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

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    Lisa FeeneyLisa Feeney shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    239 comments

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      • RichardRichard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is nothing more than the criminalisation of alternative lifestyles that Thatcher started in the 80s. Britain has an alarming rate of homelessness and slum housing and yet there are thousands of buildings left empty and stupidly high rental prices.

      • Carol WilcoxCarol Wilcox commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Am I being naive in thinking that the LibDems surely must vote against this? Or was it in the ConDem agreement?

      • Giorgia CerrutiGiorgia Cerruti commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        what good is it going to do to anybody to have more homeless people??? putting more people in the street would only lead to an increasingly larger under class!!! but I guess those are the people most easili ignored by politicians!!!

      • John CrowJohn Crow commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The consultation paper consistently skews the facts and is riddled with unproven assumptions. It seems intended to justify a political decision that has already been made. Homelessness in this country, and the large number of empty properties, is a serious issue. It will not be solved by such naked attempts to demonise the most vulnerable and marginised people in our society. This is shameful! A travesty of serious consultation.

      • Jez WildeJez Wilde commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I heard my local MP Stephen Williams (LibDem) would support this bill. Hmm, not very liberal IMO. I shall write to him. This may not be a popular cause with the general mainstream, so it would be good to see some of the sensible moral and practical arguments aired publicly in a coherent way.

      • Des KayDes Kay commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please accept that squatting has a legitimacy in occupying genuine empty properties.

      • KimKim commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Who is going to re-house all the people in need? Empty buildings stand vacant for months, even years...why can't they be used in a more practical way?

      • land and freedom campland and freedom camp commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The Romans squatted Britain, so did William the Conqueror. The European migrants squatted North America dispossesing the native Americans. Squatting means to take legal occupation of a property. I am no squatter, I am a human being and I call for the right to live on the land as part of the natural eco-system. Property rights stem from one thing: violence against another. Let us move beyond property to a world where everything is held in common.

      • Corneilius CrowleyCorneilius Crowley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        1. Squatting unused, uncared for buildings is in general beneficial to the entire community.... in the vast bulk of cases, such squats are ways in which communities can 'help themselves' to build and share resources at a lower cost than would otherwise be the case..... this has been of benefit in the past in the Arts, in temporary Educational settings, in community activism.

        2. Squatting a persons home is an abuse, and ought to be subject to criminal prosecution, if the person can prove it's their primary residence, or even a secondary residence...... the law can make provision for this, and still maintain the current status of the SAFETY OF responsible squatters who occupy a building.

        3. The Law ought to make provision also for negotiated squats, for the duration of non-use by the owner, with agreements between squatters and owners supported by Law. It ought to have certain required levels of due care expected of both parties.

        4. Outright criminalisation of squatting per se is likely to take up more time and effort on the part of courts, police and will be seen as an Authoritarian move, deepening the divides within our society. There are some who seek to deepen those divides... rather than build bridges of understanding. Such forces are a negative influence.

      • Phil JohnsonPhil Johnson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Everyone has the right to somewhere decent to live and with the governments legalislation to remove the entitlement of many to legal aid squatting will be the only option for the many people about to be made homeless.Criminalise Bankers Bonus's,Corporate Tax Evasion and MP's expenses as they are just some primary examples of the abuse of power by the wealthy.

      • SarahCSarahC commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If people want multiple properties so badly, they should be putting them to good use. We don't need need new houses, we need to reclaim the unused ones

      • Angela KellyAngela Kelly commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It is of paramount importance that people are allowed to shelter in unused buildings. There is a percentage of people who are not so good at the corporate game and cannot afford to, or do not qualify for a mortgage. There is not enough social housing to accomodate everyone, and so the option to squat is the only option in some cases. As a civilised society we must allow squatting, otherwise human rights would be violated. It is too cold to live outside, especially in the winter, and being able to squat an unused building can literally save lives.

      • Barbara HickmottBarbara Hickmott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I was a squatter in my twenties. At that time we made an arrangement with Islington Council to squat an unused building until they were ready to use it. I am now a home owner but really feel for young people trying to house themselves with the outrageous price of property here in London.

      • Barbara HickmottBarbara Hickmott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I was a squatter in my twenties. At that time we made an arrangement with Islington Council to squat an unused building until they were ready to use it. I am now a home owner but really feel for young people trying to house themselves with the outrageous price of property here in London.

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