News from the Netherlands

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1) There has recently been a lot of commotion in the Netherlands about the activities of the Animal Liberation Front and related groups. Right-wing politicians see in their militant operations a reason for calling all activists for animal rights “terrorists”. Left-wing politicians fear their activities might be counterproductive. This evening (Monday the third of November) DWARS has a debate about the matter.

2) The Netherlands are, as far as we know, the only country in the world where squatting is legal, provided that the squatted building has not been in use for more than a year. This is a beautiful piece of legislation, since the Netherlands has a great shortage of affordable housing, and since it gives speculators in real estate a strong impulse to really do something with their buildings. Our right-wing government are currently giving in to their populistic gut feelings and are planning to make squatting completely illegal again. DWARS is campaigning to stop them.

3) Slowly but surely the elections for the European Parliament are drawing near. Though we’ve still got more than seven months to go, our preperations have already started. In a conference in February, the Dutch green party (GroenLinks) will determine a special political manifesto for the campaign and will determine which candidates will stand and in what order. DWARS is studying the concept manifesto to see whether there are important changes we want to make. And we are doing our best to get good young candidates on the list. After the conference we are planning to have a campaign both for inciting people to vote green and for raising awareness amongst them about the important matters that are at stake in the European Union. In this camp aign we will colaborate both with GroenLinks and with the FYEG.

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