The squatting movement has long been a powerful tool for challenging the current system.
It is a direct attack on private property, making use of the disused, rejecting ownership by challenging the law that gives property to someone just because a legal paper dictates so. We posses something because we are currently using it.
It is a form of direct action outside the logic of asking for things to be done. When you are in need you take what is there to transform it in what you think it’s right, following the way society should be run, with no leaders to rule and with no subjects to be asking for permission.
Everything is decided collectively in a non-hierarchical way. People take the initiative thinking about the greater good of those around them. The way things function in a small scale is a reflection of how we think society should be run, because if it was different we would have appointed a head, and created a division. We run on a self-sufficient basis, so why would be support the current ‘parliamentary democracy’ which is contrary to the basics of what we are living here? We speak in name of no political parties, and that is one of the key elements of the squatting movement. It is an act of self-governance.
Squatting can be perceived as a means to an end. It will not solve the problem of homelessness, it will not sort out people’s life’s. We are nobody to do such things. But it can be an amazing empowering tool to activate ourselves and act as what we think society should, to interact, share, learn and experience in other ways, shaping our reality and the one of those who care.
Squatting is not a service. Acting like the council gives us a power which we shouldn’t have. It is a place that acts as a bridge so people can get organised and make the space theirs. It is not about people giving, it is about people getting involved.
By squatting we can establish out own rules, our own way of relating and making decisions. The way Radical Bank is run is the natural way humans should be relating to own another through mutual support. Achieving this is difficult because we carry society inside of us and we take it wherever we are. Squatted spaces are ideal to deconstruct ourselves because you are free from the influence of government and external pressures and only then you can begin to work inside the ideological self and realise how you want to live.
We do not police ourselves, we look for ways to mediate and solve conflicts. We have been taught that violence is a bad thing. But we live inside of it every day of our lives, we just get someone else to do it (like the police). If we want to achieve self-sufficiency and autonomy we need to rethink our relationship with this word, as it is necessary if we want to run a society impregnated with violence. It is not necessarily a negative word and should be the last resource, but we can’t reject it and rely on others to enforce it in other to protect us. We need to understand it, know that is exists and live with that realisation, as you can’t make a reality disappear.
Squatting is deeply political. The way we organise is the basis of life. The challenges faced, every single interaction is political because the way that we relate to one another and our environment is the basis of whatever we wish to construct.
“La conciencia del pueblo no cabe en la cabeza del Estado”