Amsterdam, 15/01/02

Red-light district Maffia attacks Squatters

Last Sunday, 13/01, The house Westeinde 18 in Amsterdam was squatted.

This former brothel had been on the Amsterdam squat movement ``most
wanted'' list for years.

The owner, J.W. Olyslagers from the village of Badhoevedorp did not

agree with the action: the very same night he sent over a group of
thugs, 15 guys which were identified as Red Light District Maffia.

After a short skirmish and a dose of pepperspray, generously

administered by the speedily arriving police, the building was saved for
the squatters. The police spokesman put it this way: ``Ladies and
Gentlemen of the squat movement, the building is yours again.'' This
absurdly friendly attitude by the police is a bit unnerving for the
squatters: usually the police ``solves'' these kind of situations by
evicting the squat. Perhaps the police and public prosecutor have a keen
interest in our presence in the building.

Criminal Owner.

Research by squatters into the backgrounds of the thug-attack showed

that this is a very unfriendly group: even other maffia groups describe
them as ``a bunch of dangerous wingnuts, that likes solving problems
with hired hitmen.''

One day after the squat action the owner himself was outside the

building; he -very kindly- stated that het had sold the building to the
thugs a couple of weeks ago, and that he had returned from his holidays
in Spain because of the squat action, and that he was afraid to not get
his money now.

He also stated that the sale of the house should have been finished last

Friday, but bounced because the building was squatted. This is weird,
because the building was squatted two days after Friday. The people now
occupying the building are of the opinion that Mr. Olyslagers is
responsible, especially because his wife (and business partner) was
present at the attack.

Because of the ``heaviness'' of thew maffia-thugs, the squatters decided

not to take any risks, and barricaded the place up completely.

The goals of the squat.

The goal of the squatters is to make the building fir for housing again.

They demand of the Amsterdam City Council that it will disown the
building, taking it out of the hands of criminals.

Empty brothels should be changed into housing, just like other empty

properties. If, on top of that, the house is in the hands of criminals,
the City Council has no more grounds not to take action.

The former use.

One can say that the brothel was closed when prostitution became legal

in Holland. Apparently, things were going on in there that could not
stand the sunlight. Even before then, it had been operated at a very
slow pace: it opened up ``only by appointment.''

The squatters suspect that the last few years it was being used as a

storefront operation to launder money made in other kinds of deals.

End of press statement.

A couple of short notes to clarify some things:

Squatting is still legal in Holland. Therefore, after a building is

squatted, the police do not have many legal rights to kick squatters
out. They often try fabricating reasons, and had ample opportunity here,
but did not. Apparently they hate the owner even more than they hate