Cracking the Movement - Squatting beyond the media - CONTENTS

Tearing down new buildings
inside the circle

A movement which has not been able to trace its own terminus will
ultimately consider itself required to force it. Even if it has
resolved to go on as long as possible, at some point it will try to
call it a day. Closed groups will form inside the movement which see
themselves as the only true heirs to the original events. They will
take the task upon themselves of playing out against each other all the
other fragments which see themselves as part of the movement, to
distill the nucleus that the original impulse is rolled up in. They
can achieve this by bringing on a maelstrom of internal purges and
exclusions, which take on the character of a fatal chain of events.
The snowball sucks all the energy towards itself and transports the
movement to a violent vanishing point. 

Not one »mover« is then capable any more of backing out of the events,
which have the intensity of the early days, only now the outbursts are
caused by attraction and repulsion between the bits of the movement
itself. Everyone chooses a position in the internal field of tension,
which moves into a more violent release than anyone had ever considered

The effort of the final battle is a crystal to be saved, from which a
new crowd might someday form. If this fails to happen, the movement is
in fact removed from history. If the crystallization does succeed,
then future movements will unavoidably have to do with this group,
which tries to steer the events based on an impulse foreign to the new
movement. For the crystal is no longer capable of changing shape,
however much circumstances alter themselves. Those who have not been
admitted into the crystal are able to go into a metamorphosis once
more. One who survives the movement's self-destruction can begin again,
but the radical naiveté is henceforth mixed with a heavy dose of

On Thursday, October 23, 1986, seven flats in the Okeghem- and Hendrik
Jacobstraat in Amsterdam, which had been moved into under supervision
of the Schinkel district squat group one year before, were vacated.
Stephan, a Schinkelite: »The afternoon of October 22nd, someone comes
walking into our coffeeshop in the Binnenpret with a short note from
Inspector Vos from the van Leyenberghlaan police station, saying he was
going to be evicted. Slowly but surely more people came in with notes
like it and it became clear that this was a coordinated action.« It was
highly unusual to let people know about their eviction a day in
advance. That it was happening now was immediately connected in the
Binnenpret with recent actions against Amsterdam's candidacy for the
1992 Olympic Games.

A broad group of 50 »antis« traveled behind the Dutch Olympic Committee
by van to Lausanne, where the final decision on which city would get
the games was to drop. For three days, before the eyes of the massive
press turnout, the group managed to »trash Holland's good name in the
world« with slogans like »Amsterdam supports apartheid« and the
physical (approach) of IOC officials; it never came to violence. Friday
October 17 had been the vote and Barcelona had won the race. When the
Dutch delegation headed disappointedly back to Amsterdam the next day
to give a final press conference in the World Trade Center, the vanload
of »bums, drug addicts and anarchists« (van Agt) which had driven back
in the meantime was waiting to roar »No way, ha ha ha!« at the
company. A fat trustee's face is spat on. This was »the drop that made
the bucket run over«; »frenzy« broke out among police and
administrators. A daily paper noted, »the official spokesperson for
the Amsterdam police: 'We're sick of always being confronted with
members of the squatter's movement, raising hell. There's always
trouble with the same individuals. It's high time tough measures are

It was known to the police that some of the No-Olympians lived in the
Okeghem neighborhood. The Housing Association, which owned the
squatted flats there, had to admit later that it had been pressed by
the police to have the buildings vacated as soon as possible, while the
Association hadn't considered this necessary. For the squatters it was
clear from the outset that this was a revenge exercise »against people
who had been in Lausanne and had fun with van Swine's [Amsterdam mayor
van Thijn's] letdown.« If the police wanted a riot so badly they'd get
one; all night the Schinkelites prepared to hold back the eviction,
while the residents, those who were around, moved their stuff to empty
attics nearby.

Stephan: »People went around to the squat bars that night to warn
others. There had already been action against the Housing Association's
strategy of sticking guards in the houses or putting them in a hut on
the street in front of the buildings. Once one of those huts was set on
fire in a playful way. So the people in the city more or less knew what
was going on. It was also said that at the eviction the idea wasn't a
symbolic action, but resistance. So the intention was that you were
unidentifiable, had your helmet on, whatever.«

The next morning the police showed up for the announced confrontation.
Stephan: »When pigs tried to get through the door at #20 with axes,
tiles were thrown off the roof.« Then the riot police showed up and
two mollies fell. The seven flats were vacated, but the police found
only one squatter there. She tried to short-circuit the SLYPTOL the
police were sawing the door open with by pouring »a couple of cartons
of milk« over it and was subsequently arrested. It took some time
before the police located the activists. In the street there was a
tussle with the people who had answered the alarm. In the unvacatable
residence Okeghemstraat 14 #2 the squatters were discovered. With a
blank search warrant the police GING ERTOE OVER to storm the door, but
it was finally opened by the people inside, »after it was agreed we
woul name no names and give no statements.« All told, 20 people were
arrested and transported to van Leyenberghlaan station. Stephan: »Six
of them were released by Thursday, a few Yugoslavians who were
visiting, Krijn and Robert who were from other neighborhoods, and
someone they forgot to put into detention. On Friday the rest, except
for five, were let go.« The demonstration which was to memorialize Hans
Kok in front of Headquarters had been suuposed to march to the
Okeghemstraat to resquat the houses. But the plan was foiled when the
riot police disrupted the ceremony.

Stephan: »The Monday after that, the five remaining arrestees were
brought before the examining judge. When the attorney came outside, we
found out all five of them had gotten extended detention. And that was
based to a very large degree on a statement by one of their fellow
arrestees, at the top of which was a CID number, Criminal Intelligence
Service #337. The person had pointed out people in photographs who had
supposedly thrown mollies and tiles from the roof, while he stayed
sitting in the flat at #14. When the news was known a meeting was
called right away in the coffeeshop. It was initially supposed to be a
neighborhood meeting with the ex-arrestees, but more people were
invited, or just came. What should we do? Who is the person who gave a
statement under a CID number? In the 'Handbook against the Cops' we had
found that if you have a CID number, you're a completely checked-out
informant. The attorney came too and gave a short speech and confirmed
that the person with the CID number had to have been an informant for a
while. Just a week later we found out someone could be assigned one of
those numbers ad hoc. We had the statement in our possession, and
could pretty much find out in detail who had been in that room at #14.
So soon we knew Krijn or Robert must have given that statement, but you
have to substantiate something like that. Some people wanted to go
break their windows right away, but we decided to discuss it first. The
first discussion with both took hours. They had to recount the events,
how they got the alarm, why they went, if they answered alarms a lot,
why they hadn't gone other times but did now, what they'd seen, what
they'd done at the police station, what they'd stated, etc. And Krijn
especially came forth during this as an unstable individual; he didn't
talk for long either, he was really upset. Robert said quite a lot,
but a lot of things didn't add up, contradictions. 

After those discussions the suspicion only increased with respect to
both. It was clear that one was the CID number, but what the other's
role was stayed shadowy; he hadn't per se had to give a statement.
Robert was released the first day by chance, and not because of a
technical mistake. That made him a bit dubious in our eyes, plus he was
unknown; that played a part too. That night we found out that it was
Krijn who had given a statement under a CID number. He told a
housemate and the person contacted the Schinkel. So we met again, but
we were divided about what to do with him. Some people thought he
should be taken out of his house right away - his stuff in the canal,
chase him out of the city, or break his windows. The next day Robert
was invited to the Binnenpret and questioned twice, the first time by a
group that was recognizable and the second time by a group of people
with balaclavas on, in the vain hope that he would be scared into
explaining the contradictions in his story. He didn't, so it had little
result. That night someone proposed making a poster of the traitors.
Also a big argument started about what methods could be appropriated
against someone who a lot of people considered an unstable individual,
who got caught in a situation like that almost against his will. That
was also the strange thing about that guy Robert, that he had dragged
Krijn along to the eviction, knowing something could happen. Everyone
was very clearly told right before the eviction what was going to
happen, and people who couldn't get involved, or who were nervous about
it, had the option to leave the building, and later he always
vehemently denied that.«

Johan lived in the old city, and saw it from another angle: »I knew
Robert as a squatter from the neighborhood, he lived with his
girlfriend in a squat nearby. Krijn had lived there too and was around
there a lot. I only knew him by sight. He said he'd heard in the
Binnenpret the night before that all kinds of things in the Schinkel
would be vacated the next day. They decided to go to bed early and be
there the next day. They didn't know several codes that are fairly well
known in squatters' circles, the position to take at that kind of
eviction, what you can do and what not, whether to wear a helmet,
about getting picked up, raids, police violence, basically how you
work together in that kind of dire situation. I'd never seen them at an
eviction before. 

We hadn't heard anything ourselves about the situation, only that some
people had gotten picked up, but it was all pretty far away. Two days
later I ran into Robert and he started to tell me everything that had
happened the morning of the eviction. Krijn had locked himself in the
toilet, it was all too scary for him. Robert had stood at the window
and watched it all. At the station Krijn blabbed pretty quick about
what he'd heard from the people who came back from the roof. The police
put more words in your mouth than you really know, they presume things
that eventually you say yes to. If you're scared and blabbing then you
go along with a story that's constructed for you. Krijn saw Polaroids
of the people who were picked up and pointed people out. He got
asigned an informant number because of his story, and in that case the
informant is actually supposed to be made anonymous, but only if they
ask to be. Krijn didn't do that, he didn't think about repercussions at
all. Robert signed a short statement that he hadn't seen anything, they
both gave their names and were let go right away. The anonymous
statement with the CID number may have gotten into the attorneys' file
by accident, a substantial mistake by the investigation department, and
people in the Schinkel got hold of it. That got them thinking, what
could this mean? The conclusion they immediately drew was that Krijn
was an infiltrant sent by the police to be at the eviction. The
Schinkel people found the people who were released soon after their
arrest right away. Robert was frisked, in any case his pockets were
emptied, his house keys were copied and his house searched, pages from
his appointment book were copied and the telephone index taken out.
Those people never approached anyone from our neighborhood, they just
went to do things themselves straight away. They thought Robert was
Krijn's runner. 

