Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Land Struggles Around The World
  • France - Paris' largest squat, a haven for immigrants, faces eviction. Fidèle N'Tiema, an Ivory Coast native and an unofficial spokesperson for the building's occupants says they just want "the right to live in peace and dignity." Most residents immigrated from France's former colonies in Africa and can only find employment on the black market. Like many other squats, the 1000 plus residents at Batiment F, a former dormitory at Ecole Normale Supérieure university, enforce a number of rules including no stealing. Rather than involve the police squatters deal with anti-social behavior collectively and expel those who threaten the greater community. The government may not call out riot police to evict the families living at Batiment F for fear of political backlash.
  • Japan - A homeless occupation of a downtown Nagoya park, in Tokyo, which involved more than 250 people has been cleared out by more than 500 police. The government is trying to make the approximately 1,420 people who live outdoors disappear before the 2005 World Exposition begins in late March.