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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underground classic selling for over 20 times its original price, 11 July 2011
Best read in conjunction with the almost biblical Who Owns Britain by Kevin Cahill (2002) which gives the background on the injustice of present land 'ownership'.
Bought this via Bookfinder while squatting in Bristol myself in 2004. Squatting: The Real Story is a valiant effort to ensure that history is not entirely written by the rich & powerful. Using a mixture of press cuttings and their own reminiscences & photographs the authors sucessfully pull together much of the motivation and the lessons learned from mass squatting in the 1970s and before. But it is the humour that makes this book an absolute classic and as I write this review second hand copies are going from between 35 for a tatty to 150 for a near perfect hardback copy. Makes me wonder why some entrepreneurial publisher has not decided to reprint the book after all these years since there is clearly a vast demand for it.
Back to the humour though.... because it is squatters' indefatigable resourcefulness, turning abuses of their basic human rights by greedy landlords into a satirical pop at their abusers, and even into verse, that makes this a classic tale of the triumph of the underdog. Yes the landlords have the full force of the law on their side, but somehow the squatters almost always come out on top strolling off down the road to populate another empty! The moral winners kicking sand in the face of the rich people and authorities booting them out in the street.
With present and past squatters as well as the public spirited but more conformist members of society this is the sort of book that William Caxton invented printing for - a visionary tome that speaks of a better world to come where all of Britain's sixty million people have somewhere to call their own. And that should not be too difficult since there are about 60 million acres in Britain that makes about a football field each!
Tony Gosling - The Land Is Ours - 2011
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Squatting: The Real Story
Squatting: The Real Story by Nick Wates (Hardcover - Dec 1980)
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