The Netherlands has a controversial policy in which families who behave in chronically antisocial ways get exiled to so-called “scum villages.” Excerpt:
Following a long period of trouble with the police and neighbors, the city recently evicted the Dimitrov family from Amsterdam’s Noord district and sent them to basic accommodation onZeeburger Island, a predominantly ex-industrial port zone in the area where the city meets the Ijmeer Lake. Housed in converted shipping containers monitored by a heavy police presence, the idea behind the move is that the family will bother their neighbors less if they don’t have any neighbors to bother.
The plan is part of a controversial, long-threatened scheme to create far-flung, socially isolated communities for the “antisocial,” approvingly dubbed “scum villages” by rightist politician Geert Wilders, who suggested the best way to deal with disruptive citizens would be for the authorities to “put all the trash together.” Intended to shield the law-abiding from public nuisance, the scheme intends to place the troublesome in a form of social quarantine until they’re dubbed to be sufficiently domesticated to return to their previous homes. Following the current trend for reusing shipping containers, these short-term digs are in effect an open form of pop-up prison.
Eberhard van der Laan, Amsterdam’s mayor, admitted that the removal of the family was a draconian measure but insisted that bullying and violent behaviour had left him with no choice.
“The family has been causing problems for years and has a history of vandalism, noise nuisance and threatening behaviour,” he said.
The eight members of the gypsy family have compared their container homes, numbers 48a and 48b, to a concentration camp and accused Amsterdam council of “pure racism”.
Francois Lonis, an ex-boyfriend of one of the Dimitrov daughters who still lives with the family, criticised Mr van der Laan for commemorating the Holocaust while “discriminating” against Roma. “The mayor talks about Auschwitz but sends us to this place,” he said.
“Where is my mother-in-law supposed to do the shopping. Our television does not fit inside.”
Their television doesn’t fit inside? Yep, sounds like Bergen-freaking-Belsen to me.
I assume that the violent, antisocial Dimitrovs left publicly subsidized housing for publicly subsidized housing. The Dutch taxpayers are putting a roof over the head, but these people cannot be bothered to obey the law and be decent to their neighbors. Why not send them away if they can’t live in peace with their neighbors? The fact that this lot would compare their exile to a concentration camp shows what sort of people they are. The Guardian reported earlier on the plan, which, note well, is authored by the Labour government of the very, very liberal and tolerant Dutch city:
But Bartho Boer, a spokesman for the mayor, denies that the plans are illiberal. “We want to defend the liberal values of Amsterdam,” he says. “We want everyone to be who he and she is – whether they are gay and lesbian or stand up to violence and are then victims of harassment. We as a society want to defend them.”
According to Boer, the villages are not for “the regular nuisance between two neighbours where one has the stereo too loud on Saturday night” but “people who are extremely violent and intimidating and in a clear situation where a victim is being repeatedly harassed”.
Those deemed guilty of causing “extreme havoc” will be evicted and placed in temporary homes of a “basic” nature, including converted shipping containers in industrial areas of the city. “We call it a living container,” says Boer. Housing antisocial tenants in these units, which have showers and kitchens and have been used as student accommodation, will ensure that they are not “rewarded” by being relocated to better accommodation.
They’ll only be there for six months, then moved to some other government-financed housing. Good for the Amsterdam city government for moving to protect its law-abiding citizens from thug families like the Dimitrovs. The city’s mayor said that the Dimitrovs have a long record of “vandalism, noise and threats. If other solutions do not work, it must be the culprit that moves, not the victims. “
The surprising thing about this, and the especially commendable thing, is that the left-wing mayor of Amsterdam clearly recognizes who the real victims are here — and they are not the Gypsy family screaming about racism.
Oh, and by the way, no need to put shipping containers down. One of the best and coolest new restaurants on the Alabama coast, The Gulf, is built in repurposed shipping containers.