Around our neighborhood people were of the opinion that someone with no
experience should be able to make mistakes. They considered
interrogating someone in balaclavas a secret service method. People
from an extraparliamentary movement don't treat each other like that.«

The squatters' paper the Grachtenkrant received two pieces from Krijn
and Robert and placed them in their entirety, like all incoming copy.
The Schinkel squatters were also asked for their report of their
investigation activities, but no response came. Krijn wrote about his
interrogation, »I gave a disgustingly incriminating statement. You
should only be sitting there, scared, confused, and extremely unstable.
Afterwards, yes, you feel like a huge asshole. I flipped in that cell.
For two days I sat there and read a pink slip of paper. Panic, fear,
how can this be, I didn't do anything. What I'm doing to other people
is terrible. I'm so disgusted with myself. I'm so terribly sorry.« In
his testimony, which quickly went public, he stated to the police: »On
photo #33 I recognize a boy who was lugging around a crate of so-called
swing-stoppered bottles. I clearly saw that there were cloths or
cotton stuffed into the necks of these bottles. When he came back I
also heard this boy say, 'I aimed a fire bomb at a cop car and I hit
the bullseye. It caught on fire.'«

Robert defended himself in his article: »After twelve hours of being
locked up I'm sick of it. I give my name and a vague statement. I'm set
free immediately but I'm not too happy. After two reconstructions from
me the Schinkel district concludes in a way unclear to me that I might
possibly be an informant or infiltrant. I am confronted with the feared
OMGEKEERDE BEWIJSLAST. I have now described this case from one of my
viewpoints. There are many other ways of describing this.«

Stephan from the Schinkel: »About two weeks after the eviction the
group busy with the statement issue was getting smaller and smaller.
Then the undesired publicity started too, the Grachtenkrant choosing
the side of the 'underdog' Krijn and of Robert, and against the
'investigation group,' which had then already noticeably changed in
constitution. We knew who had given the statement, so for us not much
more needed to be done. We, as a pretty closed group, in a hectic time,
occupied with one topic, thought we had every right to investigate and
solve it like that, up to and including interrogation with balaclavas,
because we thought it was crazy that so much was hanging over the heads
of those five people because of a statement by possibly Krijn, but with
a suspicion of Robert, which was never removed...but never confirmed

The Schinkel squatters observed with surprise how, on one hand, a group
of old acquaintances gradually took over the investigation they had
launched into the CID number, turning out to have their own plans for
it, while on the other the squatters' media fell upon them as if they
were the »Squat Contraintelligence Service, Schinkelbuurt Division.«
»FC Grachtengordel* (where Krijn lived) had its good name damaged by
the Schinkel group.« Neither the squat media nor the investigation
group paid much attention to the arrestees, one of whom was
unconditionally sentenced to five months and two to the six weeks they
had been locked up in custody, one person who had refused to give his
name was held three months without being convicted, and »photo #33« was
locked up six months long based on CID#337's statement.

The group of old acquaintances, who slowly but surely took over the
original investigation group, consisted for the most part of people who
had had problems over the years with their respective squat groups. Now
they seemed to have found each other, OP a theme »they had gotten
enthusastic about.« (Joris) The unfamiliarity between the scenes
guaranteed that many squatters knew these people by name but not by
face. There were soon remarks being made like »There is a group of
people around who don't know what to do with themselves, who have
found an occasion to focus their reeling minds.« They soon became
generally known as »the investigation group,« after they had taken over
the leadership of the original group of ex-arrestees and Schinkel
squatters. A number of them, including Hein and Piet, had been at at
the No-Olympic incidents in Lausanne and caused bickering there too
over how the action should go. A »chaotic report of the No-Olympics
trip« described the difficulties as »a discussion between the
relatively unorganized group and a group who thinks they have to
organize it in a way they've devised. We suddenly find ourselves in a
group that wants to bring down van Thijn. In itself not such a bad
idea, but I want to stand up for something without being channeled into
it by some idiot.« Frustrating the Olympic campaign, which had been
organized by others, was right up the street of someone like Hein, who
ever since he had gotten involved in squatting had displayed an
obsession with knocking Amsterdam's social democracy off its throne.
The slogan he hung on the Groote Keyser about the »rightists disguised
as leftists«, the worst of all, who must be avoided like the plague,
had referred then to the Labor Party.

The investigation group now seized upon the »Okedighem aftermath« to
profile itself by raising the theme »betrayal or blabbing.« This was
not done to broach a discussion, but to devise a criterion for who can
and can't be an activist. The »rightists disguised as leftists« came
ever closer. From the beginning they required anyone calling themselves
a squatter to take up a stand for or against Krijn as a symbol of the
traitor mentality. Every individual had to clearly declare that
traitors must be »isolated, driven away and eliminated.«

On Sunday, November 2, a group of »hot-tempered individuals« pushed
Krijn's housemates to throw him out. Wednesday, November 5, he was
phoned with an ultimatum: »Saturday, November 8th, at 8:00 p.m., Krijn
has to have fucked off, otherwise the house will be vacated by the
'city-wide squat movement.'« Krijn left the city that day, »scared as
he had been by the threatening phone calls and people coming to his
door with threats.« The housemates called a city-wide conference for
November 6th. »That Thursday night there was a busy and predictably
aggressive atmosphere, big mouth strikes again, the investigation group
cooperated great from the start by stating right away that they had
nothing to state. Angry reactions to the threat on Krijn's housemates
were disposed of with, 'See, you're protecting him.'« That same night
the poster »Traitor has disappeared« appeared with the text of the
statement and Krijn's full name on it.

A months-long publicity flood of leaflets and articles followed, in
which the investigation group sent decrees out into the world and the
rest of the movement indignantly agreed. All these texts were aimed at
the outside world, to whom it had be explained what exactly happened
and what didn't, and how you ought to stand on it. Striking, however,
is that these scribblings were practically incomprehensible to anyone
not already in the know about the incidents described. But it was
precisely this orientation towards outsiders who, even if they wanted
to, could never understand all the ins and outs that played a role in
the conflict, which revealed them to be the ones it all revolved
around. It was also some time before the various squabbling parties
figured that out.

When »the inside media« in Amsterdam did not wish to pursue the same
course as the Schinkel squatters, who as the arrestees' group had
still not clearly distinguished themselves from the »investigation
group,« they turned to the Hague paper de Zwarte (The Black), to
publish the arrestees' prison letters with their commentary. Right
after this the paper was inundated with heaps of articles from on the
one hand the investigation group and on the other outraged commentators
from all the land. It then became a widely read paper in Amsterdam as
well, where distribution had already been taken over in a number of
neighborhoods by the investigation group.

Then on December 15, 1986, the investigation group published another
poster: »Caution: Traitors!« It bore two pictures of people who »have
supplied information in exchange for a favor,« and next to them an
empty frame and below it the text, »name and photo to come.« The
suggestion was that every squatter could expect his or her picture
there. A leaflet by the investigation group about its enemies put this
somewhat more clearly: »The heart of the matter, which they are
attempting to conceal with all that display of so-called moral
outrage, is that they feel attacked if 'an underdog...who blabbed
during interrogation' is exposed.« The poster got »European
distribution,« but in Amsterdam was accompanied instantly by strips
stuck over the heads of the »traitors« with the text »Warning: Police
However much they opposed each other verbally, all the columnists and
poster-hangers agreed about the issue at stake: making sure their
circle didn't lose the potential to someday bring a great group to its
feet again. Opponents of the investigators wrote, »Their work doesn't
exactly have a stimulating effect on new people hooking up with the
scene«; »They're scaring other people away, destroying a lot.« And
Barend, in an observation of the »squealers situation« in the weekly
»bluff!« with which, to the anger of many, he would make the national
press: »This rabble-rousing will scare away new people. It creates the
immpression that you have to have heavy activist training under your
belt first to be allowed to participate.« The investigation group
countered in its own flyer: »A movement that acts against treason, for
newcomers as well, inspires confidence and gives a guarantee of
backing.« And in March '87 it formulated »conditions for getting back
on the move«: »It's high time to make a choice between just two things
- either supporting treason or dealing with it.«

By this time the group had started its own paper, Staatsnieuws, or
State News, whose home base was the Staatslieden district. This was
supposed to »work supportively with uncensored and factual reports
instead of rumors and negative stories of a personal character.« If at
the No-Olympics the investigation group had still been able to walk
around unhindered among a motley crew from »the movement« and try to
impress its stamp upon what was happening, henceforth it only stood by,
investigatively watching what the others were doing. »In early '87 was
the sixth eviction at Singel 114. Hein and Piet were there in a van
across the canal taking pictures, to show that the whole thing was just
a sorry mess, poorly organized.« The rest of the investigation group
had already made known before the eviction that it would have a
folding chair rental across from the Singel. That morning they were
indeed sitting on the terrace diagonally across from the squat. One
still saw the group occasionally, but after a series of angry
discussions the general feeling was that they should be ignored. Their
demand of a choice between two things was answered with the rejection
of »the terminology the choice was offered in.« After December 1986 the
excitement ebbed away. 

In this first round the investigation group managed to find a theme,
with which the right chord could be struck inside the »movement«. The
group appealed to the movers at their weak point: the stagnation of the
growth of the (imaginary) crowd, something for which the group itself
too still hoped. They claimed to have found the cause of this
stagnation, for which the other scenes had no unequivocal answer. Many
also shared the investigation group's criticism of the »lack of
substance and the little cliques.« But the conditions under which the
investigation group saw the crowd growing again conflicted with those
of the other scenes. By demanding exclusions, it brought the self-image
of an »open and growing movement« under heavy fire. The
investigation group was pressuring the movement to prove that it still
existed. It suddenly managed to make it apparent that the movement had
become pitifully small. At the same time it proved possible for a
tightly organized group to determine the agenda, which had been
unthinkable before. By demanding that everyone »choose« among the
choices it outlined, it also showed that light-years of distance stood
between the various scenes, which one year after the reunion for Hans
Kok already couldn't understand each other anymore.

Its whole operation was an attack on the way things were »going on«
after squatting's heyday was over: »The action groups in Holland have
taken on the character of Scout groups, the actions that of a game,
exciting ritual incantations to immerse you in the still tepid bath of
your community, which has gotten to look more and more like a monkey
house than a house with people in it.« And from this the group
concluded, »The current noises from the 'squat movement' are downright
embarrassing: 'we must go on - we need each other, don't we?' Go on!
Without drawing conclusions from what's happened.« The need for
conclusions and a reinterpretation of the past supplied the energy for
the second round. 

