It's been expected for a long time, but now a part-criminalisation of squatting will be appearing in parliament on Monday as an amendment to the Legal Aid and Sentencing Bill. The proposal would criminalise squatting in residential buildings - the stated motive being to prevent people from losing their homes to squatters. However there is already legislation protecting both residents (Displaced Residential Occupiers) and prospective residents (Protected Intended Occupiers) from having their homes squatted. The SQUASH campaign was set up by squatters and their supporters a number of months ago when the prospect of legislation was becoming clear. In fact the name is revived from a group which took on the same task in the run up to the CJA in the 90s. Here is their press release from yesterday: http://www.squashcampaign.org/2011/...mocracy-to-sneak-through-anti-squatting-laws/ - the website has further details on the background I've been involved in squatting for a few years and in the last 18 months have been full time. As such I've gotten involved in the some of the campaigning around the criminalisation. Through this time I've seen what an incredible contribution many squatters have made to other campaigns such as local and national anti-cuts campaigns, the student movement, the defence of Dale Farm, solidarity with the Arab spring and broader no borders and prison abolition campaigns to name a few. Now squatting itself is under threat and defending squatting is a struggle in itself. Over the next few days and weeks I suspect a number of moves and initiatives will develop. I haven't posted on Urban for a while, but thought I might post any updates and discuss the background here. For me I see the attack on squatting as part of wider moves by government to prop up the housing market. Equally the resistance of squatters against the enforcement of this, could play a part in a wider movement against the enforcement of austerity. I'd be interested to hear what other people think.