Advisory Service For Squatters
- 20th Anniversary Appeal
Squall 11, Autumn 1995, pg. 81.
Two squatting milestones will be reached in October:
• ASS will be 20 years old! That’s 20 years of providing a daily legal and practical advice service to squatters and homeless people all over England and Wales; helping them to fight court cases, campaigning, dealing with the media and publishing SQUATTERS’ HANDBOOK. Watch out for anniversary events.
• The 10th edition of SQUATTERS’ HANDBOOK will be launched, fully updated with details of the new laws and how to avoid them, as well as many other wheezes. The 9th edition was reprinted 9 times, selling an incredible 27,000 copies, and proving the need for this unique publication.
The new laws mean that ASS’s work in explaining them, monitoring what’s happening, and helping people to fight back is more vital than ever.
BUT WE ARE SKINT
ASS is run by a voluntary collective, but it still costs about £6,000 a year. That includes £1,500 for a rented office, which gives the whole squatting movement a guaranteed, stable contact point. We have to buy expensive law books to keep our advice up to date, and phone bills, postage, fares etc take most of the rest.
Thanks to an appeal last year, we have a decent computer which is being used to log all uses of the CJA against squatters and will be essential for the very quick affidavits needed to fight IPOs. Unfortunately, this has just suffered a £700 trashing from chip-thieves. It’s going again and the insurance will pay - eventually - but we’re left with a cash-flow crisis just when we need the money to front up the new handbook and get a fax so that squatters can get their IPO summonses to us quickly and we can get papers back to them.
All that’s on top of a shortfall in our ordinary running expenses. We get about £2,000 in from regular donations and have to rely on benefits and casual donations for the rest. SQUATTERS’ HANDBOOK is kept at a deliberately friendly price, so it does little more than break even.
CAN YOU HELP?
ASS urgently needs:
- One-off donations.
- Regular donations. Several housing co-ops already support us in this way, but we need more. £10-100 every month isn’t a lot for a rent-collecting coop, but very valuable to us. A “respectable” front name is available if needed.
- Offers to put on benefits or help from people willing to work on this. Ring us if you can help: 0171 359 8814, 2-6pm Monday – Friday