Police clear Utrecht’s water tower. Again
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Almost exactly a year after squatters invaded the water tower on the Amsterdamsestraatweg, the tower was again the scene of police action this afternoon as a special police unit entered and cleared the water tower tonight. Four squatters were arrested.
It is not clear how long some of the squatters had been staying in the tower as some of the squatters had only been there since this afternoon, some were still out side when the police action took place. The police entered the tower at the beginning of the evening and sawed through the door lock.
It appears that most of the squatters come from abroad. The squatters called out slogans to the police as they were arrested.
Chris Visser, the owner of the water tower, was also present: he doesn’t understand it, as the tower is uninhabitable in his opinion. The squatters of course would beg to differ. His biggest concern seems to be the cost of clearing the squatters each time, with the public having to find over 30,000 euros in police costs each time.
Visser says that the plans for the tower are in the hands of the municipality and when these plans will become definite he does not know.
Visser was prepared for the police raid. When the locks were cut through by the police, he replaced them with a number of new locks.
Politie Utrecht @PolitieUtrecht tweeted
“… the police arrested 4 people for trespassing. The technical unit supported the opening of the building so that agents could enter the tower. All this went smoothly.”
The clearance of the squatters has become a spectator event with some students sitting on chairs outside for the afternoon and waiting patiently for events to unfold. They were quite happy to watch and hoped it would be fun, just like it was the last time. how long before they can attend the next event we wonder?
Jorian, a spokesman for the squatters, said that they wanted to demonstrate against the government’s anti-squatting legislation. He noted that the tower had been empty since 1986 and that though the owner had promised that something would be done, nothing has happened.
What do you think?
Should there be more social housing in Utrecht?
Should squatters be allowed to take over disused buildings?
What harm do squatters actually do to society?
Let us know, get engaged in the conversation.