A judge has ordered a group of failed asylum seekers to leave a disused office in Amstelveen where they have been squatting since the start of the month.
The We Are Here group moved in to the premises on the Meester G. Groen van Prinstererlaan after being evicted from houses in Amsterdam that they occupied at the end of May.
A court in Amsterdam ordered them to leave the building after the owner filed a police complaint. The judge said he sympathised with their position but they had breached the owner’s right to property and alternative accommodation was available. The group were not ordered to pay the costs of the case.
The We Are Here group has squatted in several premises in Amsterdam since being formed six years ago. Its 180 members are in the country illegally, having exhausted the asylum claims procedure, but say they are unable to return to their home countries.
Their ongoing campaign to be given shelter has divided Amsterdam’s political parties. GroenLinks, the leading party in the city’s coalition, wants to establish a permanent 24-hour shelter for undocumented migrants, while the VVD and CDA argue they should be given no assistance and the police should be sent in to evict squatters.
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