I suggest a campaign about ...

Resist the Criminalisation of Squatting

On 13th of July 2011, the government published a consultation paper:"Options
for dealing with Squatting". The consultation period ends on 5th October
2011 so we need to act NOW to be heard.

The proposals outlined would affect a much wider community than those who
identify as squatters;

- tenants would be at risk from unscrupulous landlords,

- worker and student occupations would be illegal, as would peace and climate camps.

- Police discretion is considered as a way of determining who is or is not a squatter

- violent and forcible eviction of squatters would be legal

- Anyone who used a squatted social centre or venue could be labelled a squatter, regardless of whether they actually lived there.

And this is the last of our ancestral rights to go.

For hundreds of years, we have had the right to live in abandoned buildings. Just as the government took away our land and rights to use common land in the past, now they are attacking our right to shelter.

In 2009 there were 725,000 empty homes – the government estimate the number of squatters in England and Wales at 20,000: squatting is not the problem, it is part of the solution.

We have a problem fighting this. The consultation paper pretends to be
speaking for the normal, respectable person although it is clear enough that
the interests being promoted are those of big developers and property
speculators.

The negative images of squatters spread in the media in recent months make
it hard for us to convince people that this is not a 'squatter' consultation
but an attack on the human right to shelter that will impact most heavily on
the most vulnerable people in society. These are standard divide and rule
tactics.

please see:
http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/dealing-with-squatters.htm
www.squashcampaign.org
www.squattastic.blogspot.com

2,622 votes
Vote
Sign in
Check!
(thinking…)
Reset
or sign in with
  • facebook
  • google
    Password icon
    I agree to the terms of service
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Lisa FeeneyLisa Feeney shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    239 comments

    Sign in
    Check!
    (thinking…)
    Reset
    or sign in with
    • facebook
    • google
      Password icon
      I agree to the terms of service
      Signed in as (Sign out)
      Submitting...
      • LouiseLouise commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As someone who was forced out of their previous home by a long-term campaign of harassment and intimidation by anti-social neighbours, I resorted to squatting after the housing trust, Shelter, Crisis, and Women's Aid all failed me, because I'd apparently 'made myself homeless' by not wanting to wait until I was attacked, at which point, the housing trust might have acted against my neighbour and her boyfriend (a boxer with a self-confessed 'aggression and anger management problem'). I don't have the money for a massive deposit and rent in advance to rent privately, so my only other alternative is to sleep on a park bench. Squatting has saved me from a life on the streets, and I've also met some of the most lovely, caring and generous people who've taken me in and given me not only a roof over my head, but a home - in properties owned by a charitable trust landlord that's left them empty for years, left them to rot. Ironically, the charity's aims is to help poor people, but they'd rather leave their properties empty or evict squatters than let poor people have a roof over their heads! Why should people like me face the prospect of being criminalised, simply for being homeless and poor when there are so many empty buildings?

      • Anil GAnil G commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is a kneejerk reaction to a media-hyped "problem" that fails to address the primary causes of the social inequalities that lead to squatting and the under-utilisation of valuable community properties.

      • vasilikivasiliki commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I can't see what's the problem when most squatters in fact improve the property...It is ridiculous to criminalize it.

      • P CaseP Case commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Our relationship and obsession with private property has been totally warped. We have a RIGHT to housing and shelter, and if there's empty spaces not being used, it is completely correct to put them into use.

      • P CaseP Case commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Our relationship and obsession with private property has been totally warped. We have a RIGHT to housing and shelter, and if there's empty spaces not being used, it is completely correct to put them into use.

      • P CaseP Case commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Our relationship and obsession with private property has been totally warped. We have a RIGHT to housing and shelter, and if there's empty spaces not being used, it is completely correct to put them into use.

      • Dory DuttonDory Dutton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Empty Houses with George Clark to air soon. He is passionate about solving the housing issues in the UK as well as showing the positive side to squating. With two million people in need of housing and one million empty buildings in the UK, a very good solution could be one the way.

      • c broganc brogan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        anyone else having problems with error on page? dont know if my vote is going through or not. please send this to as many people as u can!

      • c broganc brogan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        anyone else having problems with error on page? dont know if my vote is going through or not. please send this to as many people as u can!

      • c broganc brogan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        anyone else having problems with error on page? dont know if my vote is going through or not. please send this to as many people as u can!

      • Rainbow mattRainbow matt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Let us have the 'Freedom to use space!!!' Theyre just trying to catigorise the population!! Scared of individuality!!

      • S. RogersS. Rogers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hey peeps, remember to press the vote button to the left of the title. There's the option to place 1-3 votes.

      • fay victoriafay victoria commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        in New york in the 1970s the city coucil encouraged artists and musicians to use empty lofts spaces and warehouses... New York centre transformed and became a vibrant arty place and people like Lou Reed, Andy Warhol and PAtsy Smith werere given a chance to work and live somewher they would never have been able to afford to in the begining. One of the UK's last remaining "exports" and industrys is the creative arts... if none of these creative artists can afford to live in city centres what will happen to these arts..... many many squats are also vibrant centres of art and creativity.

      • finola scottfinola scott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        as a home owner i despair of the growing gap between those who have & those who have not. While homes lie empty people sleep on streets - a publice shame. Some councils in Scotland are trying to remedy this by working with Shelter . This is the way forward - not punitive legislation

      • finola scottfinola scott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        as a home owner i despair of the growing gap between those who have & those who have not. While homes lie empty people sleep on streets - a publice shame. Some councils in Scotland are trying to remedy this by working with Shelter . This is the way forward - not punitive legislation

      • Lucy LepchaniLucy Lepchani commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This ancient right descends from the basic right and need of human beings to deserve life-sustaining shelter. Our relationship to land have been revoke by 'civilised' living. Our government and economic systems to not provide access for all, to shelter, that sustains to quality of life. The right to squat is essential, and we should guard it fiercely.

      • jesterdreamjesterdream commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        house-owners who are coming home are already protected by the current laws, they are P.I.O's, Protected Intended Occupiers, it is a good law at the moment, weirdly enough, in that respect. Many places are/would be best squatted, human comfort is a commodity we should maximise together.

      Feedback and Knowledge Base