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Mustapha's speech on action day against Wilders | December 2

On December 2, a broad coalition of action groups demonstrated on Dam Square in Amsterdam against the racist and fascist scapegoat policy of Wilders and the PVV, among others. Mustapha spoke on behalf of the Woonopstand action coalition and emphasized in his speech that we must not allow population groups to be played off against each other. Read his speech below.

Good afternoon everyone, my name is Mustapha. I am from the National Housing Rebellion Coalition. We are a coalition of various housing action groups, such as Niet te Koop, here from Amsterdam, and various home demonstrations from all over the Netherlands.

I'll start with a personal story. My story starts in the neighborhood where I come from, a neighborhood in South Rotterdam, a working-class neighborhood. Where people from different backgrounds live together, live together. According to the municipality and the landlord, we had one thing in common: we had a lower than average income. And for that reason we had to make way for the rich, and our homes were demolished.

We didn't leave it at that. We rebelled. We united. With us it does not matter which religion you follow or where your parents were born. or whatever background you have. We fight together for our housing rights. Aad, Gerard, Hamza, Arbia, Wim and An, Wien, Edwin, Miriam… all together, side by side they stood up for their housing rights.

But it is policymakers who destroy the social cohesion of a neighborhood with their policies. It is the same policy makers who discriminated against Henk and Ingrid on the basis of their income through the discriminatory Rotterdam law. Being Henk and Ingrid who are faced with an income-related rent increase, and housing allowance that they have to repay when their child returns to live at home.

But the PVV voter will never hear that from Wilders. And that is why I now take this opportunity to address the PVV voter. I am addressing the PVV voter who voted for Wilders not out of hatred, but out of dissatisfaction. We understand your concerns. We see your concerns. Your concerns about unaffordable housing. Your concerns about damp and mold in your home, which your landlord does nothing about and which makes you and your children sick. Your concerns about your children, who are forced to live with their parents because they cannot find an affordable house and therefore cannot build a life of their own. Your concerns about an annual rent increase on a rent that is already much too high. You worry about whether you can put hot food on the table, because the rent has to be paid again. Your concerns about your temporary contract and whether you will still have a roof over your head next month. Your concerns about homeless people.

Let me tell you one thing about your concerns. These are not caused by Muslims. These are not caused by migrants. These do not come from status holders. Your concerns are the result of conscious policy. So if there's one thing that needs to be done, it's stairs up. To people who make policy. It is the policymakers who have caused this largest housing crisis since the Second World War. They deliberately demolished public housing so that private market parties can profit from your housing rights. They tax social housing. They sell social housing. They liberalize social housing. And they demolish social housing.

And at the slightest suggestion, lobbyists from real estate interests and institutional investors stand up to destroy that regulation. It was Stef Blok, ex-VVD minister of housing who traveled the world to lure parasitic investors to the Netherlands. And as a result, you are now paying far too high rent. This does not involve a status holder. There is no Muslim involved. There is no migrant involved. This involves people who want to get rich off your back!

So your concerns are not the result of the status holders or the Muslims. Your concerns are the result of conscious policy. Your concerns are our shared concerns, and we fight for housing rights for everyone.

What the racist and discriminatory Wilders does is appoint a scapegoat. He blames people like me. While many have been fighting against housing injustice with me for years. Against exploitation. Against exclusion. Against violations of residential rights. Against exclusion because you have a low income. Against exclusion because you have a certain sexual orientation or a certain migration background.

And political parties that link the housing crisis to status holders and migrants, you should be ashamed of yourself! You have contributed to a climate of hatred, xenophobia, racism and discrimination. It is the VVD and their political accomplices who have created this climate. Migrants, Muslims and people who have fled to the Netherlands from war and persecution are now being blamed for the housing crisis that is hitting us all hard.

They have contributed to the climate of racism and discrimination, but we look at you for it, VVD. No hatred without a breeding ground. So VVD and other neo-liberals, take a good look in the mirror. And look in what swamp you have left us. You are partly responsible for these feelings of hatred.

Wilders is not the solution to your concerns. We have to make a stand together. Standing up together against injustice. Stand together against the policy makers who have caused this housing crisis.

We are not going to solve the housing crisis this way. We should not let this happen at the expense of people. Allowing people to stay in an asylum seeker center for longer is not the solution.

We have the solution in-house. The solution is widely accessible public housing for everyone who needs it. Where rents are affordable. Where no one sleeps on the street. Where you don't get sick from your own home. Where you don't have to choose between hot food and a warm house. Those are the solutions.

And don't let anyone tell you that's not possible. This 'divide and conquer' suits the people who are already well off. We must not allow ourselves to be played against each other. Scapegoat politics will never, ever be the solution to the housing crisis. So don't let yourself be played against each other.

Thank you.

Mustapha Eaisaouiyen

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