1 someone who settles lawfully on government land with the intent to acquire title to it [syn: homesteader, nester]
2 someone who settles on land without right or titlesquat adj
1 short and thick; as e.g. having short legs and heavy musculature; "some people seem born to be square and chunky"; "a dumpy little dumpling of a woman"; "dachshunds are long lowset dogs with drooping ears"; "a little church with a squat tower"; "a squatty red smokestack"; "a stumpy ungainly figure" [syn: chunky, dumpy, low-set, squatty, stumpy]
2 having a low center of gravity; built low to the ground [syn: underslung]
1 exercising by repeatedly assuming a squatting position; strengthens the leg muscles [syn: knee bend, squatting]
2 a small worthless amount; "you don't know jack" [syn: jack, diddly-squat, diddlysquat, diddly-shit, diddlyshit, diddly, diddley, shit]
3 the act of assuming or maintaining a squatting position [syn: squatting]
1 sit on one's heels; "In some cultures, the women give birth while squatting"; "The children hunkered down to protect themselves from the sandstorm" [syn: crouch, scrunch, scrunch up, hunker, hunker down]
2 be close to the earth, or be disproportionately wide; "The building squatted low"
EtymologyFrom to squat.
Squatting is the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use. Squatting is significantly more common in urban areas than rural areas, especially when urban decay occurs. According to author Robert Neuwirth, there may be as many as one billion squatters globally, or about one of every seven people.
In many of the world's poorer countries there are extensive slums or shanty towns, typically built on the edges of major cities and consisting almost entirely of self-constructed housing built without the landowner's permission. While these settlements may in time grow to become both legalised and indistinguishable from normal residential neighbourhoods, they start off as squats with minimal basic infrastructure. Thus, there is no sewage system, drinking water must be bought from vendors or carried from a nearby tap and if there is electricity, it is stolen from a passing cable.
To squat in many countries is in itself a crime; in others it is only seen as a civil conflict between the owner and the occupants. Property law and the state have traditionally favored the property owner. However, in many cases where squatters had de facto ownership, laws have been changed to legitimize their status. Squatters often claim rights over the spaces they have squatted by virtue of occupation, rather than ownership; in this sense, squatting is similar to (and potentially a necessary condition of) adverse possession, by which a possessor of real property without title may eventually gain legal title to the real property.
Anarchist Colin Ward comments: "Squatting is the oldest mode of tenure in the world, and we are all descended from squatters. This is as true of the Queen [of the United Kingdom] with her 176,000 acres as it is of the 54 per cent of householders in Britain who are owner-occupiers. They are all the ultimate recipients of stolen land, for to regard our planet as a commodity offends every conceivable principle of natural rights."
Besides being residences, some squats are used as social centres or host give-away shops, pirate radio stations and cafés. In Spanish-speaking countries squatters receive several names, like okupas in Spain or Argentina (from the verb ocupar meaning "to occupy"), or paracaidistas in Mexico (meaning "paratroopers", because they "parachute" themselves at unoccupied land).
There are large squatter communities in Kenya such as Kibera in Nairobi. A BBC News report described it as follows: "The first thing that hits you here is this rich stench of almost 1 million people living in this ditch - in mud huts, with no sewage pipes, no roads, no water, no toilet, in fact, with no services of any kind."
The Zabbaleen settlement and the City of the Dead are both well known squatter communities in Cairo.
In South Africa, squatters tend to live in informal settlements or squatter camps on the outskirts of the larger cities, often but not always near townships. In 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected President it was estimated that of South Africa's 44 million inhabitants, 7.7 million lived in these settlements. The number has grown rapidly in the post-apartheid era. Many buildings, particularly in the inner city of Johannesburg have also been occupied by squatters. Property owners or government authorities can usually evict squatters after following certain legal procedures including requesting a court order. In Durban the city council routinely evicts without a court order in defiance of the law and there has been sustained conflict between the city council and a shack dwellers' movement known as Abahlali baseMjondolo. There has been a number of similar conflicts between shack dwellers, some linked with the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, and the city council in Cape Town. One of the most high profile cases have been the brutal evictions of squatters in the N2 Gateway homes in the suburb of Delft where over 20 residents were shot including a 3 year old child. There have been numerous complaints about the legality of government's actions and in particular whether the ruling of the judge was unfair given his party affiliations and the highly politicized nature of the case .
