Thirty years after the Pierson Street riots in Nijmegen

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Today exactly 30 years ago, the Dutch government used 5 tanks, armored vehicles, a helicopter, nearly 3,000 soldiers (MP and special army units) and police, and two types of teargas (illegal use), to end a protest in my hometown of Nijmegen against the demolition of a centuries old residential area for a parking garage.

The major point was that there was (and still is) a lack of housing in Nijmegen and throwing people out of their homes to make way for a parking garage seemed like a good reason to fight.

The Mayor signed posters that read in capitals:

1. DON’T USE VIOLENCE.
2. DON’T THROW MOLOTOV COCKTAILS, FIRE BOMBS AND THE LIKES.
3 REMOVE YOURSELF.

UPDATE: Free and legal download of the punk track in the background and more by Nijmegen’s The Squats (Thanks Marco!)

(Tip: Thanks Rob!, Photo: studiezaal.nijmegen.nl)

6 Comments »

  1. “They paved paradise to put up a parking lot” is the first thing that comes to my mind!

    Comment by Marie-Claude — February 23, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  2. I played hooky from high school for a week to be there. My parents never knew. I’ve seen pretty bad things that week, but managed to stay safe and unharmed. I was almost seriously injured when someone threw a fridge from a building and it landed three meters away from me. Some squatters weren’t very bright.

    It was also the only time I threw a stone during a demonstration. It hit an armoured police van just between the protective metal grating and the glass so the windshield shattered. Beginners luck.

    (I probably shouldn’t write these things on the internet)

    Comment by mare — February 23, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

  3. I just now see that I am in one of the photos featured in that video. 1:04 in that video, all the way to the right with the glasses.

    Comment by mare — February 23, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  4. @Mare Very cool indeed!

    Comment by Orangemaster — February 23, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

  5. How did it end? Did they build the lot or did they leave it as housing?

    Comment by Crystal — February 24, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  6. They did not build the parking garage.

    Comment by Branko Collin — February 24, 2011 @ 11:05 am

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