- Category: News
- Created on Thursday, 08 December 2011 11:35
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
The intervention came after the protesters failed to meet a Thursday morning deadline to meet a series of conditions to limit the size of the camp and improve hygiene and safety.
But the worst fears of some protesters that police were preparing to clear out the camp altogether were unrealised. The tents have been allowed to stay on condition that they do not cover more than a quarter of the square, as agreed with mayor Eberhard van der Laan.
A police spokeswoman said those arrested had ignored orders to leave the city centre site. "We asked them to go and they didn't," she said.
Local TV station AT5 said some protesters put up passive resistance, but police said the atmosphere was largely peaceful.
The occupiers had been told to remove tents from three-quarters of the square, restrict the number of people staying overnight to no more than four, and comply with sanitation guidelines set up by the community healthcare service.
The mayor, who spelled out his demands during a visit to the camp on Saturday, has tried to keep a constructive dialogue open with the occupiers.
He has offered them an alternative site on the Zuidas, an option which the occupiers have not ruled out, although it would mean giving up their prominent pitch on the doorstep of the Amsterdam stock exchange.
A spokeswoman for the mayor said some of the conditions had been met, but not enough, particularly those to do with hygiene, fire safety and the construction of tents.
The camp organisers have accepted most of the demands, although they want 25 people to be allowed to stay overnight rather than four.
They say most of the problems on the site, which was set up on October 15, have been caused by “alcoholics, drug addicts and visitors” who are not connected with the Occupy movement.
But many residents and business owners say the camp has become a nuisance and are pressing Van der Laan to take a tougher line.