Tuesday morning, March 24, 1987, at 6:30 a.m., a riot police presence
of 240 occupied the city center of Nijmegen. They burst into five
squats, arresting eight people who were suposedly involved in the
mariënburcht. The charge was article 140; »Participation in an
organization which has the intention to commit criminal offenses.« In
other words, someone who organized resistance to an eviction was
responsible for the others' transgressions of the law. It soon became
known that the province of Gelderland's Regional Criminal Investigation
Task Force conducted research for two months after the eviction and
amassed mountains of material: »An in-depth neighborhood investigation
in downtown Nijmegen was done with a photo book. All van rental
companies had to submit their records from the preceding two months.
All pharmacies in Holland selling chemicals were visited and asked
whether, and to whom, they had sold ingredients for smoke. A store
recognized a buyer as 'a squatter' (how did they know that?), wrote
down this person's name and handed it over to the cops. The telephones
of several large squats were constantly tapped and in February squats
were broken into without explanation and papers, appointment books,
newspapers and posters were taken.«

The arrestees were isolated from each other and interrogated for weeks,
one as many as 29 times. The preliminary investigation had yielded no
conclusive evidence of who had committed which acts of violence. This
was why, for the first time in the case of a riot, the police had
resorted to the dormant 140th section of the law. Only by making the
arrestees give statements could it be proven that they had controlled
the actual organization of the resistance. Nijmegen soon found out that
six of the eight arrestees had talked about their own involvement with
the mariënburcht; one cited others as well. Two stayed silent for
months. Reports on the results of the interrogations were not
publicized, because it had been decided to focus all attention on
fighting the use of article 140, which hung like a sword of Damocles
over every action. The poster announced, »They are trying to regard an
arbitrary group of people as a legal body, and by doing so, make this
section of the law applicable to everyone. It brings a loss of rights
and judicial arbitrariness along with it.« Just as resistance to the
eviction of the mariënburcht had been legitimized by the squatters with
the vacancy law, which otherwise had nothing to do with it, the riot
was now being combatted by Justice with a TOEVALSTREFFER. And the
squatters reacted, exactly as they did before an eviction, by making it
into an attack on their lives: then it had been »You only have to
exist«; now »anyone« could be shadowed and picked up.

After 44 days all the arrestees were free. On October 15 their trial
finally took place at 9:00 a.m. in Arnhem. The leaflet: »Justice
suggest that they have arrested the brain behind the squat movement.
No way. The squat movement has no directors, central committee or
brain. It's their hierarchy, not ours!« That afternoon there was a
national demo in the center of Arnhem. 
A week later a nine-page »Report on the 'Article 140 Trial'« was
distributed in Amsterdam squat bars, written by »people present in the
gallery.« The tone was that of sincerely interested parties, who
wanted to be witness a political trial and to their bewilderment found
themselves in the middle of a »completely incomprehensible« production.
»At the request of the suspects,« the entire audience was frisked for
cameras and recording equipment and »if it had been up to the suspects
our writing equipment would have been confiscated too.« The report
described how after a muddled inspection of the suspects' personal
particulars by the judge, the eight withdrew into the gallery. The
trial had been characterized by »dualism« - on the one hand the
defense wanted the arrestees' sentences reduced, on the other they were
trying »to make the trial a bit political as well« concerning the
article 140 issue. »When the presiding judge started to read out the
onus of proof against the suspects, a whole lot of things became clear
to us. The onus of proof consisted almost entirely of the statements
the suspects had given during police interrogation. The suspects'
walking off must be seen as fear of being directly confronted with
their treasonous statements.«

The anonymous scribes then gave an overview of »treason in Nijmegen.«
The statements of the six suspects, identified by name and sometimes
address, were hereby subdivided into the categories »personal
confession,« »betrayal of persons and action structures« and
»dissociations.« At the end of the piece, the selection criterion of
»talking or treason«, which had caused such a fuss a year before, was
again defined: »Activists in Nijmegen want to make it look like the six
talked under extremely difficult circumstances. Nothing is further from
the truth. Talking selectively is not talking, but treason. Continually
dissociating yourself is not talking, but treason. Naming the names of
your fellow activists is not talking, but treason. Giving so much
factual information, so detailed and so across-the-board, is not
talking, but treason. Not retracting your statements or not stating
that you gave them under pressure is a confession of the deliberateness
of the treason.« They concluded: »Because the 'movement' accepts the
treason, and it thus becomes so large-scale, the only proper sanction
would quickly end in a mass execution. We hereby state that the
traitors, under these circumstances, are not even worth a bullet

In Nijmegen it was immediately obvious who wrote the piece. Hein and
Piet, known from the investigation group, had been practically the only
Amsterdammers to succeed in securing a ticket to the small gallery in
Arnhem on the first day of the trial. They had been the first outside
the door of the courthouse. The Nijmegeners reacted with outrage that
the carefully planned trial strategy was now being thwarted at the whim
of the »people from the 'investigation group', not one of whom by the
way has ever been involved with the mariënburcht.« As it happened, the
Nijmegen trial group had decided to VOEREN a collective trial with the
whole group of arrestees, in which the article 140 threat would play a
central part. But at the same time they wanted to protect the
individual suspects from too heavy a prison sentence by keeping them
out of their own trial as much as possible. After the trials their
»talking« during interrogation could always be examined in more detail.
On November 4, the second day of the trial, the Nijmegeners tried to
keep two other members of the investigation group, Hendrik and Sylvia,
outside the door in Arnhem, but they managed to be admitted to the
courtroom under police escort: »It was unknown what they came for, but
known that they shouldn't have.«

In Amsterdam the investigation group's own paper had left the Staats
sometime ago, the better to cause city-wide fuss under the name
Stadsnieuws (City News). In the first widely-circulated issue, #13,
the investigators published a programmed preface about their
intentions: »A new squat movement is what we are working for, but first
the old one must be torn down. You only build new structures once the
old ones are demolished and the ground is made ripe for building. You
can help us; then it will be quicker. You can work against us; then it
will be slower but also bloodier.« The group made clear with this that
they, just like the rest of the movement, wanted to go on. But first, a
regeneration had to occur. Starting the same thing over again was
another way of going on.

Along with the usual squat reports, Stadsnieuws published a series of
longer pieces under the name »Voetangels en Klemmen« (Pitfalls). In
this series the history of squatting since the 1984 reconstruction
attempt was rewritten. Several members of the investigation group had
contributed to the discussion leaflet »KRAKEN OF GRUTTEN?« and the
revival of the City Conference (SOK). Now, three years later, this
renovation attempt was named as the crucial moment at which the
decline could have turned: »Since the blow of the failed reconstruction
in 1984, the movement has no longer been able to restore itself. Today,
in 1987, the chance to rebuild the squat movement again seems
completely lost.« Hence the demolition plans. After three installments,
the series closed with the programmed announcement, »The labor of the
few squatters who remain consistent, for whom Stadsnieuws speaks, will
in the future be more theoretical than practical in nature.«

This theoretical labor was presently detailed in a special on
»leaflets, bulletins and papers«: »Assuming that society consists for
99% of 'meatballs' and that the squat movement is a reflection of this,
then things are grim with politically independent thinkers, let alone
doers. It is characteristic of any political movement to regularly
purge its ranks. The majority often purges the minority; in connection
with the aforementioned 'meatball theory' it is necessary this time
that the 'political' minority purge the majority.« The investigation
group went on to claim that, with this ideology in the backs of their
minds, they had been the »constructors of the old movement.« This view
of the origins of the squat movement had already been refuted in
Stadsnieuws itself in an installment of »Voetangels en Klemmen,« in
which the 1984 SOK was accused of »one-sidedly attributing the
successes of 1980 to 'construction work' in years before, without
giving enough credit to the social raison d'·à·tre of the mass actions.«
From this rebuttal it could already be inferred that the investigation
group were not as in accord with each other as they claimed.

The Stadsnieuws special argued forcefully that it was too late for the
elite to make subtler value judgments on meatball-thinking: »We want to
put all evil abscesses and excesses of the movement out of the fight.
This is an unpleasant task, because such a fight can hardly be waged
subtly.« The zine announced that as part of this task the first target
would be SOCIALE ADVOCATUUR. In later issues the ideological standards
of well-known squat attorneys were tested in a series of extensive
interviews. The News wanted to find out whether they were guilty of
The Stadsnieuws advertising slogan was that the zine was »taken
seriously by no one but read by everyone« in the scenes. In mid-October
Amsterdam was abuzz with rumors over a »traitors' brochure«, soon to be
published by the investigation group, including a list of the names of
»by now over 200« traitors from the own ranks. But when the
mariënburcht trial began the group saw a chance to take up its
demolition of the movement. The Nijmegen issue had the advantage that
it could never be cleared up, since legally and internally it was much
too complicated. So the case could be used for any purpose.
Furthermore, it offered the group a chance to bring its attack on
attorneys »who had converted to yuppiedom« onto a practical level.
After the account of the »treason«, Piet and Hein wrote in the report
of the trial, »This account was a sample of the things read out by the
judge. What the judge read, however, was again a sample of what the
District Attorney and the eight activists have in their possession. For
each activist there are statements ranging from about 20 up to 60
pages.« The investigation group's next act was to make these statements

On Wednesday, November 11th, 1987, at 2:00 p.m., a group of 17 people
occupied the office of a number of SOC ADVKTN on the Keizersgracht. The
action was prompted by a debate currently going inside the SOC ADVTUUR
over whether rapists and dealers ought to be defended. Quite a few
people were asked to join the occupation on these grounds, but
afterward another press release appeared, this time from »real
squatters« calling themselves »representatives of the political wing
of the A'dam squat movement« (PVK) The statement, which opened with the
»rightists disguised as leftists« quote, gave this argument: »This
office has repeatedly opposed itself in word and deed to the SOC
ADVTUUR. It is abundantly clear that these folks are competing for
positions in which power, prestige and a prosperous and handsomely paid
career are most important. Traitors feel at home in this office too.
Everyone who does not condemn treason is automatically a target for
action. This office is being occupied with the motto: Let the
dissidents leave!« The circle of leftist rightists to be exposed now
included even the scene's own attorneys.

