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New Squat Law Fails In Court

Two squatters who were among the first to be arrested under Weatherley' s law in Brighton had the case against them for squatting in a residential building thrown out of court this week. In what hopefully is sign of things to come, the  court realised they couldn't prove they were actually living in the building.

Weatherley's law was attacked before it was passed as badly drafted and full of loopholes. Unfortunately those best able to defend themselves are going to be exactly the kind of well-educated drop-outs that Mike claimed he was targetting in the first place. The draconian nature of the law means that cops across the country often use it as a means of conducting short-cut evictions of those who don't know their rights.

A third squatter is still on trial as a cop claims the squatter told him he was living in the residential part of the building, and not the commercial part. The case has now been adjourned until the 24th of May as the trial ran out of time. SchNEWS will of course be on hand for the verdict but  it's looking like the case against him is pretty weak too.

The advice to squatters from this case is don’t plead guilty. Presence in a building where someone is living is not enough, they have to prove with documentary evidence that you as an individual actually live there. So take our advice - give a  “no comment” interview and take it to trial.

Follow @HousingWar on twitter for updates on the trial.


For a story on the original eviction see SchNEWS A Fight on the Tiles

There is 1 comment on this story...
Added By: Andreas - 17th May 2013 @ 10:36 AM
Hey Matt and Ben,An answer to Ben\'s qusteion would be supposition given the evidence at hand but I think we can arrive at an educated guess. Nachemson\'s work back in the 70 s is often quoted for demonstrating large compressive forces in the lumbar discs in sitting in a variety of postures. Janda pointed out the relationship between habitual sitting and development of muscle imbalances about the hip, the so-called lower cross syndrome. Shortening of the hip fexors and inhibition of the glutes was the hallmark of that condition. When a person with that motor pattern squats, they exhibit an inability to open the hips, press the knees out and spare the spinal lordosis under a load. McGill has shown us a clear path in which regular loss of the lumbar lordosis under a load causes disc injury.So, my best guess would be that since lifting a load from the ground is a common activity in both aboriginal and civilized cultures, the more flexible hips of the squatters would allow them to perform that task while maintaining the lordotic lumbar curve.We have to collectively wince at such supposition as these are tenuous connections without clear causality. Although I\'d be fair game in an Aristotelian logic class with my remarks, I think they are appropriate for our discussion.What bugs me is the amount of lumbar spinal flexion I noted in the youTube video that Matt linked a few weeks ago. I was surprised to see the rounding of the spine in that posture of the aboriginal folks. It would be interesting to see what the condition of their spines were.
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Twitter: @SchNEWS