Amsterdam Squatters on the Road: A Case Study in Territorial and Relational Urban Politics

  • Linus Owens
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements book series (PSHSM)


On 3 March 1980, in the heart of Amsterdam, an unstoppable force collided with an immovable object. Days earlier, after squatting a building on Vondelstraat, in a spontaneous burst of militant resistance, squatters drove back the police trying to evict them. Their hastily constructed barricades protected them over the weekend, but as the confrontation dragged on, authorities found a novel solution to break the impasse: tanks. Tensions over the housing crisis had been building for years; now the conflict between activists and authorities had finally come to a head. The tanks were meant to end the standoff and return things to normal. Yet as they accomplished the first goal, the second moved out of reach. Things would never be the same again.


Social Movement Tacit Knowledge Housing Policy Activist Travel Youth Centre 
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© Linus Owens 2016

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  • Linus Owens

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