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The struggle of preserving the Lutkemeerpolder – Updates

What is the Lutkemeerpolder?

– some background information about the struggle around the Lutkemeerpolder –

The Lutkemeerpolder, located in the West of Amsterdam is a beautiful piece of land, one of the last fertile, organically certified soils in Amsterdam. Among other benefits, this piece of land could be a great space for starting to build a more localized and sustainable food system, supplying food for the citizens of Amsterdam (Link).

However, the beauty of this land is endangered. In December 2019, the municipality of Amsterdam (then GroenLinks, D66, PvDA and SP) decided to not preserve this land, but rather to sell it to profit-addicted corporations. Due to this, the Schiphol Airport Development Company (SADC) is currently destroying the land to build warehouses and distribution centres there. Since 2019, one of the main candidates to build there was Albert Heijn’s parent company Ahold, planning to build a distribution centre on 5.5 ha of the land (Link).

A group of concerned citizens, called Behoud Lutkemeer has been fighting against this destruction since 2018 (for more info see here). Not only do they mobilize against the loss of the polder, but they proposed an alterative solution for the use of this land. This plan, the ‘biopolder’, envisions how this land could be used for producing local  food and could serve as recreational and educational space (see here).

What is new?

a little update on recent events in and around the polder –

In the last weeks, much has happened, the destruction is happening right now, in front of our eyes!

Since the 23rd of November, the destruction of the polder has begun. Every day diggers destroy the fertile land of the polder to prepare it for the building of distribution centres.

The building company GEM & BV is currently digging trenches all around the terrain to put in enormous tubes to transport water. They are preparing the land to build a street through the precious land.

Albert Heijn has announced to pull back from building on the Lutkemeerpolder!

On the 28th of November, it has been announced that Ahold, the parent company of Albert Heijn has pulled back from building on the Lutkemeerpolder (Link). They deny that this is due to past actions targeting Albert Heijn that have happened in the past, such as gluing the doors of 18 stores of Albert Heijn by the Action Group AH must Go (Link). However, we are not so sure if that is true 😊

When this news was made public, Behoud Lutkemeer organized a celebratory demonstration in front of the Stopera with dances, music, and speeches. This demonstration was organized to remind the municipality that we are here, we are loud and strong and that we will not give up until there are no more machines on the polder!

However, the destruction has not stopped yet, diggers continue to destroy the land.

People have taken action and will continue to do so!

On the 25th of November, activists caused destruction at the building of the Gemeente in Oost, spraying a graffiti that said: “AH uit de Lutkemeer”, translated “AH [Albert Heijn] out of the Lutkemeer” (picture on the left).

Then, on Monday, the 29th of November activists spray painted the windows of the excavators on the Lutkemeer with chalk spray. There were also some texts on the diesel tanks and mobile houses. Texts like ”STOP” and “This is a warning”. The day after, all work ceased, and the excavators were removed. But soon after, one excavator returned to destroy more of the precious organic soil.

On Monday, 6 December there was another activity on the polder. Behoud Lutkemeer and Extinction Rebellion put up banners on the fences around the terrain and spray-painted texts on the ground. Even some people of the neighborhood came and got informed of what was happening. There was also a documentary maker on site, getting material for his documentary on the Lutkemeerpolder (picture on the right).

These actions are only recent events following a series of actions organized by Behoud Lutkemeer, AH must Go! and Extinction Rebellion, such as demonstrations in front of Albert Heijn and in the polder itself ( see a.o. Klimaatcamp, Demonstration Zaandam and Blocking the construction)

Despite all these actions, the destruction has slowed down but has not stopped yet…  

ASEED is committed to localizing food production, supporting small scale farmers, as this is part of the solution to the climate and ecological crises. The Lutkemeerpolder is a perfect example for where and how this could be done, wherefore we believe that it is crucial to stop these works!

Therefore, we say….

join the fight!

organize!

do autonomous actions!

show the politicians we are angry!

stop the destruction!

people over profit!