We attended an emergency meeting last Monday to discuss ways of dealing with the new leglislation. Organised by the Advisory Service for Squatters, a large number of squatters came together to work out exactly what is meant by the new law and in what ways the squatting community can come together to support eachother. The following important points were raised:

1. The new law does not affect you if you have some sort of licence to be in the property or if you were tenants/subtenants. This means that if the owner of the property has said that it’s o’k for you to stay in it then you are doing nothing wrong. If you don’t have anything in writing, write down the time/date of when you had contact with the owner and summarise the conversation that was had. If the police do show up, you can show them that you and your housemates have a licence and thus are not breaking the law.

2. If you are in a building that is both residential and commercial (ex a shop/pub) it is important that you do not live in the residential part of the building. We guess it would be o.k for you to use the residential area for other purposes, such as storage etc. However, make sure the sleeping and kitchen areas are in the commerical part of the premises so you can protect yourself from breaking the law.

3. The squatting community is gonig to come under an enormous amount of pressure as the effects of this new legislation kick in. Now is the time to network, join together and show solidarity with eachother so we can minimise the distress caused as much as possible. If you are in a commercial building there are many ways you can support fellow squatters.For example, offering storage space for the important possessions of those suddenly kicked out on the street could be helpful.

A few weeks after this legislation comes into force there will be a squattastic event. This will allow us to come together again as a community and see how the law is being used & share coping strategies & support. Watch this space for more details.

Solidarity to all, together we’ll get through this. Remember…


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