Issue #021 Published: 16-11-2018 // Written by: ADM

ADM NEWSFLASH Amsterdam danst voor ADM

On the 20th October, Amsterdam danced for freedom, for space, and experimentation. There are not many free spaces left in Amsterdam, and those that are left face an uncertain future. ADM is one of those free spaces worth defending. The proposed exile of the ADM to the sewage waste grounds north of town, for just two more years of activity and under very strict conditions, is a form of the types of extinctionist policies typically applied to urban-nomadic and traveller communities. The moulding of Amsterdam into a soulless money making machine has to be brought to a halt: enough is enough!

With the help of Electra Leda Koutra, a Greek human rights lawyer and ADM supporter, the ADM collective are starting up a court case at the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, since the Dutch court failed in safeguarding the rights of the peoples that are living at ADM. Our case is focused on:

- the right to a fair trial
- the right to live in the way that we have chosen to
- the right to preserve ADM’s cultural and artistic heritage

A twenty one year old established living culture and community like the ADM is entitled to protection under European Human Rights law. These cases typically take an average of 5 years to complete, so in the meantime Koutra is applying for a ‘temporary measure’ in order to postpone the eviction date, which is currently 25th December 2018.

ADM is cultural heritage
Over the past twenty one years, the abandoned ADM shipyard in the west of Amsterdam has been transformed into a free haven of international acclaim [see previous issues of AA], in which a sustainable community has grown. The terrain has remained a singular force, over the decades it has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors who have participated in unique events. Meanwhile, the chances for non-profit inititatives or organisations, for ordinary and extraordinary people, to find a place in town are getting ever more limited. This restriction of oppostunity is draining the veins of this city, typically famous for its free spirit. 

ADM has applied to obtain official recognition from the Center for Intangible Heritage of the Netherlands; we even visited their regional meet-up this autumn to discuss the application in progress.

Climate Call
This summer, we drafted a Climate Call which we sent to the Amsterdam council to protect the ADM’s forest and wildlife. The call was endorsed by environmental organisations such as Urgenda, Dwars (the Green Left Youth organisation), and ASEED, among others. 

Read the Climate Call:

Local political party AmsterdamBij1 fully endorses the call, but the rest of the council have so far kept quiet. We followed up with a reminder this October, following the latest UN report. On 8th October, Urgenda won a major court victory against the Dutch state, which is now legally obliged to cut greenhouse gas emissions according to international agreements. Interestingly, the only fast way to cut national carbon emissions is by shutting down the huge old Hemweg coal power plant which sits opposite the ADM. This adds a major new dimension and perspective to the port/industrial zone around the ADM.

If your organisation wants to co-sign the call, drop us a line:

ADM meets ZAD 
On the 10th October, ADM participated in a public event with members of ZAD (Zone A Defendre), from France. ZAD is a large occupied area where farmers and other occupants have won a long battle to stop the development of an airport in a beautiful rural area close to Nantes. 
They effectively resisted eviction and have built up nationwide support by continuing to share their message and experiences of sustainable farming and living on common land. They shared via every type of activism, from lobby work, to blockades made up of thirty thousand supporters. 

No support so far from the ‘green’ ‘left’...
A dedicated ADM lobby group has devoted itself to influencing local politicians. Although the previous council weren’t of much assistance, expectations rose after the Green Left won the local elections this year. Amsterdam now has a Green Left council majority and a Green Left mayor. 
In a final bid to demostrate to the councilors what this city stands to lose if the ADM disappears, our very own lobbying group compiled dozens of statements and presented them in beautifully crafted treasure boxes for each aldermen and the mayor herself. At the time of writing ADM has not received a single response. 
Is this ‘green’ ‘left’ government going to allow this ecologically significant and cultural exciting part of Amsterdam fade away? Possibly. 

Here’s what they could do instead: the municipality could buy back the ADM land and cash in thanks to the increase in land value (instead of giving a private company the privilege.) Then, why not decide to keep the ADM terrain and its priceless treasure (the ADM community) in place, or at least until a comparable location is realized. Left-wing councilors are asking for an economic survey into this option, which the economics alderman Udo Kock refuses to produce. However, Kock could be pushed into doing this by a council vote. 
At the same time, the alderman tried to overide the agreement made in 2017 stating that the City Board can’t take any steps related to ADM that would be irreversible without first consulting the entire council. His attempt was blocked by council members. As this is written the ADM was scheduled to speak during a meeting of the council’s Committee of Culture on October 17th, and further council committee meetings discussing ADM are planned for October 18th and November 1st, after that there’s two more council meetings before Christmas, on the 7th and 8th. Two more council meetings are planned before the 25th of December, on November 7th and 8th. Let’s get the ADM message to the new council loud and clear: You want what we do!

Legal Procedures (Technical but Important)
One is a (snail’s pace) main procedure about whether the ADM community is a valid party, which in turn could allow us to force the council to maintain the restictions concerning area planning. According to the perpetual clause within the the area planning documents, the ADM terrein may be used exclusively as a ship-building yard. Next hearing on this issue: 2019.
An appeal has been made against a ruling from July 2018 that states that the ADM community is not a valid party which is able to demand this planning permission be upheld. The hearing will take place before Christmas, and a verdict will follow within two weeks.
Chidda is the firm who have been given the permit to develop the terrein. There is an appeal out against the proposed development. Chidda have not proposed to develop a ship-building yard, and have not taken enough measures to protect the local wildlife and ecosystems.

ADM LIVES: Support the ADM and defend thousands of trees and all that lives in the ADM forest. The dead and polluted soil has been brought back to live and, instead of CO2, it produces oxygen, wind- and solar power: we are the future we need, no matter how hard special interests try to stop it.

To all the people that voted Green and Left: let our new city council know how you feel about all this. Make them put their own coalition agreement into practice: ‘to cherish and preserve the city’s frayed edges and free spaces.’

We are dancing for the future, for a livable city and climate: close down the old coal power plant and maintain the ADM forest, so the city can breathe.


Every Sunday:
yoga + food + ‘live’ music + ADMradio Papillon broadcast (in and around the ADM bar)
Every Tuesday evening: ADM support group meet up: email for details (
October 18th: ADM in city council committee meeting for Finance & Economics (19.30h. Stopera)
November 7th: Premiere of the new ADM documentary ‘An Autonomous Life’ (20.30h. Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam)
December 4th: public debate Free Experimental Zones - Pakhuis de Zwijger, organised by ADM, 15.00h. with experts, politicians, scientists on zones with minimal regulations, artists, architects etc.
December 21st: start Christmas market
December 31st: New Years Eve party