When it comes to drug policy and coffeeshops in the Netherlands, we rarely hear the voices of those who work behind the counter and see how things work (or don’t work). Nel has lived and worked in the coffeeshop world for over 5 years and in that time he has seen the daily routine of the cannabis industry and the politics that revolve around it. What he knows is not the political theater that so often gets reported on in the media, his story is the reality that somehow does not always trump the growing list of myths that surround cannabis in the Netherlands.
The squatting community in Amsterdam is under siege, with the new law declaring squatting illegal, many who have lived in their homes for a decade or more are now considered criminals and subject to forceful eviction. ; But the community and its supporters have not given up hope and refuse to be made homeless by the authorities.
This brief video clip is from one of the many marches against the evictions, as squatters and supporters marched from Waterloo Square through the heart of Amsterdam.
In keeping with the tradition started by Howard Zinn. The following podcast is from an event held here in Amsterdam on February 16th, 2010. Voices of a People’s History of the US features those voices that we normally don’t get to hear from in the history books. Speeches by rebels, revolutionaries, agitators, organizers, enemies of the state and more. Music to go along with it.
Special thanks to Jim, Cecilia, Shailoh, and Alice who read in this particular recording. As well as Pete, Carly, Tess, and Sarah who read in the first half that is not featured in this recording.
videos of the event available on youtube.com
Friends and readers in the Amsterdam area and beyond, I’ve been hard at work planning, reading, and organizing the details of a reading-performance even in honor of Howard Zinn and his greatest work – A People’s History of the United States. I will be MC’ing the event, doing my best to run it just as well as Howard used to, hoping I do him justice. Speakers will include some wonderful native and non-native english speakers from my network of friends here in Amsterdam. Speeches and text as far back as 1542 and as recent as 2005 will jump between some of the great voices that are rarely taught in school or mentioned in mainstream media. And as if that weren’t enough, I will most likely be singing a few songs related different eras in A People’s History. (brace yourselves)
For those outside of the Netherlands I will not be streaming it because I have enough to worry about. But audio/video recordings will be made available as podcasts, so that you can join share in this event afterwards. Here are the vital details:
Howard Zinn Reading-Performance Night. Selections from A Peoples History of the US.
20:30 – 22h
at Schijnheilig – the lovely new Squat-Gallery-Creative Space