IndiaIn Mumbai, there are an estimated 10 to 12 million inhabitants and six million of them are squatters. The squatters live in a variety of ways. Some possess two or three story homes built out of brick and concrete which they have inhabited for years. Geeta Nagar is a squatter village based beside the Indian Navy compound at Colaba. Squatter Colony in Malad East has existed since 1962 and now people living there pay a rent to the city council of 100 rupees a month. Dharavi is a community of one million squatters. The stores and factories situated there are mainly illegal and so are unregulated, but it is suggested that they do over $1 million in business every day.
Other squatters live in shacks, situated literally on a pavement next to the road, with very few possessions.
Activists such as Jockin Arputham are working for better living conditions for slum dwellers.
PhilippinesIn Metro Manila, squatting, or Iskwater in Tagalog, is a major issue in Filipino society, especially in industrialized areas of the society. Squatting was started after World War II, as people built makeshift houses called Barong-Barong in abandoned private property plots.
The Government tried to transfer those squatters to low cost housing projects, especially in Tondo (in the former Smokey Mountain landfill), Taguig (BLISS Housing Project), and in Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal.
EuropeIn many European countries, there are squatted houses used as residences and also larger squatted projects where people pursue social and cultural activities. Examples of the latter include an old leper hospital outside Barcelona called Can Masdeu and a former military barracks called Metelkova in Slovenia. Squats can be run on anarchist principles, for example Villa Amalia in Greece, Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus in Austria or Blitz in Norway. Young people squat buildings to use as concert venues for alternative types of music such as punk and hardcore. The eviction of one such place, Ungdomshuset, in March 2007 received international news coverage. Others have been legalised.
In Italy, there is Bussana Vecchia, a ghost town in Liguria which was abandoned in 1887 following an earthquake and subsequently squatted in the 1960s. In France, there is Collectif la vieille Valette, a self-supporting squat village which has been active since 1991.
DenmarkChristiania is an independent community of almost 900 people founded in 1971 on the site of an abandoned military zone. In Copenhagen, as in other European cities such as Berlin and Amsterdam, the squatter movement was large in the 1980s. It was a social movement, providing housing and alternative culture. A flashpoint came in 1986 with the Battle of Ryesgade. Another flashpoint came in 2007 when Ungdomshuset was evicted. While not a squat, it was a social center used by squatters and people involved in alternative culture more generally.
GermanyAfter the German reunification, many buildings were vacated due to the demise of former state-run enterprises and migration to the western parts of Germany, some of which then were occupied by squatters. In Berlin, the now-legalised squats are in desirable areas such as Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg. Before the reunification, squats in Berlin were mostly located in former West Berlin's borough of Kreuzberg. The squats were mainly for residential and social use. Squatters became known by the term "instandbesetzen", a conflation of "instandsetzen" (i.e. renovating) and "besetzen" (i.e. occupying).
Despite being illegal, squats exist in many of the larger cities. Examples are Au in Frankfurt and Hafenstraße and Rote Flora in Hamburg.
Squatting can also take place for campaigning purposes, such as the Anatopia project which protested against a Mercedes-Benz test track.
ItalyIn Italy, squatting has no legal basis but there are many squats used as social centers. They are known as C.S.O.A. (Centro Sociale Occupato Autogestito) which translates as "self-governing squatted social centers" and include: Leoncavallo in Milan, Officina99 in Naples, Brancaleone, Corto Circuito, Forte Prenestino and Villaggio Globale in Rome,Askatasuna in Torino.
NetherlandsIn the Netherlands, if a building is not in use for twelve months, empty and the owner has no pressing need to use it (such as a rental contract starting in the next month), then it can be legally squatted. The only illegal aspect would be forcing an entry, if that was necessary. When a building is squatted it is normal to send the owner a letter and to invite the police to inspect the squat. The police check whether the place is indeed lived in by the squatter — in legal terms this means there must be a bed, a chair, a table and a working lock in the door which the squatter can open and close.