The press release closed with a surprising twist: »Now that we're here,
we want to take advantage of the opportunity to demand the traitor
files, at least copies of them.« An incomplete file on one of »the
Nijmegen Six« found in the office was removed, and returned after being
photocopied. With that the action had become the property of the
investigation group. The attorneys responded in turn with a press
statement: »We regret that a conflict inside the squat movement is
being played out over the heads of the SOC ADVTR. The situation
becomes unworkable when the files of some activists must be protected
from other activists.«

Rudie: »The day after they raided the office, right after noon on Radio
Stad they said that Piet was about to clarify some things. I called
some people, but no one was home. Then I just decided to get up my
nerve and go to the broadcast. I told him off. I interrupted him and
told him no one agreed with this. That really freaked them out, that I
butted in and told it like it was. I didn't think it should be left up
to him to say it.«  A piece in the Grachtenkrant, signed »an
Amsterdammer«, called the raid »nauseating« and characterized the
investigation group as »former squatting big shots who, because of
their lust for power, and later their fanatical destructiveness, were
blown off long ago by the rest of the movement. They want to destroy
the already nonexistent movement, so then they can get control of the
New Movement, for which the blueprints, modeled on fundamentalism, are
already available. 'We are the New Squat Movement,' the spokesperson
bleats on the radio. So we're manipulated by these guys, who in the
past were so good at writing press statements behind everyone's back,
like after Kedichem, for example.«

A new series of publications followed this. The inside media had so far
been totally silent about the leaflet on the outcome of the trial and
the statements on the mariënburcht. An internal »article from the
Nijmegen«: explained why: »the entire leaflet is based on factual
inaccuracies, suggestive, and muckraking of the lowest kind! And that's
why Nijmegen has decided not to respond to this article.« A city
conference was held in Amsterdam, where the Nijmegeners made it clear
that not one arrestee had given statements about anyone from another
city. »The only one who gave a statement about someone else drew the
conclusion meanwhile not to get involved in actions and such anymore.«

The investigation group managed to totally inflate this cold shoulder
strategy. By occupying the office of popular SOC ADVKTN and making a
public statement in the name of the squat movement, the group
successfully struck a nerve again. Everyone in the movement felt
obligated once again to take a stand for or against them. The fact that
practically all arrestees and accompanying trial groups had handed over
the management of their trials to their lawyers over the years and let
them become purely legal affairs instead of spectacles where they had
the starring role, was something that was never brought up for
discussion anymore. The PVK had already brought this behavioral code
under fire in their report on the mariënburcht trial, where they wrote,
»You'd think either you make a legal trial out of it, in other words
try to get off as easy as possible, or a political trial where you take
a hard and principled line and use the court sessions as a platform for
your political motivation. If you want to make a legal trial out of it,
then why organize a demonstration on that very day? If you want to make
it a political trial, then why submit so expressly to the legal

But no one responded to this criticism, because in the mariënburcht
trial the arrestees, not the attorneys, had done the preliminary work
and had determined their trial strategy themselves. The occupation of
the attorneys' office could have kicked off a discussion about the
dependence of attorneys. But the thievery of the file made it
impossible to press this point. Just like at the Okeghemstraat, the
investigation group, now the PVK, managed to immediately kill a
discussion it had cranked up and thereby make only their own methods a
topic for conversation.

The sensitive chord was no more gently struck for this. The weekly
bluff! reports in its issue the day after the occupation, »More
evidence of how crazy, how dangerous and how pathetic they are is not
necessary. Think about this and talk about it. It's time.« A week
later the paper, under the heading »madness in the movement«, explains
why it stayed silent about the investigation group until the lawyer
action: »bluff! has chosen until now not to write directly about their
disgusting activities, so as not to give them too much attention, but
the raid last week was the last straw.« It came with a concise
»chronology of treason«, meaning the investigation group's activities.
The second publication wave set in once the pasts of the people who
made up the investigation group/PVK had been publicized. But soon the
past of the entire squat movement was being rewritten. Time and time
again, analyses were published on the issue of what the squat movement
was/is, whether the PVKers had been its »constructors« and what role
they had in fact played in which incidents. Suddenly, after years,
those in the movement had to develop a memory. At the same time they
had to fight against the ancient noncommittalness, which, according to
a leaflet, »creates a vacuum where the investigation group can
continue its practices peacefully and undisturbed.« And so this
contribution to the discussion ran: »The group must no longer be
ignored, but isolated. The best way to isolate them is by actively
continuing in the right way ourselves.«

Now that ignoring was no longer OK, everybody had to go a step further
and isolate the group. The passive manner in which they did this was
dictated by the ethical attitude, »we refuse to employ the same methods
as the investigation group.« Furthermore, it was impossible to get all
the scenes onto the same wavelength, because some thought the group
actually was broaching real problems, if its methods hadn't been too
successful. The PVK was refused entry to most squatters' bars. But
when the members of the group promised to behave reasonably, they
remained welcome in circuits like the Schinkel and Oosterpark
districts. The group did lose all access to the inside media, including
Stadsnieuws, which was done in when #33 was made by its opponents with
the names and pasts of the PVKers. The paper never appeared again after
that. Even the Black, distributed until then by the PVK, joined in: »We
now choose to isolate and eliminate the investigation group in the
hopes of getting back control of the discussion.«

The PVK finally responded around Christmas 1987 by coming out with the
promised 106-page booklet of traitors. On the cover was a photograph of
a polder lake with a windmill in the distance. At the water's edge six
people kneeled with thick rope tied around their necks and hands. They
had bags over their heads. Behind them stood a figure with balaclava
and raincoat who had just shot the first in the back of the neck and
was aiming at the second. The title was »Pearls before Swine. Decline
and betrayal inside the activism movement in Holland. A report from the
political wing of the squat movement.« The caption ran, »Traitors are
the lowest type of people. The type against whom all methods are

The book reinterpreted the history of the squat movement in terms of a
generational conflict between the older activists and the new guard.
The stolen mariënburcht files and some sundry police statements of
activists were printed, the SOC ADVKTR investigated, the inside media
attacked, and finally, the correct »attitude of a political activist«
prescribed. KRAKEN OF GRUTTEN is included in an appendix and claimed
as their publication. A few »Western European« cases of betrayal were
described as well. 

The book did not sell well. For one thing, most of the excitement had
already ebbed away and the phase of passive isolation had set in. For
another, the work was removed from one of the few bookstores that
wanted to sell it, when an demo of AUTONOMEN happened to pass by. The
owner entertains customers with the story: »Then suddenly this group in
balaclavas storms in here, grabs that stack of booklets and runs back
out of the place. I run after them. When I've almost got hold of the
guy in back, he stretches out his arm and I see a crowbar. Okay, okay,
I say, just take them already.« 
The book was only sold under the counter in certain bars and shops, but
was not discussed outside the circle of friends. »Everyone ignores
that thing.« You weren't supposed to buy it or sell it and it was
little-read. There was no fear of finding oneself on the traitors'
list, since it turned out not to have been included and never did

If in the first round after the Okeghemstraat, the selection criteria
had been established for who was and wasn't allowed to let the movement
grow, with the second round a new phase dawned. When a space was
squatted to house a new bar, out of peevishness someone painted the
name »De Harde Kern«, Dutch for The Hard Core, on the facade, since the
police had been hunting for years for the »core« of the movement. Just
then Piet came cycling by and yelled furiously, »How dare you! We're*
the hard core!« The investigation group started to behave more and more
explicitly as though they were. It began to exhibit the traits of a
»crowd crystal«.* Canetti described such crystals as »small, rigid
groups of people, strictly marked off and of great constancy, which
serve as a basis for crowds.«*

Some crowds form around one or more of these small groups which exist
first. The heroes of the time of the first squats functioned as such
cores, around which the first squat groups formed with patience and
hard work. But the »movement« that the heroes thus created developed in
a totally different direction than they had ever anticipated or wanted.
This is the tragic cycle of heroes: they are pushed aside by something
they have brought into being. Many of the handymen from the early days
fell victim to this: either they didn't understand what the newcomers
were trying to do and they sulkily backed off, or they tried to regain
power, at which point they were unavoidably pushed aside. 

Several PVKers belonged to this scattered group of heroes from
different neighborhoods, and in the second round they called attention
to this. In addition, they imposed a strict behavioral code upon
themselves, in order to mark themselves as »real activists«. Stephan:
»They were people who were concentrated on their goal 24 hours a day.
Hein didn't smoke, didn't drink, kept in shape, ran the consultation
hour, filled out forms, worked with foreigners, hats off as far as that
goes. I can imagine that causes a hefty conflict with the squat
culture, which expresses itself in drinking or snorting, like was in
for a while; a relatively inconsistent activism that lives off its

In the first round the PVK demanded that the remnants of the squat
movement consider them as the sole true founders and successors. The
PVK had to be accepted as the hard core around which the New Movement
would crystallize. In fact it was demanding here that the future crowd
legitimize its existence as the core group. If the remnants ignored
this demand, there would be pieces to pick up. The investigation group
used the second round to this end, when it tried to legitimize itself
in its own rightness. »The clear outlining, the isolation of the
durability of the crystal contrast sharply with the nervous movements
of the crowd itself,«* writes Canetti. But the fanaticism with which
the PVK tried to draw a boundary between their own group and the 
nervous others proved that it had not yet been able to condense itself
into a crowd crystal; it still had to contrast itself with others to
keep its own boundaries sharp. The last was also proven by Pearls
before Swine, which was targeted at activists who hadn't yet figured
out what kind of swamp they'd gotten into: only three pages were
concerned with how the »political activist« is supposed to behave, the
rest consists of attacks on others. The isolation called for by the
group and to which it was condemned by the rest of the »movement« at
the end of the second round could have strengthened the developing
crystal structure. The third and last round made it clear that it did

October 6th, 1988: »Crazy Thursday.« At 8:30 a.m., squat bar The First
Aid in the Eerste Oosterparkstraat was recaptured from the PVK. A
history had preceded this. It had derived its energy from the special
relationship on the one hand between the neighborhoods and on the other
in the city. The city, in squatters' language, meant the other scenes
besides those in your own neighborhood. And the term »city-wide« meant
something concerned all the neighborhoods, including your own. In 1988
each »neighborhood« consisted of a small group with a bar and a squat
discussion hour. Contact between neighborhoods relied entirely on
incidents and larger actions. In fact, one seldom went outside one's
own neighborhood, and moreover, the groups were scattered so far from
each other over the city that it was a real undertaking ever to go
visit another one (15 minutes on your bike). 

