Willie Wortel vs Landlord Cramer report.
It all started with this
article, although we already knew the landlord, Mr.Cramer, wanted to get us out
of his building since 1996. We managed to withstand his agents, intermediates
and even Cramer-friendly politicians for years, until the company that wanted to
develop 55 apartments on ‘our ‘ location, took us to court, to try and get us
evicted in months.
As soon as we were informed of this, by mail, we decided not to go out of our ‘home’, we would try to defend ourselves the legal way first, but if that would fail, we would fall back on good old physical resistance.
The first thing we felt we should do, to give out a clear signal, was to brick up our entrance, so we could not be surprised by any unannounced eviction action. The bricks and all other materials were delivered the next day.
Name, date and place of conflict:
Plantlord against landlord…
Fuck the landlord!
Even my grandson Nigel, who walked by with his Mom, lend a hand, he found it all very interesting. After all, it is for his future too, as a third generation of coffeeshop owners, one day.
Silvia, my daughter, went inside for a coffee, she does not smoke at all, but she wanted to let Nigel help his grandfather for a while. Nigel even took his coat off, handing bricks is a heavy job for him.
Rene took over for a while, it was a real community effort, the bricks were sponsored by WWW members.
We set up an Action Committee, to gather autographs for support and activists for further action, like a lock in with as many people as possible, all chained to the building.
We made a second wall inside, behind the first wall, to make sure we had a real fortress kind of defence against a riot squad, if necessary. Joanie even laid some bricks.
Both walls are coming up nicely, Dennis at the job here.
We were taken to court by the
Landlord’s Lawyer, on May 24, 2002, accused of being bad tenants and such! We
had renovated the building for hundreds of thousands of guilders, the last few
years, and we always paid our rent.
We decided to take it to the street, by setting up a coffeeshop on the Big Market, in front of Haarlem’s City Hall, during the court case. The Action Committee organised a march, and applied for a permit from the Police. The Police issued us a permit to march through the City, to the Courthouse, and back, the rote was across the Big Market.
Maruska, one of the forces in the Action Committee, made the banners.
Willie Wortel on the pavement?
Preparing to leave, we had a couple of transport bikes to carry the furniture and the soccer table.
The Police escort had arrived, two Officers, by bike, to guide the march through traffic.
Maruska wants to keep the pace down…
Heading for the city center, the police stops the traffic.
Nearing the Courthouse.
Opposite the Courthouse.
The protesters made a lot of noise, I could hear them from inside the Courtroom, they moved to the Big Market after a few minutes, to set up shop.
This is what I saw, when I cam back from court, the Judge had ruled in our favour, and allowed us another year in the building, but we had to get out after that, as he ruled in favour of the Landlord as well.
The soccer table was in use…
As well as the smokers area.
I came with the good news, the protesters were glad, and relieved.
We all went back to our ’second home’, to smoke a fat joint on this victory.
Roaches all over…
Mark my colleague from coffeeshop Far Out in Dedemsvaart, has come to all our marches and protests, as we went to his…
The local cable tv had a few
pages on it, we were happy to be able to stay abit longer, we knew they would
get us evicted eventually, but we could not find a new location…
We managed to find one in 2002, we kept the Landlord, the Lawyer, the Bailiff and the City Council off until the day we could move in to the new premises, thanks to the support of the Police, who thought we were being treated unfair…
We moved to our new location on the Houtplein, with number 16a, just like our former building…
The newspaper reported Willie Wortel moved to former disco Pandora’s Box.
We still feel sad about the loss
of our first building, which is still standing, the project was not approved by
the City\ Council after all. They helped in getting us evicted for that, by
erasing us in their new City development plans, which are now cancelled.
We survived, as always…
We moved on may3, 2002, 2 years
after the announcement, we were safe, we have a lease purchase contract on the
building, we will buy it in three years.
We already feel at home in this bright new place, but we all hope Mr. Cramer will one day be evicted too….