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We are the 99 percent

From Wall Street To Beursplein, Our Resistance Is Global

Posted 12 years ago on March 19, 2012, 7 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

occupy amsterdam, day one

Occupy Amsterdam is again being threatened with eviction.

Amsterdam is home to the world´s oldest stock market - and it is #Occupied. Protesters in Amsterdam, along with dozens of cities across the Netherlands and hundreds throughout the world, took their square on a Global Day of Action on October 15, 2011, four weeks after Occupy Wall Street began. Occupy Amsterdam has occupied Beursplein (Exchange Square, directly in front of the Amsterdam stock exchange, now owned by Wall Street-based NYSE Euronext) ever since. Alongside the Acampadas in Spain and Portgual and the popular assemblies in Greece, the Netherlands remains among the most active Occupy movements in the non-English speaking world.

Other squares and buildings in Amsterdam and across the Netherlands have also been occupied, but Beursplein remains a centerpoint of the Dutch Occupy movement. On Dec. 3rd, Amsterdam Mayor Van der Laan echoed a line straight out of Mayor Bloomberg´s playbook: He claimed the ornately decorated and rigoursly cleaned encampment was a health and safety hazard. As in the U.S. and elsewhere, the Dutch media began demonizing the homeless, unemployed, and immigrant population inside the camp in an attempt to justify the mayor’s fear-mongering. The media also publicized a since-disproven rumor that no one was sleeping at Occupy Beursplein anyway. On Dec. 8, Day 56 of Occupation, most of the over 120 tents were removed and 14 people arrested.

occupy amsterdam

As in other cities across the world where governments have evicted Occupiers, the media and politicians seemed completely unphased by the crimes of the very bankers Occupy has targeted, whose unpunished crimes are far worse than camping and sharing open services to the public in public space. In a cynical display of Dutch liberal ¨tolerance,¨ the city allowed Occupy Amsterdam to maintain a small, heavily regulated, presence on the square.

Dutch Occupiers, like their counterparts in the U.S. and around the world, adapted their tactics. After peacefully occupying an ING bank branch, Occupiers were brutally arrested again. Since then, Occupiers in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities have joined with students and labor supporters in solidarity with university cleaners occupying university buildings in demand for fairer treatment, rallied in solidarity with the people of Greece, taken to the streets with thousands across Europe against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and more.

Now, they´ve received a letter saying they have until noon on Thursday to get out of Beursplein. Here are some of the reasons given, and Occupy Amsterdam´s responses:

  • [1] After the first eviction, the city imposed a number of unfair and arbitrary rules on the Beursplein encampment. For example, only 4 people are allowed to sleep there at a time. Now, the mayor falsly claims that more than 4 people have been sleeping in the camp, which Occupy Amsterdam says is not true. They have set rotations to make sure 4, and only 4, are present at night. (They also claim the ban on more than 4 people staying there is unconstitutional anyway.) Given the city´s earlier concern about the lack of a substantial overnight occupation, this charge is especially egregious and hypocritical.

  • [2] The city has also cited non-existent ¨fire hazards.¨ However, Occupiers have consulted fire agencies and taken extreme care to be up to safety code.

  • [3] Perhaps most frustratingly, the city claims the encampment is no longer necessary since many of the working groups have been meeting inside during the winter anyway. Occupy Amsterdam responds that they still hold public General Assemblies every weekend in the square. During the week, the encampment is a visible symbol and outreach tool that allows hundreds of people to learn about Occupy. This all wouldn´t be possible without an approachable, outdoor presence.

  • [4] The mayor also cited the lack of ¨a clear end date¨ as an issue, saying it wasn´t ¨transparent.¨ In response, Occupy Amsterdam said (roughly translated): ¨Every time [in discussions with the mayor], we have adopted a very clear position: Occupy Amsterdam will be here as long as there is the need to continue to protest! [...] As long as the government throws billions at banks while the population is squeezed, Occupy must remain.¨

occupy the netherlands

Finally, Occupy Amsterdam has stressed the vital importance of continuing to Occupy public space:

The mayor forgets to look at this totally new sense of the word ¨occupy¨ and the encampment as a symbol. For many in the Netherlands, Occupy has given the image of a tent on a square a whole new meaning: it is a symbol of resistance against the current order of power and a symbol of hope for improvement. [...]