One of the First Aid group's leaflets said, »In contrast with the vast
majority of the city, we decided a year ago not to go along with the
policy of isolation regarding the investigation group. In doing so we
chose to take on the debates about traitors, breaking down the squat
movement/constructing a new movement, and so forth, as well as the
connected ongoing conflicts and confrontations.« The two PVK members in
the squat group, Hendrik and Corrie, did engage in »agitation politics,
combined with a thick-headed arrogant attitude,« but »the discussions
were interesting and educational thanks to the very diverse opinions.«
»We decided on a thorough renovation and a new plan that would make
the First Aid more accessible for the neighborhood. We worked hard on
this for four months.« Other PVKers also came to help. 

Joris: »You know how that goes. The PVKers are there at 9:00 and the
other squatters come by and take a look at 2:00. So they've done
everything and feel pretty powerful and want to take things over.«
Stephan: »It gradually got to be a strange atmosphere with all those
PVKers doing the renovation.« There was more then just altruism behind
the helpfulness, as the Oosterpark squatters would begin to notice.

Joris: »After the traitors' brochure, their group must have thought,
the squat movement will die out by itself, we can't EEN VOET MEER
HIERTUSSEN KRIJGEN. So they just calmly started to build their own
little structures.« The group looked for select places, spread across
the city, out of which they could spin a network of their own meeting
places, neighborhood facilities and sources of financing. Stephan: »In
the Schinkel we'd always said we wouldn't go along with the movement's
policy that the people from the PVK were no longer wanted and in a
manner of speaking should be treated like fascists. We didn't want to
exclude anyone.« PVKers Sylvia and Teun were working in the sauna in
the Binnenpret in the Schinkel district on the basis of old
friendships. Stephan: »There were incidents about subsidy allotments
out of the profits from the sauna. Sylvia and Teun dominated the
decision-making. The coffee shop they were building, the BAK* in the
Staats, their squat archive and their publications were getting money,
and other things were getting nothing. There was also money going into
the First Aid renovation.« The PVK set about their construction of a
New Movement in the classic squatters' manner: they went to help build.
Ironically enough, they financed this with money which was taken from

The First Aid group published a leaflet which would be the first of a
series that would far surpass the two preceding waves of publications
about the investigation group. It says, »Discussions about the content
of the new program were being put on the back burner. First we'd
finish the renovation. Only right before the planned opening on
September 17th did the two from the investigation group make their
political line so obvious that further cooperation with them was
impossible. Three women had taken the initiative of setting up a
women's night. There were already twelve women from the neighborhood
who wanted to work on this. And this was the point from which the split
followed. The two from the investigation group were against groups like
immigrants, women, blacks, dykes and queers, and so forth,
»minorities,« having discussions, developing, organizing. »The PVK
confirms this in its »Announcement«: »It is sectarian when a
DEEL/margina/partisan struggle alienates itself from the whole of
social struggle.« The struggle against the more-than-just-living
activists, who had muddied the image of squatting, obligated the PVK to
reject all TOEVALLIG solidarities. Thus, for them, squatting became
the only true total struggle against »all forms of reformism,« as they
were typing the righties disguised as lefties this time.

But, continued the PVK's paper, »the way the women's night was launched
makes it clear that in reality there were other motives involved. It
turned out to have been planned for weeks already and deliberately kept
from the PVK. Reason enough not to approve it. The meeting fell apart
without arriving at a solution.« The First Aid leaflet described the
end of the meeting as a »veto. They said 'we're against it, so we say
it can't happen, and it won't. They forbade it!« The Black was more
specific: »Hendrik says now it's a fight to the finish. This will
manifest itself first of all in locks being glued shut and shit being
thrown through the mailboxes of others from the First Aid group.«

The next day, the six supporters of the women's night decided to call
off the opening planned for Saturday, »because we didn't want a big
fight in the middle of the neighbors we'd invited.« The PVK: »That day
it turns out the six don't show up to work and the first tendentious
leaflet is distributed in the city. It spreads the lie that the opening
has been called off. At this, the group that did keep working decided
to replace the lock as a precaution against other forms of sabotage.
The opening went as planned.« The bar was brightened up for the
occasion with some traitors' posters and brochures, and a »door
policy« was enforced. First Aid commentary: »Could this mean that the
investigation group wants to use the First Aid as one of its branches?«

According to reports, two days before the last First Aid meeting, Hein
was heard saying to Hendrik, »The First Aid is on the same wavelength
now as the Binnenpret sauna, the Crowbar and the BAK. Now the First Aid
bears the stamp of the investigation group too.« This statement
instantly became famous and got a lot of people thinking. Stephan: »One
day a guy from the east side came by the Binnenpret coffee shop and
said things were going to get heavy and the PVK wouldn't give back the
bar without a fight. At that, the people in the Schinkel area sided
with the First Aiders, because there were good ties from way back
between the two squat groups, both being very small and having the same
attitude. Even more importantly, they had recently found out by
accident that the sauna, which was to become a foundation, was going to
be registered under Hein and Sylvia's names behind everyone's backs,
despite all agreements, motivated by the fact that Hein knew so much
about tax-dodging.« They had just managed to foil the plan.

The First Aid group went by the various squat neighborhoods during the
next few weeks to explain the situation and devise a counterplan. It
was agreed that if the Oosterpark district could solve its problems
itself, more power to it. But if the whole PVK got mixed up in things,
it would be considered city business and the city would react
accordingly. On Saturday, October 1st, Piet, Hendrik and a third PVKer
went to see a woman from the First Aid group and threatened that,
should anyone lay a finger on the building, they would get her and
several others as well. The PVK had now made it more than just a
neighborhood squabble, and it was up to the city to act. They
thoroughly prepared for the resquat. On Thursday the 6th it was time.

Harry: »After putting a new lock on the bar door early that morning,
we brought in barricading materials and screwed bedsprings behind the
window. Then we put a leaflet in Hendrik's mailbox saying it was
resquatted. Then we abandoned the First Aid.« The leaflet rewrote
prehistory starting from the debate over women's night and referred to
the PVK's »unwelcome intimidation«, concluding, »we expect that all
this won't go unnoticed by the investigation group.« Harry: »A few
people were waiting in the flat upstairs for what was going to happen
and the rest gathered at a squat nearby. And another group was waiting
in Frontline-Slagerzicht, the leftist bookstore by the Albert Cuyp

The Black: »A bit later some First Aid people run into Hendrik, who
yells that he's going to go get some more people.« Tanja was watching
it all from the flat above the bar with another Schinkel squatter and
some local people from the east side: »Gijs was the first PVKer to come
driving up. And then Hein. We called the group waiting nearby and gave
the alarm. Hein was shocked to see us sitting there. He yelled, 'Come
down here and I'll kick your ass.'« Seven people arrived on the scene
from the nearby squat and a crowd formed before the door. There was
shouting back and forth.

Harry: »I said, 'Hey Hein, I'm here to talk to you.' Hein goes, 'It's
too late for that. Are you part of the traitors' club now?' When I
went and stood against the door Hein yelled 'Stay away from my bar!' I
said, 'What business do you have in this neighborhood?' Hein goes, 'Go
take care of your own neighborhood!' Then he started to yank on me. We
restrained him. There were seven of us, four from the Schinkel and
three from the Oosterpark. When we let him go he attacked again, so we
grabbed him again. We didn't hit him or anything. Then he went and
watched across the street. Right then the people from Frontline came
walking up. We opened the door to go in. Then Hein stormed forward and
sprayed tear gas in our faces. Then he got a few whacks. Then we went
inside. It stank worse in there than outside, because Hein had already
sprayed tear gas through the mail slot.« 

Tanja: »Neighbors must have called the police. Hein was waiting at a
distance. He had a bloody lip. The neighbors pointed him out and he was
arrested for illegal possession of a weapon, but none of us wanted to
file charges. They let him go a couple of blocks away. Then he must
have gone back to the BAK.« In the PVK version Hein was »handed over
to the police after a wrestling match of 20 to 1.« After this a
city-wide alarm call was made.

Stephan: »Hein's not stupid. He knows too that if he tries three times
to get in, he might get a punch in the face, maybe more. The PVK was
supposed to get together that night at Piet's house, but what does Hein
do? He takes things into his own hands and comes back with a bloody
lip. The reason Hein reacts so intensely is to motivate his group, he
knows how to fan the flames. Then he can say he was attacked by 20
people, without mentioning that he busted in there three times and used
CS gas.«

The PVK gathered at several points in the Staats and Oosterpark
districts and left by car for Frontline-Slagerzicht. In all conflicts,
the PVK followed the strategy of the »SPASS GUERILLA«: think of what
your adversary would hate the most and do it twice as bad. They
achieved a climax with this in the cover photo of Pearls before Swine:
shooting down traitors in a primeval Dutch landscape. This strategy was
now being employed in street confrontations. Slagerzicht Bookstore
wrote in its newsletter, »Right before closing time we were 'treated'
to a short but heavy attack. Within minutes the group managed to
transform the building into a huge wreck. People armed with clubs
pulled down bookcases, windows were smashed, a typewriter, radios,
telephone and a copy machine were demolished. They didn't even forget
the kitchen: the stove, refrigerators and a coffee machine had to pay
too.« Six PVKers caused more than fl 10,000 worth of damage. A chance
visitor recognized Hein: »But Hein, what are you doing?« Hein: »They
stole my bar!« The four workers were threatened, one got a broken arm
from PVKer Arnold at the door and was taken to the hospital.

