NOTE: Today’s A is for Anarchy is in solidarity with the RATS at Resisting Anti Trespass, who are under siege right now being attacked by cops in their squat in London.
We all need shelter, it is a basic need and like so many of our needs capitalism exploits it. We live in a society that profits from exchanging a lot of labour for temporary shelter. A society that makes it impossible for most people to own their own home and thrives off the constant threat of withholding a roof over your head. Rent is theft.
Squatting is a radical action against this. It involves occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area (of which there are many) which the squatter/s doesn’t own, rent or have any lawful permission to be there. Squatting is a lifeline to so many people. Squatting is reclaiming our right to shelter in a world full of empty buildings and extortionate bills. Squatting is protest. Squatting is a landlords worst nightmare.
In many ways squatting is anarchism in action. Squatting is in direct opposition to capitalism and it challenges ideas and norms surrounding ownership of land. Squatting takes space without asking our overlords for permission. It uses direct action to tackle the housing crisis and/or tactically takes specific targets in protest or to enable further protest. For example the squats in Exarchia that anarchists set up in solidarity with refugees and migrants without papers who need space and as much shelter from the hostile state as possible.
While there are many debates to be had surrounding and within the world of squatting, and it is not without its challenges, it is a means of resistance and survival. It rejects the authority of the ‘landowner’, gives the state the finger and not only shows us how we can reimagine ways we could live but actually puts it into practice. Let’s hope the queen can look forward to having squatters as neighbours again.
Squat the world.
Advisory Service for Squatters (UK Based): www.squatter.org.uk