Geert Lovink on Mon, 23 Jun 1997 16:44:25 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> euro protests - last report part II

Last report from Amsterdam, part II  

   There was another "jubilee", a demonstration to 'thank' mayor Patijn
   and his staff for the wonderful time he and his city gave to
   demonstrators. We also thanked the police for being so kind to us. A
   100 people were present. Not a lot happened. Many plain clothes
   police looking for people.
   The funny thing was, when it all started near the Mayor's house, it
   looked like the police would try to fuck up this demo as well. But, a
   neighbour, living on the fourth floor of a house on the canal put his
   loudspeakers in the window and played very pleasing opera music.
   Total de-escalation, although the cops still kept looking for people,
   we don't know if any arrest were made.
   As far as we know, no arrests.
   There's loads of people being released tonight. Most of them were
   arrested at the "Jubilee" last night, or at the punk-riot, either NN
   or not. Surprisingly enough people from abroad start reappearing. One
   person was arrested Sundaynight, and was extradicted to Germany, but
   because he had no papers he was sent back to Holland: he had been
   accused of article 140.
   But, no Dutch or NN's that were arrested Sunday night have been
   released. There's still a lot of people that were arrested on
   Saturday (demo against poverty). They're from all over Europe. It's
   hard to get an overview: be patient.
   The whole 140-thing seems to be a prepared arrest, that got out of
   control. Mayor said they had prepared something like arrests because
   of "criminal organization" beforehand with Justice and police. But ,
   that was meant for some Dutch people. Those who were clearly German
   or who wouldn't tell their name (NN) would be transported over the
   Dutch-German border and handed to the German authorities. They
   thought autonomists an chaospunks were the only kind they would get.
   That was their plan, as we learned from independent sources. After it
   became clear that the arrested people were from all over europe, they
   paniced. In this light we now can see the mass arrest with 140
   charges: they had decided to do some arrests, to deport the rest to
   Germany, and that would be it. A police-commisionar fucked this up:
   he rounded up the 350 people on Sunday night and called the public
   prosecutor: "I've arrested a load of them. All 140?" Pretty mistake,
   we're going to take them on this. Why they performed the scandalous
   action against the Italian train-gang is yet unknown.
   It's hard to trace all the missing people. If you're set free, report

   Vrije Keyser
   NL - Wednesday, June 18, 1997 at 05:22:54 (MET DST)
   I got arrested sunday later on, after Vrankrijk closed.
   We were grouped together, had to sit on the street.
   We shouted to journalists: I got arrested after drinking
   two beers in Vrankrijk! A Danish guy said: I only had one!
   (It's so easy to become a criminal in Amsterdam!) Later,
   the deputy DA said: Mr Vrakking in his supreme wisdom has decided
   that anyone going into or getting out of Vrankrijk is a member of
   a criminal organisation. Tuesday 1 pm, after 35 hours I was
   released. I saw several others of the group I was in after
   being arrested, so I guess that little group is out again,
   back in the streets.
   in bocca al lupo!
   (hang in there)
   Ante <>
   adam, NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 23:51:59 (MET DST)
   I found the meeting of the 'walkers' and the 'cyclists'
   at the crossroads in the south east of Amsterdam, on
   their way to the 'border prison' because of the
   solidarity action, very moving. A lot of cheering;
   and 'happy to see each other' in that unhabbited dessert
   of offices and industry. It was the best moment of the
   Euro summit for me; simple, but good. Ordinairy people
   together against the 'shit' of the establihment.
   Ray <>
   NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 23:33:06 (MET DST)
   Mr. Wrakking, who is chief of public prosecutors has stated that all
   people that were arrested on Sundaynight will remain imprisoned,
   except the three people that won the courtcase today (the fourth will
   not be released because he's NN - an anonymous prisoner).
   Police and Justice-department still think they can get away with
   accusing a full demonstration of being a criminal organisation
   (article 140), although it has become very clear they will never get
   away with this in court.
   So, there will still be 350 illegaly detained people being kept in
   terrible conditions this night.

