By T. R. Weeks
The practice of occupying unused living space in a more or less organized fashion has been a political tool (mainly of the Left) used in Europe since at least the 1970s. In the US, where laws are far more favorable to owners than to renters, this movement will be much less familiar. The present collection brings together ten informative articles about house occupiers in a number of European countries, from Germany and the UK to Greece, Austria, and the Netherlands. One article covers one post-communist occupation movement in the western Polish city of Poznań. The collection is valuable both for the information it provides on this important social-political movement from the late 1960s to the present day and as an example of “committed scholarship”—no attempt is made to understand or justify the legal (or moral) claims of property owners and developers. Although this one-sidedness can be annoying, it also makes these essays primary sources on social-political activism in Europe in recent decades.
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