The PVK afterwards: »The main people behind 'frontline' have always
played a leading role in the agitation against the PVK. In other
countries too, in particular, 'frontline' deliberately frustrates our
contacts.« The later »STELLINGEN OVER Crazy Thursday« indicated that
the PVK had broken an accepted behavioral code: »That the Investigation
Group has gone so far means that from now on they have obviously
declared war on the entire city and are also dragging persons and
organizations who were not directly involved into the hostilities.«

The First Aid received news of the vandalism by phone and a few people
left to inspect the damage. 40 people stayed behind in the bar,
including Staatslieden squatters who had come in response to the alarm
call. Harry: »The attack on Frontline was presumably a diversionary
tactic. They must have thought we'd all respond to that in a herd. That
didn't happen.« Half an hour later the bell rang; it was Arnold, who
was not well-known in the city. The door was opened and three of the
PVK group, which had grown to thirteen, stormed inside. »They came to
throw us all out of the place. Piet jumps on the table and yells,
'everyone leave.' Panic broke out and everyone backed away. But just
before that the helmets and clubs had arrived from the squat bar
downtown. So we picked them up. People were throwing beer bottles,
chairs and everything that wasn't nailed down and hitting with the
clubs. The group were outside faster than they'd come in.«

The Black: »When the investigation group arrived at the First Aid, two
people were standing in front of the door. One of the two gets clubbed
in the head and the other tear gas in the face. The second walks away
to get over the tear gas. A bit later the investigation group walks
back and runs into him. At this the whole group jumps on him. Hein
shouts, 'Hit him in the knees,' and does. But then Piet says, 'We can
use him better if we take him with us.' At this he is dragged along to
Hendrik's place. There they sit him down on the couch. First he is
frisked, to check for weapons, as they say. Keys and papers are taken
off him. Piet says, 'You're such an asshole not to have any weapons.
Aren't you ready to fight?' Then the interrogation begins. Piet takes
charge and places a sheet of paper in front of him: 'Now you're going
to write down names. You have no rights at all here. You have to
cooperate. We want the names of people who helped with the resquat.' He
names several names, but they already know those. He says he doesn't
know any more names, since he's only a minor figure in the squat
movement. Then Piet takes a blue machine with two (pens) sticking out
and says, 'Now tell us everything you know, or you'll get the death
blow.' Then they ask how the resquat had been set up. One by one he
has to tell them what his keys are to. Then Piet says, 'Now go tell
your friends in the First Aid how awful it was,' and orders him to
dissociate himself from everything else, or they'll come to his house
and beat his face in. If he withdraws the chance that his house will be
spared is still minimal, because this is war.« The PVK version: »We
took one of our enemies. Under no pressure to speak of, he gave us
useful information.«

Joris: »In the Staats we didn't know so much about the First Aid
situation. We were surprised that a neighborhood so unfamiliar to us
was standing up against the investigation group, but that was it. Then
Frontline was attacked, and we really didn't understand what that had
to do with it. We got a phone call, 'neighborhood meeting at 8:30 in
Wicca.' That was our meeting place. We get there and find out someone
from the Staats was attacked in our own neighborhood by five people.
They said he'd been sighted at the First Aid. The people from the
investigation group beat him up and he started yelling. When someone
else came they walked off. They said, 'We got one, there are four left
on our list.' For us that was the limit. At the meeting in Wicca we
decided to attack the BAK. We went to the city, they had their
meetings at 11:30 in the First Aid, and announced our decision: 'We're
going to do it in any case; if anyone wants to come...but if no one
comes we'll still do it.' A group stayed behind in the east to take
Hendrik's place apart. His windows were broken and the interior and
his car were completely smashed to smithereens. The rest, about 50
people, came to the Staats.«

Douwe: »I was with them. We assembled first in Wicca. It was really a
mess there, drunk people at the bar were getting involved, but didn't
feel like helping out. So people were constantly yelling, 'Just shut
up!' A very chaotic situation. About 2:00 we left.« Joris: »We just
walked down the street to the BAK, some with balaclavas, some without,
and bashed in the windows there. We did want to start a confrontation,
but no one was there. The bar was pulled apart, crack, crack, crack,
took out the carrier bike and left, back to Wicca. Feelings were
already getting nice and heated. People wanted to get Hein too, and
Piet, break their windows. So without it being announced people went
there, just casually down the street, sort of strolling over there.
Hein happened to be standing on the corner, he'd stayed home. 60 people
came walking around the corner and he just stood there. 'Jesus, it's
Hein.' 'Oh, is that him?' So few people knew him. Four people went for
him, kind of hitting him and throwing sticks, no one really dared to
try anything with Hein. Someone did light into him and ended up with a
concussion. People broke his windows. He was yelling, 'alarm, alarm,'
really loud. The rest of his group was at the BAK checking the damage,
and now came running back, helmets on, wham.«
Douwe: »It scared everyone that the atmosphere was so aggressive.
Rocks were thrown back and forth. The police had gotten there by then,
but they stayed out of it. Finally we backed off and went back to
Wicca. A few people were very upset, it was just very badly organized,
some were already quite confused and didn't know what to do.« Joris:
»That kind of thing creates an impression of absolute power. 60 people
attack one guy and he beats them off. By himself. Hein beat off that
disjointed group that came running up. They thought, now we can take
over the control, just keep pushing a bit further and use terror. With
the idea 'we've been done an injustice.'« The PVK ended its
announcement about Crazy Thursday with the battle cry, »We have
nothing to lose. We are prepared to go to the extreme.« A flyer was
attached with the text, »Through a specific action campaign, the PVK
will exact the following demands: 1. The outrageous occupation of the
political neighborhood bar 'The First Aid' must be ended immediately.
The space must be returned to the original users; 2. All material
damage caused by the occupiers must be compensated for; this means that
before the occupation is discontinued all residences, rooms, cars must
be restored, by means of the sum of money which the aggressors and
their followers have collected; 3. After compliance, voluntary or not,
with the abovementioned items, they must break off hostilities; only
then will we proceed to the order of the day!«

A year earlier, after a series of incidents lasting years, a definitive
schism had arisen in the Staatslieden district. On one side was the
»living cooperative« around Hein and Piet, who were also the central
figures of the investigation group. On the other side there was the new
»squat group.« Cause for the split: the relocation of the squat
consultation hour from the Sewer Rat bar to the new women's squat
Wicca. Ernst: »At the meeting about it 95% of the people who were
active unanimously agreed that we should go to Wicca. A new squat, we
can work on it and it can last for years, we'll just do it this way.
Halfway through Hein comes in and proves himself capable of completely
fucking up the discussion. He wanted to start a consultation hour in
the old VERZETGEBOUWTJE and said, 'I'll sabotage this relocation and
ensure that it'll be successful there.'« With that, both groups decided
to work parallel and fully autonomously.

Ernst: »At first that was a real impediment. Certainly it's very
difficult to explain to the outside why you have two consultation
hours. After something like that it's doomed to fail. Then they handed
the building over to the people in between*. They actually already
didn't want to work with us anymore, but there was no formal split

Joris: »Then they started their paper Staatsnieuws. The first four,
five, six issues went OK, just info on this and that. Some still worked
on that. Then they brought the traitor stuff into it. People didn't
want that, they sent the magazine back. But it worked in spite of that,
because they sold it to people who were a bit doubtful with 'We don't
mean any of this badly; we want to shake things awake, provoke a
little, then at least something will get going.' So whole debates came
up over a couple of flyers. They wrote that the consultation hour was
shitty, but they still wanted to come make copies at Wicca. We
wouldn't let them. If you want to destroy the movement we're not going
to give you the facilities to realize it. For me that was the incident
that made the separation complete.«
Then painstaking negotiations began over the division of joint
property. Ernst: »We said, let's divide up the carrier bikes, stencil
machine and that kind of shit. It was impossible to talk to them about
that. Their answer was, if you guys want to secede that's fine with
us, we're keeping our stuff. They didn't want to give up the finances,
which they were managing, either. Then the squat group formed out of
Wicca. Really we should have shared it, but we got nothing. But we
didn't want an outright war: 'Let's keep the dirty laundry inside,
they can have it their way. We'll start a new action fund and we won't
bullshit any more about it.'« Joris: »Everyone knew how hard those guys
were, people were sort of wary of them, partly because everyone's so
close together. And no confrontation was necessary; there was a
solution, that separation, you guys here, us there. With unwritten
rules; you didn't come to each other's meetings, you stayed out of
each other's squats, did your own thing, we even still said hello to
each other.« Ernst: »Here in the squats it was really a small-town
solution. We also became isolated from the city, we were still
identified for a large part with the cooperative, and those people
didn't know we had nothing whatsoever to do with the PVK. We just
hadn't started a war.«

Joris: »A group from Wicca was spotted in the First Aid. When they saw
them something must have clicked - forget the First Aid, we're going to
concentrate on the Staats.« An article from the Staats describes the
local situation: »Some people wondered if the incidents at the First
Aid and Frontline constituted a neighborhood problem, so that we only
had to talk about that person who got beat up by four people. People
thought it was just a small incident. The next day, Friday, several
neighborhood residents were again stopped, pushed into doorways and
threatened. They were given to understand: 1. First Aid back; 2. fl
5,000 damages; 3. Carrier bike back. Especially the first demand made
it clear that the incidents in the area did indeed have to do with what
was happening elsewhere in the city. That night five people were
attacked, sprayed with tear gas and took a few punches.« The
neighborhood meeting decides to ignore the PVK ultimatum: »Reasons for
this: First Aid is not the Staatslieden districts squat group's first
concern. fl 5,000 glass damages is idiotic. Besides, the BAK is rented
and therefore has glass insurance through the housing association. We
don't know where the carrier bike is.« 

Joris: »In the Staats the prevalent idea was that nothing could be
expected of the city. They do something and we take the shit. I was
scared to death that if something happened, the PVK would feel so
justified - and they're really militant - that people would get killed.
There was a city-wide meeting all day Sunday, people who were ready to
go beat the shit out of the group. After endless talking we postponed
it. We also decided that we wouldn't do anything until we were ready
for it.« 

He continued, »Then we had two days of rest. Doorbells and knocking,
nothing more. Tuesday one of us was walking down the street and was
going to go in someone's house. Suddenly Hein started hitting him and
kicked him outside: 'I'll beat the shit out of you till there's nothing
left.' Door shut, done. Then he went back outside and sprayed tear gas
in Hein's face.« 

