Closing down dissent

The recent change in the law on squatting criminalises a section of the population which, in the main, is focused on community action and speaking truth to power. The change in the law was brought in supposedly to protect homeowners who returned from holiday to find their houses occupied by squatters and a few high profile cases were cited as justification for the change. But 160 experts wrote an open letter explaining that the pre-existing law contained the necessary provisions to address such cases. Nonetheless, supported by public prejudice and misinformation,  the law was passed. Leaving aside how this new law will exacerbate homelessness at a time of the worst housing crisis in recent history, this law is another brick in the wall to close down dissent and quash opposition to the increasingly authoritarian state.

'Squatters are not home stealers'
The criminalising of squatters in Britain is part of a Europe-wide backlash. But with at least 10% of the world population squatting, can they really be a menace to society?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/03/squatters-criminalised-not-home-stealers

Hat tip to Joe for this

Regular readers of Daily Pickings will recognise the following:

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

(then they came for the squatters and I did not speak out because I was not a squatter)

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

(from July this year: http://freecriticalthinking.org/daily-pickings/168-where-is-the-outrage)

 

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