Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Jacket Potato

New squat-related news, this time from the United States.

And whilst it may be illegal to squat there, it hasn't stopped a number of advocacy groups taking advantage of the climate of foreclosures in the US, by actively moving homeless people into vacant properties. One such group is Take Back The Land, whose website features video footage of their efforts and dialogue with Max Rameau, founding member.

The foreclosure crisis is very much in the news over there. Amongst the stories of squatting of such is this one of a young man happily living in a foreclosure until he was discovered. Interesting to note in this article how they keep the leccy and water switched on in these empty properties.

The New York Times has just published photos of California's tent cities. These communities include the Village of Hope, where people are housed in tool sheds, and a tent encampment in Fresno called New Jack City. Other American shantytowns and tent communities have started springing up across the country, as evidenced here.

Umoja Village in Miami, Florida, until 2007 when it was accidentally burnt down, was home to 50 homeless people. Erected on a vacant lot that once housed low-income apartments, Umoja offered a safe space to put down roots and work towards a communal cause. Read their story.