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TOPIC: Defend your Rights to Shelter

Defend your Rights to Shelter 05 Sep 2012 21:26 #5163

The new Squatters' Legal Network is offering support to people affected by the anti-squatting law 'LASPO S144'

Fighting LASPO S144

Section 144 of the LASPO bill came into effect on September the 1st, making squatting in residential buildings a criminal offence. The Advisory Service for Squatters has produced new legal warnings for squatters, including one for non-residential buildings and a specific one for pubs. Check their website for more info www.squatter.org.uk .

*Be aware that the Section 6 legal warning is now incriminating if you are in a building that is or could be argued to be residential, so it’s best to take them down.*

The Squatters Legal Network will work to track the new law – how it is enforced by the Police and how it is dealt with in the Courts. And will aim to provide legal support to those arrested and charged under the new law. If you or anyone you know has any contact with the Police concerning the new law (LASPO S144) please get in contact with the Squatters Legal Network with as much information as possible. If arrested, as always, we suggest you say NO COMMENT to all questions and during interview.

Source; Squatters Legal Network
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Defend your Rights to Shelter 06 Sep 2012 06:11 #5182

It is curious that well off people cannot think that laws can be challenged.
I am always been puzzled by how anyone can come to the conclusion that threaten punishment can deter someone that has not choice or has an incentive stronger than the fear of being caught by the limited resources of the law enforcers.
From the very recommendable book by Robert Hughes "The Fatal Shores" there are some tantalising hints of modern day criminalisation attitudes historical precursors.
Although the book deals with the history of deportation to Australia, the early chapters centre on the background and development of this form of punishment.
Here the author writes about the 18th Century development of the "rule of law" et al.:
The liberalism of the English Common Law, compared to their own [other European Countries]systems based on Roman and Canon Law, astonished European visitors. They noticed that, although it reduced the likelihood of an innocent man’s conviction, it also made it easier for the guilty to escape.
The English knew this, too; hence the draconic laws they created to avenge their sense of a disturbed social order. Against the relative fairness of British trials, one must set the most striking aspect of Georgian law—the sheer scope of its capital statutes. If detection and arrest were feeble and trials tenderly fair, what punishment could keep men from crime? Only the extreme one: hanging without benefit of clergy. During the reigns of the first three Georges, law enacted death upon what seemed a limitless variety of human deeds, from infanticide to “impersonating an Egyptian” (posing as a gypsy). Between the enthronement of Charles II in 1660 and the middle of George IV’s reign in 1819, 187 new capital statutes became law—nearly six times as many as had been enacted in the previous three hundred years. Nearly all were drafted to protect property, rather than human life; attempted murder was classed only as a “misdemeanor” until 1803. These grapeshot laws scattered death impartially. Why must forgers hang? Because the increase of paper transactions in eighteenth-century banking and business—checks, notes, bonds, shares, as distinct from concrete transfer of bags of gold—had made property of all sorts more vulnerable to forgery. Why was it death to “steal an heiress”? Because, like a queen bee swollen with jelly, an heiress was property incarnate; her abductor went to the gallows not for rape but for his theft of a family’s accumulated goods and rights.
Some capital statutes were very broad. The most notorious of them was 9 Geo. I, c. 22, otherwise known as the Waltham Black Act. It had been drafted ostensibly to repress some minor agrarian uprisings in 1722–23 near Waltham Chase in Hampshire, where rural laborers, moving at night with blacked faces, had taken to poaching game and fish, burning hayricks and posting threatening letters on their landlords’ gates. The act, passed by the Commons without a murmur of dissent, prescribed the gallows for over two hundred possible offenses in various permutations. One could be hanged for burning a house or a hut, a standing rick of corn, or an insignificant pile of straw; for poaching a rabbit, for breaking down “the head or mound” of a fishpond, or even cutting down an ornamental shrub; or for appearing on a high-road with a sooty face. As Sir Leon Radzinowicz remarked, “The Act constituted in itself a complete and extremely severe criminal code which indiscriminately punished with death a great many different offences, without taking into account either the personality of the offender or the particular circumstances of each offence.”(Radzinowicz, History, vol. 1, p. 27, note 87
Such legislation was part of a general tendency in eighteenth-century England: the growth of the Rule of Law (as distinct from any particular statute) into a supreme ideology, a form of religion which, it has since been argued, began to replace the waning moral power of the Church of England.(For a discussion of the rituals of the Rule of Law, see Douglas Hay, “Property, Authority and the Criminal Law,” in Albion’s Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England, ed. Douglas Hay, Peter Linebaugh and Edward P. Thompson, p. 17ff.)

It makes one wonder...
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Last Edit: 06 Sep 2012 06:17 by Brutus.
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Defend your Rights to Shelter 27 Sep 2012 21:12 #5711

Alex Haigh, who had come to London seeking work, sentenced to 12 weeks in prison for occupying flat without permission

First squatter jailed under new law

A 21-year-old man arrested at a flat in Pimlico, central London, has become the first person to be jailed under the government's anti-squatting legislation.

Alex Haigh, originally from Plymouth, has been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to occupying a housing association flat without permission.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Haigh was the first person to be given a custodial sentence under section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, which came into force on the first day of September.

West London magistrates heard that police officers had gone to the flat in Cumberland Street on 2 September in search of another man. They arrested three people, one of whom was Haigh, on suspicion of squatting and all three have been convicted; the other two are awaiting sentence.

The law criminalises squatting in residential premises. Housing charities have warned that it may trigger a surge in homelessness as squatters are forced on to the streets in order to avoid a criminal record.

The squatters' rights group Squash (Squatters' Action for Secure Homes), which campaigned against criminalisation, condemned the sentencing as "deeply disproportionate and unjust". It said the building the men were occupying had been empty for more than a year.

Haigh's father, Hugh, told the Evening Standard newspaper that his son, an apprentice bricklayer, had come to London in July seeking work. "They have made an example of him. To put him in that prison environment, I don't understand it. If he broke the law, he should be dealt with, but it is like putting someone who has not paid their taxes into Dartmoor prison."

Source; Guardian
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Defend your Rights to Shelter 27 Sep 2012 21:21 #5713

Disgraceful.
I imagine the next step will be creating more punishing "vagrancy laws".
Basically if you're alive and poor you'll be illegal.
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Defend your Rights to Shelter 02 Mar 2013 05:05 #12425

This is the kind of news that is heard only locally and soon forgotten.
But this is the kind of future we may expect down the line.
This fight is for us a Life&Death one.

Homeless man Daniel Gauntlett dies frozen on doorstep of empty bungalow in Aylesford

His belongings still left where he died, residents in Hermitage Lane, Aylesford, reacted with sadness to the news and said Mr Gauntlett had become a familiar sight in the street.

And they said the sadness was compounded by the fact he died outside an empty bungalow due to be bulldozed.

Police had reportedly been called previously after he tried to break into the bungalow. And so Mr Gauntlett, had taken the fatal decision to abide by the law.

Derek Bailey, 80, who lives next door, said Mr Gauntlett had not appeared to be in ill health.

Source: Kent on Line
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Last Edit: 02 Mar 2013 14:53 by terratech.
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