SchNEWS 776: Squatting at Heaven's Door

Tony Gosling tony at
Sat Jun 25 19:34:43 BST 2011

SchNEWS 776: Squatting at Heaven's Door

SchNEWS | 25.06.2011 15:08 | Social Struggles - 
As Tories threaten hallowed ancient squatting rights.
As expected: Following the opportunistic yelps of 
a jumped-up tory media-whore (see SchNEWS 764), 
against the background of a right-wing 
ideological crusade, the criminalisation of 
squatting is now on parliament’s agenda. This 
week the government announced a brief 
consultation period was under-way on the issue of 
occupation without authorisation. The sights of 
the Tory legislative blunderbuss are slowly being 
zeroed in, battle lines are being drawn and 
arguments rehearsed. As every day goes by, the 
corporate press prejudice people further against 
one of the few remaining laws that empowers the many against the few.
The squatting community and it’s supporters have 
to fight their corner without the benefit of 
funds, media presence or political influence - 
they must work from the ground up and rely on the 
ability of people (and in this case, worryingly, 
politicians) to judge fairly between logical 
arguments. Some squatters have already risen to 
the challenge - Squattastic is an irregular 
though frequent series of open meetings, held in 
a chain of different squatted properties, mainly 
in the London area to discuss ways in which this crack down can be combated.
In a more mainstream stylee - The SQUASH Campaign is a dedicated 
group of activists and researchers who have 
already given a briefing to Parliament attacking 
the proposed change to the law - this was 
presented on May the 18th and was attended and 
supported by several well-known groups involved 
with homelessness issues, including Crisis and Shelter.

 From the newswires:
A short and incomplete history of squatting in 
Brighton | Resist the Dutch ban on squatting | 
Whatever they say, squatting will stay - update 
... | The criminalisation of squatting | 
Squatting is to change from being a civil offence 
... | Squatting Europe Kollective

In Schnews: SchNEWS 776
We are in the midst of a housing crisis in which 
rents are increasing, people are struggling to 
get mortgages and housing benefit is being 
slashed. This is gonna have a big knock-on effect 
on homelessness. Meanwhile, 870,000 homes lie 
empty and there’s enough empty commercial 
property to create 420,000 new homes. Far from 
being a social menace - squatting is a positive 
short-term solution to homelessness, requiring 
initiative and responsibility. It’s free of 
government cost and management. To make it 
illegal right now is both stupid and inhumane 
could at best be described as foolish, at worst inhumane.
The Tory proposals, whatever concrete form they 
take in law, will cost a packet to enforce. If 
you’er kicked out of your squat repeatedly then 
unless yer a real die-hard then you’re probably 
gonna end up on housing benefit. If even half of 
the government’s conservative estimate of 20,000 
squatters were receiving benefits for housing, 
the cost would be around £50 million a year. The 
policing and court costs that would result from a 
change in the law (involving general enforcement, 
evictions, prosecutions and human rights cases) 
would also hit the taxpayer in the pocket. 
Squatters currently cost the taxpayer nothing.
Yer ever suspicious SchNEWS detects an ulterior 
motive behind the government’s plans, above and 
beyond protecting Mr&Mrs Semi-deatched while 
they’re in the Algarve for a fortnight? The law 
already provides virtually instant eviction for 
squatters daft enough to crack a family home - 
this is provided by clauses allowing ‘displaced 
residential occupiers’ and ‘protected intending 
occupiers’ to force entry if their homes are occupied.
The new laws are of course designed to protect 
the commercial sector - and would of course have 
the effect of criminalising all protest camps. It 
seems that certain sections of the Conservative 
government are either blind or uncaring as to the 
harm that this pandering to business and 
property-owners will cause to the vulnerable in 
our society. Squatters won’t be the only ones 
directly affected - SchNEWS gives it 24 hours 
after the law goes through before some dodgy 
landlord is using it to force through an illegal 
eviction with police assistance.
* For more info, see the SQUASH campaign’s 
parliamentary briefing-
** To get involved in the struggle against the 
Tory anti-squatting agenda, check out the next 
Squattastic - info available from their blog,

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/x-ygp-stripped
Size: 213 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which 
alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list