Recently, there has been another multi-billion loan for Greece under horrendous conditions. Instead of this money being used to help people there directly, it is ending up in the portfolios of banks and corrupt politicians. The population, on the other hand, is forced to accept 22 percent loss in the minimum wage! With the ESM [European Stability Mechanism] convention going on, [...] the little person in this story will lose more and more autonomy at the expense of the large European mega-banks. The need has never been so high! Occupy Amsterdam is calling on everyone in the coming days to come support us!

If you are near Amsterdam, come out on Thursday to so show support! And please help spread the word and show support to Occupiers everywhere. From Old Amsterdam to New Amsterdam, we are fighting the same global system. As a movement, we share tactics, visions, goals, and principles. The austerity and bail-outs wrecking Europe are the same Wall Street-based systems causing economic injustice in North America. The 1% does not recognize borders; neither will our resistance. And everywhere we rise up, governments use the same excuses to force us from the public square. Now, as the weather becomes warmer in the Northern hemisphere and more people return to the streets to protest inequality in these areas, the ruling elites are trying even harder to keep us out of the people´s parks.

The reason Occupy Amsterdam has been told to leave Beursplein is the same reason the NYPD attacked the re-occupation of Liberty Square: The 1% are terrified of the coming #GlobalSpring. This May, we will stand united. The 99% will not be divided. Occupy is a global movement against corporate greed, economic exploitation, and complicit political systems. And everywhere, we are solving the economic crisis - not by relying on the existing ruling class - but by taking direct action in solidarity with one another.

Update: Nearby Occupy Rotterdam may also be forced to leave by the end of March!



Read the Rules
[-] 7 points by SanneJ (6) from Rotterdam, ZH 12 years ago

The mayors reasons to evict Occupy Rotterdam are - listen to this - a marathon sponsored by ABN AMRO bank + the fact that a bar wants to put out outside furniture 15 meters away from our (neat, clean and safe) camp. Occupy Rotterdam will not leave - the mayor wants to evict us, but the local politicians in the council had our back and are protecting our legal right to protest!! We will not move!!

Thanks for the support, OWS!

[-] 2 points by proudofOKC (361) 12 years ago

Good luck to you. Stay strong. I'll keep you in my prayers.

[-] 1 points by PopsMauler (182) from Chicago, IL 12 years ago

We're with you. You guys rock, and keep it up!

[-] 6 points by DonQuixot (231) 12 years ago

Bravo and Olé! for the Dutch Occupy heroes. The Netherlands has always been leading the way to freedom and social consciousness together with Scandinavia, and I am happy still is. The New 1 % and Bilderberg nazis want to conquer de world not because of insane racism superiority but because of insane greed. But we will stop them. I am aproud of my two Dutch sons. Jullie zijn geweldig. You are fantastic. Keep on fighting the insane 1 % and their puppet politicians.

[-] 5 points by JohnWa (513) 12 years ago

Occupy has to happen.

The 1% suck the blood of the rest, we know it and the figures show it.

Revolution has to happen as they are never satisfied and continually seek more taking from the most vulnerable.

It cannot carry on and Occupy is the start to a growing revolt and rewrite of how society operates.

Democracy is not voting in parasites or their lackeys, but is taking part in decision making at every step of the way.

Cooperative democracy is not built on wealth, but produces wealth for all.




[-] 5 points by OccupyRotterdam (4) from Rotterdam, ZH 12 years ago

Love and Solidarity from Occupy Rotterdam!!!

We still don't know if we really have to get away from our location, there is a big Marathon coming up.. sponsored by a big dutch bank: ABN AMRO... so IF we heve to leave, its because of the commerce of the city above demonstration rights... i can only hope we can stay, the police have to carry me away, with pride i will let them take me to jail! Unite! Its Global! we are writing history people!!!

One Love!!!

[-] 2 points by proudofOKC (361) 12 years ago

Yes, one love! Good luck! Be as safe as you can. I'll pray for your safety and success.

[-] 5 points by igordole (5) 12 years ago

Remember!!! Dirty pigs, who call themselves "elite" never recognize freedom, justice or equality! Think about!!!! We must show these pigs who we are! Friends! The people from Russia with you in your struggle! We support you and we are doing the same in mother Russia! Revolution is all around the world!!!!!

[-] 1 points by proudofOKC (361) 12 years ago

Good luck to you in Russia. Solidarity!

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 12 years ago


[-] 5 points by rayl (1007) 12 years ago

we cannot tolerate the the abuses we have been suffering under since the last economic collapse in 1929. it is time to really change the global financial system.

