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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      • jdaviescoatesjdaviescoates commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It should be a crime to leave a building to rot, not to put them to good use as homes and community centres! The proposed laws are likely to quash justified social unrest as the UK become more and more unequal, by stopping workers occupying factories etc.

      • KathyKathy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is something proposed by people who have never been to a squat or had to live in one. Forcing people out of squats and onto the streets is certainly not the way to solve the housing crisis. This is only something that that will benefit the wealthy minority yet again and is trying to oppress those who want to lead an alternative lifestyle. With so many empty homes all across the country squatting is a necessity for many and in my opinion fully justified. With the proposed welfare reforms just round the corner as well, combined with the slashes to LHA allowances and an increase in the general cost of living we need squats more than ever; people will not be able to survive otherwise.

      • Jono CooteJono Coote commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is clearly a law that works almost exclusively for big businesses, with no regard for the bottom rung of the economic ladder!

      • Vyvian RaoulVyvian Raoul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        750,000 empty homes + 1.7 million families on housing waiting lists = can't we do better than this?

      • Vyvian RaoulVyvian Raoul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        750,000 empty homes + 1.7 million families on housing waiting lists = can't we do better than this?

      • rikkirikki commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        with so many large and commercial properties abandoned, squatters often do a great service keeping them maintained and in use. while society has homless people in the 21st century it should be a criminal offence to own unused property. this would be far more moral legislation than that proposed by this illicit government which is most definitely not by and for the people

      • alex driscollalex driscoll commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I was brought up is squats. And my first place was a squat. Now I'm having to blag the state just to house and feed my son and yes I do work.

      • Emily MacintoshEmily Macintosh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        yes to squatting,
        no to government consultation papers that try to sway participants towards a predecided conclusion...

      • Hannah Eiseman-RenyardHannah Eiseman-Renyard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        squatting allows those with few resources to find a place to live in disused buildings. To remove this right would push more people into extreme poverty and put more people on the streets.

      • FrenzyFrenzy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Urgent Squatters Update... network it! Thursday 15th September: Picnic Action. Meet at noon just outside Oval tube station. Be prepared for day of walking and defending our rights to protest. Bring food to share. More updates squattershousingactiongroup.wordpress.com

      • Gary BuddenGary Budden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The number of empty properties in this country is shameful when we take into consideration the levels of homelessness, and limited access to sufficient social housing. Most squatters improve empty properties that would otherwise be left to rot for years.

      • 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?

      • 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?

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