The stenciled STELLINGEN on Crazy Thursday affirmed, »Hein will be
going over the limit if he attacks the guy a second time. The meaning
of that is that absolutely no one involved can be sure any longer of
their safety, even if Hein and others have already got hold of them.«
These words betrayed an across-the-board by-the-book justice
principle: anyone who contributed to the demolition of the BAK could
expect a punch in the mouth. Then the score would be settled. Yet the
PVK did not stop. This was the final straw: »The PVK has taken
responsibility for a great deal of the violence. This is not only as a
'logical' angry reaction to the taking back of the First Aid, but as a
systematic policy.« The PVK took the Staatslieden district first as
territory for its intimidations. Arthur: »That Wednesday I was walking
out the door at 12:30 a.m. I see them standing there and think, they're
waiting for me. Hein comes walking towards me, white-faced. I turn
around and walk calmly home. He grabs me from behind and gives me a few
wallops right in my face. I tumble over backwards and start cursing -
'Asshole, who do you think you are!' He grabs me again, pushes me into
the doorway and keeps bashing. Piet comes up and says, 'Hein, stop,
this was the first time, for the window. You'll give us fl 500 and
we'll be back.' Then I stood up and got whacked again. I went out. A
bunch of people were standing around; they were being very overt about
it. Suddenly Hein took a swing at someone else, right in his face, and
said, 'This is for Wicca as a meeting point, you're responsible for
that.' I had a bump the size of an egg on my forehead, two black eyes
and a split lip. I went inside as Hein was yelling, 'Your house will
pay for this,' referring to Hendrik's house.«

Joris: »They had a list of 30 people they wanted fl 500 from, or
they'd take some punches, they'd be treated as accessories. One time
they forced their way into someone's house and robbed him of his
passport and the keys to his carrier bike that was outside the door.
They appraised the bike at fl 400, so he still had to pay fl 100 or he
wouldn't get his passport back. And he gave them the money.« Ernst:
»And they were always tearing through the neighborhood in their cars.
They went and stood outside the door of Wicca and shone a spotlight in
that was mounted on the car roof. The threat of attack was hanging over
Wicca, but they didn't barricade the building. Nobody barricaded. We
thought, if they come tear the place down here we'll rebuild it. They
also barged into the Blue Thumb tool rental in balaclavas with 
walkie-talkies. Hein had once arranged funding for it, so the Blue 
Thumb was theirs. The conflict had already made it there, and they 
didn't want to rent them any more tools, so they just came and stole it.« 

Joris: »They were always walking around on the streets with walkie-talkies
for keeping in touch with each other. That looks intimidating.
A guy that had hit Hein on the head on Crazy Thursday and ended up with
a concussion himself was on the list to be fucked up. One day he's
walking down the street, just coming back from the Chinese place, looks
back and sees Hein coming up behind him with a stick, and ten more
people behind him. They thought he'd messed with their cars, flattened
the tires or something. He runs into a snack bar, jumps over the
counter. They didn't dare to go any further and backed off, saying
'We'll get you.' He rushed home with the whole group behind him. The
first thing his girlfriend says when he comes running in is 'You forgot
the prawn crackers.' She goes in the kitchen and comes out the front
door with two big knives. 'If you mess with him you're messing with me
so get out of here.' Then they slunk off.«

Ernst: »After ten days it stopped. A peace group was started at the
squatters' bar the Crowbar and they wanted to mediate. They took the
communication between the two group upon themselves. The way it went
was, the PVK would deliver an ultimatum, and then we talked about it.
Our position was, if you guys don't attack us, we won't attack you, and
we'll stay away from each other's property. That led to a sort of
cease-fire, although the threat was still there. It was a diplomatic
way of putting them in check and taking them out of the game and it
worked. They came up with the idea that the Staats should be a
demilitarized zone, that there would be no gatherings in the Staats for
actions against the PVK. We would avoid each other's streets.« The
squatters' bar Crowbar had published a Statement in which they said
that, though everyone wanted to isolate the PVK, they would maintain
their open-door policy, and that the difference of opinion over First
Aid policy among the original group of rebuilders needed to be
resolved. The bar group at the Crowbar included some PVKers, and its
neutrality was thus somewhat unconvincing. A Wicca leaflet on »the
enterprise of the doves« countered, »That this needs to be talked about
does not mean there must be negotiations. At present it is impossible
to discuss redress or reparations.« Ernst: »The city was very
suspicious of those indirect negotiations. The city thought the Crowbar
should renounce the PVK, but they didn't want to. They were seen as a
nonviolent division of the PVK, except by us.« 

Meanwhile, the City Conference of Squatters sent out a letter to all
kinds of community centers and groups and the city conference of such
bodies where PVKers work, requesting that they »bar the so-called
'investigation group' out of welfare work.« They intended to stop the
group using »all kinds of donation pots and facilities in various
centers.« Ernst: »The isolation strategy started to work well. They
were expelled from everywhere else in the city that they still
belonged to. We heard from the peace group that this was one of the
things that bugged them the most. They didn't want money anymore, just
for the isolation to be discontinued. They were going to write an
article on what they stood for, but they never did. They never worked
that out among themselves.« The article had been demanded by Wicca in
the case that they still expected money: »After all, we don't subsidize
everyone and their dog.« A request had to be accompanied by a proper

After peace had returned to the Staats, the PVK moved its activities to
other neighborhoods. Since Crazy Thursday the First Aid had been
constantly guarded by a group of people and it was reopened for the
second time on Tuesday, October 18th. Four days a week there was a
program from 11:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m. plus a women's day. The guard
team was dissolved. There were only minor incidents: »The lock at
First Aid is glued shut a few times during the night, and people's
doors are pounded on and their locks messed with.« These actions were
ascribed to the »Politieke Verpeste Kleuters,« or the Politically
Fucked-up Toddlers. The window of squatters' bar The Hard Core in the
Kinker district was smashed to smithereens for the first time. PVK
cars were sighted all over the city. Only in the Schinkel district did
the group keep itself under control, since Sylvia and Teun had created
a deadlock in the debates, already dragging on for months, about their
involvement with the sauna and the PVK, which kept them from »leaving
voluntarily« for a while. 

One night Rudie woke up in his canal house: »I heard fumbling around
downstairs, thumping on the ground. They were breaking the lock
fastening the carrier bike to the house. It didn't take them long. Two
guys, bundled up against any avalanches that might come from the house.
They walked off with the bike. I thought, we'll get that bike back. I
got dressed and went after them on my bike, but those two were nowhere
to be found. Eventually I saw the bike here around the corner lying in
the water, one side sticking out. They couldn't get away with it very
easily because there was a very good lock on the back wheel. That was
in the middle of the carrier bike war.«

On Saturday, October 22nd, in an interview in the local weekend
supplement of a daily newspaper, Hein gave an analysis of the motives
of »the new guard of activists« with whom he was at loggerheads.
»Neighborhood-unfriendly, ego tripping, a little fun activism for the
sake of the action. Out from other mother's wing and don't give a shit
about anything and anybody. What good are they? Setting tires on fire
in the street in the middle of the night. For nothing! Their squats
look bad. So do they, sometimes. Action? Yeah, putting on clean
underwear once every two weeks.«

Yet slowly but surely the tide began to turn. The Wicca group's delay
tactics had taken the steam out of the events. Joris: »They had 15
people and the city had 300 and we knew where they lived. They were
within range. Some must have recoiled from the methods and thought, if
we keep doing this we'll go under for it. Meanwhile, a poster was made
to inform the neighborhoods, the news poster 'Investigation group
under the magnifying glass' with a pretty unclear text. It was meant as
information, but worked as provocation. They also had to answer to the
canary posters.« These were 8 1/2« by 11« posters featuring a short
dialogue between Hein and Piet. 
»P: So, one less traitor.
H: What are you doing?
P: You can see that.
H: But that was my canary.
P: It was* your canary.
H: Why, tell me, why did she have to die? 
P: Those things are dangerous, man. They see everything, they hear
everything, they chirp everything out.
H: Hmm, you've got a point there. 
P: So now we're going to stamp out all pigeons in the neighborhood. 
H: Why do that?
P: They fly around with notes, didn't you know that?«
Another poster: »H: Do you think we're still the boss everywhere?
P: Of course.
H: But nobody obeys us anymore.
P: Oh no? Just yesterday I went to the greengrocer's.
H: Wow, intense.
P: And I said, over here with that head of lettuce.
H: You've got guts.
P: And he obeyed my orders. 
H: Really?
P: Well, I did have to pay three guilders, but that's* OK, you have to
make some sacrifices if you want to be the boss.«

Joris: »Those posters helped a lot in the Staats.«

Friday, October 28th, was the second women's day after the reopening of
the First Aid. The next night the PVK paid a visit to the
establishment. They opened all the beer bottles and poured them out
over the floor, the chairs were destroyed, all the posters torn from
the wall, all electricity and water lines cut, the drainpipe smashed to
bits, the money taken, the toilet poured full of cement and a booby
trap with tear gas affixed to the toilet door. A leaflet from the First
Aid group: »During our 'redecorating' over the next weekend they came
back twice to destroy the front window and among other things to rip
the front door out and take it away.« Windows were smashed that weekend
at people's houses and the Hard Core. On the broken glass they 
spray-painted, »Hi from the PVK - See you soon.«

»It was getting more and more clear to us that they definitely weren't
going to stop the violence by themselves,« wrote the SOK. Douwe: »There
was a big city-wide. There was a lot of talk about violence. The crazy
thing was that half were already in that spiral of violence and were
waiting for the moment when they could deal them a definitive blow. A
lot of new people thought that violence would only make things worse. I
walked out. The people who did want to do something decided to go
further. At a preliminary meeting they arranged what to do, against who
and what the objects were.« The final battle was approaching.

