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Can North American anarchists substitute squatting for another form of social cohesion?

+1 vote
One of the most powerful forces anarchists are involved in across the Atlantic is squatting. It provides a backbone to much of anarchist and related activity. Yet North America doesn't have the ability to have much the same due to harsher consequences. Have any of you ever considered or perhaps even know what might serve as a force of social cohesion that might generate a similar effect in North America?
asked Apr 16, 2016 by anonymous
Could you detail some of the ways that you see the social cohesion of squats in Europe manifesting? I think this is a really interesting question, but feel like I am unsure exactly what direction I would set off in answering it.
Property laws and their enforcement are vastly different in the US, which is the primary reason there's a cultural difference. In most European locations, squatters can hijack or otherwise gain access to water and electricity; in the US, that's almost impossible due to regulatory control and remote shut-offs. European squats I've visited are habitable, while the ones I've visited in the US are not. Most squats in the US suffer from poor hygiene, lack of running water, and cooking usually takes place on open flames. European squatting is like a poor but functional commune; US squats are like camping in a city.

1 Answer

0 votes
i would say that there is too much different between europe and the u.s. to compare in this way.

projects that are similar in theory are homes not jails (obviously), but also food not bombs. both take resources that are pretty basic and are pretty (sometimes extremely) consistent about the services they provide. but neither have created much more than a social service kind of milieu around themselves. i don't think that's inherent to the groups at all; i think it is a result of some fundamental cultural difference... perhaps most significantly a sense of class distinction that the u.s. has effectively negated, perhaps a whole raft of things that can't really be separated.

the u.s. has notoriously organized itself along validating The Individual, and had less historical baggage countering that than places that weren't colonized/genocided so intensely. (i guess australia would be the main other similar space... but i know little of it.) that's the issue, as far as i can tell, rather than specific tactics/practices.
answered Apr 16, 2016 by dot (52,010 points)
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