The militant community response to the death of squatter Hans Kok in police custody on 25 October 1985.
However fragmented the squatter's movement became into scenes, incidents, actions and individuals existing parallel to each other, a remnant of the original feeling of movement stubbornly lived on; people “still had something together.” This became obvious in February 1984 at the eviction of Wijers, a gigantic block of office buildings near the Central Station in Amsterdam. Without residents or media expecting it, in the night before the riot police were to empty the building, 2000 people showed up and, to their own surprise, held a sort of reunion of the squatters' movement, with music, stories and much joviality at finally seeing each other again. The night was not an expression of a revival of Amsterdam squatting, or an endorsement of the anti-suburbanization slogans of the Wijers residents; rather, the reunion was a remembrance of a movement in which they had shared joys and sorrows, but which was of no further use to them. When the following morning, after some yanking and pulling by the police, they strolled out of the squat as a group, they immediately lost track of each other again. The slogan, “I'm not a part of the movement, the movement is a part of me,” indicated that communality was not the context in which they “fought a city battle,” but a sting which had stayed behind in each individually.
For years already the phrase “the squatters' movement is dead” had been appearing in the (inside) media. But this imprecation was never very convincing, considering that in the squatters' movement accord was never reached about where the terminus in fact was. Neither had anyone ever succeeded in forcing its downfall. Squatting went on, unreasoning, whether as “movement” or as structures to be restored. Different from what befell, for example, the Berlin Bewegung. With the death of Klaus-Jürgen Rattay on September 22, 1981, during a series of evictions, that movement was assigned a definitive end. Afterwards a debate broke loose in Berlin over what exactly “the death of the movement” meant, until on May 1, 1984, the last squats there were either evicted or legalized. Yet in Amsterdam there was also such a vanishing point.
The November 23, 1978, clearance of the Nicholas Beetstraat-Jacob van Lennepstraat corner house in the Kinker district of Amsterdam is praised in current creation narratives as the step up to a squatters' movement which in 1980 no longer steered clear of violent resistance. The pictures on film show it. On that day, squatters, who stood three rows deep with arms linked to passively stop the eviction, were beaten up with batons while shouting, “No violence, no violence!” It was clear that this would not happen again: “In answer to the senseless provocations of the authorities it's difficult to stay a bit reasonable yourself. A crowd stirred up has such an unheard-of energy, if that's unleashed the professional brawlers will be nowhere,” stated the nonviolent activists afterwards.
When the Groote Keyser got an eviction notice at the end of '79 and was rebuilt into a fortress, the collective feeling was that the lesson of '78 now had to be taken through to the extreme. The shared certainty that the squat would be actively defended went so far that rumors made the rounds “that there were people who'd decided to fight till the death.” This worriless preparation for the unknown kept the fury alive which made of a motley group of neighborhoods, houses and individuals “the collected Amsterdam squat groups.” As a sign that they would “go on” to the bitter end, the circle with the arrow borrowed from Hobo language was elevated to squatting symbol.
In the Vondelstraat it would become clear what it meant in concrete terms to cross the border of violence. “There was one time I was really very scared,” says Erik.
“That was at the Vondelstraat when that helicopter came and they said they were going to shoot. Then out of the morning grayness the whole mess of them came marching up. There were still so few of us. My legs were shaking - from over-exhaustion too, I think. I was scared, very scared, like, now people are going to die.”
Despite tanks, forceful charges and mass brick-throwing, no one died. The magic moment was passed over. On April 30, 1980, too, despite the flood of rumors about two victims, death remained no more than a threat.
Despite ever harsher means by the authorities - smoking out squatters and injuring them with tear and vomit gas, drawn pistols, vans that drove into crowds and summary jurisdiction of spies - the riot code born in 1980 stood firm on the side of the squatters. The riot code was aimed at maintaining the legitimacy of justified rage, which needed to spent through honest means. New forms of action like the bank expeditions backed away from confrontation; they stopped short at the limit of the mollie (molotov cocktail) and the pistol. These methods were reserved for the case that there might be a death - “If we're shot at, we'll shoot back” - and not before. In the preparation for every riot lay apprehension, “whether they'll force us to go one step further again.” But the feeling prevailed that if you did that, “something massive would happen.” The fear of (but also the desire for) the hell that would break loose meant that neither a death nor the use of a mollie was allowed to be included in the strategy. In the private sphere there was no taboo on incorporating death in the thought play about the next riot, but at meetings and in statements for the outside world it was not allowed to be mentioned.
