The Netherlands: Squatters in Amsterdam | European Journal

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Squatters in the Netherlands have been tolerated by Dutch authorities for three decades. The movement has undergone rapid expansion over the years, but now a new law has been proposed aimed at making the practice illegal. If it’s passed, squatters could face the prospect of a jail sentence.In 1979, police used an armored car to clear an occupied house in downtown Amsterdam. The squatter scene spread rapidly – to cities such as Zurich and Berlin. Squatting was soon tolerated in Amsterdam following the initial tough response – as long as the house had been empty for at least a year previously. But now that tolerance looks set to end, with a new law aimed at making occupying houses a criminal offense. The squatters do have some respite though – the current Dutch government crisis means no decision will be taken until the elections in June. The squatters plan to use this time to stage repeat

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