Date sent: Wed, 6 Nov 2002
From: Russell Hawkins
Subject: from Australia - re. Fort van Sjakoo
Dear Housing Corporation Directors,
I am writing in support of the International Bookshop Het Fort van
Sjakoo which is currently threatened with extinction through the excessive
and unfair increase of their rent.
As you are aware, Amsterdam has retained many of its
old character-rich buildings like those surviving in
Jodenbreestraat as a direct result of the hard work of
unpaid community activists. The very building that
houses Fort van Sjakoo was saved from demolition by
community efforts, and now your corporation wishes to
massively profit from their vision.
Fort van Sjakoo is not a profit making enterprise, the
bookshop and other volunteer run projects provide
important community services and are a model for other
such spaces around the world. Without support for
specialist and alternative community spaces like this
Amsterdam will fast become a soul-less shopping mall
and tourist trap. Is this your corporate vision for
Please consider implementing a "non-profit" rent
category for Fort van Sjakoo and other community
venues under your administration. I would appreciate a
response or information outlining your corporations
views on such a proposal.
There are many more important things to a city than
shiny offices and shops full of consumer goods.
People, for example.
Documentary Film Producer