[-] 5 points by primitivetimes (73) 12 years ago

Occupy, more than anything, is a spiritual movement. Stop playing the political game and take a genuine interest in truth and the well-being of the collective, which all of us are a part of whether we like it or not, and let us create the better world. It's time to evolve and "occupy the collective consciousness."


[-] 5 points by jph (2652) 12 years ago

Just tweeted; The question..is whether our collective consciousness will evolve quick enough to salvage a world worth living in. #OWS http://www.primitivetimes.com/2012/occupying-the-collective-consciousness/

Thanks for the site looks great.



[-] 4 points by mjon (5) 12 years ago

Update #OccupyAmsterdam: Tomorrow at 2 o'clock, the judge will come to the Beursplein. In addition, we also expect the entire media circus. So beside this is our chance to make our case before the court of law this is also a good time to propagate our opinion!

So, if you are near; please take your banner! Take your cardboard sign! Take your opinion! Take yourself and your friends to Beursplein Amsterdam!

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

Yes take advantage of any and all media coverage and be glad you have it, here in the USA we are under an MSM black-out.

Our news service is do it your self by internet and word of mouth.

[-] 4 points by OccupyAmsterdam (4) from Amsterdam, NH 12 years ago

Press release Amsterdam 20-03-2012 On Monday 19 March, Occupy Amsterdam received a letter from mayor Van der Laan demanding that their camp on the Beursplein be completely dismantled and removed by 10 am on Thursday 22 March. Occupy Amsterdam has always been open to dialogue with the municipality and has always been willing to meet the mayor’s demands within reason. The mayor has indicated in his letter that he has always had pleasant conversations with Occupy. The news of the sudden eviction has therefore come as a complete surprise. Van der Laan’s letter paints a wrongful picture of Occupy Amsterdam. The demonstration is portrayed as attracting homeless alcoholics who create a great deal of public disturbance. The problems of alcohol, drugs and homelessness in the neighbourhood of the Beursplein however existed before Occupy, and will continue to exist after Occupy. Using it as an argument to end the protest is therefore utterly misplaced. Van der Laan’s letter is an attempt to end the occupation using a legal trick. He claims that the tents occupying the square are no longer necessary for the protest and are therefore no longer permitted. However, the occupation of squares using tents forms the basis of the Occupy movement worldwide. Van der Laan’s denial of this goes against the very core of the protest. It is for this reason that we immediately filed an objection against the eviction. The judge in Amsterdam has been asked for an injunctive relief against the eviction until the objection has been processed. Mayor van der Laan took harsh measures as early as December in an attempt to nip the occupy movement in his city in the bud. Only a small portion of the square was allowed to remain occupied, the kitchen had to be closed, toilets were no longer allowed, and Occupy lost most of its spaces for activities. In addition, only four people were allowed spend the night in the camp. This meant that Occupy lost a great deal of its capability to shape the protest, and to keep people unconnected to Occupy who were causing disruption away from the demonstration. Van der Laan is playing a political game. He pretends to be the lord protector of the right to protest, all the while destroying the protest bit by bit. Occupy Amsterdam watches with regret as politicians abuse the economic crisis to curtail the freedoms of the people within Europe and in the rest of the world. With the passage of time, we see the necessity to protest grow. As long as the government is throwing away billions to benefit the banks, as long as the population is squeezed dry and the grabbers grab, Occupy will continue to exist. Banks are still not taking responsibility for the crisis they cause and are even profitting from. At the same time, people’s pensions are being reduced and cuts are being made in education, healthcare and culture. Poverty and inequality are growing visibly. This situation forms the grounds for our immovable protest. As long as the necessity is there, Occupy shall persevere!

[-] 1 points by robinamsterdam (1) from Amsterdam, NH 12 years ago

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.209981199103988.33955.100002763290621&type=1 large album with pictures from the last day. will also be cross-posted, wait for the uploads to finish ;)

[-] 0 points by Secretariat (33) 12 years ago

""NATO is staging "Massacre of Christians in Syria by Muslims", by bringing Al Qaida and other radical Islamists to Syria, in order to initiate a war, where they can nuke Iran, give a lesson to rising China, control Middle East oil resources, and allow some people to print as much money as they wish by using petrodollars, so they can control the society and the world through their wealth and power. This will also allow capitalism to continue by breaking the Eastern and the Socialist spirituality which is growing around the world and which is the biggest threat to capitalist ruling elite. ""