Wednesday, September 22, 2010

[Am*dam] KSU-Centrum document from recent SOK

This is an internal document from the KSU-Centrum that is almost a year old now but was distributed at the recent SOK. It was asked for it to be placed online in order for people to further read and discuss.

*It would like to be pointed out that as an internal document, the end sloganeering is tongue in cheek and in joking hence the use of Dutch, German and English and "bigger tax rebates".

**Further context to the development of the document, related texts, etc. will follow in the comment section.

The KSU-Centrum views squatting potentially as a political activity. Housing is viewed in contemporary society as a commodity, another product to buy, sell, rent and ultimately to profit upon. However, housing is and remains a basic material need. By squatting we therefore challenge the pursuit of profit over people's needs.

As a KSU we facilitate the organisation of and carrying through of squatting actions. We see these actions as increasing the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self -activity of people and hopefully contributing to and assisting in their demystification.

The KSU is not a service provider but rather a group of individuals with experience both practical and theoretical. Visitors to the Kraak Spreek Uur aren't customers, so should not be treated in such a way. We want to help facilitate the self activity of persons or groups based around their own needs and desires. We are not trying to get them to 'buy' into squatting or subversive politics. We simply attempt to provide people with the means to create their own space and self organization.

We are not a pressure group and are not concerned with how capital/the economy/the market/the state should be managed to accommodate the struggles to impose those needs. We propose that people gain autonomy over their own living arrangements and take matters into their own hands, thus removing this form of control from the state.

We seek the control of communities by the people who live there as opposed to politicians, landlords, housing corporations, even figures claiming to act on such a community's behalf. We seek to retain the grassroots nature of squatting coupled with organising for the decentralization of society down to its roots.

Within Amsterdam the KSU-C fulfils a role in conjunction with a city wide association of Kraak Spreekuuren. Through mutual aid and solidarity we assist in the sharing of ideas, knowledge and practical support.

Kein Hauswirt, Kein statt, Kein mietvertrag

Geen huisbaas, geen staat, geen huur contract

No landlord, no state, bigger tax rebates

- E-Mail:

The KSU-Centrum views housing as a class issue. Unable to find a current or even recent analysis of the Dutch Housing situation from an anarchist or libertarian communist perspective, we looked at Aufheben's The Housing Question for inspiration. While specifically British, we find some affinity with the following quotes:

"For the vast majority of people living in a capitalist society housing is an ever-present concern. Finding somewhere to live, finding the money to pay the rent or to keep up the mortgage repayments, negotiating contractual obligations with landlords or mortgage lenders, solicitors and estate agents, are all familiar and recurrent problems. Yet housing is not merely a basic necessity, it also provides an important reference point through which we come to exist in capitalist society. Where we live, what type of housing we have, what type of tenure we hold, all condition who we are, what we are seen to be and the environment in which we are able to live our lives. As such housing is a major material determinant of our social being."

"However, the very ubiquity of housing in our everyday lives has often meant that the political and social importance of housing is overlooked by those interested in the social question. Yet, as one of the central elements in the reproduction of labour power, housing is above all a class issue."

"Conflicting interests in the provision of housing have meant that housing has often been an important site of class conflict and social struggle."

In terms of our organisation, in terms of squatting actions and whatever else we are involved in we try to push that group in the direction of direct democracy and full participation by all involved.

Taking from Solidarity's 'As We See It/Don't See It', we feel that "Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self -activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification. Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and the degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others - even by those allegedly acting on their behalf."

Through a lot of internal discussion and debate around service provision, certain parts were included in this document. We'd like to see that debate spread out into the wider movement.

These same debates can be seen to be taking part with other "Direct Action Casework" groups such as Seattle Solidarity Network ( ), London Coalition Against Poverty ( ) and Ontario Coalition Against Poverty ( ).

Some online discussion and debate here:
SeaSol & Service Provision -,7319.msg74324.html
"Direct action casework" groups -

It should also be further pointed out that the KSU-C isn't opposed to making demands and have discussed and debated reforms considerably. We do however differentiate between leftist demands and those which stress the concrete needs of the working class. We see the latter as ones which we should concern ourselves with.

Discussion and debate here:
The politics of affirmation... or the politics of negation? -
From mobilisation to 'massification' -

In terms of our final paragraphs, it should be pointed out that we've taken alot of influence from the Community and 'Social Wage' Struggles section of the Anarchist Federation UK's "Introduction to Anarchist Communism".

Further to this, we would like to include a definition of Direct Action as "Action taken independently by the working class in struggle rather than appealing to the power of politicians, bureaucrats, and employers."

As well we would like to point out that while there is an ethical aspect to the concept of solidarity we don't view it as a moral imperative but more a practical one, support and solidarity are of mutual benefit and only work and are effective as such.

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