In cities there is often a kraakspreekuur (squatters' conversation hour), at which people planning to squat can get advice from experienced squatters. In Amsterdam, where the squatting community is large, there are three kraakspreekuur sessions in different areas of the city and so-called 'wild' squatting (squatting a building without the help of the local group) is not encouraged. Dutch squatters use the term "krakers" to define people who squat houses with the aim of living in them (as opposed to people who break into buildings for the purpose of vandalism or theft).
There are many residential squats in Dutch cities such as Leiden, Rotterdam, Groningen, Nijmegen, Haarlem, Zwolle and Amsterdam. There are also some squats in the countryside such as a squatted village called Ruigoord near to Amsterdam and Fort Pannerden, near Nijmegen. Fort Pannerden (a military fort built in 1869) was evicted on November 8 2006 by a massive police operation which used military machinery and cost one million euros. The squatters then resquatted the fort on November 26 and have since made a deal with the local council which owns the fort.
Sometimes squats can become legalised. This is the case with the Poortgebouw in Rotterdam, which was squatted in 1980. In 1982, the inhabitants agreed to pay rent to the city council and they are still living there in 2008. ORKZ (Oude Rooms-Katholieke Ziekenhuis) in Groningen is an old Roman Catholic Hospital, which is now declared legal.
Well-known squats include the OT301 and ASCII in Amsterdam, Anarres in Dordrecht, Het Slaakhuis in Rotterdam and the LandbouwBelang and Kraakpand Wolder in Maastricht. De Blauwe Aanslag in The Hague was evicted in 2003.
Squatting gained a legal basis in the Netherlands in 1971, when the Supreme Court ruled that the concept of domestic peace ("huisvrede") which means a house cannot be entered without the permission of the owner also applied to squatter. Since then, the owner of the building must take the squatters to court (or take illegal action) in order to evict them. A law was passed in 1994 which made it illegal to squat a building which was empty for less than one year.
There have been moves to ban squatting. In 1978, the Council of Churches launched a protest which scotched the idea. In June 2006 two ministers from the Dutch government (Sybilla Dekker and Piet Hein Donner) proposed a plan to make squatting illegal. Other ministers, such as Alexander Pechtold, were not in favor of this plan. Representatives of the four largest Dutch cities wrote a letter stating that it would not be in their interest to ban squatting. Squatters nationwide made banners and hung them on their squats in protest.
SpainSquatting became popular in Spain in the 1960s and 1970s, as a result of the shortage of urban accommodation during the rural exodus. It was revived in the mid-1980s during the La Movida Madrileña, under the name of the okupa movement, when thousands of illegal squats were legalized. Influenced by the British Levellers, the movement's popularity rose again during the 1990s, once more due to a housing crisis, this time related to the 1992 Summer Olympics and the concomitant urban regeneration. Property speculation and house price inflation continue to catalyze okupa activism.
Related to the anarchist movement, okupas support the ideal of Autogestion and create social centers, which carry out various grassroots activities. The okupa movement represents a highly politicized form of squatting, so much so that participants often claim they live in squats as a form of political protest first and foremost. The movement is involved in various other social struggles, including the alter-globalization movement. In 1996, during José María Aznar's presidency, the first specific legislation against squatting was passed and became the prelude to many squat evictions. In the barrio of Lavapiés in Madrid, the Eskalera Karakola was a feminist self-managed squat, which was active from 1996 to 2005 and participated in the nextGENDERation network.
As of 2007 there were approximately 200 occupied houses in Barcelona. At least 45 of these, as Infousurpa, a collective event calendar mentions, are used as social and cultural centers – so called "open houses". A number of popular rock groups have come out of this kind of venue, such as Sin Dios in Madrid and Ojos de Brujo in Barcelona.
The Basque Country is another area where a high number of houses are occupied. There are at least 46 squats or gaztetxes ("youth's houses" in the Basque language). During the 80s a house was occupied by squatters in almost every town and the booming punk movement used them to organize concert tours, and expositions. During the last 10 years, at least 15 gaztetxes have closed down, often after protests and clashes with the police . The most well-known gaztetxe currently is from Gasteiz. Squatting has always been related with the Basque independence movement.
