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(en) Canada, Peterborough, Update, PCAP Squat Enters Fourth Night Amidst Negotiations With City

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 20 Jun 2003 10:16:54 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

> by Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty
As of Wednesday June 18, 2003 the Squat at 1130 Water Street is still going strong.
A dozen squatters have been staying on the property (both inside the house and in
tents on the back lawn) accompanied by numerous daily visitors. SUPPORT THE PCAP
SQUAT at 1130 Water St. PCAP has occupied an empty city-owned building!!!
1. FILM NIGHT: Sunday June 22 @ 8 p.m.
Community event at the squat, 1130 Water St. , Peterborough
Film (TBA) , Discussion, and Free Food
2. CITY COUNCIL MTG Monday June 23 @ 7 p.m.
City Council Meeting at city hall, 500 George St. N.
Squatters will present their case to the Council

Pack the Meeting! Support the Squat!
Demand Affordable Housing NOW!

Squat Update #2:
PCAP Squat enters fourth night amidst negotiations with city

(Peterborough , ON ) As of Wednesday June 18, 2003 the Squat at
1130 Water Street is still going strong. A dozen squatters have been
staying on the property (both inside the house and in tents on the back
lawn) accompanied by numerous daily visitors.

The squatters have been busy working to improve the property -
cutting the lawn, planning a flower garden, installing fire detectors and
looking into building repairs. A communal cooking, composting and
cleaning schedule has been devised and daily tasks are shared

The community response has been very positive - the neighbours are
friendly and some have donated furniture and household supplies to
the squat. One neighbour even called the city to demonstrate her

On Monday, two city planners visited the squat and indicated that
they would like to resolve the matter through discussion with the
squatters. The city officials assured the squatters that the police
would not be called unless there were complaints from the neighbours
or evidence of illegal activity.

This afternoon, squatters met again with the city planners to negotiate
the building's future.

City planners expressed their concerns about mould in the basement
which could be toxic - citing this as the reason why the previous
tenant was relocated to another building. However, after reading the
health inspector's report, squatters discovered that the type of mould
in the building is not necessarily hazardous, of a possible 185
varieties, only 20 types are considered toxic. The inspector advised a
second report be conducted after a proper cleaning of the basement.
Up until now the City has not followed up with this recommendation.

Upon the squatters' request, the City has now promised to finance a
second pre-cleaning inspection to confirm the status of the mould (by
an accredited inspector of the squatters' choice). The City has also
offered a contractor's estimate for repairs. If the building is officially
turned over to the squatters for self-managed housing, they are willing
to take care of the repairs themselves.

Though previously used for affordable housing, the building has been
vacant for at least 7 months since a flood damaged the basement. City
planners did not repair the house because it is located on a stretch of
riverside land that is slated to be converted into green space. The City
intends to purchase all the houses along the river with the intent of
relocating or demolishing the buildings in the vicinity.

Community members took over the empty building on Sunday evening
as part of the Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty's "Give it or
Guard it" Housing Campaign and Squatting tour. The summer-long
campaign tours unused buildings in the city that could be used for
squatting or affordable housing.

On Monday June 23, the squatters will take their case to city council.
They will rally outside city hall at 7pm and then present the following
demands to council:

1) Turn over the house at 1130 Water St. to the squatters to be
self-managed as cooperative housing;

2) Create a City-financed support fund to assist residents of
Peterborough whose hydro has been or will be cut off because they
can not afford to pay the bill;

3) Undertake a city-wide inspection and repair blitz: Inspect and order
repairs on all unsafe and substandard housing in the City

4) Grant legal amnesty to all squatters at 1130 Water St.;.

Ways to Support The SQUAT...

We need:

Letters to the city supporting our demands: Mayor Sylvia Sutherland
500 George Street, Peterborough ON K9H 3R9
Phone: (705) 742-7777 x 1870 Email: mayor (at)

Letters to the local media supporting the squat

Food and Water

Building supplies

Cleaning supplies

Financial donations

Anything else it takes to make a home

Friendly faces and visits to the squat to show support

PLEASE feel free to bring any of this stuff by the Squat at 1130 Water
St. there are people there all the time!

The Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty (PCAP) is a group
dedicated to political struggle against an economic system that
maintains and profits from the inequality, indignity and needless
suffering of poverty. PCAP organizes actions to support and protect
low income persons or groups who are being oppressed.

PCAP Office Location: #17-393 Water St. at Hunter St., Peterborough,
Ontario, K9H 3L7

PCAP Phone Number: 705-749-9694
See also:

* [Ed. Note: Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty PCAP
is an anti authoritarian initiative for social direct action
in network with the older OCAP - Ontario Coalition Against Poverty]

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