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<nettime> (amsterdam) ascii evicted, again
geert on Sun, 28 Nov 2004 23:32:03 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> (amsterdam) ascii evicted, again


From: decoy <decoy {AT} lo-res.org>

Wednesday 24th of november, at 07:00 in the morning, almost in secret,
officers of the police-station s'Graveshandeplein broke open the door of
ASCII on the Wibautstraat 7 to evict them. At about 11:00 members of the
internet-collective were called by an employee of the district council,
to be informed that their space had been evicted and that they can come
to retrieve their belongings.

As stated previously, in public, ASCII refused to move out voluntarily
just like that. The space on the Wibautstraat has been empty for a
considerable time, and the council of Oost-Watergraafsmeer obviously
incapable of finding a new renter.  Even now it is unclear how long the
space shall remain empty.

Indeed, ASCII understood that there have been negotiations with at least
one prospective party. ASCII has stated from the very beginning that
they would not resist a new dedication of this space to another purpose
than leaving it empty, and that they would be prepared to simply deliver
the keys to any successor.  ASCII communictaed this clearly at two
council-commission meetings and in open letters to the neighbourhood.

The fact, that it came down to an eviction by the police, therefore
sheds an even more ugly light on the affair when considering the
previous course of events: After the occupation, there was an immediate
public declaration given to the commission for general affairs of the
district council, in which ASCII have made their intentions clear. The
initial reaction of the executive council was a postive one. There were
even negotiations with comissioner Jelle Prins to reach an agreement
until a new use for the space would be found.

These negotiations were suddenly terminated when they were still in the
middle of their developent. Politicians and district-officials suddenly
resorted to all kinds of weak excuses as to why they would rather go the
route of eviction after all. At the same time they hypocritically
expressed their admiration for the good work of ASCII, and shamelessly
tried to pass the buck to the public prosecutor, even though it had been
the district-council themselves who had called police and district
attourney onto the scene.

ASCII has had a good relationship with neighbours from day one.  So it
was possible that they could learn from the potential new renter, that
negotiations between him and the council were running much smoother
since ASCII occupied the space. Apparently the officials of the
Department of Residence and Labour were stirred from their complacency.
Just like any other speculator, the district council now chooses the
easy way out by resorting to an eviction of ASCII instead of managing
community property in a sensible way - like any decent houseowner would.

ASCII are curious, for how long the council thinks they can leave this
space empty again, now that it was evicted in this underhanded way
during the early morning hours.


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