More on squatting

Let’s be clear, it is extremely unlikely your house will be squatted while you are away on holiday. No, squatters do not go around casing other people’s homes to steal. The whole point for the vast majority of squatters, and I think we can presume it’s the same across the world, is to make use of property that has been left to waste, temporarily bringing a long term abandoned building back to life as a home. Recycling on a grand scale.

And not all squatters are dreadlocked crusties or radical anarchists, despite media portrayals of Europe’s main cities. Squatters are basically people who have taken things into their own hands, most are simply victims of a global economic system that creates a housing crisis.

Different people squat for different reasons, generally out of necessity, often because of homelessness through poverty or natural disasters, or unnatural disasters like war zones. Many who were previously not squatters now are and will be for the foreseeable future’.

There are thousands of people squatting in New Orleans since hurricane Katrina ravaged their city, millions of internally displaced earthquake survivors squatting in Haiti, entire squatter villages in some parts of the world.

Every continent has squatters. Heard of the favelas? Dharavi? Grande Hotel Beira? The shackdwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo?

Wikipedia entry on ‘Squatting’

(via Squatting Film Newsreels from British Pathe

previous postA Common Housing Alternative – Squatting


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