Tour de Squat – Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Today started at 13h in Rotterdam at Noordplein the Tour de Squat. The meaning of this bicycle tour was to show that squatting is a part of the culture of a city. We cycled through the areas of ‘het oude noorden’ (the old north), ‘crooswijk’, ‘kralingen’,
Centre and ‘kop van zuid’ (head of south) and in almost every street we passed a squat, an ex squat or a hole where first a squat was.
There were 30 people and there was a very good atmosphere. No police and one reporter of the mainstream press. We cycled and came by (among others): het hotel (the hostel), de Paardenval (the Horsetrap), de Boeg, de Rottepoort (Gate of the Rotte = river), het EKV Eigen Risico (squatrestaurant Own Risk) – we stopped there to eat and drink a bit. Then we went further to de Slagerij (the Butchery), de School (The School) we had a quick peak inside, de Villa (the Villa), Squat Vitrine, het Slaakhuys, Hang, Locus 010, Op-stand (Rise – up), Poortgebouw, Discomfort bar. We ended in the Nijverheidsstraat. I didn’t mention a lot of houses that have no name of their own.
We started cycling at 13.30 and were finished at 17.30. In the end there was also a part of the route we didn’t go to, because it was already too long. So in the end we didn’t see (among others) de Onrust (the Unrest), het Boogje and the Groene Voltage (the Green Voltage).
Also nice to know:
There were 9 (former) squatrestaurants:
Paardenval (Horsetrap), Hektiek en Bonen (Hectic and Beans), Eigen Risico (Own Risk), de Fridge (the Fridge), Hexe, Slaak, Hangry, Katerkafe (Hangover bar), Poortgebouw.
Also we saw houses where (in the past or now):
*former giveaway house (for squatters temporarily without home)
*3 squat cinemas (1 still working)
*6 give away shops
*Squats where lessons were given in Dutch, Spanish, Karate, Capoeiro
*Squats where have been parties and concerts
*Squats where artists worked and made expositions
And 1 person who was cycling (and didn’t help with the route) had lived in 6 houses!
We have cycled through a small part of Rotterdam. There are so many other squats and places that are worth mentioning. It is more of a coincidence that we cycled this route. You could cycle trough every part of Rotterdam, because in every part are squats. In almost every street at least a former one has been. A lot of the evicted houses are demolished, but the ground is empty already for a long time. At a lot of places where squatters lived first are now people living with a bigger wallet. It shows why we squat. So much is empty, so much is unused. And the long term plans are no good for people who don’t have much money.
Also in Rotterdam squatting will continue!
Next year a new route in different areas!
For example visiting: Snellinckstraat, Lincke Soep, de Fabriek (the Factory), Polish Art Galery, Roos in Faas, Buik op Zuid (Belly at South) etc. etc. Ideas are welcome!