Turning round the 'Beggar Thy Neighbour' Daily Mail approach to squatting

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Tue Oct 4 01:56:13 BST 2011

Lies, damned lies and statistics.
How many people would, after their first night in 
a squat, voluntarily sleep on the street or in a night shelter the next night?
Is this really what Sheffield Hallam University were saying? No it is not.
The self-acclaimed Lords of the Land are getting 
desperate and building this one up for a far right war of words.
The recession created by Wall Street and the city 
of London's super-rich is meaning hundreds of 
businesses are going to the wall every week.

NY Violence: 'Media happy to show protests but 
not in our backyards' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AAlh2LwaEM
Occupy the London Stock Exchange this October 
15th - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/09/485237.html

Hundreds are being evicted from their homes.
Squatting is becoming a boom market as the 
homeless increase at the same rate as empties.
HAVING SOMEWHERE WARM DRY TO SLEEP - the dark landlord says.
Just as the economy is tanking.

Like the Dalston crew?  http://www.passingclouds.org/  I do.
So, Let's all make squatting Britain's new boom 
industry and use crerative enterprises run from 
the squats to inspire this nation presently run by donkeys!

with love,


Lifestyle squatters: Vast majority of home 
invaders 'driven by politics or just trying to avoid rent'
By Steve Doughty - Last updated at 11:01 PM on 3rd October 2011
Only a tiny minority of squatters are genuinely 
homeless, academics said yesterday.
Their report found that 6 per cent of people 
without a roof over their heads turn to squatting on any given night.
That would equate to 106 of the average 1,768 who sleep rough.
Given an estimated squatter population of 20,000, 
that means only one in nearly 200 was homeless.
The report says the majority of those who force 
their way into  unoccupied property are in fact 
'lifestyle squatters' – only a very few of them act because they are homeless.
Instead they can be motivated either by politics, 
by wanting to be part of a gang or  simply 
through wanting to avoid paying rent.
The figures, produced by researchers at Sheffield 
Hallam University and published by the charity 
Crisis, come at a time when the Government is 
considering criminalising squatting.
Tory MP Mike Weatherley describes squatters as 
'an internet-savvy, well-organised, often 
menacing group, on the hunt for a cosy billet'.
The MP for Hove and Portslade said yesterday: 
'The idea that squatters are homeless people is incorrect.
'We have to stop this perception that squatting 
is a desperate act by the homeless and vulnerable. It is not.
'We should do more for the vulnerable in society. 
But that does not give anybody the right to take over anyone else's property.'
One of the country's most notorious squatters is 
29-year-old Katharine Hibbert.
She is a leading light of the Advisory Service 
for Squatters, which publishes details of empty 
homes and a handbook on how to occupy them.
She said her decision to squat in East London was 
a reaction to the easy life she had led until the 
age of 26. She said she began to feel guilty 
about food air miles and her consumer lifestyle.
She now describes herself as a 'freegan' – 
someone who lives on begged food or food removed 
from bins – and makes her living as a journalist 
writing articles for publications including The Guardian and the Sunday Times.
He pointed out  that squatters had developed the 
tactic of putting notices on the front door of a 
home they have seized, saying they did no damage 
while moving in and claiming the right to live there.
'That is not typical behaviour of homeless 
people,' he said. 'Squatting is an anarchist 
choice and a choice against society.'
The report by the Centre for Regional Economic 
and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam said: 
'Homeless people squat out of necessity, often as 
the only alternative to sleeping on the street.
'Squatting is often the last resort to avoid 
rough sleeping', adding that nine out of ten 
homeless squatters had slept rough.
Crisis chief executive Leslie Morphy said: 'It is 
clear from this research that many people who 
resort to squatting do so out of sheer desperation.
'If the Government must change a law it should be 
to ensure all homeless people get the help they 
desperately need from local councils instead of 
criminalising some very vulnerable people.'
According to the report, four out of ten homeless 
people were found to have squatted at some point 
in their lives. However, only 6 per cent of all 
rough sleepers turned to squatting on any one night.
The estimate of 1,768 rough sleepers for England comes from a Whitehall census.
A consultation paper from the Communities 
Department and the Ministry of Justice this 
summer proposed making the squatting of vacant property a criminal offence.
At present it is merely a civil wrong, and the 
owner of a squatted home often has to spend 
thousands going to court to get it back.
Although it is a crime to move into an occupied 
home or one which someone is planning to move 
into, police are often reluctant to act.


+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

Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered 
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that 
shall not be made known. What I tell you in 
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye 
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27 
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