Take Back the Land and the Art of Liberation

Take Back the Land and the Art of Liberation

A video look at how the housing liberation efforts of Take Back the Land Rochester can affect a homeless family, and can serve as a model for community direct action.

Housing defense and liberation have been one of the foundational actions for periods of recession and austerity, showing up in the United States as a potent force in the Great Depression. For years, poor neighborhoods have been under the banking scrutiny as areas of possible gentrification and mass eviction, and this "clean sweep" approach has often left streets of empty homes that are more numerous than the homeless families that could use them. Housing liberation, which means the "illegal" opening up of homes to move into them, has always been implicit to these situations of mass foreclosure since human need simply demands it. During the recent financial crisis, certain groups began taking the initiative to organize around this direct action as a way of using it not only to meet the needs of people in the community, but also as a tool to create community power and a housing movement that can begin to go to war with the banks.

Take Back the Land, originally out of Miami, has founded its organizing strategy around defending people against foreclosure and moving people into empty, bank-owned homes. In Rochester, Take Back the Land has been moving forward for several years, targeting to growing number of empty houses in working class neighborhoods to match up with homeless families. Here is one story, but can serve as an example for how this important process can become part of a multi-part housing strategy that seeks to not only reform housing policy, but take it back from the rich elite who have turned our working communities into a cash crop to be sold-out on a moments notice.

Posted By

Eviction Free Zone
Mar 15 2013 20:41


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