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Molli Squat Bar: Amsterdam Jan 04
you can tell me a little bit about this place & what your doingÖ
weíre here in the Molli a squat bar although it was legalised in 95 every
evening we have a bar on Monday there is the squatting hour helping people find
homes & every month there is a feminist evening a giveaway shop FNB every
Thursday peoples kitchen 3 euros for three courses every evening except Saturday
is the bar. Sunday is none smoking.
year celebrate 25 years. First it was in a different location.
15 People do the bar almost 2 for every evening. Other people are active with
the squatting hour & FNB. The feminist group is a separate from the people
here but they are also involved in some things.
it used to be squatted but then there was a deal with the housing corporation
who owns the building & now we rent it for cheap. Now there is also the city
council wants us to have a permit because we are a bar & we are busy now
trying to get a permit. & We hope to get a new deal for the rent next year
when our contract expires.
kind of work has to be carried out to meet the councilís standards for the
Well we have to do some
rebuilding because there were some things that didnít meet the city councils
standards for bars. We had to find a legal form in which we could operate to
apply for a permit. This was a bit difficult because weíre a collective &
thereís no such thing in Dutch law. We now have formalised the collective into
a members club so every member has a vote. Weíve kept every thing the same but
we formalised it.
there anyone who likes doing this kinda work i.e. co-ordinate with the council
we donít really like it but the thing is if we donít do it they could close
evict & us down us, we could start to squat over again but then we learn the
permanent space. & It would
become difficult to do many of our activities here & thatís why we decided
to work with the council.
Well some people are really against dealing with city council & others see
the need for doing it complying in the least possible way but enough to keep
your space active.
Adam there are 5 squatting hours. Some for different neighbourhood & one
targeting students as theyíre one of the groups who really need houses &
theyíre not as active as they used to be so weíre trying to get them active
the squatting hours you want to squat a house you come there they give you
information they keep a record of all the squatted houses in the neighbourhood.
If you see a house that is empty you can talk to the squatting hour & they
can assist you in finding out the things you need to know because squatting
houses in Holland is legal if the house has been empty for more than a year so
you have to find out some things about the owners or if there is some plan for
restoration. The people in the squatting hour help you with that they also help
you with breaking open the door & dealing with the police & that kinda
thing & also with the legal stuff that comes afterwards because owners can
try to get you out & there can be court cases & that kind of thing.
The student squatting hour is a bit different because they donít do squatting
themselves but direct students to other squatting hours & they sometimes
bring groups of students together who are looking for a place to squat.
there are 7 people active in it & almost every Sunday we do a squatting
action. We squat here on Sundays because most people donít work & they
have most time. For the squatting place where everyone meets in a big group
& we go to the house & some people break open the door & other
people stand around to protect the breakers from being seen because that is the
only part that is illegal. So when you get in you call the police who come along
to check if the place is really empty.
there a big problem with housing in Amsterdam?
especially for people with lower incomes the waiting list for social housing is
sometimes up to 10 years. If you are new starting to look in the housing market
itís very difficult to find a place so itís particularly difficult for young
people & thatís the most Ďcustomersí of the squatting hour.
there was a lot of squatting going on in the 80ís & now it less but also
because students also then it was really difficult to get a house but students
or people who were unemployed had much more time on theyíre hands. Now
students get money from the state but its only for 4 years so you have to really
hurry up your studies & its also less money which means a lot of people are
working & donít have a lot of time for study. People unemployed have to do
more things to get money from the state & so have less time.
it was a bit more radical in the 80ís than it is now & I donít know why
that is. People donít have the time to suffer the consequences of every
in Amsterdam around 4 years used to be 3 times a month now only 4 people so its
once a month. On Saturday go to market & shop s to get food & on Sundays
we cook here we use the backveetz to bring it to the square where we work.
aim of the action is not specifically targeting homeless people but we were
standing in a busy street then we moved to another place closer to here where we
cook & almost nobody came & now weíve moved again to close to a
supermarket which is open on Sundays. So we target everyone but mostly homeless
people & alcoholics come to eat.
You have some experience of FNB in other places in Europe?
Was on the tour to Poland. & Barcelona also gave away close & other stuff, which we also tried but it was not co-ordinated well enough.
one of the oldest persons Iíve been involved since 1982. The bar opened for
the first time in 1979 itís the oldest squat cafť in Holland so weíre very
proud of this. It was situated in another location 500 metres from here but it
was a very old house & it was demolished in 95. Then we squatted in this
place an old record store that was perfect for a bar except we have to make a
lot of rebuilding to insulate the noise from the neighbours. & Now its not
squatted anymore we pay a very small (more a symbolic) rent.
was going ok but now the government wants us to get permits. I donít like to
get permits but Iím a minority in the bar group. We try to get permits &
we hope to get it for a few years.
about the name the name is Molli haus & Molli is coming from Molotov
cocktail haus is Dutch for chaotics & the people who went to demonstration
only to riot with the cops were called in the 80ís the chaotics & so
thatís why the name.
Molli has a very big history. There were a lot of riots in the neighbourhood
& lots of problems with police & with fascists who were smashing the
windows. Thatís the benefit that we are renting now because the owner has
of all the prices of the beer is very low because we donít pay any taxes. We
make a little bit of money but this is going to groups who want to make actions
and things. The first Sunday of the month we have a bar meeting & people can
come here to ask for money & the you have to explain for what action.
Sometimes itís squat action or animal rights or all kinds of stuff. So profits
we make we put it back in the movement again.
itís voluntary but one thing is that you can drink 5 half litres of beer.
rebuilding & things itís voluntary.
its not so hard
most of the people here are really lazyÖ.
for a few beers they are coming...
are hoping to get the permits I donít know when we are putting it into the
future as long as possible. But we hope to exist for a very long time.
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