Banking on Vacancy: Homelessness and Real Estate Speculation


PICTURE THE HOMELESS - BANKING ON HOMELESSNESS - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

PICTURE THE HOMELESS – “BANKING ON HOMELESSNESS” REPORT – January, 2012

——————-

Call for a Squatter Uprising!

The character of the uprising is the mass, un-permitted occupation,
renovation and defense of vacant spaces throughout this city for the
purposes of creating housing for those in need and the organization of
social centers of alternative politics and resistance.

The central consequence of the squatter uprising is the unleashing of the
creative capacity of the masses of people towards mutual aid and
compassion. Armed through a concrete practice that fosters a revolutionary
outlook, the squatter uprising takes a hands-on approach to reclaiming our
lives in various and expanding modes of true self-determination and
freedom.

The housing crisis, the homelessness, the rent as fraud extortion schemes
and evictions, is not only a crisis in the means of subsistence or about
having a place to live, but is a manufactured crisis designed to foster
instability, disempowerment and fear in a people thus incapable of
mounting sustained challenges to the capitalist elite. In this regard, the
housing crisis is a means of maintaining the masses of people in a state
of disorganization, looking over their shoulders, afraid of losing their
place to lay their heads, a base from which to fight back.

In other words, the crisis in housing is a form of counterinsurgency
directed against the people at the most basic level, more than the
consequence of corrupt economics but designed for social control and
maintaining the shaky capitalist ship of state. Thus, for the masses of
people, housing stability and “affordability” equals the ability to
organize around the myriad needs and desires of the people for jobs,
healthcare, education, peace and justice. In this regard, squatting offers
the uprising a place to live.

Through the identification and constructive occupation of the thousands of
vacant, habitable and usable spaces throughout this city, and the
education and mobilization of communities of support and defense, we will
create new situations of revolutionary potential, new avenues of
“negotiation” with the housing-for-profit system, the so-called “policy
makers.” Hence, squatting is not the solution to the crisis. It is the
beginning of that solution, the open door which will allow us to put
forward new structures and designs, new ideas and means of stabilizing our
communities in ways that are just and humane, “affordable” and empowering,
visionary and beautiful, and hopefully deal a mortal blow to the whole
capitalist racket, actualizing our concrete right to this city!

The greater part of the residents of this city are poor and working class
people. They are the backbone of any revolution. The struggle for a place
to be for themselves and their families, free of the fear of eviction, is
hampered not only by an unforgiving and cruel system based on speculation
and run by corrupt and profit hungry “speculators” enforced by police, but
is also hampered and burdened by an opportunistic and cowardly Left that
has forgotten that the revolution, as Malcolm said, is for land! Hence,
seldom do you hear the call for mass squatting and non-violent defense
from these sectors. Mis-leaders and gatekeepers loyal to the Trumps of the
world, they genuflect the sanctity of private property and play act rather
than direct act the obvious solution to the crisis at hand, which is to:

Squat the thousands of vacant spaces throughout this city in solidarity
with the homeless and foreclosed, those sick and tired of rent as
extortion, and create homes and bases of resistance, thus making the
uprising real and sustainable, potent and actual. Housing as a human right
is actualized through the taking of one. Squatting puts flesh on the bones
of an otherwise abstract notion of a human right to a home. It makes the
right real. Let’s be real!

Mass Trespassing Now!
Occupy Your Life!
Squatters Rights are Human Rights!
The Revolution is for Land!

f. morales
autumn 2012

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