Saturday 08 August 2020

Amsterdam sit-in students must leave by midnight, but say they will not go

Maagdenhuis_(Amsterdam)A court has told the group of students and their supporters who have been occupying the University of Amsterdam’s administrative centre for several weeks they must leave the building by midnight on Friday.

The students have been in the Maagdenhuis building since February 25 as part of their campaign to increase democracy at the university and stop some courses being dropped because of spending cuts.

They were given an ultimatum on Wednesday to leave or face a court order and eventual eviction by police. The court has now said they must leave on Friday night.

An official has already delivered the verdict to the students, news agency ANP reports. If they do not leave, they will be liable to a fine of €1,000 per person per day.

Festival

The students originally said they would leave next Monday, and are sticking to that decision. They also still intend to hold a ‘festival of knowledge’ at the weekend.

‘We are leaving voluntarily on Monday before noon,’ a student told the NRC. ‘Before that time voluntarily is not the word.’

Whether the university will have the building cleared by police is not clear. A press statement said: ‘We are glad to have this judgement and hope that everyone will leave of their own accord’.

Amsterdam council told the Parool it assumes the university will use the court order ‘to come to a deal with the students for an orderly departure from the Maagdenhuis’.

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