Occupy the squat

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Having many friends living in squats, I am especially interested in the topic of squatting. To me, it is a radical but legitimate way of commoning although it is questionable whether they choose to live on ‘common’ ground.

Currently, because of negotiated changes in the law life is getting harder for squatters. Many prejudices exist in terms of assuming they live in property that does not belong to them as a consequence of being neglectful. What is often not recognised is that many squatters consciously decide to squat. Lots of squatters are highly politically and environmentally concerned as I experienced. Squatting is (their way of) occupying.

 
That is why it seems almost logical that squatters and the Occupy London movement cooperate now. Here is an interesting clip about the two close interest groups occupying an unused building owned by the bank UBS, which illustrates both the issue of squatting and the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon.

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2 Responses to “Occupy the squat”

  1. andreacharles Says:

    Squatting in a derelict building that has been abandoned- is acceptable; however many of the recent cases in the media involve greedy freeloaders moving into properties while people are on holiday or while building work is taking place etc. It is an absolute misery for landlords. I have family members who’ve had protracted court cases to get squatters out.

    I appreciate the angle of this blog- it is referring to communing and community action in a political context. However I just think that a more balanced- less sympathetic approach could have been employed to account for the difficulties faced by the public and private land-owners. There is no doubt- this is an emotive topic.

    As a landlord myself, I think that the laws should be tightened up to make squatting illegal ASAP.

  2. richardlevell Says:

    I think that the original post by ‘annesternchen’ and the comment left by ‘andreacharles’ both make good points and do not need to be comflicting with each other. There is certainly something positive to be said about the use of derelict buildings for the benefit of the public at large, and in a movement against finanical corporations building an endless accumulation of capital wealth and resource there is certainly something to be said about a reversal of these boundaries, but unless this is done in a structured and organised manner which takes in to account the needs of all there will inevitably be casulaties in this kind of occupation.

    Trawling through the web there are endless accounts of both sides of this arguement. There are numerous articles describing the horrors of many people whose lives have been turned upside down by individuals squatting in their houses and occupying what is not a ‘common’ ground but someones home. I use the word ‘home’ carefully as I am not refering to the bricks and mortar which someone has paid for an owns as an asset, but an area or safe place which is far more important than the asset itself.

    He is one such article but there are plenty more online; http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/the-parasites-who-took-over-my-home-elaine-ivescameron-tells-how-her-life-has-been-wrecked-by-years-spent-trying-to-evict-a-group-of-squatters-1424098.html.

    The other side of the arguement is demonstrated well in the video in the post. Why should the country be filled with high numbers of empty buildings owned by big corporations when there are people without homes or houses living on the street.

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