Maya to Simon in late 1980:
“I can still hear you at a meeting about defending the PH-kade saying, 'we have to consider that there could be deaths.' I could have slugged you! For me that's not a consideration.”
“It was the discussion about, if we were going to defend ourselves, what happens then? Well, you could see that afterwards. There were goddamn sharpshooters.”
“If you're ready to get shot down, that seems so absurd in my mind. I would never, never be ready to do that for something like that. They can't push me that far!”
“It's weighing the interests. I've got it shitty now, I don't see a single way ahead in my future. I only keep going for I don't know what, because I still have some feeling of purpose. If I drop dead now, it will make no difference. But if I have the feeling that there's a point to getting shot down, well, fine. With that I'm mainly thinking of publicity. If a squat is a symbol of an unjust eviction, of a policy that's wrong, then it has a point. After all, I've got nothing...none of this is mine. I've got nothing, so it doesn't matter a fuck to me.”
Simon here prosaically interprets the heroic vision of one's own death: by dying at the right moment, no-future living finds purpose. He is ready to use his life as a means of action to bring the squatters' movement to its climax. Maya radically rejects this sort of heroism; she sees her life separately from the squatters' movement, as an absolute value. But this fully conscious acceptance of martyrdom was an exception. The contemplations concerning death revolved, rather, around the death of the other. If a fellow activist should be murdered on the street and the rest would thus be survivors, it was up to them to redeem their guilt with respect to the death with the “massive” something which was then to happen. That was the secret of the squatters' movement.
On August 19, 1980, the tension evoked by the secret was released in a remarkable way. After the clearance of the PH-kade that afternoon, despite the mayor's assurance that no other evictions would follow, Huidenstraat 19 was suddenly evacuated by plainclothesmen with drawn pistols. When riot police appeared on the canal afterwards,
“it was completely obvious to us what was going to happen: they would go around the corner and try to take the Groote Keyser too.”
The Keyser, a stone's throw away from the Huidenstraat, had already been two months under reconstruction, under the leadership of Hein from the Staatslieden district, but for that work little spirit existed in the city. It preferred to move from one symbol to the other along with the eviction wave. Yet the Keyser was still looked upon with awe as the place where it all started.
Immediately after word of evictions was spread, massive barricades were thrown up at the bridges around the squat. The feeling that the final battle that had never come that afternoon at the PH-kade was now about to be fought rapidly accelerated the excitement to a fever pitch. But nothing happened; the police did not attack. Then the question was: what now? At that moment the police came to the squatters with a white flag and proposed, “We won't clear the Keyser if you take no further actions and give up the barricades.” The question now was whether, in exchange for the levelling of the barricades, it should be demanded that all arrestees of that afternoon had to be immediately set free. The police would never concede to such a demand, and it could provoke a super-violent clearance of the Keyser. At a meeting called between the barricades a bizarre argument arose about this between Hein's group, who wanted the riot and thus really thought “we have to fight to the death,” and a number of veterans from the Pijp district who blamed Hein for wanting, by staking the symbol, to specifically force the death of the squatters' movement. The eviction would have made the Keyser a squat which could be fought over with the city for years to come; kept, it could at the most stay legalized and lived in, whereby it would lose its symbolic power. After the police had signed a paper that they would clear “neither the Groote Keyser nor any other squat...on the condition that no more squatting will take place on this day and the barricades are cleared away in an extremely short time,” the commotion was over. Since then, the collective secret has never again expressed itself in the desire to go down together in an immense Armageddon.
At the second “Close Down Dodewaard” blockade in late September 1981, the police, for that matter, proved quite capable of forcing the death of a movement. There were no deaths there either (though there were rumors), but everyone present went away with the feeling “that they were trying to kill us all with the tear gas” and that proved sufficient, as far as no nukes were concerned, to do away with a movement feeling which wasn't so lively anyway.
