TEAR DOWN THE WALLS! RAISE THE ROOFS!
On April the 2nd the world’s leaders are meeting in London for the G20 summit. In the wake of the banking crisis, they are meeting to try to salvage a tottering system, which is aimed at growth for its own sake, at the expense of our living standards and the environment. However, this strategy seems to be failing and the system cannot achieve the rates of growth necessary for its very functioning and continued survival, relying on credit to stave off its collapse.
Do the leaders of the world remember that the credit crunch originated in the “housing bubble” and the mortgage crisis?!!
Despite Gordon Brown’s claim that the economic crisis is all the fault of US sub prime mortgages, the same trends were apparent in the UK credit boom as commercial banks turned themselves into investment banks and triggered speculation on the housing market. The credit boom was increasingly underwritten by mortgage finance, leading to an unlimited amount of money chasing a finite housing stock. Housing prices rose by 150% between 1996 and 2008, when they finally peaked: in 2004 staggering 63,000 mortgages were granted here at a price 10 times greater than the applicant’s income.
In 2008, there have been 40,000 home repossessions across the UK and current estimates for 2009 are in the order of 70,000-75,000!
The other side of the housing bubble coin has been the crisis of homelessness counted in the millions denied a step on the ladder (or greasy pole) to affluence. The crisis has been exacerbated by the sell-off, privatisation and destruction of council housing and the rolling out of so-called “regeneration schemes” to attract the new rich and to displace the poor whose presence adversely affected house prices.
Officially there are 80,000 households homeless. Set this against the estimate that in 2008 there were some 750,000 properties standing empty in Britain –and the crisis becomes a scandal!
In the UK both Labour and Tory governments have carried on selling off social housing as well as privatising housing-relating services. Low rent community centres, squats and autonomous social spaces have also had to fight for existence. This reflects a trend towards more cuts to social services, privatisation and compulsory work schemes in Europe and beyond. It is also part of a continuing enclosure of resources and means of living — which includes water, land and housing all around the world.
The bailiff knocking on your door is a not-so-distant cousin of the cartel forcing peasants off common land elsewhere!
As a result of the relentless pursuit of at any cost, production moves to where wages are lowest and more and more areas of everyday life become fair game for enclosure and privatisation. All over the world we have been witnessing a property boom at the expense and exclusion of many communities; it has produced gated communities and privatised public spaces, constant surveillance, disintegrating communities as well as collective forms of action.
Reclaim the city from the elites and private interest!
End dispossession from their lands and houses!
We demand a democratic and socially just system which returns the power to communities!
RECLAIM THE LAND! HOUSING FOR ALL!
Where there are empty properties, we must occupy. Where there are agribusiness monopolies, we must organize to till the soil ourselves Where there are bailiffs we must erect barricades
Each act of resistance to enclosure is a rallying cry Each occupation is a fresh assault on the borders of capital
The 1st of April ioin the housing and autonomous space bloc at Cannon Street at 11AM
….and bring a pillow with you!
Housing and Autonomous Spaces bloc for Indy UK