case u missed it - BBC R4: Squatting a history
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sun Dec 4 22:16:04 GMT 2011
Extraordinarily serious and threatening,
Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King very
worried about Eurogeddon. IMF runs out of cash &
politics of Occupy Movement: former Wall Street
broker Max Keiser talks to Economist Karl
Denninger of MarketTicker.org. Divide and rule
policy leaves a bloody legacy, Tamil freedom
campaigner Ram Selvaratnam talks about modern
political history of Sri-Lanka (Ceylon). Former
US General Wesley Clarke describes secret
Pentagon plan to invade Iraq, Syria, Lebanon,
Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. Earth Into
Property by Anthony J. Hall. Convergence of the
crises: 24 Pakistani soldiers killed by US
helicopter gunships so Pakistan cuts off NATOs
Afghanistan supply lines. Prelude to war? Foreign
Secretary William Hague closes Iranian embassy in
London. Nuclear war looming at the same time as
Eurogeddon. Do bankers have a nasty surprise for
us after the crash: former Hollywood film
producer Aaron Russo recounts Nick Rockefellers
plan to replace money with human microchip
(Verichip?) RFID implants. Rams recommended
websites Act-Now.info & Tamil Solidarity.
Squatting: a history. Progress to the future
audio download here
tash | 04.12.2011 21:00 | Occupy Everywhere |
Free Spaces | Repression | Social Struggles
BBC Radio 4 program: From Frestonia to Belgravia, The History of Squatting
- mp3 34M
If justice secretary Ken Clarke has his way,
squatting in residential property will soon be a
criminal offence with those found guilty facing a
fine of up to £5,000 or a prison sentence of a year perhaps both.
Although the coalition government has made no
secret of its desire to criminalise squatting,
the proposals are being quietly introduced by way
of an amendment to the legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders bill.
We are in an economic climate where jobs are
being lost and public sector spending cuts are
biting. There is a shortage of affordable
housing, whether rented or owned, and rising
levels of child poverty. Proposed restrictions on
welfare benefits will only serve to exacerbate
the problem: research suggests that up to 133,000
workless households in London will be unable to
pay their rent under the reforms.
Recently the Centre for Regional Economic and
Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University
undertook research on behalf of Crisis about the
nature and extent of squatting. The final report
revealed some interesting and worrying statistics:
Around 78% of homeless people who squat have
approached a local authority for help, but
although recognised as homeless they have not
been entitled to housing because they are not in
priority need or are considered intentionally homeless.
Many squatters have significant welfare needs:
34% of homeless people who squat had been in
care; 42% had physical ill health or a
disability; 41% reported mental health problems.
Homeless people who squat occupy empty buildings.
Squats are often in poor condition, lacking
running water, heating and electricity, with
damp, broken windows and unsafe stairwells.
Given the current levels of housing shortage, is
it really wrong for empty properties to be used
in this way when the alternative is a life on the
streets? Should the state be paying for the
consequences of criminalising the actions of those in desperate housing need?
The government has produced an impact assessment
specifically for the proposed new offence of
squatting, which suggests that there could be
between 350 and 4,200 defendants accused of the
offence in any one year. Given that the vast
majority of squatters will have no financial
means with which to pay a fine, prison may well
be the only viable option left open to the
courts. It is therefore quite conceivable that
the prison population (and attendant cost to the
state) will continue to grow. In times of austerity, is that responsible?
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Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered
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shall not be made known. What I tell you in
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Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
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Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.
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