Julian Bond 🍸 is a user on mastodon.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.

I just remembered that the Bendigo Street protest squat was a thing. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bendigo_

I thought they were hanging in there from the most recent articles I found, but...it looks like they've been forced out 😢

There's some astronomical number of empty residential properties across Australia. But the police are super aggressive towards squatters, and adverse possession laws seem to be favouring property owners now.


I'd really rather see some serious penalties aimed at people who leave perfectly good buildings and houses vacant without good reasons. But given the power of the real estate lobby here, I'm not confident that any proposals for that will happen.

I'm equally dreading that the Victorian tenant's rights reforms will fall over because of the real estate lobby.

There's a lot of groups though that push squatting as an option and just...no. That's super dangerous.

Like, I get it, I read Pirate Cinema too and for about a year there I though squatting was the coolest and wanted to go join a squat.

And then I actually read about squat evictions like Bendigo Street and Miller's Point, and decided that I would prefer not to test either of those claims.

Yes, we have to challenge the status quo, and we have to do *something* to help people get their basic needs met. But I'm sure there's ways that are safer for those people.

Julian Bond 🍸 @jbond@mastodon.social

Tired: Squatting an empty building
Wired: Squatting a whole street

or even whole islands, and such like

Also. Bruce Sterling - Pirate Utopia about Carnaro.

· Web · 0 · 1

@jbond A whole street or town might have the numbers to survive a bit longer than Bendigo Street, maybe. And I think if it managed to hold out long enough, it's possible that eventually, the state would give up. Frestonia seems to have held out, to an extent.

But, I don't know how anyone could convince enough people to effectively deter widespread state violence, given the increasing militarization of the police and the apparently lowered thresholds for violence. (And the media.)

@jbond Micronations seem to fare better on that front, even the Sovereign Yidindji Government and the Murrawarri Republic (though there were media reports of Yidindji citizens being harassed by police and facing legal problems). And secessionism or lack of doesn't seem to make a difference.

I wonder if geographic remoteness plays a part though.

(And there's not much recent media coverage of either that I could find quickly, so I don't know if these are ongoing or escalating issues for them.)

@jbond My main worry though is that there's some people who are awfully casual about squatting as an option, when it's not really feasible for everyone and can be very dangerous if it attracts police attention. (Which seems to put people off the most, from conversations I've had in the past.)

And, as much as mass squatting of abandoned properties would get people housed, I can't really see how that solves the systemic barriers to secure and appropriate housing for everyone.