So why are the authorities moving to wipe these communities out?
Here are some thoughts. Please feel free to argue with/extend/add to this is comments. Let's have a robust political dialogue.
1. A loss of spirit: The original squatters, who were political, communitarian, and highly motivated have largely lost that fervor. More and more, the squats became simply places to live, and squatters themselves more individualistic.
2. Losing a public profile: The squatters also have ceased to have a high profile public presence and have mostly lost the support of the rest of the city. We are in an acquisitive, consumerist time, and people see the squatters as getting something for nothing, rather than as standing for a noble cause of a better life for all.
3. Fear of violating public order: Politicians like keeping people fearful of terrorist attacks and threats to public order, because with fear they will turn naturally to the security of concepts such as the strict adherence to property rights. Anyone standing counter to that is, in this thinking, a kind of terrorist.
4. Property values: Cities have become much more expensive (we should also be thinking about why this is, and why we accept it) and increasingly people are buying into the landlord-led argument that apartment buildings that are held out of the market (squats, rent control, public housing, etc.) are actually making rents higher for the rest of us. This is nonsense, of course (my landlord is illegally overcharging half the people in the building, but he has yet to offer to lower my rent), but it seems to be seductive nonsense for many people.
A century and a half ago, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon said property is robbery. Half a century ago, Andre Gorz modified him, noting that in the highest forms of capitalism, robbery is poetry. Today, property rights seem to be considered the route to salvation. Why? Come on guys: pile on. Just what is going on in the developed world that has made these communities suddenly so undesirable?