Thursday, October 25, 1985. The “Amsterdam Squatters' Movement” has one symbol left, and a few enclaves which are organized more or less according to the 1980 model. Against this symbol, the Staatslieden district, the municipality has announced a final offensive, with the goal of definitively putting a stop to the squatters' power in this neighborhood. A separate police team with its own local station has been set up to eliminate the squatting group. Its secret policy plan has leaked two days before, and via City Radio been brought into the open. On October 24, against all behavioral codes between neighborhood and municipality, the storefront Schaepmanstraat 59-I is evicted. An alarm is given and a group of about 100 people assembles in the public squatters' bar The Sewer Rat. Karel:
“I ended up there by chance because I'd been asked that afternoon by a friend to help squat a flat in the Okeghemstraat. The whole group that was sitting in the Schinkel district waiting for the meeting address decided to bicycle to the Staats when the alarm came, because it was obvious that this was the beginning of the big eviction wave the city had been going on about for years. In front of the Sewer Rat we stood waiting about another hour in the sun. When we saw that the child of the woman who'd just been evicted had red hair, we decided to help with the re-squat. Then there was a little meeting inside the Rat. Piet asked if we really felt like re-squatting, because there were cops in the building. I'll never forget the surprise on his face when everyone, without hesitating, roared 'yes.' 'It's never been done before,' he said carefully.”
The group, armed with table legs, sets out for the Schaepmanstraat, about a 100-meter walk. At the re-squat no one turns out to have brought along a crowbar and the door is pounded in with battle weapons. When the first person tries to climb inside through a bashed-open door panel, he is shot in the arm by one of the officers who are in the house. After much yelling by the re-squatters the police climb over the balcony to a neighboring house, where they can stand and watch the further course of events without being further harrassed. Karel:
“I was standing there on the street wondering what all was suddenly going on, I hadn't been at a riot in ages. Neighbors were hanging out the windows and yelled that if the street was going to be barricaded, we could use their old trailer. The sidewalk got broken up a bit, but it still didn't amount to much. Suddenly a cop car drives through the street just like that, to case the situation, but it was chased away by flying rocks. Then a rock crashed inside and a minute later I see someone run out of the house and plop down in front of me on the sidewalk. 'Shot in the arm' was going around. It didn't look so impressive anyway. It didn't really sink in either, after all no one had ever been shot by police before. Later the guy was taken away in an ambulance. I thought, that new eviction policy is already tainted with blood, from now on they'll think twice about coming and evicting stuff.”
The flat one floor up is moved into by a group of regular Sewer Rat customers, who begin to throw in rocks to be used as ammunition. They had been waiting for weeks for a hefty confrontation with the local team. Karel:
“When it got through that the riot police were approaching, Piet stood there with a megaphone hollering out a window that everyone had to get in the building. It seemed like a good idea to me, the safest place anyhow. Once we were inside and the downstairs door was barricaded shut, it turned out Piet had left the building again. Out the windows you saw the rocks whizzing onto the flat hats who were supposed to come wipe the street clean. Then I realized that the situation that afternoon would be something different than I'd just estimated.”
About 50 squatters are there, spread through the building, and manage to ward off the first attack. Karel:
“It lasted forever after that. The riot police were spread out all over the square diagonally in front of the building. As soon as they came closer they got roof tiles over them. Harry took a swig from a beer bottle, but there was ammonia in it for pouring out on the cops.”
“Then I left through the back garden with Betsie and a guy who'd got hit on the head with a rock, to find a doctor, but we were immediately arrested. Betsie was thrown back out of the police car again fast, but we two were driven to the hospital and brought in in handcuffs and examined. The doctor said I had to drink a lot and if I'd swallowed any of the ammonia it could go wrong. I could choke. At Headquarters I quickly started claiming I was really short of breath. Then within two hours they kicked me back out onto the street.”
“In the Schaepmanstraat that afternoon there were negotiations out the window with a cop over unopposed withdrawal and no eviction, but what did we have to offer in exchange? We started to play games on the stairway to kill time ('I'm going on a trip and I'm taking along...'). Then in the setting sun on the roof opposite us, we saw Hein appear, like a sort of mythical figure, waving and everything. That was a kick. Then we agreed to strike back at the riot police one more time. Not much discussion was necessary. It was more of a sporting exploit. The fact was we were stuck and the outside crew who were supposed to rescue us were nowhere in sight. Strangely enough everyone was pretty relaxed; a sort of military sobriety had come over us.”
Despite a tremendous rain of street rocks, roof tiles, windows with frames and all, beams, doors, and paving stones from the building, at 6:00 the riot police succeed in occupying the house once more. Some of the squatters manage to escape through a neighboring house over the street, but 32 people are arrested in and around the building with much violence and taken into custody at Headquarters.