The RHINO ("Retour des Habitants dans les Immeubles Non-Occupés"; in English, "Return of Inhabitants to Non-Occupied Buildings") was a 19 year long squat in Geneva. It occupied two buildings on the Boulevard des Philosophes, a few blocks away from the main campus of the University of Geneva. The RHINO organisation often faced legal troubles, and Geneva police evicted the inhabitants on July 23, 2007.
England and WalesIn England and Wales, the term 'squatting' usually refers to occupying an empty house in a city. The owner of the house must go through various legal proceedings before evicting squatters. Squatting is regarded in law as a civil, not a criminal, matter. However, if there is evidence of forced entry then this is regarded as trespass and the police have the powers to remove the occupants. If the squatter legally occupies the house, then the owner must prove in court that they have a right to live in the property and that the squatter does not, while the squatter has the opportunity to claim there is not sufficient proof or that the proper legal steps have not been taken. In order to occupy a house legally, a squatter must have exclusive access to that property, that is, be able to open and lock an entrance. The property should be secure in the same way as a normal residence, with no broken windows or locks.
In 2003, it was estimated that there were 15,000 squatters in England and Wales.
The legal process of eviction can take a month or longer, perhaps even years. This is what happens when the property is owned by a council or a housing association. Private landlords have been known to use various intimidatory methods to convince a squatter to move out or indeed, to pay squatters to leave.
Local Authority Housing Departments, facing rising court costs when evicting squatters, often resort to taking out the plumbing and toilets in empty buildings to deter squatters.
To show that the occupier of the squatted building is in fact in physical possession of the property, squatters often put up a legal warning known as a 'Section 6', a copy of which is often displayed on the front door. Doing so attempts to claim that there are people living there and they have a legal right to be there. It also claims that anyone — even the technical owner of the property — who tries to enter the building without permission is committing an offence. These claims are fallible following amendments to the law in 1994.
Some properties are still occupied by squatters who have resisted eviction for 20 years. Squatters have a right to claim ownership of a dwelling after 12 years of having lived there if no one else claims it, by adverse possession under common law. In practice this can be difficult, since the squatter must prove in a court of law that he or she has lived in the building continuously for the whole 10 years. For example, St Agnes Place in London had been lived in for 30 years until 29 November 2005, when Lambeth Council evicted the entire street. The law of adverse possession has been fundamentally altered following the passing of the Land Registration Act 2002. In effect, after 10 years of actual physical possession, a squatter must apply to the Land Registry to have their title recognised as the owner in fee simple. The original owner of the property will receive notification from the Land Registry and will be able to defeat the application by simple objection. Obviously, this will seriously curtail the ability of squatters to claim adverse possession.
In London, a group called the Advisory Service for Squatters runs a volunteer service helping squatters. It publishes the Squatters' Handbook.
The most empty homes in the UK are in Birmingham (17,490), Liverpool (15,692) and Manchester (14,017). North West England has the most empty homes (135,106), which is close to 5% of its housing. The fewest empty homes are in South East England and East Anglia, but there are currently thousands of empty homes in London, as house prices are soaring above the level of income that most people earn.
HistoryIn 1649 at Saint George's Hill, Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, Gerrard Winstanley and others calling themselves The True Levellers occupied disused 'common land' and cultivated it collectively in the hope that their actions would inspire other poor people to follow their lead. Gerrard Winstanley stated that "the poorest man hath as true a title and just right to the land as the richest man". While the True Levellers, later more commonly known as the Diggers, were not perhaps the first squatters in England their story illustrates the heritage of squatting as a form of radical direct action.
More recently there was a huge squatting movement involving ex-servicemen and their families following World War II. This involved thousands of people occupying sites as diverse as former military bases and luxury apartment blocks in West London.
