Over the years, I’ve often mentioned the war-on-squatters being carried out by the government here in Amsterdam, and seemingly – throughout European cities. Everywhere you look there seems to be some creative and eclectic group of squatters being evicted from their home which they’ve usually worked very hard to make livable. Most recently there was that eviction followed by street clash in Copenhagen… for example.
Yet there are some examples where things are still possible and resourceful squatters find new strategies to keep doing what they do best. Tonight, as I dined with my dear Krizushka, we enjoyed the fruits of one Amsterdam squat that has done just that: Overtoom 301.
I wouldn’t claim to be a familiar face over at 301. Although I visit the former film academy once or twice a month, I’ve not yet developed the warm hello and conversations that the regulars have. But that doesn’t keep me from enjoying the atmosphere whenever i go for a vegan dinner, or just some pie and music. (Wireless internet doesn’t hurt either)
Reading over the latest updates, posted on the wall outside, the squatters of 301, under threat of eviction like so many others these last few years, successfully raised the money to buy their building last year. Ensuring that they can continue to offer artist work space, underground music shows, film screenings, vegan dinners, and all the comforts of a bar/lounge that welcomes all walks of life.. including the numerous children and dogs you’ll run into while sitting down for a meal.
Krizushka and I savored not only the food, but also the moment tonight. Sitting in what is perhaps one of the most encouraging and inspiring locations in the city, that despite all the complications of being foreigners, we love very much.