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How do I find people to squat with?

Submitted by sudo in AskRaddle

I may end up being homeless very soon. If that happens, I'd like to try out squatting. All the guides I've read have recommended finding at least 2 other trustworthy people to squat with. Problem is, I don't personally know anyone who would consider squatting with me (and asking certain friends or family members may end up with them reporting me to the police). I know an area of town where there's a large homeless population, so I suppose I could ask a few of them if they want to squat with me, but I don't know how trustworthy any of them are (i.e. they may not understand the OpSec necessary for squatting, and they may blab to someone, which could attract police attention. Or, they may turn out to be bigoted, and I wouldn't want to live with them anymore). If anyone here has experience with squatting, what would you recommend I do? Or, do I even really need to squat with other people?

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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

Is there an anarchist presence in your area? (I'd talk with them, usually in any bunch of anarchists there are some who have talked about the logistics of squatting in your area, and if you explained your situation, you might be able to get a couple of them to help, even if they don't squat with you)

Edit: just to note I posted this before seeing that two other replies had gotten in first

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sudo wrote

I know there is, because a lot of anarchist graffiti went up on a wall (and was promptly painted over about a week later), but I have no idea who they are or how to contact them.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Have you searched on the internet - anarchist/marxist and your area name, or similar relevant searches? If there are any public anarchists in your area they'll probably have an online presence and you can access them from there.

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ziq wrote

Do you have a location already? Are there any already existing squats you can join?

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sudo wrote

Huh, I never thought of existing squats. Do they advertise them online, or just by a sign in the window?

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evilsjw wrote

I'd recommending looking for existing squats as well. A lot of the times - at least in my area - there are squatting magazines and zines available that offer information about contacts you can reach out to and squats that are currently active. Depending on what's available in your area you might find these either online or in various leftists spaces (autonomous cultural centers, bars, concert venues, etc.)

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aiwendil wrote

Maybe try squattheplanet.com as a resource for that. As far as squatting OpSec, I think it would be cool to start a thread in /f/opsec on the specific challenges presented in various communities.

I've squatted alone and with other people. Alone has some interesting security challenges of it's own. A house full of people can protect each other, but it can also become a liability with people of various ethics coming and going. I have heard some horror stories from squats in Oakland, CA that I hope we can all avoid repeating. However being alone in an abandoned house can put you at risk in a lot of other ways in our modern society, where people are violently lashing out against the homeless. Should the homeowner show up, that could be very bad as well.

Another interesting thing to consider is morale. Squatting alone can be quite lonely. It is really easy to get very depressed dealing with challenges by yourself. I think you have to weigh all of these things together.

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Defasher wrote

Would like to hear those horror stories if possible without violating opsec.

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aiwendil wrote

I'd rather not make it a public thing anymore than it has been, but I would be happy to discuss over email. If you want email me at aiwendil@onionmail.info and I will give you a brief overview of some of the things I've been through personally as well as things I've heard about other squats.

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Defasher wrote

If you don't have a job or anything tying you to that location, you can move to a city where squats are already established.