Nov 9, 2004
Het Poortgebouw Rotterdam opened it’s doors on the national “Open Dag Kraakpanden” from 14 to 21 o’clock. The building was squatted in 1980 and since the official legalization in 1984 the inhabitants pay rent to the owner. It is clear why we wanted to express our solidarity against the motion of the government to limit or even illegalize squatting: without the squatters this unique social and (sub)cultural freespace simply would not exist in Rotterdam.
During the day we showed videos documenting 23 years of activities and giving an impression of the people who have lived here together. Further we presented info-boards (a collection from the Poortgebouw archive) our small alternative book/publication shop and the VOKO. But most effective and interesting (beside serving a great vegetable soup!) was to talk with the visitors personally. We experienced this action as a sucess. Not because there was a mass of visitors but that those who came were not only from our “incrowd” rather they have never been here before.
It was a bit paradoxical to join such an open day since we actually are open to the public several times a week. But we believe that places like this have to improve communicating ourselves to diverse audiences in order to overcome ingrained prejudice and clichés that probably subly the unjustified qualification of the squatting movement. The national open kraak dag was certainly a productive step in this direction.
MORE INFORMATION: http://www.krakengaatdoor.nl/