Author Archives: SHAG
https://www.facebook.com/groups/121238754645671 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Birmingham-UK/154845231274653 On Twitter – IMPORTANT #OccupyBrum (so as not to confuse with other birminghams)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Edinburgh/199140393489955?ref=ts&sk=wall On Twitter – @OccupyEdinburgh
https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=255151111189948 Twitter: @OccupyLSX (/OccupyLSX) hashtags #OccupyLSX #OccupyLondon OCCUPATION START: Saturday, October 15th!! GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Sunday 9th Oc…
https://www.facebook.com/OccupyLiverpool 15th October (occupation site TBC Twitter @Occupy Liverpool
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Glasgow/244637328915178 http://occupyglasgow.blogspot.com/ 15th October occupation site TBC
Occupy NI – Belfast
First Protest – 5th November – Operation Stand Op stand Event Link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=268366396517149 http://www.occupytogether.org/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Wales/155068171254767 @OccupyWales on twitter
Occupy Stoke on Trent
Andover, Hampshire SP11
Bath Queens Square Occupation
————-official SHAG mailout——————–
The Government has chosen to ignore the 95% of responses to its own consultation paper which stated that the existing laws concerning squatting were adequate. It has also ignored the recent letter signed by 160 lawyers and academics, denouncing the biased media coverage and uninformed politicians, who also advised that the existing laws were adequate.
It is now planning to rush in a clause on the Legal Aid Bill which will criminalise squatting in residential properties.
This is due to happen as soon as next Tuesday.
Let Us Reclaim Democracy.
This is a call out to all individuals to come into Parliament on Tuesday, 1st November.
The debate begins at 4pm on the Legal Aid Bill.
We have a legal right as citizens to enter Parliament from 2.30-10pm.
Meet up outside Parliament at 2pm to enter and talk to our MPs.
Please come in numbers to let the Government know that the 95% of the people in the recent consultation on squatting who oppose criminalisation should be listened to.
Or else where is the democracy?
More info on the law changes http://www.squashcampaign.org
Over the weekend why not email your local MP to advise them how to vote?
FROM THE SQUASH WEBSITE
The Government wants to sneak through the criminalisation of squatting, it will be voted on in Parliament this Tuesday 1st November.
Over 95% of responses to the ‘consultation’ on squatting were against further criminalisation, despite this the government is still going ahead with their proposals – effectively bypassing democracy.
SQUASH have tried engaging with the democratic processes but despite overwhelming support to not criminalise squatting we have been ignored.
Our only rational response now is to call for people to TAKE ACTION. We have been forced into this position. See you on the streets!
MONDAY 31st OCTOBER: CALL OUT FOR A MASS SLEEP OUT
CRITICAL MASS (BIKES) MEET AT WATERLOO 7PM
PEDESTRIAN CONTINGENT MEET AT HIGH STREET KENSINGTON TUBE – EVENING STANDARD HQ 6.30PM
THERE WILL BE A NEARBY (PUMPKIN) SOUP KITCHEN AND STREET ENTERTAINMENT, BRING YOUR SLEEPINGBAG, CARDBOARD, AND WARM CLOTHES!
TUESDAY 1st NOVEMBER: ON MASS REGISTRATION OF HOMELESSNESS
9AM OUTSIDE WESTMINSTER HOUSING OPTIONS SERVICE, 101 ORCHARDSON STREET, NW8.
THIS ACTION IS TO SYMBOLISE THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF CRIMINALISING SQUATTING ON THE ALREADY STRETCHED HOMELESSNESS SERVICES
THIS CALL OUT EXTENDS TO OTHER CITIES TO TAKE ACTION OUTSIDE THEIR REGIONAL HOMELESS PERSON UNITS WITH MASS SLEEP OUTS, SOUP KITCHENS, AND OUTDOOR ENTERTAINMENT. FOLLOWED THE NEXT DAY BY ON MASS REGISTRATION OF HOMELESSNESS.
MANCHESTER: MONDAY 31ST MEET 5:30 PM OUTSIDE TOWN HALL
New Save our squats exhibition opens
2-4 Tufnel park Rd N7 0dl
07721 375374 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Exhibition opens weds 19th october 3-9pm.
Then continues tues-sunday 3-9pm till Nov 6th 2011.
Please come visit and help save squatting.
Bring display materials photo,art ,films etc
Network it http://www.squattershousingactiongroup.wordpress.com
Consultation to criminalise shelter/squatting completed form that u can copy paste and add few sentences of your own
Q 1 Q1. Is squatting a particular problem in your area and where does it occur the most, e.g. in residential or non-residential property? Were these properties empty/abandoned/derelict before they were occupied, or were they in use?
-squatting is not a problem, ‘the problem is not squatting, the problem is empty buildings’.
-squatting is a solution for many street homeless people.
-Many properties have been squatted after being left empty, often for many years, in my area, -squatters have improved empty properties and been a positive contribution to an area or community.
-I would like to dispel the myth about people squatting homes that are already lived in.
This is already covered by the Displaced Residential occupier law ,which can remove someone from a home residence immediately.
I live in London
Q2 Please provide any evidence you have gathered on the number of squats and the nature of squatting in your area or nationwide?
There are many many squats in London
Most squats are in empty abandoned and derelict buildings that are occupied improved and repaired.
Many squatters get on with their neighbours and improve/bring life back to derelict areas.
