Newspaper Het Parool has started a smear campaign against the ADM

This is a link to the 3rd article in a row, of the smear campaign in Het Parool, which started after Christmas.

Below is a translation of the article (which was published on December 29th. 2018):

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Fight against the municipality: it is never enough for some ADMrs

The ADM squatters have agreed, after 21 years with a (temporary) move to the sludge fields in North. At the crack dawn, a group is not cooperating once again. It is never enough for that team.

By: Josien Wolthuizen and Paul Vugts 29 December 2018, 13:00

The sigh of annoyance was clearly heard in the town hall despite the Christmas recess. Are the ADM squatters now, while the move to Elzenhagen is already under way, are they still throwing their ass against the crib? Yes.

At least, part of the colorful community that had gathered in two decades on the remote and now leafy terrain at the Hornweg, deep in the Western Docklands.

On Thursday, two days after the deadline for the eviction had expired, the United Nations Human Rights Committee launched the survivors still a lifebuoy - in their perception.

The UN club investigates a squatter's complaint about the alternative location and asks the municipality not to evict the port area as long as that exercise is ongoing.

It was reason for hardliners to drop everything out of their hands and stop the move immediately. Some of the UN peacekeepers were deployed for the occasion. It does not matter to them that their old neighbors have already moved to the sludge fields.

"Sanitary, electricity and cultural space: everything is arranged on the sludge fields."

The fickleness of the squatters raises the question of what they actually want. For years they fought for living space. They received it, although the judge did not oblige the municipality to do so.

Also in sanitary and electricity is provided and the site is raised. The space that the squatters are claiming for cultural free places is at the new site. In fact, the connection with the rest of the city that the ADMs claim to want is much better to make being so close to the rest of North, than in the old no man's land.

Now you will find five opinions in more anarchist circles as soon as you put three people together, but the fragmentation in the ADM ranks now seems definite.

Till recently the group radiated a kind of unity to the outside world and also in the last demonstration. Now a pluck of squatters seems not to want to engage with the municipality at all cost - no matter what is offered.

There is no room for houseboat dwellers on the sludge fields. Will they lead the last resistance? The first weeks of 2019 will tell.

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This is what our lawyer Electra Leda Koutra has said about the above Parool article:

"Although Het Parool received an email informing it that 60 (not 1) ADMers had won an interim measure by the UN which indicated that they should not be evicted, as this would signify brutal violations of their human rights, also being sent the contact information of the person to inform it on the reasons why the UN proceeded to such a rare request to the Dutch State, the newspaper never did so. The journalist's approach was manifestly not in information of the public but on slandering defamation of victims of human rights violations and spreading of inaccurate news to the public. With such journalistic "efforts" it is not to wonder that people comment like that and the general public may shape such uninformed opinions. The fact remains, though, that all democratic states have committed to respecting a few (not many) very basic rights, such as the right to life, to human dignity, to family and private life, to expression, to non-discrimination... Maybe some people denying (to others, not to themselves) the inherent value of humanity, would be OK with having people out of their homes, out on the streets on Christmas, including old people and people with disability, or putting them in a polluted empty field of watery mud to freeze, while calling them "illegal" and "under tolerance". Would anyone let one's kid play with municipal waste sludge for 1 minute or be perverse enough to imagine that actual people would be sent by any authority of a democratic country to live RIGHT on the disposal site of such waste? The so-called Sludge Fields is an empty polluted field of watery mud, with 3 used toilet boxes, unconnected to water, electricity or any kind of heating. Even a minimalistic journalistic effort would be able to contribute so that the public's (so far leaded) response to the ADM residents' already breached fundamental rights is less cannibalistic. Thankfully, the UN intervened, and this kind of human midnight has not prevailed to further darken these difficult times."

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This is the 3rd. Parool article in a row, which are all part of the new smear campaign by Het Parool. All articles are written by Josien Wolthuizen and/or Paul Vugts.

This whole campaign started after Christmas. This was the first article: "Squatters still not gone from ADM terrain" (December 27th. 2018)

On December 28th. 2018 this second article was published: "Could UN-committee help the ADM? It would surprise me".