A day later, Friday around 4:00, a group of 200 squatters outfitted with helmets, clubs and leather jackets advances from the Sewer Rat to re-squat the Schaepmanstraat for the second time. The group is thwarted by a platoon of riot police at the corner of Schaepman” and Van Hallstraat. “Rocks, smoke bombs and a single mollie ZIJN HUN DEEL.” Then an attempt is made to set the nearby wooden municipal outpost building on fire, “because the city isn't keeping up its end of the bargain.” But a beginning fire goes out quickly. After the first collision between squatters and riot police, the former withdraw at an intersection to regroup for a second attack.
Paul was there too:
“The mood was that we'd recapture the house however we could. Everyone was standing close together. The riot police stayed in front of the Schaepmanstraat. Piet had a radio and right at the moment it was getting quiet, the 5:00 news came on with the report that one of the arrested squatters had died in the police cell. Then Piet turned the radio up loud and held it above his head so everyone could hear. It was like a bomb had fallen on that square. First everyone was standing close together listening, but then everyone suddenly moved back and away and finally Piet was standing there by himself with the radio over his head. Till he must have thought, what am I doing here, and walked away. Actually you'd expect that the reaction to the news would be a huge outburst of rage, but instead it seemed like the people didn't know what to do anymore. The motivation to keep on with the re-squat had disappeared in a flash. Everyone was silent, at the most talking quietly to each other. It was soon known that it must be Hans Kok, maybe from people who'd been to take packages to the prisoners. We decided to go back to the Sewer Rat to deal with the news. People couldn't believe it, it hit harder than a smack with a baton. Maybe something played a part like, shit, if they destroy someone who's already in a cell, then they can shoot us down here on the street like that too.”
The police had known of the death since 12:00 and were present en masse in the Staatslieden district. The group of re-squatters which had fallen apart and turned back to the Sewer Rat was being awaited in every street, riot police vans tore towards them and it appeared that tear gas would be shot, “but the wind wasn't right so they called it off.” And, continues Paul,
“so we had to run the gauntlet. A sort of difficult route was chosen to come back to the Sewer Rat. There we were with 200 people, the whole lot packed like sardines, and even before we talked, what the plan was, we were suddenly surrounded by riot vans and riot police got out with tear gas guns meant for us. They really had this idea like, before it escalates, before the rage can express itself, first we have to wipe it out, at least intimidate. Then the riot police withdrew. They were just showing us what they could do.”
A second group is just hearing at the Sewer Rat that a squatter has died in a cell: “Jesus Christ! Just murdered! Beat to a pulp and left to his fate.” Then riot police appear once more on the small square outside the cafe·. The inside media report:
“People are hardly able to jump out of the way. Followed by a rain of rocks the van drives away. Barricades are thrown up around the square and this time tear gas is fired. People are chased away from the Sewer Rat and mostly followed far into the neighborhood by plainclothesmen. Police everywhere, easily 300 riot police and virtually all the snatch squads. The Staatslieden district is more or less closed off.”
An hour and a half later in the community center The Copper Button a “mass meeting” is held, for which the press too is drummed up. The dejection from the Sewer Rat appears to have moved into a following phase: “We'll get them back.” Because of the spies present no concrete plan of action could be discussed. Besides, there were far too many riot police in the city to carry out a mass action. It was decided to go back to the neighborhoods and “break up that night into small groups and attack as many municipal institutions as possible.” Piet told the press, “I have no authority over everyone here. I can imagine that people are so angry they'll do very strange things. But that's for the city to deal with.” There was no contact among the respective neighborhoods until the demonstration, announced for the following day. After five years it turned out that the secret about the death of the other was so alive and well that everyone knew exactly what had to be done now: the “massive” thing which had been waited for all these years, now the magic moment had arrived to let it happen.
“It was really strange that Friday night. Suddenly everyone seemed to have the same kind of click. Everyone had the idea, now we'll use the ultimate means, just before the guns anyway: the mollie. Even people who were generally moderate said, now it's gone too far, this has to stop. Militancy had suddenly set in. That night was really an exceptional situation. Everyone went around with mollies in their pockets, everyone had full gasoline cans and went to work with fire. Now you could; it was the new action method. The fear threshold was gone. It didn't matter if you were picked up either. I think there was really a feeling of justification, like, I'm within my rights. You can bust me but it doesn't matter a fuck anyway. Normally you don't set cop cars on fire in front of a police station, you think it over a couple of weeks, how you'll go about it. Then it happened spontaneously, wham. Saturday I ran into people who said, I thought we were the only ones who'd go do something so heavy. And everyone did it.”
