ASCII (squat)

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Initial ASCII location on the ground floor of a squatted house on Heerengracht. Photo taken around 1999

The Amsterdam Subversive Center for Information Interchange (ASCII) was a squatted communication laboratory in the Dutch city of Amsterdam. The first incarnation was formed in 1999, based at Herengracht 243a.[1] The lab then moved to the following locations: Jodenbreestraat 24, Kinkerstraat 92–94, Kostverlorenkade 2e, Wibautstraat 7 and Javastraat.[2]

ASCII became legalised when it moved into Jodenbreestraat 24 in January 2000, alongside the radical bookshop Fort van Sjakoo, but started squatting again when faced with a 900% rent increase.[3]

The original aim was to provide a free internet work space for activists and squatters and to promote Open Source operating systems such as Linux and free software programs such as and Mozilla. Members of the collective scavenged and rebuilt computers from trash.[4] In 2005, ASCII was involved with a plan to set up free community wireless internet access across Amsterdam.[5] In 2006, Javastraat was evicted[6] and the group declared a shift towards being a hacklab rather than having a physical space.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Opening Party ASCII Internet". Nettime-nl. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  2. ^ "ACSII". Hack Story. Archived from the original on 18 July 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  3. ^ "ASCII in trouble: 900% rent increase". Nettime. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  4. ^ Sankar, Anand. "IT's foot soldier". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 3 October 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ Breaching the 'Dam - Times Online
  6. ^ ASCII in Javastraat is no more — Ascii Archived May 31, 2008, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°22′09″N 4°54′06″E / 52.3691°N 4.9018°E / 52.3691; 4.9018