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 →

    238 comments

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      • Linda JonesLinda Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Important point Crow. Trouble is politicians seem to only care about the rich and ride roughshod over everyone else.

      • CrowCrow commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sir-Bob-Russell-MP commented · September 24, 2012 7:47 p.m. · Flagged

        "So, you need to carry-out structural work on your property that neccesitates moving out for the period of the work. A week later, squatters take-over your property preventing you from gaining access.
        Would you be happy to let a bunch of squatters (usually alkies and druggies) destroy your property ?.
        Thought not."

        --------------------------

        Note that I flagged his post as inappropriate! As an MP he should be expected to verify the law before posting inflammatory remarks. In the hypothetical situation he describes, he would be a 'Protected Intended Occupier', and as such has already, and always, had full legal protection. I think his omission of the facts while urging new laws is bad behaviour that a Member of Parliament should not be allowed to indulge in. If he wants us to honour the law, he must homour it too.

      • Linda JonesLinda Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        There is a difference between squatting in a family home when the occupants have vacated for renovation, holidays etc and squatting a building that has been left empty for a long time and clearly no one really wants or cares about. It is possible to tweek current squatting laws to ensure the former cannot happen without banning squatting altogether.

        A flat in a block near me has been empty for 5 years since the owner died. Those who inherited the property have no interest in it, it is decaying and that impacts on others in the block. It would be far better for all concerned if the flat was occupied. Squatting would be the only way this property could be occupied given the indifference of the current owners.

      • Sir-Bob-Russell-MPSir-Bob-Russell-MP commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So, you need to carry-out structural work on your property that neccesitates moving out for the period of the work. A week later, squatters take-over your property preventing you from gaining access.
        Would you be happy to let a bunch of squatters (usually alkies and druggies) destroy your property ?.
        Thought not.

      • guy fawkesguy fawkes commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        How can anyone say we live in a democracy when the most disadvantaged in society are becoming more so with every new law being passed against them? Don't the tories realise that all of the unemployed and low wage earners who will be affected by new housing laws have family or friends that although not in this position themselves are not in agreement with the right wing policies being executed.
        nobody in their right mind should be happy about homelessness, yet the people of London see homeless people sleeping rough and turn a blind eye to it as they hurry about their daily business, because if they were concerned they would be outraged by these new laws that are going to see even more people homeless once the under occupancy laws are enforced and people cannot afford to pay the extra rent, or the unemployed having to contribute towards rent out of their meagre benefits which is supposed to be used for job seeking non- existent jobs. How would those in work like to be told they are going to have to work for benefit levels because that is effectively what the tories are telling the unemployed to do and New Labour before them, voting is a waste of time now with concensus career politicians at the helm.

      • Craig JanesCraig Janes commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I absolutely agree. In a Country like the UK where the climate can kill the right to squat abandoned or empty buildings should be seen as a basic human right. Squatter generally do not squat buildings where say some one has gone on holiday this is a myth dreamed up by a sophisticated PR Company to support the anti - squatting lobby. Remember what happened after the 2ND World War, when returning Servicemen were forced to squat Army camps because of the housing shortage caused by the bombing - in these unsettled times such a need could well happen again.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You forget that if squatters gain access to your home you will be faced with a very long almost impossible task of A) getting them out B) gaining access to your home to take things out.

        You will recieve no compensation at all for anything arising from you being displaced by squatters for however long.

        Sqatters in abandoned and derlict buildings I have some sympathy for the rest are just parasites.

        But by all means Lisa you encourage them and I really do hope it's your home they occupy next.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        NO! Whilst I agee that homes in good condition should not lie empty for extended periods or fall into disprepair, I cant agree with squatters moving into homes that dont belong to them, causing damage and accelerating their decay. My sister lost thousands trying to evict a former tenant/ squatter (who the court ruled against), and the squatter got away without paying anything, stole items and damaged the house. Squatters are parasitic scum and deserve no special rights. Respect other peoples property and pay your way in life like everyone else.

      • grahamgraham commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        and tim and alpin are so right would any of you appose this actually have squatters in your home I THINK NOT

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Criminalisation of Squatting is a two edged sword. On the one hand many building projects creating both wealth and employment will be delayed far less. On the other hand the criminilised squatters will be able to be jailed to help fund the growth and profits the of the private prisons. A win win situation for corporate Britain with the added benifit of more revue for the government through taxation of said corporations. Revenue that can be spent in other ways to further enhance corporate growth.

      • AnonymousAnonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Before our house was knocked down to be developed it was left unoccupied. Squatters came and shat on our carpets even when there was a working toilet for them. The concept of squatting is simply a crime, no debate.

      • Andrew SAndrew S commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Squatters are people who have no respect for other people's property and have no right to be on someone else's land or within someone else's property unless they have permission and are paying the agreed annual rent to the owner or no rent if agreed by the owner. If I got into someone's car or onto someone's bike I'd be arrested for theft.Squatting in someone's property no matter how rich or poor they is a crime regardless of the squatters personal situation.
        Squatters are the parasites of the community and usually into all sorts of criminality.

      • Linda JonesLinda Jones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Squatting is a way of utilising empty properties to help house those in housing need. In principle it is a good thing.

        Tim and Alpin, do you have any idea how many millions of properties in the UK lie empty for months or years on end while thousands of people are in housing need. Its a scandal.

        Many places are ghost towns and villages because of second home and holiday home ownership. No one lives there for most of the year. Similarly every city in the UK has a huge number of properties which are hardly ever or never lived in. Sometimes because people have more homes than they can live in and sometimes because of council incompetence. Either way why shouldn't people make use of these.

        Also, as far as I am aware squatters pay rent.

      • alpin macgregoralpin macgregor commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Squatting is not a solution for the homeless (who go elsewhere) but a way for people to live in someone else's property for nothing. You cannot steal someone's car without committing a crime, so why should you be allowed to streal someone's house?

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