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Police conciliatory after ‘booby trap’

28 March 2007 - According to the police, squatters really did place a booby trap in a squat at the Bilderdijkstraat that was evicted 13 March. However, Commissioner Hans Schönfeld does not want to escalate matters.

Squatters had left two jerry cans behind a metal plate used to barricade a door, one containing petrol and one with a combustive agent, the Dutch Forensic Institute would have concluded. Het Parool states that it might have combusted after sustained used of a cutter.

“Squatting has its use. It is a good thing that squatters do something to make sure that scarce housing is being used. But this is criminal. I do not want escalation. I appeal to the self-criticism of the squat movement”, Schönfeld told het Parool. He says that the booby trap is an incident and that the squat movement is not radicalising.

‘In the interest of the investigation’, the police refuse to release a photo of the booby trap. In an opinion article in het Parool, squatter Anna Brouwer had asked for the release of a photo. She questioned the reliability of police information. She also spoke of a smear campaign against the squat movement, unjustly being depicted as violent by the police.

In November 2005, a special police squad raided a squat at the Prins Hendrikkade because an electric drill held by a squatter had been taken for a gun.

Schönfeld denies that a smear campaign is being waged. “This is how we have been treating each other for thirty years. The thing with the electric drill, that can happen. Things can go wrong sometimes. Incidentally, we also often protect squatters from aggressive owners. If a building meets the criteria, we offer protection”.

Source: het Parool. See also: Squatters angry over booby trap story


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