Then it was Monday, October 31st. Ernst: »The magnifying glass posters
had been printed. They were to be posted the next day. We met at Wicca.
We had agreed that no violent actions would be done from there, but
posters aren't violent, so that was OK. There were 30 people on the
posting team. The PVK noticed and followed along behind in cars. We
drove them away with stones. That was at about five in the afternoon.
The PVK were beside themselves because we were working out of Wicca.
The people from the Crowbar came running up - »This is war, it's all
over, people will be killed.« 

Then the PVK came out with the »Proposal for constructive HULPMIDDELEN
for achieving the desired result, i.e. 'peace',« a list of nine items
written the day before. Among other things, it said, »The hostilities
out of the Staatslieden district must be put to a stop. Houses and
activity spaces may no longer be gathering places from which hostile
actions are carried out. Confrontation can best be avoided by those
involved avoiding our streets to guarantee peace. The compensation must
be seriously considered.« The »Proposal« ended with, »It is no more
than logical to us that if no results are achieved in the short term,
we will pursue our defense campaign in the rest of the city, but it
will be focused in the Staatslieden district in particular.« Ernst:
»They gave us a deadline to sign all the items before 9:00 and return
them via the Crowbar. We wanted an extension, since we had to call a
neighborhood meeting. The neighborhood did want to do something because
that evening someone had been attacked at the Surinamese restaurant.
The PVKers started to goad him. Then he grabbed a little knife and
they beat it. The deadline was pushed back to 11:00. Several PVKers
were sitting in the Crowbar the whole time waiting for the reply; that
was no-man's land. Then it was moved back to 1:00.« The complete Staats
squat group was in conference all night long in Wicca.

The SOK leaflet reported, »They tore through the city for four weeks
and did much of their vandalism and threats from cars, which at the
same time protect them like a sort of steel armor. With an action
against their vehicles we will deprive them at any rate of their
mobility, speed and a suit of armor.« Douwe: »We met beforehand in the
Jordaan area, near the Staats. A group went to the river to mess up
Arnold's car and several group members' windows were broken. We split
into two car groups, two door groups and a standby group. 50 or 60 of
us got on our bikes. Everyone had a helmet and a balaclava, bundled up
in black, the majority had some kind of club, baseball bat, pieces of
wood, lead pipes, and of course that was completely inconspicuous too.
We left the bikes at the quay and walked. Major confusion because
nobody could find the group they belonged with. There was some yelling,
helmets went off to look. We went there in groups and right before the
houses we split up. Demolishing the three cars made a hellacious
racket. You could see the astonished faces of the neighbors.« A
neighbor: »This little punker's whaling away on a headlight, and a
woman yells from the balcony, 'You guys are fascists!' 'Us? No way,' he
answers and just keeps going...«

Joris: »About 1:00 someone comes into Wicca: 'Right this minute they're
smashing up the cars,' as we were sitting calmly behind our beers. It
obviously wasn't us.« 

Hein's and Piet's front doors, which opened inwards, were held shut and
when the roaring PVKers managed to pull them slightly open, the door
crew sprayed tear gas inside. Douwe: »Then the cars were so destroyed
that we figured we'd back off. When we were halfway down the street,
Hein stormed out of his house with a helmet and a bat. He was looking
for a fight. The whistle blew, and some people turned around and
started hitting back. Just a couple fought, the rest were onlookers.«
An eyewitness: »Hein came outside with a lance, a piece of wood with a
knife attached, three others behind. He's running by himself after that
group, with the idea, I'll chase them all away, just like last time.
Piet comes running, but turns right back around. The police got there
and asked, 'Everything under control, Piet?' 'Yeah, everything's under
control.'« The Crowbar group: »One of the four got a rock in his face,
another in a helmet gets a rock on the head and hits the ground, as
another of the four loses consciousness after being hit with a steel
bar in the back. The latter two are surrounded and kicked at by about
20 people. The other two from the PVK are kept at a distance from the
group by a rain of rocks.« An eyewitness: »Hein was beaten up,
Hendrik's helmet was broken in two. Then they were taken away to the
hospital. Piet probably came outside with a gun yelling, 'Someone's
going to get killed.' He was beat up in his doorway with a thud by
someone who was the only one to leave from Wicca.« The SOK: »The next
night we added the remaining cars to their automobile graveyard.«
Ernst: »And then it was over.«

The third round was provoked by the PVK, which considered itself a
complete crowd crystal. It described in its »Announcement« how after
the second round it had concluded »that it was irresponsible to
continue making up a part of this marginal subculture. We decided with
the small group that was really solidary with us to start over and turn
our backs on the mire which the movement had become.« They put this
resolution into practice, however, by trying to take over all existing
squat facilities. Stephan: »The PVK's glance had clearly fallen on
certain neighborhoods where the original squat structure could
redevelop, neighborhoods where social action was possible. You can go
into one of those with the idea to get it all back on its feet, but
you're ignoring the existing things and as far as that's concerned
these were not the most tactful people.« The plan to set up »bases« in
several neighborhoods was thwarted when two PVK members suddenly
forced the latent conflicts in the First Aid group to a head. Because
the PVK had reinterpreted squatting history so that they were the only
ones who had marshaled the »meatballs« from the very beginning into
»the squatting struggle«, they now assumed that what squatters there
were left wouldn't be capable of organizing themselves. This was also
because they themselves also were no longer involved in the structures
handed down from days of old and no longer had a view of what was
happening inside them. When »95%« proved quite capable of organizing
and resquatted the First Aid, »We were forced to depart from our
decision to build new structures separate from the remains of the old
movement.« This departure brought them back to the starting point of
the second round, when they had proclaimed the total demolition of the
squat movement and intended to put its abcesses »out of the fight«.

The method the PVK used after Crazy Thursday was identical to the
aftermath of the resquat of the Groote Keyser on November 1, 1980.
Then, too, it had been Hein with his hangers-on who had pressured
people to name those who had been involved, then too with ultimatums,
people who were put on lists to have the shit beat out of them,
detailed bills of losses to be paid. Then, too, three cars had driven
through the city past certain addresses, invaded houses and taken
people's stuff in compensation for the destruction of »his« Groote
Keyser. Then too: »a few punches in the jaw, a blow to his kidneys
knocking him down, a punch in his teeth, furious swearing matches.«
The resquatters had wanted to throw a party that night to celebrate the
end of the squat movement, of which the Keyser was the symbol. Then
Hein was the one who EROP LOS SLOEG in order to see to it that
squatting could go on. Eight years later, to his annoyance, he had to
observe that the squat movement was still going on, and he started a
»reign of terror« in order to finally put an end to it, so he and his
faithful followers could return to the way things had been before the
Groote Keyser, when it all had yet to begin.

This dogged adherence to one idea of squatting and the origin of
events, the hate for one enemy called the rightists disguised as
leftists, in combination with one rigid behavioral line with regard to
adversaries inside the circle, suggests that Hein and his group
constituted a crowd crystal with the historic durability mentioned by
Canetti. The fact that, after being isolated by the »city«, they did
begin expanding a structure of their own, evokes all the more the
image of a group which saw itself as a »starting point for crowds«*.
But they completely underestimated how strong a group's unity must be
if it is to defy the times. Their threats against the remains of the
movement got steadily worse, and they said of the near future, »The
methods used up to now are nothing compared to what we've got in
store.« This forced the squatters scattered through the neighborhoods
to reorganize again, which took a month, but was thoroughly

In the third round, the »city« took the behavioral line of the first
and second round, before they grasped the newness of the situation. In
the weeks before Crazy Thursday they tried once more to ignore the
investigation group, by assuming that the conflict at the First Aid
could remain a »neighborhood problem«. When the PVK fet obligated to
keep supporting the outrageously impolitic actions of two of its
members come hell or high water, it ended up in a FATALE REEKS which
became ruinous for it. The »city's« reaction to the mutual destruction
on Crazy Thursday, just as in the year before, was to isolate the
group. The PVK was now forced to do what until then it had only bragged
about: eliminate the new guard.

They did this by systematically transgressing every unspoken behavioral
code among squatters - tear gas, electroshocks, vandalizing squats
which had no role in the problems, and so on. From the humorous
strategy of the SPASSguerilla, they switched to the classical principle
of terror: making their outrages so unprecedentedly heinous that they
became almost unimaginable. They were thus able to arouse a fear which
was no longer rationally controllable, so that their victims became

This attempt to force the end of the squat movement out of their own
group as a rock-solid base went awry when the fear that had been
summoned by the terror reversed into an energy which unloaded on them.
This turning point was reached when the debilitating diplomacy of the
Staatslieden district intersected with the slow anger of the city
squatters. »They were shocked that such a military action could be
planned out of the city.« (Joris) After the last battle the
intimidations stopped for once and for all, and the crowd crystal was
smashed. The group had appointed itself to destroy every last fragment
of the squat movement, leaving the pure original core, which could
begin afresh in virgin neighborhoods. Its purging attempts were
successful, but it was they and not the other scenes who got chased
out of the movement for good. From then on, they were no longer a part
of it. When in September of the following year they published a new
document in attempt to incite »a feverish but short-lived revival of
anti-PVK activities,« it was regarded as a curiosity and nothing more.
Henceforth, the problem of those who still considered themselves PVKers
was how to survive in a time when you no longer existed.

On November 1st, 1988, the ZUIGGAT of the maelstrom was reached. With
the destruction of the crowd crystal the squat movement had forced its
own end. It could now disappear beneath the surface of history. At
last it had freed itself, with the necessary violence, from the
obligation to go on.


On November 19, 1989, shortly before 6:00 a.m., 200 people in black
stream from various assembly points toward two squats in the
Tesselschadestraat near the Leidseplein. On arriving they erect
barricades on both sides of the street and withdraw into the building.
The riot police advance with a bulldozer, but disappear again before
they can do much, because tires have been set on fire in the street in
another part of the city and need to be cleared away. On top of that,
when they get there, the Volkswagen of the cops patrolling the scene
catches fire behind their backs. Once the police are gone, a group
emerges from the house to embellish the barricades with beams, a
dumpster, tires, scaffolding pipes and three expensive cars. When the
bulldozer shows up again the whole mess is torched. When the fire dies
and the spectacle is over, everyone reassembles in the squat. Then the
police come in by way of the roof and give them safe conduct. The
complete group walks through the police cordon yelling in unison,
»GORBI! GORBI!« on the way to have coffee somewhere else.

The next day a poster is pasted up all over the city, bearing an
announcement which had hung on a banner between the barricades and been
extensively DOORGESTRAALD by the media. Against a background of the
circle with the broken arrow read the words: »We're back«.