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Op de Valreep is a significant project, not only because it poses a timely and vital critique to forces of state-led gentrification that are changing the face and core of our city but, more importantly, because it stems from a bottom-up need within the neighbourhood: a dire need for open and inclusive social infrastructure.”

The last few squatters from Amsterdam social centre Op de Valreep were released from police custody today (Weds June 18th). They were arrested during an epic eviction that lasted all of Tuesday. Altogether there were 17 arrests as squatters made a stand with barricades and concrete lock-ons that lasted thirteen hours.

Op de Valreep had been in existence for three years after squatters took a disused animal sanctuary, located in the east of Amsterdam, in 2011. The building structure belonged to a large-scale regeneration project called Oostport that aimed to transform the area by creating upmarket housing, work, and commercial spaces. It had been abandoned for years and was on the verge of collapse when it was occupied.

The subsidised plans by the project developers initially aimed to turn the building into a temporary sales office (and later a posh café). However, the run-down structure and lack of built-in infrastructure (de Valreep to this date doesn’t have running water, gas, or electricity onsite) had made the realisation of this plan too big an undertaking.

The plan was nevertheless cancelled at a later stage, partially because of public pressure (from de Valreep), and also due to re-evaluation of its commercial viability. Through a remarkable collective effort, a community was brought together that transformed the derelict site into a lively social centre that hosted a variety of events.

For a pre-eviction video go here

For more and a live time-line of the eviction go here


A concrete lock at Valreep.
There is 1 comment on this story...
Added By: Valreep - 19th June 2014 @ 6:20 PM
We've translated the timeline of the eviction into English. Please follow this link: http://valreep.org/algemeen/valreep-eviction-ticker-english/
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