pfeil zeigt auf logo deportatiNO


[ 08. Nov 2005 ]

Amsterdam: Raids on banners against deportations

Banner in Amstrerdam after the deadly fire at Shipol detention centre.

After the deadly fire at the detention centre Schipol lots of protests took place. Now the police is raids houses to remove banners, which were hanged out as protest against the deportation policy.
:: Dieser Atikel auf deutsch


On the 27th of October, a fire broke out in the deportation centre at Schiphol near Amsterdam, Netherlands. 11 people died there as a result. On the same day, a wake was held for the victims, and the question of accountability was raised right away from several sides; possible causes and effects of the fire were discussed.

In many municipalities and cities, solidarity actions were instigated. In Amsterdam this was done by means of a banner action. Since the 1st of November, banners have been hung from a score of houses, questioning the administration of minister Rita Verdonk and its deadly consequences.

Mayor Job Cohen - who had just defended the freedom of speech ardently on the day of commemoration dedicated to Theo van Gogh - seems to think quite differently about this subject two days later. Or, does freedom of speech only apply to the criminalisation of minority groups and to pushing the boundaries of racist and faschist and anti-semitic proclamations?

On Friday the 4th of November at 8pm, the first attempts were made to remove a banner which questioned the way immigration is handled in the Netherlands from the facade of the squatted house "Wilde Westen" . In the early morning hours of the following day, a brutal assault against the house was committed by the police, during which a lot of damage was done inside the house, and the banner was removed by means of violence.

Around 14:00 a house on the Prins Hendrikkade was visited by the police with the request to remove their banner as well, failing which the police would call in the riot police immediately. The course of action seems to be set: The expression of opinion by means of the written word is answered with brutal violence.

Later in the afternoon, around 17:30 the "Wilde Westen" was again visited by the police with the intention of removing the new banner which had been placed there as a replacement. Again, the door of the house was broken down by the riot police, and again the banner was removed by force. At a second house nearby, a similar banner was taken off the facade by means of a crane.

Around 18:15 the riot-brigades indeed arrived at the Prins Hendrikkade and tried to break into this house as well. Eventually the banner was just removed from the facade ad the police left again without successfully breaching the door. According to latest news, the riotcops are said to be on the way to yet another house, people there are prepared for resistance.

All over the city, more banners are appearing as a reaction, and the removed ones are replaced faster than the police can take them away. The "Wilde Westen" already has their second replacement.

This article was published first on 05 Nov 2005 at :: indymedia in english and translated to several languages.