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By Lynn Owens

Such a lot educational experiences have targeted nearly completely at the emergence of social activities, paying much less realization to their declines. yet as each activist understands, decline is a crucial and very important interval for any mobilization. This quantity broadens and enriches social circulation concept via a detailed research of the destiny of the squatters’ stream in Amsterdam, which emerged within the past due Seventies as a reaction to the housing scarcity of the Sixties, finally peaking within the early Nineteen Eighties earlier than falling right into a interval of lengthy decline. writer Lynn Owens explores this decline, concentrating on the subjective event of the squatters and the tradition of decline at huge.

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Extra info for Cracking Under Pressure: Narrating the Decline of the Amsterdam Squatters' Movement (Solidarity and Identity)

Sample text

Third, the housing seeker must also fall into one of the accepted demographic demarcations, such as single person or family – large collectives, for instance, need not apply. For many young people looking for a place to live, these conditions were intolerable. When asked why she initially squatted, Paulien Hilhorst saw herself as having the same motivations as countless others. “There were so many people who had no home. It’s a simple story: housing shortage” (De Stad 1996). Jonneke, for example, was simply unable to find adequate housing through traditional methods, and was drawn to squatting despite her limited knowledge of what it would entail.

The collective wanted to do more than just raise the issue of the housing shortage, they wanted to do something about it. Some people were already squatting houses for shelter. But individuals were often ill equipped to successfully occupy houses and turn them into homes. The WdK organized networks of people interested in helping. Duivenvoorden identifies the rise of WdK as the first sign that squatting was moving from individual responses to a social problem towards a social movement (2000, 24).

Squatting had become a means for creating a better world, for building alternative institutions within society. It is not surprising then that the Nieuwmarkt squatters reacted to the news of the beginning of construction of the metro line at the end of 1974 with a sense of panic and anger. This was no longer just about the metro; it was now about their homes and their community. The stage was set for the first large-scale confrontation between squatters and the police. It would be far from the last.

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