Friday, April 3, 2015

Vrijplaats de Vloek moet blijven!

Autonomous centre the Vloek, located at Scheveningen harbour is put on trial to defend herself against a bizarre evictionorder from the Hague city council.

The Vloek is located at the Hellingweg in Scheveningen harbour for more than 5 years and has developed itself into one of the biggest social-cultural autonomous places in the Netherlands. The former factory hall is turned into working space en ateliers, there are rehearsal rooms for bands and theatre, there is a popular vegan eetcafe (Water & Bread), a great music-, film- and theatre hall (the Piratebar), there is living space and a place for a youth sailing school. There are 15 paid jobs and a lot of active volunteers, hundreds of people visiting every week and a lot of money and energy is spend by maintaining the building and creating these spaces. All of this is under threat because the city council has rented the place to Stichting Topsailing, who wants to use the building for winter storage for boats.

The founders of Stichting Topsailing are two real estate developers who want to secure their interests in the -future development of the- harbour. These company's are Fortis Vastgoed Ontwikkeling N.V. and Malherbe de Juvigny Vastgoed B.V. Which already have a big interest in the harbour by the -partly empty- Nautical Centre and a plan for the whole 'Norfolk area'.

It is idiotic that the city council doesn't respect the interest of the Vloek as an independent cultural place. The Vloek got an agreement from the same council that it could stay as long the building wouldn't be demolished. It is a harsh violation of that agreement that they want to temporally rent the building. In talks with the council the users of the Vloek were willing to talk about initiatives concerning water sports. These talks are ended by the council, as also the talks about alternative housing.

Once again the broedplaatsenbeleid of the city is a hollow phrase; the mayor & aldermen are proud of 'their' Creative City and say they want to stimulate these cultural spaces, but only by words. In the real world they try to do everything to oppress the alternative & cultural scene of the Hague, every time they block their movement and kick em on the street.

The conclusion that the city council prevails boat storage above a active social-cultural centre is clear. The hidden agenda of responsible wethouder Norder (PVDA) is even worse; the interests of big real estate companies are more important. Scheveningen harbour is next in-line to get sold on the back of the people who live and work there. Again social and independent initiatives are put aside. Concerning the Vloek, were not gonna take it! We call upon everyone to support us in the coming battle!

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