Pretoriusstraat 28
squatted since feb2001
Social revolution at street level

Building permit granted!

[am*dam] building permit for PS28 granted!
Hirsch Glik - 08.10.2006 22:25

Much to our dismay there has been a building permit 
just granted (on October 5th) for the squatter fortress
Pretoriusstraat 28. An earlier building permit was withdrawn
in January 2006 in connection with the dubious practices of
the then owner Joe McCarthy. However, in an attempt to evade
the reach of the law BIBOB, McCarthy has managed to secure
himself a group of front-men. The civil servants from the
building/housing service have, despite clear indications that
these are indeed just front-men, acted as though they haven't heard 
anything about this. On Monday 9th October the squatting group is going
to present members of the district council with this story and thus 
plans to confront the responsible politicians with their lack of
effectiveness in this matter.

Bring the story, demand action!
Bring the story, demand action!

The Pretoriusstraat 28 has a turbulent history of mafia-like
house-owners and their gangs of heavies, renters that are thrown
on the street and a squatting group that has firmly held its ground
for almost 6 years. As a consequence of the efforts and the research of 
the Spekulatie Onderzoeks Kollektief (SPOK) the unsavoury activities
of McCarthy have been successfully exposed to the light. This led not
only to the closure of his illegal-labour businesses but also to
an enormous claim from the tax service (that as a consequence laid claim 
to the property on the Pretoriusstraat) and the withdrawal of
an already-issued building permit.

At the beginning of 2006 the property should have ended up in the public
auction so that the unusually high mortgage of 500,000(!) could be
paid off. It was however bought privately before it could reach
auction, by the bookkeeper of McCarthy and his friends (the gentlemen
Koch, Segaar, Van de Laar and Klomp). The purchase price was
moreover for around 150,000 euro more than the price that the
auction property estate agent had estimated. The man who has for 
years used the Pretoriusstraat 28 as a money washing machine
is of course not planning to simply let go of the property!

The 'new' owners, a group of speculators from Haarlem, Alkmaar
and Den Haag, filed (alongside 'ex-owner' McCarthy) a complaint
against the withdrawal of the building permit. This complaint, however,
collapsed at the complaints commission. Following a presentation
of hard evidence by the squatting group, which demonstrated co-operation
between the old and new owners, the complaints commission made clear
what they thought of the case. They made clear that it would make
the BIBOB law pointless if a simple front-man construction was
sufficient to evade its reach. In addition, they indicated, the new owners
should also be checked, precisely within the context of monitoring any
connections with the old owner.

The 'new owners' have subsequently submitted the same building permit
request (as McCarthy), under their own name. The squatters have also
on this occasion made it clear to the local district council what
the facts of the situation are. The answer from the council and
the cabinet of the council was just as clear as the answer from the
complaints commission: it is not the intention to be led a merry
dance by all kinds of vague financial transactions.

But are these assurances backed-up by action? The viewpoint of the
council and the complaints commission has, in this case, obviously not 
penetrated to the layers of the civil service that implement policy;
these people have issued the building permit! The most difficult thing
to swallow (in the justification for the granting of the permit) is
the almost cheeky manner in which the arguments of the SPOK and the
residents were rejected. In the decision of the civil service can
be read, without any further explanation and in total contradiction
with the facts, that "that it has not been made plausible that there
exists any relationship between the present and former requesters
of the building permit."

However, in the good tradition of the squatting group of East Amsterdam,
we hold the political leaders of the local council responsible for this.
They are obviously so busy with thorny issue of the Polderweggebied
that they have (in their own tradition) let irresponsible and
maybe even corrupt types from the civil service simply do their
own thing.

For this reason the squatting group is planning, on Monday 9th October
at the Commissie Wonen (housing) of the local council, to go and 
explain its views about all this.

19.00 gather at Joe's Garage, Pretoriusstraat 28
20.00 sitting of Commissie Wonen at the office of the local council
at Linneausstraat 89.

'tis a poyk ten undser trot: mer sejnen do!' (yiddish partizan song)

the building permit:

the whole history of Pretoriusstraat 28, including documents etc.

(in Dutch):
(in English):