The 1960s saw the development of the Family Squatting Movement which sought to mobilise people to take control of empty properties and use them to house homeless families from the Council Housing Waiting List. This movement was originally based in London (where Ron Bailey and Jim Radford were instrumental in helping to establish family squatting campaigns in several London boroughs) and several local Family Squatting Associations signed agreements with Borough Councils to use empty properties under licence (although only after some lengthy and bitter campaigns had been fought — most particularly in the Boroughs of Redbridge and Southwark).
In 1969 members of the London Street Commune squatted a mansion at 144 Piccadilly in central London to highlight the issue of homelessness but were quickly evicted. In the early seventies Ron Bailey and Jim Radford were closely involved in founding the Family Squatting Advisory Service which promoted and provided information for Family Squatting Associations and direct action Housing Campaigns. However, there was a growing conflict between the original activists of the Family Squatting Movement and a newer wave of squatters who simply rejected the right of landlords to charge rent and who believed (or claimed to) that seizing property and living rent-free was a revolutionary political act. These new wave squatters (often young and single rather than homeless families) were a mixture of Anarchists, Trotskyists — the International Marxist Group (IMG) being especially prominent — and self-proclaimed hippie-dropouts and they denounced the idea that squatters should seek to make agreements with local Councils to use empty property and that Squatting Associations should then become landlords (or Self Help Housing Associations as they were sometimes styled) in their own right and charge rent.
In 1979 there were estimated to be 50,000 squatters throughout Britain, with the majority (30,000) living in London. There was a London's Squatters' Union in which Piers Corbyn was involved. For eighteen months it was housed at Huntley Street, where over 150 people lived in 52 flats. The Union organised festivals and provided homes for the homeless.
ScotlandSquatting is a criminal offence in Scotland, punishable by a fine or even imprisonment. The owner or lawful occupier of the property has the right to eject squatters without notice or applying to the court for an eviction order, although when evicting they cannot do anything that would break the law, for example use violence.
MexicoIn Mexico squatters are known as paracaidistas (that is, paratroopers, because they "drop" themselves mostly at unoccupied lands), and it is a common practice in large cities. Since the most valuable real property is located near the downtowns of the cities, the paracaidistas usually establish slums at unoccupied lands at the outskirts of the cities. Since Mexican laws establish that an individual may take legal possession of a property after 5 years of peaceful occupation, many paracaidistas establish themselves with the hope that the legitimate owner will not discover them and expel them before 5 years. Large extensions of many Mexican cities were established originally as squats (for example, Nezahualcoyotl, in Mexico City).
United States of AmericaIn the United States, squatting laws vary from state to state and city to city. For the most part it is rarely tolerated to any degree for long, particularly in cities. Laws based on a contract ownership interpretation of property make it easy for deed holders to evict squatters under loitering or trespassing laws. The situation is more complicated for legal residents who fail to make rent or mortgage payments, but the result is largely the same.
Most squatting in the US is dependent on law enforcement and the person legally considered to be owner of the property being unaware of the occupants. Often the most important factors in the longevity of squats in the US are apathy of the owner and the likeliness of neighbors to call police. This was not always the case, particularly in the era of Westward expansion, wherein the Federal government specifically recognized the rights of squatters. For example, see the Preemption Act of 1841.
The United States Homestead Act legally recognized the concept of homesteading and distinguished it from squatting since it gave homesteaders permission to occupy unclaimed lands. Additionally, US states which have a shortage of housing tend to tolerate squatters in property awaiting redevelopment until the developer is ready to begin work; however, at that point the laws tend to be enforced.
Squats used for living in can be divided into two types (although they are not absolutes): So-called "back window squats" (the most common type, in which occupants sneak in and out of the building with the intent of hiding that they live there), and "front door squats" (where the occupants make little or no effort to conceal their comings and goings). Many squats may start out as one or the other and then change over time. Frequently squatters will move in and then later assess how open they can be about their activities before they approach the neighbors; others will not move into a place until they have first met and discussed the idea with the neighbors. The difference between the two types can be signs of vast differences in philosophies of squatting and its purpose, how long the occupants plan to be around, and on the atmosphere of the neighborhood, among many other factors.
