Interview with Dublin squatters about opening a new place

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Huge numbers of people are now effectively homeless as they are unable to find somewhere stable to rent. Fortunately only a minority have been forced onto the streets so far, Dublin's hotels are full of families on 3 day rotation emergency accommodation. In some hotels such families are not allowed to use the front entrance. Thousands of others are forced to move into already overcrowded accommodation, perhaps with parents or friends. Yet more are coach surfing, moving around as they exhaust the charity of friends. And a growing number are sleeping on the streets or in tents, van and cars in park and industrial estates.

We heard on the news this morning that the number of dwellings available for rent has once more plummeted. There hasn't been a war in which lots of houses have been demolished so what is causing this shortage? Part of the problem is that a very large number of houses are being deliberately left empty for long periods and nothing can be done about this.

Well not quite nothing, in this interview we talked to one of the anarchists who have been opening up such homes in Dublin. The image shows the inside of the house, the first image of the mail lying all over the hall gives an idea of how long it had been left abandoned.

Solidarity Times: What was the point of the direct action carried out by anarchists last night ?
Anarchists (including some affiliated with the WSM ) gained entry to a large residential house in the Dublin area with the aim of securing it and opening it up for a group of individuals in desperate need of medium term accommodation.

Solidarity Times: It was a complete success?
So far the home has been securely expropriated from the hands of landlords and with the homeless individuals the house is now been cleaned for living use. It had been left empty now for a number of years to rot, but thanks to organised action it has now been put to effective use.

Activists have been repairing electrical and water supplies to the building (as well as skills sharing with the residents in how to do this), cleaning the house as well as securing entrances to the building to protect it from violent private security or gardai eviction.

Solidarity Times: What state was the house in?
The the house was generally untidy, with electricity and water cut to stop homeless people from using it, it had also been firmly secured from entry. Activists have since fixed at the supply problems and re-secured the building.

Solidarity Times: What inspired this action?
Obviously the influence of the continental squatting anarchist movement would be the ideological root of this action but more recently the anarchists involved in this lastest actions have been self organizing and have involved themselves in many other housing related actions over the previous year, including spearheading the Barricade Inn, squatted anarchist social centre, they were instrumental in organising and maintaining the Bolt Hostel, as well as numerous other direct action occupations.

Solidarity Times: Do you think more of these types of actions will happen in future?
Definitely. We plan on continuing our efforts to alleviate the housing crisis but need all the support and help we can get. We also recognise that the housing issue is not a temporary crisis but a permanent crisis of capitalism, until patriarchal state capitalism goes this issue will stay and grow in severity. Capitalism is it's cause and must be rooted out of society so we can all have the right to well being.
 

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