De Vloek

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De Vloek
Doors with graffiti saying De Vloek
Entrance
Address127 Hellingweg
LocationScheveningen
Coordinates52°05′50″N 4°15′55″E / 52.09724°N 4.26538°E / 52.09724; 4.26538
TypeSelf-managed social centre
Construction
Opened2002
Closed2015
Demolished2015

De Vloek was a squatted, self-managed social centre in The Hague, the Netherlands, between 2002 and 2015. Located on Hellingweg 127 in Scheveningen, beside the North Sea, the squat hosted workplaces, living spaces, a venue and a vegan restaurant. The local council tolerated the occupation until 2014, when a political struggle over the eviction began. Some political parties supported the squatters and the Scheveningen Pier was briefly occupied. The building was evicted in September 2015 with seven arrests.

Activities[edit]

Carrying on from De Blauwe Aanslag, which was squatted between 1980 and 2003, De Vloek was occupied on 5 June 2002. The following year, the council decided to tolerate the occupation.[1] De Vloek hosted workplaces, living spaces, practice room for bands, organic vegan restaurant Water en Brood ("Water and Bread") and a concert venue called the Piratenbar ("Pirate Bar").[2]

The self-managed social centre was used by hundreds of people every week. All activities were run by volunteers with no external funding[3] During a 2013 street exhibition, the 60 metre long side of the Vloek building was painted by 17 artists, who worked for 14 days on the project.[4]

Eviction[edit]

In 2014, the city council entered into an agreement with property developers to demolish the existing buildings and deliver the site.[5] When the plans were announced to evict the Vloek and build a new sailing centre with tenants including Koninklijk Nederlands Watersport Verbond, there was a political conflict. The squatters suggested it was better to build the centre elsewhere and stated another sailing centre had already been opened five years previously and was standing mostly empty.[6][7] The local branch of the VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy) had been calling since 2011 for the squat to be evicted.[8] The CDA also supported eviction.[9] On the other side of the debate, councillor Joris Wijsmuller of the Haagse Stadspartij (HSP, Hague City Party) had built the bar at the Vloek himself.[6] Partij voor de Dieren (Party for the Animals) was supportive of the Vloek, calling it "one of the pearls of Scheveningen".[10] The Socialist Party echoed the concerns that there was already an unused sailing centre elsewhere.[11]

In order to bring attention to the Vloek's campaign against eviction, fifteen people occupied the Scheveningen Pier in August 2014. It had been derelict since October 2013, having gone bankrupt. The squatters dropped a banner saying "De Vloek moet blijven" ("The Vloek must stay") and lit flares. They were evicted the same day.[12]

By September 2015, 44 participants in the Vloek had moved their activities to a former school building in Moerwijk which had been offered to them by the city council. The contract was signed for 10 years with a break clause after 5. In a deal brokered by Wijsmuller, the council agreed to give the building rent free and the former squatters agreed to pay maintenance and electricity. Martin Wörsdörfer of the VVD called it a "reward for bad behaviour".[13] Other Vloek participants declared they would resist the eviction and made a call out for solidarity. As a last step, they announced the Vloek was seceding from the Netherlands and therefore no longer subject to its laws.[13][14]

On Wednesday 9 September 2015, the Mobiele Eenheid (Dutch riot police) began to evict the Vloek, whilst being bombarded with paint bombs. They placed a shipping container on the roof using a crane and entered through a hole cut in the roof. Five squatters were arrested inside the building and afterwards two more were brought down from a crow's nest constructed above the building, making the number of arrests seven in total.[15] In June 2017, four of the squatters were charged with violence against the police because by throwing paint bombs they had allegedly damaged five vans, two cars and two water cannons. The state asked for a prison sentence of two weeks and a fine of 500 euros for each person, also requesting a fine for a fifth person.[16] In addition to the state charges, the council demanded a fine totalling 50,000 euros from ten people, which was then reduced to 33,000 euros. An appeal was made to reduce the fine, but the council demanded the full amount before the appeal was heard.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ De Gemeente Den Haag vs Vereniging De Vloek (and others) (Rechtbank Den Haag 30 July 2015) ("Op 5 juni 2002 is het Pand 'gekraakt' [...] Het beleid van de gemeente Den Haag m.b.t. tijdelijk leegstaand vastgoed biedt de mogelijkheid om panden onder bepaalde voorwaarden tijdelijk in bruikleen te geven aan bijvoorbeeld culturele initiatieven. U heeft aangegeven geen bezwaar te hebben tegen een bruikleenovereenkomst.").Text
  2. ^ a b "Steun De Vloek 10!". Doneeractie.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Partij voor de Dieren: vrijplaats de Vloek moet blijven – Den Haag". Partij voor de Dieren (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 April 2020. Wekelijks komen honderden mensen ... Alle initiatieven worden draaiende gehouden zonder subsidie en het pand wordt in eigen beheer gerund.
  4. ^ "Grootste graffiti / street art schildering van Den Haag". Straat expo. 2013. Archived from the original on 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  5. ^ De Gemeente Den Haag vs Vereniging De Vloek (and others) (Rechtbank Den Haag 30 July 2015) ("Ten behoeve van de ontwikkeling en realisatie van het bouwplan ter zake van de bouwkavel waarin het Pand is gelegen heeft de Gemeente op 14 oktober 2014 met Malherbe en ASR een Uitgifteovereenkomst gesloten.").Text
  6. ^ a b "Ontruiming krakersbolwerk De Vloek rustig verlopen". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). 9 September 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  7. ^ Markus, Niels (30 July 2015). "De strijd van De Vloek lijkt gestreden". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 April 2020. Vijf jaar terug is vlakbij al een zeilcentrum geopend. En dat loopt niet goed.
  8. ^ "Weg met kraakpand Hellingweg". VVD Den Haag (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  9. ^ "De Vloek eindelijk ontruimd, lof voor politie". CDA – Den Haag (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Partij voor de Dieren: vrijplaats de Vloek moet blijven – Den Haag". Partij voor de Dieren (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 April 2020. een van de parels van Scheveningen
  11. ^ "NIET BOUWEN VOOR LEEGSTAND OP SCHEVENINGEN". SP Den Haag (in Dutch). 16 September 2014. Archived from the original on 27 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2020. Dit centrum staat ook nog voor een deel leeg en kan dus ook als alternatief dienen
  12. ^ Redactie (7 August 2014). "ME ontruimt gekraakte Scheveningse Pier". Parool. Retrieved 25 April 2020. Check |archiveurl= value (help)
  13. ^ a b Klaassen, Nils (7 September 2015). "Einde van een tijdperk: laatste uren De Vloek". AD. Retrieved 25 April 2020. "Het is een beloning voor slecht gedrag," vindt VVD-fractieleider Martin Wörsdörfer
  14. ^ "Den Haag: De Vloek declares independence!". Squat.net. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  15. ^ Mulders, Angelique (9 September 2015). "Zeven arrestaties bij ontruiming kraakpand De Vloek". AD. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Celstraffen en geldboetes geëist tegen krakers De Vloek". Omroep West (in Dutch). 28 June 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2020.

External links[edit]