Watching the value of property melt away – The increase in squatting across the U$A

Although it is hard to hear what is really happening on the ground in U$A, it appears that recently there has been an increase in squatting in cities across the United States. Obviously, squatting is often a covert activity, but it seems that a few factors have dovetailed to facilitate the emergence of a new, public squatting movement. This sWatching the value of property melt away –
The increase in squatting across the U$Ahort article will provide a background to these events and a report of the actions which we have heard about. Hopefully these are merely the tip of the iceberg….
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Police Harass Occupy Liverpool at Legal Squat

The “new location” is a squat in a derelict office block on Preston Street and until the above message was posted its location was kept secret. I always thought the decision not to tell anyone the new location was odd but I have heard that it was intended as a half-way-house for the camp to re-group and store their stuff before moving on to a new camp. The old location was extremely exposed and as a result was often battered by high winds; I’m surprised the occupiers stayed as long as they did.
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Occupying housing from the Pope Squat to Occupy Toronto

It was a sweltering afternoon in late July 2002 when the armoured vehicles of the Toronto Police Emergency Task Force pulled up in front of our building. Quickly we started barricading the door with an old desk, if they were coming to kick us out we weren’t going to make it easy for them. We waited tensely as the cops approached the door with submachine guns drawn.

Our crime? We dared to take over an abandoned building in the middle of a housing crisis.

We all survived that early raid and were eventually allowed back into the building where we lived for the next three months — dubbing it the “Pope Squat” as we occupied it during the pontiff’s visit to Toronto.
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London: Occupy liberates abandoned Old St magistrate court

As the LSX occupation prepares to present its case at the High Court yesterday, members of Occupy London alongside a group of military veterans – Occupy Veterans – have liberated a disused court house in London’s East End. The opening of Occupy London’s fourth occupation, will see the movement conducting “trials of the one per cent” in an abandoned magistrate’s court building which has lain empty since 1996, despite its prime location and grade II listing. [1]
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New York: Occupy Our Homes Moves Homeless Family Into Vacant Home

About 1,000 people flooded the streets of East New York on Tuesday, as Occupy Wall Street (OWS) arrived from the subway system from all five boroughs. Along with community organizations, the protesters took over a vacant foreclosed home in East New York for a homeless family of four.
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Occupy London ‘repossesses’ multi-million pound bank offices

First building for the economic justice campaigners as they occupy third space in borough of Hackney, alongside existing spaces in the City of London and borough of Islington.

The new ‘Bank of Ideas’ will open to public this Saturday. Offices and meeting rooms will be available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs due to savage Government spending cuts.
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USA: Declaration of Solidarity with Neighborhood Reclamations

Occupy Oakland, in solidarity with the Occupy movement and with the local community, has established the principle of claiming for open use the open space that has been kept from us. We are committed to helping this practice continue and grow. Here in Oakland, thousands of buildings owned by city, banks, and corporations stand idle and abandoned. At the same time social services such as healthcare, education, libraries and community spaces are being defunded and eliminated.
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Madrid: Welcome to the Hotel Ocupa

Back in Madrid after a month in the USA, I find the indignados of the 15M movement have just taken a building nearby. The Hotel Madrid, at 10 calle Carretas is a long-abandoned former Best Western hotel. Now it is swarming with folks coming around to see what is up. The hotel is steps away from the Puerta del Sol, the center of Madrid and site of the original encampment of May 15th, 2011 that launched the Spanish movement which is the big sister of Occupy Wall Street.
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Vienna: Epicenter of a coming movement

In Vienna, one day before the global day of action 15th of October, people started occupying a huge building. It has been opened as a social center named Epizentrum, for the neighborhood and the whole city, and it is right now in a humming process of being built up.

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