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Organised Groups Re-enter Empty Buildings In Miami

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Just caught the end of it, but on BBc News 24 just now at approx. 1am, they had quite a long feature on community based groups like "Take Back the Land" who break into empty houses.

A police officer was interviewed and said they were not in the business of arresting such desperate families or groups.

No BBc vid link yet, but found this info..


..if the place checks out, she and her colleagues from Take Back the Land, a local group that advocates for affordable housing, will break in, change the locks, paint and clean, innovate a way to connect water and electricity, and then move a homeless family into the house. The criminal laws they'll violate in the process range from trespassing to breaking and entering (even burglary, if the police get ambitious), which requires the organization to keep a pro bono lawyer on standby.

"We call it 'liberating the housing,'" says Take Back the Land's cofounder Max Rameau, a compact Haitian American who's earned a reputation in Miami for creative activism. In 2006, Take Back received widespread attention when it took over a vacant city lot and erected a shantytown for the homeless that thrived for six months—that is, until a resident's candle burned down the encampment. Rameau's latest, and even more legally dubious, campaign targets homes shuttered by foreclosure.

In Greater Miami, there's no shortage of those. Last year, Miami-Dade County recorded 26,391 foreclosures, a nearly threefold increase from 2006, and the pace has only quickened since then. Meanwhile, public housing is in crisis; at least four people are in line for each of the 10,000 available units, and the local housing agency is spectacularly corrupt, even by Miami standards. It was taken over by the federal government last year.

Communities nationwide have seen a deluge of properties left vacant by foreclosures, but housing advocates say they've yet to witness anything like Rameau's coordinated squatting campaign. "That's the first I've heard of that kind of direct action," says Linda Couch, deputy director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Low Income Housing Coalition.

"It's incredibly frustrating for housing advocates knowing that there are so many vacant houses amid so many people on the brink of homelessness."

Rameau says Take Back's campaign has two objectives: "One is to actually house people. The other is to bring attention to the contradictions in housing policy. The problem is that doing one precludes the other."

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship
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The most interesting thread on here right now.

New ground being broken here methinx.

Found this vid with representative of "Take Back the Land" from late 2008

2006 vid, mentioned before on hpc, where they squatted a piece of empty land and built a pallet wall shanty town. Affordable housing was promised on the site, but not delivered .

They say they only squat empty repo houses owned by banks, not individuals.

Having a homeless family in there stops the building being stripped of copper pipe, utilities etc. In some cases they have supplied solar panels for families, so add to the property.

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship
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Perfectly clean and sweat free.

Actually i think the squatters were dressed like Fidel Castro and brandishing kalashnikovs.


This is very interesting and somethign talked about on here before.

I am amazed thr authorities are tolerating it and suspect it won't last.

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