I was wandering through town today and saw a whole lot of damage on the street. Evidence of rubbish, fires, signs uprooted. But oddly no bikes damaged.
I didn’t know what it was about until I got home this evening and checked out the local news. Apparently there were riots on Friday night, by the local squatters.
A law came into effect on Friday banning squatters, there are several squats on the Spuistraat, one of which has been there for more than 25 years. The squatters’ rights were maintained for years and it meant that property developers would hire “anti-squatters” to live in empty properties since you could only claim empty properties as squats. I’m sure there’s some political justification why it’s OK to take over empty buildings, destroy the inside and live there without paying rent or property taxes but it eludes me.
So the law has been changed, and the squatters protested last night. At first the protest was peaceful, but it soon degenerated into a riot, with property being destroyed, some cars being overturned and shopfronts destroyed.