Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Woodbridge Township, New Jersey - Woodbridge Township has bulldozed the last two homes, in a nearly 20-year-old secluded squatter community. Officials say that it was a "quality-of-life issue" and despite evidence to the contrary have described the area as "just deplorable." The non-conformist community came under the ire of local business leaders like Robert Landolfi who had vowed to "to do whatever we can to get them into the social-service delivery system." What the business/government interests of Woodbridge Township seemed to find “deplorable” about the squatters was the idea that they lived simply outside of mainstream society’s expected norms.

Before the bulldozers did their work Pink Bellamy a 17-year resident, who built his cottage to look like a mini castle, said: "this is my home. I planned to fix the place up and live in peace" but now all that is "down the drain." The government considered auctioning of Bellamy's home, which he built out of wood and broken sidewalk cement, but decided against, because “number one, it’s not a house, and number two, it’s irrelevant.” Of those who wanted to purchase and relocate the house none were willing to let Bellamy continue to live in it. “Pink did not accept public housing,” Landolfi said. “We’ll keep him in housing until all his credentials are in order." The housing Pink Bellamy is being "kept" in is a local motel. When the weather warms up, he plans to head south. “I look forward to the future." He said, "I got friends. I got money. I have no strings attached. I’m free as a bird.”