This is what our lawyer stated about the article:

"Jasper Krommendijk, assistant professor of European and international law at the University of Radboud, seems to be the one chosen to talk to the press about the interim measure indicated by the UN HRC to the Netherlands not to evict the ADM to any place not respecting international standards:

"The short answer is: no, this decision is not legally binding, but the Netherlands has ratified the treaty so that it can not disregard it without losing its facevalue, the city of Amsterdam is part of the Dutch state, so that the same applies ... "

"At the same time the competent Ministry of Foreign Affairs can not force the [municipal] council. If the municipality maintains its rigid position, the Dutch state should explain itself to Geneva, but there are no international sanctions. "

He also said:
"the HRC is not aware of the fact that there has been litigation for years and that there is a decision of the Council of State which I believe the committee should be careful about."

This is grossly inaccurate: The HRC is of course aware, it has of course all the related decisions, most of which (all the important ones) were also submitted to it in English translation (including the High Council of State's). I wonder how a professor, even an assistant professor, can suppose that the HRC is naive enough to proceed to a Rule 92 interim measure without having extensive knowledge on its subject.
It would be easy for Het Parool to confirm the accuracy of that statement by i.e. taking my statement. It didn't opt for crosschecking, though. Or of taking the ADMers' comments.

He also said:
"A complaint has been received by the committee about the alternative offered by the municipality to the ADM residents: the sludge fields in Noord. According to the complainants, this location is in conflict with the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights."

This is also inaccurate:
The ADMers complain about several violations of their rights, namely 2,6,7,17,19,24 and 26 of the ICCPR.
The proposed relocation is for a part of the ADMers. The "not registered" residents do not "exist" for the municipality and cannot have any relocation. Also, there is no relocation of those ADMers who live in boats.

It is also inaccurate that the Sludge Fields have amenities. The only amenity is 3 overused portable toilets (expected to serve 60 persons), left in a corner of an empty field of watery mud and unconnected to sewage, water and electricity, lacking any form of heating. It is surprising that a human rights professor would consider such a situation satisfying under international law. It is also surprising that sending people to live right on sewage sludge has been considered acceptable in a democratic society. There are several reports on the toxicity of such environments and "actual humans" should not be expected to be able to live there. But, let's not forget, according to recent submissions in Amsterdam's city Council, the ADMers are NOT considered "NORMAL PEOPLE"...

Maybe Het Parool should try to talk to other Professors too about the implications and detrimental semantics of disrespecting the HRC's interim measures, especially when The Netherlands has requested the vote of other States in the end of 2019, so that it can be part of the HRC (2020-22).

Also, newspapers like De Telegraaf may also like, bearing in mind journalistic ethics and values, to have some balance in asking and receiving statements also from council members who supported the ADMers or even characterized the scheduled eviction as "inhuman" and not only from those who grossly insult the most important Human Rights institution globally, by calling it "a soap opera", "ridiculous" and "silly" to the press.

They are exposing The Netherlands.

The HRC has been informed about the insults to its decisions, procedures and function, which so far remain uncommented by the Mayor.

The "law and order" argument of the eviction has been smashed in a thousand pieces. What is behind the eviction is a discriminative determination to end with the ADMers' alternative subculture and exile it out and away from the city landscape.

What remains prominent in our perception is the more and more nude and raw cynicism by which Amsterdam believes it can violate peoples' fundamental rights and discredit fundamental human rights procedures before everyone's very surprised eyes and get away with it."

 

At the bottom of the page there's an article, intended to frame us ('the squatters') negatively, by Paul Vugts "Tradition of mild treatment" (see below)

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Tradition of mild treatment

By not wanting to act quickly and firm after 21 years against the illegal residents of the ADM terrain, Femke Halsema is following a tradition of Amsterdam mayors who want to treat squatters mildly - and are immediately punished for that.

For example, it also affected Schelto Patijn, who had devised a ruse just before his departure at the end of 2000 to solve a thorny issue in favor of the squatters of the stronghold Vrankrijk in the Spuistraat.
After years of deliberating about a license for the pub on the ground floor, he had figured out a compromise with which 'the bar group' in his eyes could only agree.

He offered a 'sociƫteitvergunning' (=> clubhouse permit), with fewer rules. He came to proudly present his gift by appointment, on a Friday around drinks time. The heavy door remained closed.

The squatters did not let in any police, so neither The Boss (and 'the citizen press', Het Parool). Successor Job Cohen started out with his first headache dossier and closed the bar (for a little while).