Thursday, November 03, 2005
The squatters of St. Agnes Place in London have been in their homes for better than 30 years. This alone ought to qualify them for permanent residence status. But the local council in Kensington wants them out.
Officials of the Lambeth council are making contradictory arguments in support of the eviction. The Guardian claims that 22 of the squatter-occupied buildings will be replaced by social housing. But it also notes the argument that redevelopment is necessary to regenerate a rundown area plagued by crime and asserts that on the open market the homes, surrounded by parkland and close to the mass transit, could each fetch around £500,000.
Many of the squatters are Rastafarians, but there are also Brazilians, Moroccans, Poles, Germans, Spaniards, Indians, and, of all things, Brits.
Why can't they just stay in their homes. Thirty years ought to qualify as a possession right, if not a property right.