By Matthew Houtsma
We stopped by to visit the Occupy Amsterdam movement while on a long weekend in Holland. The camp of 100 tents is defiantly located directly on the doorstep of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
There are protest banners and signs hanging off the tents, from the trees and written in chalk on the sidewalk. A large kitchen tent served as a huge bulletin board for announcements and protest signs. Despite being festooned with banners and signs the encampment was all clean and organized, with the tents in rows and the equipment neatly stored.
Billy, at the OccupyAmsterdam’s Information booth, explained that the movement had a very good relationship with the local authorities and had not yet endured the sort of harassment seen in the US and Zurich.
“The Mayor of Amsterdam told us he thought we would still be here in the Spring. We don’t quite believe him, but that is what he said.” Billy told us, with a smile.
They have also received support from the local firefighters.
“One day a firetruck stopped to chat and the fireman said that if a fire broke out at the Stock Exchange, he would let it burn to the ground,” he continued with a laugh.
He also directed us to the ‘needs and resources’ board where there were long lists of both.
“Please check and see if there is anything on the board that you need and, of course, let us know of any resources you wish to offer.”
We returned that night to see a small General Assembly being broadcast via livestream. We send thanks and support to the occupiers in Amsterdam.
Photos by greydog