Monday, April 20, 2009

taco flat

new squatter communities are springing up like mushrooms throughout the west. for a good rundown check out this article


these photos

is access to land a right? is territory the basis of action? can these places create new solutions? or are they problems?

the ability of the capitalist system to satisfy the demand for low-rent informal housing is clearly nonexistent. so thousands of people are sidestepping the dollar and squatting land that does not belong to them. new types of stories are unfolding, new policy is forming to either eradicate or metabolize these growing communities. but what if they're allowed to stay? would the security of tenure encourage squatters to make a greater investment in their homes and community? (dignity village is a good example)

flickr here

this land is our land and we've never been able to live on it without paying for that privilege. but through the courts we seem to be deciding that sometimes that's okay. recently in colorado a couple were awarded a 1/3 share in a million dollar vacant lot because they had used it continually for 20 years. They planted a garden there and stacked their firewood. They say they held parties there and walked the land so often they wore a path in the grass (latimeshere).

all it took to make the land theirs; using it.

i suggest that a new era of property rights is being phased in, where if land is not being used it can be taken by people who can use it without paying for it. We'll be joining a host of other countries where self-built squatter communities are becoming seen as solutions to homelessness and a way to build community capital. (boston globe here)

and to end, a quote

The expropriation of the mass of the people from the soil forms the basis of the capitalist mode of production. The essence of a free colony... consists in this—that the bulk of the soil is still public property, and every settler on it therefore can turn part of it into his private property and individual means of production, without hindering the later settlers in the same operation.


from here

and finally the amazing ben peterson who is trying to imagine how it will all feel

more here (thank you to david godshall of the nurserymen for sending me this link)



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Forge Ahead Puppet Productions said...

Thanks for this post Nathen.