Monthly Archives: August 2011

Squash’s guidelines for responding to the consultation

The government’s consultation on the proposed criminalisation of squatting is currently taking place. The consultation is supposed to allow the government to formally take public opinion and suggestions into account.

Here we have provided resources for you to understand it and quickly submit an email response to the government. The deadline is the 5th October 2011.

Advisory Service for Squatters’ Response to the Consultation

The ASS provides legal and practical advice to squatters and other homeless people, and have been doing so since 1975.

Here they offer their comments on the government’s consultation paper ‘Options for dealing with squatters.

The government consultation attacking squatting is a very ill-informed document.

Fitzrovia, 130 years of Squatting

The Really Free School squats in Guy Richie’s house in Fitzroy Square and then the Black Horse in Rathbone Place hit the headlines a few months ago.

In fact these follow in a long tradition of squatting in the area.

In 1980 pop singers Boy George and Marilyn were among those who squatted at 21 Carburton Street before achieving fame. There were other squats in Warren Street and Great Titchfield Street at the same time.

Who is a squatter?

A fairly normal afternoon at ASS (Advisory Service for Squatters), and a fairly typical call…

The bloke, and his pregnant wife, are renting from someone whose tenancy doesn’t allow them to sub-let. The landlady is demanding more money and threatening to come back and kick them out.

He went to various places for advice. The council told him that he had no rights (untrue) because the tenancy was illegal (untrue) and suggested he might want to look into “squatters rights”.

Squatters in Britain: vulnerable, demonised, and soon to be criminalised?

**Lili and Melissa and Pete of the campaign group Housing Solidarity respond to the government’s proposals to criminalise squatting. The following article was originally posted over on open democracy, feel free to go over and join in the debate in the comments section.** Last month, the Ministry of Justice released a consultation aimed at gathering information on the extent of problems caused by squatters as well as views on a proposal to introduce legislation making squatting itself a crime. The views of squatters themselves rarely feature in mainstream debate, allowing myths and misunderstandings to persist, which feed a process of demonization […]

Islington Community Housing Co-op oppose the criminalisation of squatting

**In the following post Richard Cooper, a member of the Islington Community Housing Co-op in North London outlines the history of their cooperative and its roots in squatting. The Co-operative is unanimous in it’s opposition to the government’s plan to criminalise squatting** I am a member of a long established Housing Co-operative, Islington Community Housing Co-op, in North London. We grew out of the 70s squatting movement. Many properties were squatted and then licences were gained from the local authority. From there we set up a fully mutual co-operative and started to manage houses that the local authority could not […]

Hackney GP backs squatters fighting eviction from abandoned school

**Contradictory to the governments claims that squatters cause ‘distress and misery’ Jasmine Coleman – reporting for the Hackney Gazette – reveals how a Hackney GP has condemned council moves to evict ‘considerate’ squatters living in an abandoned school. The following post was published in the Hackney Gazette on July 22nd 2011**   A Hackney GP has condemned council moves to evict ‘considerate’ squatters living in an abandoned school. Jonathon Tomlinson, who works at the Lawson practice in Nuttall Street, said town hall attempts this week to remove his next-door neighbours were immoral. The squatters have been living in the old […]

The Neo-Liberal City: Struggles in Space

**Aaron Peters and Alex Vasudevan look at the changing cartography of the neo-liberal city and the implications this has on property speculation, social housing as public good, time, memory and protest** Listen here

Brighton’s Squatted History 4 – the 21st Century

**The following post is the last in a series by [SNOB(AHA)](, tracing some of the history of squatting in Brighton. We’d love to hear the stories from your area – get in touch with blog [at] squashcampaign [dot] org.** ##2000s As we move into the 2000s, we can see that squatting continues, following the same pattern of ebbs and flows. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Not so organised, no squatters’ unions, but still happening. Medina House is a lovely old building on the seafront in Hove, next to the King Alfred’s Leisure Centre. It was first squatted in 2002, but in […]

Empty Promises – A report from The Big Issue in The North

**Ryan Gallagher, writing for The Big Issue In The North, examines how proposals to criminalise squatting in unoccupied homes are prompted by scare stories. The following article was published in issue #886** Government plans that could criminalise squatting have prompted an outcry from housing campaign groups. Tabled last week by Conservative justice minister Crispin Blunt as part of a consultation titled Options for Dealing with Squatting, the proposal seeks to abolish the rights that are currently afforded to squatters under civil law and could result in persistent offenders being jailed. It could also have an impact on protesters occupying workplaces […]