Squatters can be young people living in punk houses or low-income or homeless people, as observed in Philadelphia. A group called Homes Not Jails advocates squatting houses to end the problem of homelessness. It has opened "about 500 houses, 95% of which have lasted six months or less. In a few cases, [these] squats have lasted for two, three or even six years."
In common law, through the legally recognized concept of adverse possession, a squatter can became a bona fide owner of property without compensation to the owner. In early 2008, Cleveland, Ohio began recognizing hundreds of homeless people taking shelter in foreclosed homes.
New York City
In New York City, homeless people squatting in underground spaces such as Freedom Tunnel have come to be known as Mole People. They were the subject of an award-winning documentary called Dark Days.
It is estimated that in the 1990s there were between 500 and 1,000 squatters occupying 32 buildings on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The buildings had been abandoned as a result of speculation by owners or police raids as part of a crackdown on drug use. As the area became gentrified, the squats were evicted, Dos Blockos being one. Three buildings on 13th Street were evicted without notification following a prolonged legal battle in which the squatters argued through their lawyer Stanley Cohen that they were entitled to ownership of the buildings through adverse possession since they had lived there since 1983. In 1995 a preliminary injunction had been granted against the eviction plans, but this was overturned by state appellate.
Despite squatting being illegal, artists had begun to squat buildings to live in and use as atelier space. European squatters coming to New York brought ideas of cooperative living with them such as a bar, support between squats, and tool exchange.
In 2002, eleven squats out of the twelve remaining on the Lower East Side signed a deal with the city council brokered by the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board in which they bought the buildings for $1 and agreed to undertake essential renovation work. One of the squats is C-Squat another is the social center ABC No Rio, which was founded in 1980.
South AmericaAround many South American cities there are shanty towns. Sometimes the authorities tear the houses down, but often the squatters simply rebuild again. The houses are built out of whatever material can be scavenged from the local area or bought cheaply. As time goes by, the squatters start to form communities and become more established. The houses are rebuilt piece by piece with more durable materials. In some cases, a deal is reached with the authorities and connections for sewage, drinking water, cable television and electricity are made.
In Peru, the name given to the squatter settlements is pueblos jóvenes. In Venezuela, they are called barrios and in Argentina the term used is villa miseria.
BrazilIn Brazil, these squatter communities are called favelas and a famous example is Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro, estimated to be home of 500,000 people. Favelas are home to the extremely poor of Brazil. They lack much infrastructure and public services. They are equivalent to slums or shanty towns. There are 25 million people living in favelas all over Brazil.
In São Paulo, the largest favela is Heliópolis and there is also a 22 story squatted highrise building called Prestes Maia.
There are also rural squatter movements, such as the Landless Workers' Movement which has an estimated 1.5 million members.
Social centersIn Europe, it is common for buildings to be squatted to be used as social centres. Cafés, bars, libraries, free shops, swaps shops and gyms have all been created, with many squats also holding parties and concerts. Social centers are often a combination of many things that happen in one space with the aim of creating a space for people to meet in a non-commercial setting, whether it be for a party, political workshop, to see a film, have a drink or have breakfast. There are many squatted social centers around the world but they exist mainly in countries where squatting is legal. Examples include Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus in Austria, the RampART Social Centre in England, OT301 in the Netherlands and Ungdomshuset in Denmark (evicted on the 1 March 2007 and demolished four days later).
