The Hanze Studentenbelangen Vereniging has distanced itself from a group of students who squatted a building yesterday at the Heykens printing facilities the in Akerkstraat, according to a statement spread Monday morning.
The squatters were protesting against a lack of housing in the country, as well as the reforms to squatting laws put in place by the Dutch government in 2010.
“In the first place because it is not a democratic protest against the government, but an occupation of private property. Something that has nothing to do with education, proportionality or the rule of law. The students are squatting the building to draw attention to room shortages among international students “.
“You don’t solve problems by hanging on someone else’s things, you solve problems by talking. These students are damaging the progress that has been made in the area of student housing and the support for international students in Groningen, “said Rik Heiner, current Fractievoorzitter of the Hanze Studentenbelangen Vereniging and current National Secretary for De Vrije Student: the student organisation of the political party the VVD.
The VVD was the party in government at the time of the squatting-regulation reforms, which caused country-wide riots at their implementation.
According to Heiner, it is not only the group of protesting students, but also the non-acting government have made a bad decision. It is incomprehensible to the HSV that the squatters were given permission from the police and other parties to spend the night in the building.
“It is a weakness of society. This is not good for anyone. The police and municipality should have intervened and should do so today. These people have no rights whatsoever to be in this building,” says Heiner.