Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Sunday 21 December  

Protestors march against anti-squatting law

Published on 24 October 2009 - 7:33pm
More about:

More than 1000 squatters and sympathisers joined a national protest in the central city of Utrecht against new legislation to outlaw squatting. The Lower House voted in favour of the bill last week.

Speakers addressed a rally, and the demonstration was accompanied by performances and music. The squatters’ message was that they intend to go on occupying buildings despite the ban. They claim that thousands of people will otherwise be made homeless. The demonstration was largely peaceful, though at one point protestors clashed with police, who used batons to disperse the crowd.

Present Dutch law permits squatting provided the building has been unoccupied for more than a year. Although it is illegal to break into a building in order to squat it, in practice prosecution is only possible if the culprits are caught in the act. Under the new legislation, however, squatters risk a prison sentence of up to a year.

The squatting ban was an initiative by MPs from the senior and junior coalition parties, the Christian Democrats and Christian Union. It was carried with the support of the conservative VVD and far-right Freedom Party. The Freedom Party only agreed to support the bill when it had been amended to raise the maximum prison sentence.

The second-largest party in the ruling coalition, the Labour Party, opposes the legislation, along with the opposition parties on the left. Opponents’ only hope now is that the bill will be rejected by the upper house.

  • ©
  • ©
  • ©

Related content


Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

RNW on Facebook

RNW Player

Video highlights

Ladies on the move
RNW is keen on featuring inspiring women in our target countries, women who...
What about men?
In many countries, men don't stick around to raise their children. This is...