a table, mes enfants...
Registered: Sep 2003
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Location: somewhere else
[Edited by voodoobass on 10-07-2017 22:49 PM]
Hanky wrote on 22-02-2017 02:42 PM
I am genuinely interested in how Squats work. I have been to parties, but how do they function on a day to day basis. Does it cost you anything at all to live there?
Over the years a few of my good mates and various other acquaintances have lived in squats. Some of them were amazing, some less so. Really depends on the mentality of the individuals living there. I knew some French dudes that lived in a squat just over the way from Marble Arch tube station, which was an awesome location. I think it had been used as offices when last 'legitimately' used but they had the electric and gas bills in their own names, an enclosed courtyard garden area, proper furniture in all the rooms and the whole thing was very clean and organised. One of them had found the place and gained entry themselves before slapping a Section 6 on (laws have changed since then so Section 6 isn't a thing any more AFAIK).
Another person I knew used to pay rent to live in a squat, the 'landlord' used to find and gain entry and then charge other people to live there whom they vetted much as a landlord would, and they only ever dealt with Spanish and South Americans. However this didn't stop my friend's room from getting broken into about three times in four weeks by the other 'tenants'.
I visited a different squat in a really large disused pub in South London, it was formerly an old coaching inn and I think was a listed building. There were a good 20 or 30 people living there, they were big cheeses in the psy scene and had tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of audio and lighting equipment, the pub kitchen served up communal vegetarian meals a few times a day. The whole property was surrounded with a 12ft metal fence and basically wasn't visible from the road, so unless you were in the know, it just looked like a vacant lot that had been fenced off. No junkies but probably a lot of DMT got smoked in there!
So, hard to generalise really, some are random as f**k with all the negatives you associate with the scene and other times it's people living a 'normal' life in places they just happen not to pay rent for. Since the change in laws a decade or so back I'm not sure if 'nice' people still do it quite so much.
And I don't know if you remember but about 15-20 years ago there was a huge scandal in Hackney because the local authority had to give a whole street full of large council-owned houses, because all the squatters had been living there for something like 30 years and squatters rights had well and truly kicked in. The council had literally forgotten that the street even existed. The salt was well and truly rubbed in the would when after only a couple of months of being legally awarded the house, the new owner sold it for a few million and f****d off to Bondi Beach, lol.
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