Most are for peoples desperate need for accommodation and housing,however some are also community, project,art or social centres,that provide life and low cost support/workshops to the areas they are in.
Q3 Do you have any data or other information on the demographic profile of people who squat – e.g. do they share any of the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010 (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation)? Do they live alone or with others?
All ages ,races and cultures,squat out of urgent need,some are old and disabled,also families young children ,pregnant women,many from disadvantaged backgrounds or minority groups. Most live in larger family groups and help each other.,creating their own support network.
The importance of squatting to the homeless is massive it provides a safety net when all other routes have failed. It is often undertaken in desperation and is carried out for basic survival.
-It provides for the hidden homeless estimated to be up to half a million by Crisis.
Q4 Do you think the current law adequately deals with squatting? Please explain your reasons.
- The law is more than ‘adequate’, we need greater rights for squatters – for example, ‘legalise squatting to prevent the dereliction of buildings’.
A Solution could be Link up empty property owners with the homeless and groups willing to recycle and repair derelict abandoned buildings creating employment and accommodation.
Using some of the 725,000 empty buildings in the UK (Empty Homes Agency )
there is no need to make any changes as the current law is adequate because – ‘owners who use their property as their own place of residence – i.e. displaced residential occupiers (DROs) – are already adequately protected by section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 (DROs and PIOs)’.
- The current law is adequate, and enforcement currently works OK, but it could improve if there was better knowledge by the police of the relevant law (e.g. prosecuting false PIO claims) and/or if there was better public information about the protections granted to DROs.
The government’s guidance is useful, but should have been introduced earlier to counter misinformation in much of the mainstream media about the nature of squatting.
There has been massive 6 month campaign of misguiding misinformation on squatting.
Also lies by Grant Schapps and Crispin Blunt the Housing Minister
Note the letter from 160 Solicitors and academics http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2011/09/well-he-would-wouldnt-he/
“We are legal academics, solicitors and barristers who practise in housing law acting for landlords, tenants, owners and occupiers. We are concerned that a significant number of recent media reports have stated that squatters who refuse to leave someone’s home are not committing a criminal offence and that a change in the law such as that proposed by the Government is needed to rectify this situation. This is legally incorrect, as the guidance published by the Department for Communities and Local Government in March this year makes clear.
We are concerned that such repeated inaccurate reporting of this issue has created fear for home-owners, confusion for the police and ill informed debate among both the public and politicians on reforming the law.”
In short the law is adequate, we need no changes costing hundreds of millions of pounds to implement,at a time of severe austerity,also the massive spike in housing benefit from accommodating the displaced homeless/squatters.
In fact we need to talk solutions using the three quarters of a million empty properties to create homes,communities and project space that will create employment and homes and urban regeneration.
Defend your Rights
Housing / Tenants Rights ,Rights to Shelter/Trespass and Protest
The Government and their property developer friends are planning to criminalise trespass/squatting. There is a consultation process running until October 5th 2011
The proposed legislation will impact on all members of our society, empower unscrupulous landlords to use violence to evict people,burdening the inadequate housing system, justice system, police / charities. Criminalising the homeless/poor while in the middle of a housing/financial crisis.
The proposed new laws could affect:
- Tenants: accused by landlords of being squatters for being behind with rent.
- Students and workers occupations of Universities and workplaces.
- Protest, Peace and Climate camps
- Squatters, Gypsies and Travellers
- The Homeless, poor and vulnerable
The proposed legislation could change trespass from a civil to a criminal offence, affecting all our ancient land rights to shelter in abandoned buildings.
The Government consultation : http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/dealing-with-squatters.htm
The SQUASH campaign provides guidelines on: replying to the consultation,
www.squashcampaign.org/resources/respond-to-the-consultation/ ( A quick response guide)
www.squashcampaign.org , email email@example.com
SQUATTASTIC :Organise and mobilise in your area. There are monthly meetings in London www.squattastic.blogspot.com Phone 07757009150
Also housing support networks are setting up in Brighton, Bristol, Nottingham and other UK cities.
Housing Solidarity : are building a radical housing movement as part of the
wider struggles against austerity by raising awareness of the housing crisis and housing benefit cuts. http://housolidarity.wordpress.com , Twitter #housolidarity
What you can do:
1.Reply to the Government consultation using SQUASH guidelines and encourage others to.
2.Set up a housing support group in your area.
3.Sign petitions 38 Degrees http://38degrees.uservoice.com/forums/78585-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/2137333-resist-the-criminalisation-of-squatting?ref=title
4.Take direct action www.squattershousingactiongroup.wordpress.com
5.Write to / visit your MP, local council / the media, to ask what they
are doing to defend our rights and campaign against this unjust proposal for a new law.
DONT PANIC !! Just DO Something
Organise mobilise, keep networking, take action, “Whatever they say squatting will stay”
Squatters picnic action tour Thurs 15th sept meet 12 noon at Oval Tube.
Bring food to share and be prepared to walk a route,magical mystery tour of the London Underground.Action 12-6pm
Banner making for this action will be at the monday 12th sept SHAG meeting .
Monday 12th Sept 6-8pm at Passing Clouds
To plan and prepare for big action Thurs 15th September 12 noon
1 Richmond Road
London E8 4AA http://www.passingclouds.org/FindUs
Sign Petition to resist the criminalisation of squatting