I’ve decided to get another squat started. I began by sending a text message to the people I’d met outside 18 upper Grosvenor Street, about 12 people replied. Thanks peeps, great to hear from you! Please outline briefly how you’d like to make use of a squat in the comments below. I’m writing this post so you can introduce yourselves to each other, and so that we can begin a meeting which will take place in real life on Sunday 6/10/13 at 5pm. Everyone else reading this is also welcome to get involved and come along, so if you’d like to chip in with preparations somehow, join the conversation.
In response to my text message, people asked me the following questions, which I expect others are wondering about, hopefully they’ll serve as good conversations topics too.
Where will the squat be?
It’ll be in central London, I have 2 places in mind, I’m not saying where yet. I’m focused on getting people together first because, as they say, it’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with. :-)
What’s the point?
That’s a good question! I want this to be a practical, media savvy, pro-squatting campaign to reverse the direction in which the law is currently heading. I want to see the law changed so that it resembles French law where winter squatting is allowed for 6 mths of the year. I’d also like to see aspects the Dutch squatting laws resurrected here.
With this campaign in mind, I’d like to see a massive increase of ethical squatting with high moral standards I’d like to see squatters target buildings that are being neglected by their owners. For example buildings that to all intents and purposes are nothing but digits on a balance sheet, or tax scams and generally dodgy property. Or government owned places that have been red-taped into neglect and left unused for years, or listed buildings that are facing dereliction, etc.
However, all that can only truly be communicated by actions and examples. So what I really want is for you to briefly express an interest in how you’d like to make use of a building and follow through on those ideas, I want this to be something that fits around your ordinary life.
Will I be able to live there?
Owing to the law it will be necessary to have a few people in occupation at all times, but the building will be a place to be used, not a place to be lived in. And besides it is unlikely that we’ll be in any one place for more than 2 weeks (until that law kicks in!)
What kind of activities you are involved in?
I’m a father, I home educate my daughters. I’m getting deeper and deeper into photography as each day passes. I’ve been hairdressing for 17 years and am totally into nopoo. I’m entertained mostly by radio, fashion and poetry. I’ve just started dabbling in entomophagy. So you can see my daily occupations require the majority of my attention. Personally my practical use of the building will be to take photos by the windows and of course sharing what I know about squatting.
This can easily be something we organise and participate in, rather than switching off and monging in front of Eastenders or whatever. And it will be much much more satisfying!
Thanks everyone who has passed the text message on. Thanks for the random giggly phone call. And thanks most of all to the icebreakers who’ll leave a reply first and get this conversation started.