Amsterdam‘s typical personality is imperiled. Its ‘Lady and the Tramp’ quality is waning fast as the city threatens to become the preserve of the happy few with the tramps booted out. A city previously characterized by its liberal and contrarian attitude is transformed into a place devoted where money, commerce and conformism rule. Parts of the city are bought up by a class of new rich going for expensive flats, exclusive shops and walled gardens. Other parts of the city fall prey to the tourism industry, festival organizers and business events. A culture based on consumptive tourism and thriving newcomers is fast becoming the norm, and those who don’t longer fit in it are showed the door.
So: save Amsterdam and make our city:
Fair and Socially Committed
- With affordable housing for all: build new houses, stop selling out council flats; take housing off the hands of real estate speculators. Housing is a right, not a commodity.
- Grant rights to temporary tenants and people in precarious forms of housing.
- No more displacement of of middle and low income tenants.
- Allow squatting as a legitimate way to combat deliberate vacancy.
- Give homeless people adequate care.
- Re-open community centers and neighborhood clubs which have been closed due to budget cuts.
- Re-establish proper working conditions, with secure employment and adequate pay.
- Treat social benefit recipients as citizens not mendicants.
- Go for transparent governance and direct democracy.
- Embrace technology but don’t do it at the detriment of the people.
Green and livable
- Switch to alternative, sustainable energy sources. Close the Hemweg coal-fired power plant and make the Amsterdam Harbour ‘fossil-free’.
- Allot more space for slow traffic of cycles and pedestrians. Discourage car and truck traffic.
- Maintain an accessible and fine-layered public transport network. Don’t turn the new North-South metro line into an excuse to downsize the existing tram and bus network.
- Show respect to the inhabitants of the city. Limit mass tourism and don’t allow the building of any new hotel.
- Turn AirBnB apartments into normal dwellings again.
- Don’t commercialize the public domain. No more branding of streets and neighborhoods.
- Keep streets, squares, parks and canals safe and clean.
Hospitable and Diverse
- Hospitality, security and equal rights for refugees – full- time shelter for the ‘We Are Here’ group .
- Ensure majority-minority solidarity.
- Practice and celebrate sexual and gender diversity in the open.
- Allow for more presence of arts and (sub)culture. Stop closures of alternative cultural spaces.
- Make universities places of critical, independent thought and research again.
- Protect existing and create new free cultural spaces.
- Promote genuine makers initiatives and true artisanal activities.
- Support small independent business people. Make their activities less burdensome administratively and ensure diversity on High Streets.
Join us – make Amsterdam a FAIRCITY!
See also this Preamble
(translation: Patrice Riemens)