Notable and well known squatsAustria Belgium Brazil Canada Croatia Denmark
- Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen
- Ungdomshuset, Copenhagen, evicted 1 March and demolished 5 March, 2007
- Anatopia, Papenburg
- Au, Frankfurt
- Hafenstraße, Hamburg
- Rote Flora, Hamburg
- Kunsthaus Tacheles, Berlin
- Köpi (often spelled Køpi), Berlin
- ASCII, Amsterdam
- OT301, Amsterdam
- Ruigoord, Amsterdam
- De Blauwe Aanslag (now evicted), The Hague
- Fort Pannerden, Pannerden
- Poortgebouw, still exists, but no longer a squat, Rotterdam
- Het Slaakhuis, Rotterdam
- Metelkova, Ljubljana, a claimed free state in a former Yugoslav army garrison
- Tovarna Rog, Ljubljana (abandoned bike factory)
- infousurpa contains info about squats in Barcelona
- Kasa de la Muntanya, Barcelona, the citys oldest squat
- Ruina Amalia, Barcelona, site of the Biblioteka Kilombo
- Can Masdeu, Barcelona
- C.S.A. Can Vies, Barcelona
- Bahía, Barcelona
- Gaztetxe of Gasteiz, Gasteiz
- RHINO, Geneva, evicted July 2007
- Cabaret Voltaire, Zürich, now evicted, art house 2002
- Kulturzentrum Reithalle, Berne
- Eel Pie Island, London
- RampART Social Centre, London
- St Agnes Place, London, evicted 2005
- Medina House, Hove, evicted September 2006, re-occupied briefly in January 2007
- ABC No Rio, New York City, a social center founded by artists and activists in 1980
- C-Squat, New York City (Ownership gained by squatters via Adverse_possession)
- Hellarity, Oakland, internationally-known anarcho-punk traveler house with its own pirate radio station
- Halfway House, West Philadelphia
- Paradise City, West Philadelphia (Now inaccessible)
- People's Park, Berkeley, 1960s icon which epitomizes the notion of squatter's rights
- Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa, evicted 1974
- Waterhouse, Richard (2005). The Vision Splendid: A Social and Cultural History of Rural Australia, Fremantle, Curtin University Books
- War In The Neighborhood – a Graphic Novel about squatting on New York City's Lower East Side in the 1980s by World War 3 Illustrated artist and editor Seth Tobocman published by Autonomedia
- Corr A. (1999) No Trespassing!: Squatting, Rent Strikes and Land Struggles Worldwide South End Press ISBN 0896085953
- 949 Market - a 2002 zine by a group of people who squatted an abandoned pool hall in a very public way and created a community center in San Francisco. $2-3 cash to: Lara, 3288 21st St. PMB #79, San Francisco, CA 94110
- Survival Without Rent - A how to guide from NYC originally printed in 1986
- Cracking The Movement - Amsterdam squatter history and the movement's relation to the media. Also available online
- The ELF Squat Experiment An experiment in squatting large buildings.
- Squat The World a story of 1995 squat evictions in NYC
- Katsiaficas G. (1999) The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life Humanity Books ISBN 1573924415 Also online
- Advisory Service for Squatters (UK)
- Squattercity Blog Blog by writer Robert Neuwirth who lived in squatter communities across the developing world
- Wasteland (UK) - Documentary about squatting by Will Wright
- South African Shack Dwellers' Movement
- Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
- Special issue of Mute Magazine on global slums
squatter in Aragonese: Okupazión
squatter in Asturian: Okupación
squatter in Catalan: Moviment okupa
squatter in Czech: Squat
squatter in Danish: Bz-bevægelsen
squatter in German: Hausbesetzung
squatter in Spanish: Movimiento Okupa
squatter in Esperanto: Domokupado
squatter in Basque: Okupazio
squatter in French: Squat (lieu)
squatter in Croatian: Squatter naselje
squatter in Italian: Invasione di terreni o edifici
squatter in Hebrew: סקווטינג
squatter in Hungarian: Squat
squatter in Dutch: Kraken (pand)
squatter in Japanese: スコッター
squatter in Polish: Squat
squatter in Portuguese: Ocupação
squatter in Russian: Сквоттинг
squatter in Serbian: Skvotiranje
squatter in Serbo-Croatian: Skvotiranje
squatter in Finnish: Talonvaltaus
squatter in Swedish: Husockupation
arriviste, colonial, colonist, colonizer, emigrant, gate-crasher, greenhorn, hirer, homesteader, immigrant, incumbent, intruder, leaseholder, lessee, lodger, nester, new arrival, new boy, newcomer, novus homo, occupant, occupier, parvenu, paying guest, pioneer, planter, precursor, recruit, renter, resident, rookie, roomer, settler, sooner, stowaway, sublessee, subtenant, tenant, tenant at sufferance, tenant for life, tenderfoot, underlessee, upstart