We received an announcement in early January 2023 from Arend Hazekamp, also known by the first name Arie, of the book he has written on the anarchist movement in the northern three provinces (Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen), to be published in April 2024, entitled Kindred spirits of Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis: Free Socialism in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe 1890-1940. Normally, such a book would, of course, immediately find a place in our bookshop. However, there is a serious problem with this author.
Arend/Arie Hazekamp is a very controversial figure. He sat for years as treasurer on the board of the old foundation that ran the anarchist campsite in Appelscha. For years, there was an increasingly escalating conflict with him. Some of the campers wanted to change the organisational form of the property from a foundation to an association, because the board (especially Arie as treasurer) thwarted all kinds of decision-making. He (along with a few board members who were on his side) felt he should block a more horizontal organisational form. Also, the preparatory group of the Pinksterlanddagen (PL: an annual gathering of Dutch and Belgian anarchists and activists who meet over the Whitsun weekend for exchanges, workshops, debates and networking) had year-on-year conflicts with him in which he sabotaged the PL’s organisation in all sorts of ways, by not providing funding, frustrating food supplies and so on. Eventually, this combination of friction factors culminated in a tenant strike by a significant proportion of the permanent campers. These demanded that the campsite’s organisational form be transformed from a foundation to an association, with the general membership meeting of all permanent campers making the decisions instead of the foundation board of Hazekamp and some companions.
Treasurer Arend/Arie Hazekamp, with the agreement of his other stooges on the board, decided not to open the 2018 camping season, announce the closure of the campsite, cut off power and water and cancel the forthcoming 2018 Pinksterlanddagen. When that was ignored by much of the campers, the power and water were reconnected, and the 2018 Pinksterlanddagen were simply announced and prepared as every year, Hazekamp submitted a request to the mayor of Appelscha for the police to clear the campsite. That did not happen. One may well wonder how someone who defines himself as an anarchist gets it into his head to want to call in mayor and police. This shows anything but an anarchist attitude to life.
Relations were so sour that Arie and his fellow board members issued an ultimatum requiring all campers to sign a contract forcing all kinds of rules on the campers. This, of course, was refused. The board of the foundation, led by Arend/Arie, announced in the autumn of 2018 that it was going to sell the campsite. Formally, the foundation was the owner, so it could decide to do so, but this was so contrary to the history of the site and that of the anarchist movement in the Netherlands, that by now it can be established that Hazekamp and his fellow board members are anything but anarchists and have cheated the anarchist movement of €130,000. This is €100000 that the camping site was supposed to cost and €30000 of the camping site’s savings, intended for maintenance of the site.
One of the campers managed to avoid a public auction of the site by advancing the asking price of €100000. Through a fundraiser campaign (to which the Fort also contributed with €20000), the terrain was bought for an amount of €100000. This prevented the site from being lost. But the purchase meant absolutely no acceptance of putting it up for sale and extortion by the old board of €100000 and kidnapping of the savings worth €30000, which belongs to the anarchist movement in the Netherlands, and the horizontal campers’ association in particular, which was founded after the purchase in 2018.
So that €130000 should be given back to the current association of campers in Appelscha.
As long as that has not happened, Bookstore het Fort van Sjakoo will NOT sell Arend Hazekamp’s book.
We also call on everyone NOT to purchase Hazekamp’s book and to make it clear to the Genootschap Vrij Socialisme Foundation, founded by Hazekamp, that the anarchist movement rejects these extortionist practices.
We support the new horizontally organised association of campers in their demand for the restitution of the stolen money that could have supported much more important actions than buying back the camping site from a foundation board that has put the stolen money into a completely shady new foundation, of which nobody knows what it will be used for. Neither do we want to know. We simply want that money to be paid back!!!