Whose House? Our House!

February 23, 2010 at 6:12 am (Building Occupations, Housing Occupations) (, , )

(This is an archival article I wrote for GNN.tv, which is now closed, originally published Tue, 06 Mar 2007)

The Battle to Defend the Ungdomshuset

The people in the house have been trying to get into dialogue for a lot of years and now there is no dialogue. So now they are fighting for a place to be.“ —Simon Nyborg

The silence of dawn in the Danish capital was abruptly shattered by the sound of helicopter blades. Then came the rhythmic stomping of boots on the rooftop, the hiss of tear gas canisters, the shouts of commandos, the terrified screams of residents, and the crack of doors being kicked in. The handful of youth who had been keeping a 24 hour watch over the Ungdomshuset (“Youth House”) squat proved to be no match to the overwhelming force of the heavily armed Danish anti-terror squad that descended from a police helicopter onto their roof.

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Squatting as a Tactic of Resistance

February 21, 2010 at 2:06 am (Squatting) (, , )

Tips for Squatting as a Political Act

1. BRING CAMCORDERS, TAPE RECORDERS, CAMERAS, NOTEPADS AND PRESS PASSES

This will help deter police harassment and, if it occurs, provide you with a record of it. It will also help you to document and celebrate any victories in gaining your aims.

If you are journalist, bring your press pass. It can help you get access to sites and information that authorities are trying to keep from the public eye. It’s amazing how humanely officials can act when they know that others are watching.

2. STAY IN CONSTANT TOUCH WITH SQUATTERS WORLDWIDE

This cross-fertilizes strategies and helps you decide what may work or not locally. It also builds morale, especially when authorities are trying to discredit you and threatening arrests to scare off supporters.

Nowadays, the Internet is an excellent link to other squatters in a world where over a billion people are houseless–even in wealthy nations.

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