The fire obsession went so far that, according to reports, certain gas stations in the city, where suddenly all kinds of heavy types were ceaselessly streaming up to fill gas cans, didn't want to provide any more fuel, “because you guys just set fires with it.” In addition a story went around that “people you'd never have expected it from were fooling with timing mechanisms.” At least 40 lightning strikes took place, including arson at the traffic police (damage: 1.2 million guilders), at municipal outposts, an empty prison, the city records office, builders' huts, garbage cans, a tour boat, the city hall. And other cities would not be left in the dust either: in Nijmegen automobile tires on the freeway catch fire, in Utrecht windowpanes perish at municipal buildings...
Late Friday night the squatters' movement made its secret public. Under what circumstances Hans Kok had died were at that moment irrelevant. People had pictured the death of the other on an urban battlefield amidst clubbing riot police and charging vans, but that someone in a cell had now died a miserable death, “À la South Africa or Chile,” made in fact no difference. Through his death he became the one waited for for so many years; Hans Kok was “the other.” All suppressed movement feelings could now be brought to the surface in all their compelling pathos. The sting of the fear felt all those years at various actions, and of the pain of all those times you had run away when you should have fought back, comes spewing out when someone has stayed standing and perished for it. The guilt of having narrowly escaped death so often, to have survived such heavy things that it was only by chance that you walked away in one piece, and the knowledge that someone had now died the death that the authorities had had planned for everyone, placed Hans Kok far above the concurrence of circumstances that had caused his death. This was something the media could not fathom; for them a “normal” arrestee had died and what were those squatters getting so excited about? That after so many years of loss of the squatters' movement there was still a large group of people who were deeply hurt by the first death on the side of the squatters, was beyond their comprehension. Fear of and longing for death are extramedial; they cannot be converted into obligation-free information. That on Friday night the limits of fire hazard had been exceeded on a large scale proves that the intention was not to convert emotional intensity into understandable performances. The censorship prescribed by the media on actions which “are bad for the public opinion” were radically shoved aside for a night. The actions were not aimed at an imaginary viewing crowd which had to be mobilized or influenced, but were an expression of the desire to raise a real crowd to collectively rage out the anger and the grief.
The fire actions were still being done by relatively few groups. But at the demonstration the next afternoon a few thousand people were suddenly present. From this it became apparent that those who hadn't joined in actual (squat) actions in a long time were still tuned in on the secret: for them too Hans Kok had become, in one blow, the other. They had responded to the call of the nightly signals of fire and falling glass. But now that the secret was openly acknowledged and raged out, it had lost its power. The demo which began en masse on the Beursplein quickly thinned out in a series of confrontations with the police who were already present. “A whole lot of people lost track of each other because they had to run from riot cops and plainclothesmen.”
On Friday night all those who still considered themselves part of the squatters' movement had rediscovered their unity, by without previous arrangement all providing a series of fragmented events with the same mass symbol, flames and tinkling glass. The unity of Saturday's demonstration had the same emotional charge as the night before, but the real crowd did not succeed in staying together. It could have been a funeral procession, in which all concerned could have collectively carried the squatters' movement to its grave. In raging out its secret driving force, it could have come to a halt on the spot where the first squatter had died. The demo after the death of Hans Kok could have become that vanishing point, but the police, afraid of a new upsurge in “squatting incidents,” kept the crowd in permanent motion with charges and plainclothesmen-paranoia. Thus it stayed unclear, for the demonstrators themselves too, what they had in common that day, what good it was doing them to take to the streets en masse for this particular cell death.
The rage after the announcement of Hans Kok's death derived its power from the fact that a squatter had been killed. The police immediately issued a press statement in which his death was made an apolitical overdose, in the certainty that in squatters' circles this could count on minimal attention. On Friday evening from the squatters' side a demand was formulated: “There must be an independent investigation into the cause of Hans' death by doctors appointed by us.” This was an attempt to get medial legitimation for the rage which at that moment was in its construction phase. But the press didn't want to hear much about the squatters' arguments and blindly followed the version propagated by police PR. The demand for an investigation also included an element which pushed Hans Kok aside and incorporated him along with the many anonymous cell deaths. This “broadening” was correct from the standpoint of the activists, who had already tried before to file complaints against the circumstances in police cells and never been listened to. But that his was a cell death was less important than the fact that he was a squatter, and therefore the connection remained abstract.