   Vrije Keyser
   NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 20:20:34 (MET DST)
   Half an hour ago a judge decided that the use of article 140 was an
   illegal ground to arrest the group of 360 people on sunday. The
   lawyer of four people who were arrested started the courtcase and
   the judge decided they had to be freed immediately. Unfortunately he
   couldn't force the state to let all prisoners go, but he said it
   would be very strange if not all of them would be released. It look's
   like we're winning. But it's not sure at all, there are rumours that
   the police is thinking to use another article to keep the prisoners
   in, so can they find the 'hardcore' demonstraters.
   Meanwhile lots of foreigners are deported. Danes were sent back by
   plane, 11 Germans are delivered to the German police because they
   were interested in them. The same goes for 2 Belgiums.
   At this moment Scotland Yard and Interpol are visiting the arrested
   women to have a close look.
   Meanwhile the condition in the prosons is awful. To protest against
   this, prisoners in an Amsterdam police-station started a hunger and
   At this moment it's most important to start protesting as much as
   possible. Start phoning politicians in your country. Ask them to
   protest against this violation of human rights. Make the press write
   about it and make actions!

   NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 18:51:33 (MET DST)
   3 of the 4 of the court-case have to be released, the 4th refuses to
   give his/her name and is still kept. There has been a cheer-up demo
   in Zwolle for those in prison there, which was answered by loud "EU
   Rot Op" cheering from inside those walls. Rumours are, prisoners have
   started a hunger and thirst strike to protest their illegal
   deportation and sick treatment.
   There's a call for a demo at June 22, at 15h at the Dam, to protest
   against article 140 and the excessive use of police violence during
   these days.
   There's also rumours about an after-party later today, be ready to go
   out some more (still time enough to get to Amsterdam, I guess).

   NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 18:24:18 (MET DST)
   Message was received that the judge in a emergency-case, has decided
   that 4 of the people arrested for the infamous 'article 140'
   (participation in a criminal organisation)
   where arrested on FALSE GROUNDS. They have to be released
   immediately, and also all the others that have been
   charged with this law (that is used to criminalize demonstrators and
   Just like to mention that I was on 'the other side' of the bridge
   when the police blokked the demonstration.
   Among the spectators were a lot symphatisizing with the demonstration
   and agreed that the police was criminalizing the demonstration in the
   way they acted. And people dindn't seem to like that anayway...
   Mert <>
   Amsterdam, NL NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 17:39:08 (MET DST)
   DEMO still going strong!
   Throwing flowers at the Dam sqaure:-)
   NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 17:25:19 (MET DST)
   Your reporter back from a full night of participating journalism (a
   bit too much..).
   On my way to the office late last night to pick up some paperwork to
   prepare the Platform discussion on Europol early Tuesday morning, I
   ran into the small demonstration. The group was cheering the European
   leaders for all the good work they do for us under such boring
   conditions (see the pamflet of this demonstration in our Agenda).
   They tried to offer Chirac a big cake, but were refused to get near
   the hotel Le Grand in the former Cityhall. So they circled around
   this hotel and the l'Europe on the Munt. At the start of this
   demonstration a declaration was read out to inform the police about
   the meaning of this small streetparty, and the Riot Police peacyfully
   joint us all the way.
