Hands off my house: Dutch outlaw squatting

Yahoo News: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/eu_netherlands_squatting

By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press Writer Toby Sterling, Associated Press Writer 2 hrs 52 mins ago

AMSTERDAM – The scene has unfolded countless times in the Netherlands: Young people break into an unused building, move in a table, chair and bed, and then tell the police they are now the official residents — with no permission from the owner and no plans to pay rent.

On Friday, the once-respected Dutch tradition of squatting becomes illegal. It is the latest pillar of the country’s liberal institutions — such as legal prostitution and cafes that openly sell marijuana — to be abolished or curtailed as the Dutch become more conservative and rethink the boundaries of their famed tolerance.

In Amsterdam, the epicenter of the movement known in Dutch as “kraken,” or “breaking,” squatters plan a demonstration Friday against the new law that makes their way of life punishable by up to one year in prison.

“Of course we’re going to resist: resisting is part of what we do,” says a young English-speaking woman at a “squat,” or occupied building, next to the Amstel River. She identified herself only as Lilo.

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