In the call for an independent investigation, however, the factor which would dissolve the rage into medical, scientific and legal details had already been introduced: it made the cause of death a problem for the experts. Precisely as the rage over the housing shortage in '80”'81 had become entangled in a juridic network around purchase, claims, anonymous subpoenas and other procedures and arguments incomprehensible to the uninitiated, the Hans Kok case passed through a similar cycle. The media too figured out after awhile that the police had simply publicized some random versions of the death in order to camouflage their own mistakes and negligence. They in turn began to press for more investigation. After a closetful of reports and counter-investigation, accompanied by stacks of newspaper clippings and chief-editorial commentaries, all the research ultimately produced no more than private security guards in the cell block, to prevent the overtaxed guards from making mistakes again with undesired publicitary consequences.
Hans Kok died because the police let him die. But he died also because he, in any case to a certain extent, wanted to: during his arrest he swallowed a bottle of methadone tablets and he knew what kind of consequences that might have. Hans Kok had said to his parents that “he wouldn't see 30.” His death fit into the no-future heroism that Simon had already formulated in 1980, and which is part of the secret arsenal of dreams of every life-artist who wants more than flyers and peaceful demos. One who gets involved in a battle with adversaries, in the end, does not escape either accepting his own death as a real option or fleeing. But the readiness to put your life on the line creates, along with the fear that you could actually die, the desire to get acquainted with the boundary. In the short moment of violence, death, which is normally denied or misjudged, is brought into circulation. Not as a danger to be taken into account, but rather as a familiar acquaintance whose presence in the background is soberly assessed.
Hans Kok died and the squatters survived the collective longing for death. That he kept his dignity had never needed to be made secret, as has happened for years in kilos of investigation reports. And they could have been proud that someone had finally done what they had secretly wished upon the movement. Hans Kok was not the ultimate victim of increasing repression; rather, he was the most radical activist (whether or not he wanted to be). He took the accumulated intensity through to its extreme, and made it final. Activism after Hans Kok had lost its radical naivete for good.
After Hans Kok had died under the watching eye of the police, the squatters' symbol appropriately appeared on his grave, which meant that squatting would go on to the bitter end. But after that it also lost its impact for good; it had become a memorial. One year after the death of Hans Kok, on October 25, 1986, a memorial procession travelled from the Haarlemmerplein through the Schaepmanstraat to Police Headquarters. If the demonstration itself has been rather quiet, before Headquarters a total silence suddenly falls. For minutes, everyone stands, says nothing, does nothing; a drum beats a slow rhythm, and then it too falls silent. After two minutes the streetlights go on. When people further down start to smash in the windows of the police station, the sound comes as a relief: the situation is normal again.
The wreaths and flowers brought along are laid against the wall. It grows dark, and then the riot police appear. The large group runs away and is followed far into the Kinker district. A number of people, among them ex-resistance fighters and the father of Hans Kok, link arms and form a line around the wreaths. A line of riot police halts before the group and stays standing in formation for half an hour. Everywhere around them are riot vans. Slowly but surely the press crowds in. The TV network news arrives with a large camera. The group around the flowers shouts, “Back off! No violence!” Then the riot police suddenly take a step backwards and begin to ram into them with batons. The flowers are trampled.
When the squatters' movement began in late '78 in the Jacob van Lennepstraat the situation had been the same, except that then they had been defending a squat and now they were defending memorial wreaths. The circle was round. Rage over a “failing policy,” that you could stake your life in the battle, had made place for rage over the desecration of the death of the other; not the right to a place to live, the right to one's own life, but the right to mourn, the right to an own death, had become an absolute value. In Hans Kok the squatters' movement mourned for itself, for its own standstill, its own death. The total silence which suddenly fell before Police Headquarters, where he had died, was the silence of a movement which realized it had died here itself. The memorial wreaths were meant for it. But there was not only reason for sorrow; that the chronicle of the squatters' movement ended here also came as a relief. That terminus which had been awaited for years had finally been reached. And everyone knew it. Two years after his death, Hans Kok is no longer collectively commemorated.