Thousands gather at Westerpark to voice outrage about housing crisis
Around ten thousand people gathered at the Westerpark in Amsterdam to protest the acute housing shortage in the Netherlands, the director of the housing association claimed, according to NOS. The demonstrators spoke out against the sharply rising house prices, the rising rents in the free housing market and the lack of available social housing.
“We are speaking out against the buying out of our right to housing, against the greedy rich who are getting wealthier in their sleep, against the hundreds of thousands of Dutch people and against the expulsion of original residents from their own neighborhoods through racist and classist housing policy,” the organization said.
More than 200 organizations, including unions, environmental organizations and political parties, announced their support of the protest.
The protest started at 2 p.m. Around 4 p.m. attendees began marching towards the Dam Square. Originally, the protest was meant to be held at the Dam Square from the beginning, yet due to the large crowds that were anticipated the protest was moved to Westerpark.
"Now is the time to demand change: a new Cabinet is coming and local politicians are preparing for municipal elections in March 2022," the organizers wrote.
GroenLinks faction leader Jesse Klaver and PvdA MP Lilianne Ploumen were also present at the protest.
Earlier this week, students occupied the Academy Building of the University of Groningen to draw attention to the hundreds of students in the city who still had not found permanent housing.
Another protest against the housing shortage will take place on October 17 in Rotterdam.