   The admosphere among the people was very joyfull and relaxed. I
   decided to join them for a while. We applauded for the riot police
   and thanked them for the job they are doing. We celebrated the
   Eurotop being held in our city. After turning around on the Munt back
   to the Amstel, the demonstration was about to finish. We telked about
   going home, and going to sleep. As I had only just joined, I walked
   on for a bit, but it soon became clear that we were not allowed to go
   Riot police got out of their cars and started to line up. Going to
   the Rembrandtplein was not allowed, and we were driven back to the
   Amstel. Still singing & cheering. But we were fenced in. Soon there
   was no way out... Talking to the police, to explain them we wanted to
   go home, had no effect. Nobody wanted to talk. Even various attempts
   by the press to find someone in charge to talk things over were
   effortless. No discussion was possible. As we were waiting for things
   to come, surrounded by the police, some people managed to escape by a
   boot of friends, who came to free us. After the second succeede
   attempt, the riot police also blocked of the waterfront.
   After waiting for about an hour for the public transport buses and
   the Romeo plain clothes detectives, we were handcuffed with these
   awfull plastic strips and put in the buses (long live the solidarity
   of the Amsterdam Public Transport Company, the GVB!). This was around
   midnight. We had to wait another hour for a group of people arrested.
   When they finally came, the group was to big (30+) to fit in our
   buses. So a fourth bus had to be waited for. Finally the parade was
   ready to leave: four buses accompanied by riot police and motor
   bikes, took the Y tunnel to the by-pass on the noth part of the city.
   We circled around the city in a very slow motion, heading for
   Badhoevendorp, south of Amsterdam, near Schiphol airport.
   At I think at three o'clock we arrive somewhere out in the
   countryside, but appearantly this jail (the former asylumseekers
   jail?). Only one buss was emptied there. Some of us where freed from
   their handcuffs, because the pain was unbearable. I personally almost
   fainted... Some people were allowed to take a leak, but most of us
   had to stay in the buss.
   Suddenly the parade got moving again, back to Amsterdam. We arrived
   at the Bijlmerbajes city jail at 4 o'clock in the morning. Handcuffs
   were released, water was given out and we were allowed to smoke, but
   *not* allowed to leave the buss. I was in the third and last buss,
   and it was not before six that we got into the jail. Photo's were
   being taken, and most of us gave their names. They boys were put in
   the sportshall, were, that was pretty clear, a part of the people
   arrested the day before in the Spuistraat had spent the nigt, and the
   women were put in small cells, three in each. Milk and bread was
   handed out, and we even got blankets.
   At eleven this morning we were told that we were arrested because we
   gathered together which was forbidden under the Martial Law
   (noodverordening). I have to look up the paragraph, but as we didn't
   thread to disturb public order, and we were allowed to continue for
   an hour or so before, the grounds of this arrests seems pretty week.
   Criminal organisation was too much critized the day before, now they
   tried something else to get people from the street. Just another
   This morning they were pretty in a hurry to get us out again,
   presumably to empty the space for todays demonstrators.
   We were given a fine for 125 guilders and a date for the trial for
   those who don't want to pay. They promised to take us to the nearby
   metrostation Sparklerweg, but our bus of six ended in the far East
   part of Amsterdam, behind the Jaap Edenhal, behind the railroad. We
   had to take buses and trams to get back to the Vrouwenhuis. My god,
   revenge can be so small..

   NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 17:18:32 (MET DST)
   NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 05:17:12 (MET DST)
   tuesday night 2:15, Waterlooplein Amsterdam
   Nacht und Nebel/Night and Fog
   under my window passes a column of several big public transport
   busses, surrounded by riot police cars and police om motorbikes.
   This looks 'inspiring', it gives me opportunities to think up
   of all kinds of historical associations... These busses were filled
   with demonstrators or euro-traitors (as you wish) surrounded by
   riot police at the Amstel river side (opposite the center of
   our local democracy, the Stopera building) and than after a
   ceremonial that has taken at least two hours, they are
   pushed off into the night.
   A sinister sight and one is searching his or hers vocabulary:
   too heavy words, maybe, but only in hindsight...
   or would the term 'political cleansing' be more up to date?
   The method of wholesale arresting of demonstrators has been
   introduced by an Amsterdam police officer in the early
   sixties, commissaris Koppejan (head jack), who chartered
   columns of military trucks in which ban-the-bomb
   demonstrators were pushed, transported far over the city
   borders and let loose again..
   This method was after legal protest forbidden by court...

   The methods used now are more seriously repressive and
   are absolutely out of line with the civil right of free
   demonstration. In the actual weak political climate in this
   country with its politicians ready to point a finger at
   human rights abuses in far away countries and implicitely and
   explicitely glorifying their own high level of human rights
   status, it will be necessary to protest these police actions
   and to point a finger at the authoritarian forces behind it.
   The last decades this town has a long tradition of hard line
   social democrat politicians and governors (Van Hall, Lammers,
   Samkalden, Polak) supporting police methods ranging from using the
   sable, tear gass inside occupied buildings (occupation of university),
   amored cars (Nieuwmarkt) and even military tanks (Vondelstraat).
   Over the years a police tactic has been developed in Amsterdam
   whereby the massive use of police and equipment (overkill) was seen as
   the best way of solving a confrontation.
   Street battles only developed in spontaneous not foreseen
   situations. Despite the ugly and sometimes war like look
   of all these conflicts, surprisingly, no body have been
   directly killed (the two deaths of demonstrators in the last
   30 years were a man (Weggelaar) who might have been beaten or maybe
   had a a heart attack during a demonstration and Hans Kok who died
   under suspicious circumstances in a police cell (but that happens often
   in police cells and is a problem of another order).
   What is new now is that the success of the planned overkill situation
   (mostly for expulsing squattters out of their strongholds) has led
   the authorities to think that preventing riots is an even better
   an idea. Did they realize that this tactic is of a completely
   different order? That the one tactic (using a lot of personel and
   equipment in situations like a pre-announced eviction on the basis of a
   court order) can be called 'conflict control', but that the arresting
   of whole groups under the unproven pretext that all these
   people belong to a criminal organization, can only be
   called by its right name: a dictatorial act!
   One could know how thin is the veil of democracy and tolerance
   that covers this city, because these qualities are not
   availaible for free... Again and again it is necessary to take
   actions at all kinds of levels to push the authoritarian
   tendencies in this town back again..
   A long lasting international public relation campaign around
   the Eurotop and its choosen site has inspired many to voice
   dissident opinions about this political event. The authorities
   themselves have set the stage, but no democratic politician
   can expect that that stage is only for himself.
   This night I saw a column of busses surrounded by riot police
   full with actors who wanted to play their role, I do not know
   where they are heading as they disappear around the corner and
   I look in a slightly foggy night..
   Tjebbe van Tijen <>

   A group of 100-120 (estimated) was surrounded and arrested for
   violating the emergency decree. Police showed up massively. The
   "jubilee demo" that started with 70 grew fast to 140-160 people,
   roaming the Amsterdam canals in the late night to cheer the European
   leaders, to praise them for the good work they do.  
   30-40 of this group managed to escape the police round up, by being
   slow or taking a boat to the other side of the canal. A small crowd
   gathered at the other side of the canal to look what was happening:
   the news of the mass arrest of the previous night w as still fresh.
   But they too were to be victimized in the temporary Dutch police
   state. A wild chase in the alleys, over the bridges in the inner city
   of Amsterdam followed. Bricks were thrown.
   At 2 o 'clock the police was combing the streets to find isolated
   activist. A group of 10 was found on the terrace of a restaurant;
   although the police was a bit nervous about the effects of selecting
   their victims by the way they looked, they took 30 peo ple prisoner
   at this terrace.
   Which brings the deathcount to: a probable 40 fridaynight/saturday
   daytime + appr. 40 that never made the city +20-30 sunday daytime
   +348 sundaynight + 20-30 monday daytime + 100-120 + 30 + those that
   will be arrested in the coming hours in the centre of town.
   Vrije Keyser
   Amsterdam, NL - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 02:23:37 (MET DST)
   Le traduzioni in italiano di buona parte di questi messaggi sono
   disponibili sul sito
   The Italian version of many of these messages are available at
   infodiret(t)e <>
   Padova, Italy - Tuesday, June 17, 1997 at 02:13:38 (MET DST)
   Recent report: About 80 - 100 people have been 'eingekesselt'
   at the oppostie of the STOPERA (Amstel) by the dutch riot police.
   After the start of a demonstration to 'cheer the EU leaders' (to keep
   them from sleeping' the riot police surrounded the group of
   demonstrators. (Surrounding a group is actually forbidden in the
   Netherlands !)
   Some of the demonstrators escaped in a small boat others escaped to
   bring this report.
   The demonstrators are being held for more then an hour now.
   When at the other side of the river Amstel people gathered to watch
   the group that was surrounded by the police, the riot police charged
   and spread the spectators.
   Expectation is that even more people will be arrested on charge of
   article 140, which holds a random group responsible for forming a
   criminal organisation much like the mafia (which in itself is

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