Squat

I’m back in Amsterdam, and today is a perfect autumn day. I walked past the Westerkerk under a shower of floating yellow leaves listening to music from the church; something Bach-ish with a trumpet lead followed by a carillon echo.

I was enjoying being back in what has become my hometown when I noticed a rather extreme police presence on the corner of Prinsengracht and Leliegracht (just north of Anne Frank House).

I spoke to one of the shopkeepers in the area who confirmed that they were there to get the squatters who have taken over the house on the corner. There seem to have been about 10 guys living there, and they’ve boarded up the windows and spray-painted the interior walls with tag style graffiti. The shopkeeper told me that the police make anti-kraak (anti squatter) actions every month or so.

There’s been a long tradition of “Krakers” or squatters in Amsterdam, and it’s still a political issue with local and national government.You can see how the police actions go on youtube.
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2 thoughts on “Squat

  1. I lived anti-kraak (not ‘anti-krak’) for a while this year. That is meant to prevent squatters from taking possession of the building! By the way, it is not ‘Krakkers’ (which sounds a lot more funny though) but ‘Krakers’..

  2. thanks! I’ve corrected the spelling.

    I was offered an anti-kraak apt years ago, but I was new to the Netherlands and it sounded too unstable for me.

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