive short stay appartments in Scheveningen. This company will also be in charge of renting out the Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 to rich people who want to make use of this expensive soon-to-be hotel.
There was a banner action at their office at the Hellingweg 98B, from which you can look at expensive appartments, yachts and restaurants. For an apartment there one easily pays 4700€ per month.
Wednesday 20th of May
We were busy with dealing with all legal things, calling with our lawyer and preparing the defence of the court case.
In the evening we were visited by to local politicians, showing them around and telling our story as well as finding out how to involve the municipality in the fight against this real estate mafia. They were considerably impressed by our campaign and the shady story revolving around the owner’s claims and facts. We were insured to get support.
Thursday 21th of May
We were writing a neighbourhood letter that we would distribute to the whole neighbourhood.
We got a visit from a politician from another party, being concerned about what was happening. This person also insured us their support and was proposing to reach out to others involved in the Gemeenteraad.
After researching for with a humxnpower of 4, we could gain understanding of how Omgevingsvergunningen are working. Also did we find out that the reasoning for the approval of RE:BORN’s plans by the municipality is incomplete.
The full details and resources of our conclusion can be found in the article that we wrote.
Read about why the omgevingsvergunning is an incomplete one here.
Friday 22st of May
We distributed 5000 neighbourhood letters in the Zeeheldenkwartier. The included and update about the situations of the Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 and a call out to mail Martijn Balster, the Wethouder Wonen. He is the one politician in power that can review the Omgevingsvergunning. With pressure of the neighbourhood this would still be an active form of resistance that the neighbourhood can contribute to!
Later in the evening, politician number three came by and could answer some of our questions.
Also did we reach out to the neighbourhood organisation De Groene Eland.