Testimonial 1

Dear squat legal defense fund,

Thanks for setting up this initiative. I’m writing to you to because I myself have been confronted with high legal costs on a house that I squatted. I am not in direct need for money, as I imagine you get more applications than you can fund, but I’d like to share my story and ask for some support if that is possible. In may 2012 I squatted a house, on the same day that another house that was squatted earlier that day got evicted immediately. The people who had organised that action also planned to start a courtcase against the state against these kinds of evictions, but since they needed to have an urgent interest (i.e. the house, which was already evicted again) they couldn’t. We were assisted by the same lawyer, who then contacted me to ask if I could “take over” the courtcase, by putting my name on it and the address of the house that I had squatted that day. Since it was a case to build jurisprudence it didn’t matter much which house would do it. I knew our lawyer had worked hard on this case so I decided to go through with it. We lost the courtcase unfortunately, and I shortly after received one letter asking for around 1600 euros of procedural costs. I ignored this letter, knowing that often the state would not actively chase squatters for this money. However, in the beginning of 2014 more letters came, and at some point also a bailiff. I managed to make a deal with the bailiff of paying 50 euros every month, which is not very problematic as I have a relatively stable income at the moment. It’s still, of course, shit that I am now paying all this money personally. Even before this happened I tried to get in touch with the people who had planned the case originally, but it was hard to reach them, let alone make some arrangements for the financial troubles I was expecting. Since I squatted the house by myself I had no group to share responsibility and costs with. I am now at least relieved of the stress that direct financial threats and bailiffs cause, but can’t say I’m happy about the situation this way. Again, I’m very glad that you set up this fund for people in positions like mine or worse. In the time that I lived in this house for instance I had no income at all and wouldn’t have had any idea of how to pay. Since I am not in any immediate risk now I imagine there are other cases which are more urgent. Nonetheless I wanted to share my story with you, for the sake of emphasizing the importance of your fund if nothing else.
In solidarity,