THE HAGUE -The municipality of The Hague has evacuated the old Milva camp in Kijkduin. A start was also immediately made with the demolition of the squatted barracks on Duinlaan. Part of The Hague politics is furious.

This morning a considerable army appeared, consisting of about a hundred police officers for the Free Village, the name it had received from the squatters. The Hague police commissioner Peijster personally came by to supervise the eviction. After water, electricity and a telephone connection were cut off, those present at the camp were given 20 minutes to leave.

The gnomes, the activists responsible for the occupation, could not agree among themselves on the plan to follow. This was mainly due to the fact that their leaders were not there.

Some of them decided to leave voluntarily. Eight others were arrested by police for trespassing.

After the eviction, it became a bit restless for the former camp on the Duinlaan. The police have made several arrests, when the group of gnomes didn't want to leave.

The biggest anger was due to the fact that the gnomes have not been given the time to collect all their belongings. But that didn't stop the bulldozers, who put a rigorous end to the Free Village in short shrift.

Gnomes from Amsterdam and The Hague have occupied the former Milvakamp in The Hague and established their Ministry of Defense, Photographer: Rob Mieremet, National Archives / Anefo. License: CC-BY

Occupation

The Milvakamp, former army barracks, was bought three years ago by the municipality of The Hague from the army. Since then the site has not been used, except for a temporary disco on site.

Last summer, the barracks were the focus of attention for a while, because they were used as accommodation for the participants of an international youth conference in The Hague. For that purpose, the barracks were given bright colors with texts such as "You know revolution makes snese" and "We are the people our parents warned us against.!’.

Last Saturday some thirty squatters came to the camp. They renamed the former Milvakamp the "Ministry of Offense" and "Vrijdorp".

Gnomes from Amsterdam and The Hague have occupied the former Milvakamp in The Hague and established their Ministry of Defense. Foto: Rob Mieremet, National Archives / Anefo

The new residents also include children and three dogs. The smallest dog, a hobo, was renamed "Freedom". Space has also been made at the camp for people without a home, such as migrants and homeless people.

The Gnomes informed the area that the camp was squatted "for the community". A hospital is to be built on the site, but construction will begin in about five years at the earliest. In the meantime, the site can best be used for other purposes, found the Gnomes, as a sports accommodation (there is a sports hall), community center or cheap canteen for the neighborhood.

This article continues below this advertisement



Bewilderment

Politicians in The Hague reacted with bewilderment to the sudden decisiveness with which the Board of Mayor and Aldermen acted. Given that there are still few concrete plans for the location, a direct demolition of the barracks is completely unnecessary, is the general trend.

The two councilors of the gnome party have reacted furiously to the events. Party leader Casper Schuckink Kool was arrested during the disturbances after the eviction, because he refused to leave. He was released a short time later. The second councilor was bitten by a police dog.

Yesterday evening Schuckink Kool immediately gave up his confidence in the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “It is a scandal that with the prevailing auditorium emergency in The Hague, such a complex is simply being demolished at a time when all avenues for consultation were still open.. But apparently violence is the only means that the authority knows. ”, said the councilor according to Het Vrije Volk. Other council members were also surprised at the actions of the municipality.

During the meeting, about the appointment of the aldermen in The Hague, a group of young people tried to occupy the town hall. That attempt failed.

The Mayor and Aldermen has not yet responded to the eviction.


Hoe ging het verder?

A week later, the municipality comes with text and explanation. But that in no way causes the anger to subside. On the contrary.

According to the college, there were "serious drug and sex abuses at the camp.", life-threatening conditions due to faulty electrical cables and fire hazard ".

There was even talk of orgies on the property. Reports had been received by the municipality with texts such as "Naked girls just let themselves be caught on the lawn". Another letter would say that seven "approaching" boys and a girl from 14 years would be performing a kind of sex theater.

The passages are contained in a confidential report. The council members are not allowed to inspect the complete reports.

That orgies took place was firmly denied by the gnomes. Schuckink Kool admitted that nudists were walking around. “But if there were orgies, then the police have failed badly, because then he should have intervened immediately ”, says Schuckink Kool, a week after the eviction in Het Vrije Volk.

The story of insecurity on the site was also seriously questioned. A few months earlier, the complex was still used for a large youth conference.

Load

Many of the left-wing parties were furious about the answers of Alderman Dankelman, the deputy mayor. They called it "slander" as it was put on paper. A few days later Dankelman's house was covered with posters, with the text "Master Dankelman, Master Sloper ".

But in the municipal council, the right of the majority still applies. During the council meeting about the incident a small majority took (23 vs. 20) pleased with the statement by mayor Marijnen. The meeting was disrupted by former residents of the Vrijdorp. They were removed from the room by the police.

Two months later, it is announced that a temporary hall will be built on the former Milva site. That inflatable hall collapsed after a storm two months later. It was not until the mid-1980s that definitive buildings were built.

Sources:

Het Vrije Volk – 25-05-1970 – Abandoned Milva camp in The Hague occupied

Het Vrije Volk – 03-08-1970 – Formerly Milvakamp is squatters

Het Parool – 03-08-1970 – Former Milva camp in The Hague occupied

De Volkskrant – 04-08-1970 – Occupied Milvakamp is now called Vrijdorp

Het Vrije Volk – 11-08-1970 – Police put gnomes out of Vrijdorp

Algemeen Handelsblad – 11-08-1970 – Free village cleared by police

De Volkskrant – 12-08-1970 – Protest against eviction