(Written by an American Expat living in the E.U.)
The cold winter weather and squatting evictions have hurt the Occupy movement in America because squatting is criminalized in Ameria. . But this has to the same extent not been the case in England because squatting isn’t criminalized in England.
When is it enough? We’ve all read the headlines about the Occupy Movement being evicted from Zuccotti Park in New York and other public spaces all around the United States from sea to shining sea, but what we at the Kos haven’t been talking about is the Occupy Movement in the European Union to the same extent. As if it were a different movement, it isn’t! But yet it is in one very important way. Squatting isn’t criminalized in England. They get to occupy buildings legally to set up sleeping quarters, office space, have indoor plumbing, heating, lights, windows with real glass in them, paved flooring that don’t have grass growing up your azz! Toilets, oh my God the Occupy Movement lives in the age of toilets and showers with hot water, imagine they can get Internet installed and I don’t mean on a stick, landline telephones and occupiers can use that address to register if they are unemployed for jobless benefits from the state. Even if they are single, that is jobless benefits that never run out, and they get complete medical, dental, prescription medication coverage, but perhaps most importantly of all occupying in England, that is in the fair city of London, which is colloquially referred to as squatting is covered even to this very day by something called Squatter’s Rights.
Occupy London protesters take over fifth London site
Protesters said they “occupied” the building in the early hours
The Occupy London protest group says it has taken over a fifth site in London.
Up to 20 demonstrators moved into Roman House, on Fore Street, Barbican, in the City of London, between midnight and 02:00 GMT, an Occupy spokesman said.
The group said they planned to “open the building to the public” on Monday. The empty office building is believed to be owned by Berkeley Homes.
City of London Corporation and police said they were aware of the occupation.
The latest move from the protesters comes after the corporation won its High Court case on Wednesday to evict protesters from outside St Paul’s Cathedral, where Occupy London Stock Exchange group set up their tents on 15 October.
“The City of London Police have visited the building and have agreed that it is a civil matter.”
Now the conservatives are always threatening to take that away,, but let’s understand it still exists today. Whereas in America by contrast occupiers who occupy vacant buildings could be charged with criminal trespass or even burglary, breaking and entering or other types of felonies that come with long term prison sentences that would add to the ranks of the 2.3 million Americans already incarcerated in state, federal and local jails. But wait it gets better, the police in America even throw occupiers out of their own tents, pepper spray the hell out of them, and throw the cuffs on them, and if they can’t make bail, then they’re in jail until such time as they go to trial, and we are talking serious amounts of bails. Whereas in Europe those same bails are tiny or non-existent, because the European Union countries don’t try to run a prison industrial complex to provide job security for private prison corporations and inept bureaucrats who are otherwise incapable of finding gainful employment in the private sector, because they have been crippled by state dependency measures in the American prison industrial complex.
Having said all of that, to reiterate squatting in England is not criminalized. Now I know as an American I had problems getting my head around that idea, but it is true. Which begs the question why the hell is squatting criminalized in America, especially in the winter when America’s homeless are desperate.
Main article: Squatting in England
In England, squatting has a long historical tradition. The BBC states that squatting was “a big issue in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 and again for the Diggers in the 17th Century [who] were peasants who cultivated waste and common land, claiming it as their rightful due” and that squatting was a necessity after the Second World War when so many were homeless. The BBC also reported in 2011 that the British government estimated that there were “20,000 squatters in the UK” and “650,000 empty properties”.
So it is, that the American plutocracy through the aid of their puppet mayors and jackbooted blue shirted thugs have managed to throttle in the face the peaceful democratic peoples’ resistance movements, colloquially referred to as Occupy. As if they could pepper spray away an idea that freedom, democracy and human rights that include basic tenets of economic justice are in fact the birthright of every human being, and so it is that change must come to America, that subscribe to tenets of economic justice and basic human rights to include universal medical care, a living wage and job protected paid maternity leave as well as paid sick leave which are in existence in every major industrialized country in the world except for the United States.
Main article: Squatting in the United States
In the United States, squatting laws vary from state to state and city to city. For the most part, it is rarely tolerated to any degree for long, particularly in cities.
Isn’t it time to recall their puppet mayors and install progressive candidates for mayor through the democratic peaceful process this year at the ballot box, and it’s time to vote out their right wing radical governors, such as Scott Walker and get a government for the people by the people, wherein the laws are changed to allow for squatter’s rights from sea to shining sea, so that the American Occupy Movement may get a foothold legally in abandoned properties, thousands of which have been sitting vacant for years, and if the owners object to that let them go through the courts to evict the occupiers who are squatting, just like they would have to evict any other lawful tenant. This is what is happening in London. This is what exists in many countries in the EU, isn’t it time that it came into existence in America, and that we were able to finally move some of the homeless off of America’s cold winter streets into some basic housing lawfully through the occupy movement, which must lobby for the lawful occupation of buildings as a matter of squatter’s rights, just as is the case now in England. To which we should all say isn’t it time that change, that is real progressive change comes to America.
The simple truth is that the American media has tried assiduously to brainwash the American people through its espousal of the plutocrat’s neo feudal state, wherein property rights trump human rights. The truth is that squatting in America should not be criminalized. It should be treated like it is in England as purely a civil matter.
To win in America all we have to do is to care about each other & stick together!
If we are looking for change we must look to the Occupy movement to provide that peaceful nonviolent approach to change in helping to elect better progressive politicians to public office. The Occupy movement and the American unions are the last great hope of the American working class dream!!
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