About an hour ago the Apollo house occupation received a finally crafted piece of legalistic bullshit designed to divide homelessness activists from the professional services on 'Health & Safety' grounds. Health & safety has become the go to excuse for pushing people onto the streets, when the Halston street (ex) prison was occupied over the summer we say the same 'concern' this time over the fact that the pigeon shit found in that building was a health and concern safety. As we observed then there is plenty of pigeon street on the cold, wet streets of Dublin but now its winter and those streets are very much colder.
We've been reporting on various large-scale occupations that have taken place in Dublin over the last three years. A persistent theme has been the eviction of people living there on health and safety grounds. The other persistent element is that all these buildings currently still lie empty and unused, indeed Halston street is even floodlit at night presumably to deter reoccupation.
It's common sense that the streets are far more dangerous to sleep on. But the powers that be understand just how badly people would look on evictions when they cite property ownership as the reason. That's why they have sold unplayable house mortgages to US vulture funds which are flying in, carrying out the evictions and making a large profit for being the nasty cops in the process.
Respect for legal concepts of property ownership rather than who is or can use it is what lies behind the enormous housing shortages. Shortages that have been created by government, landlords and property speculators because they know nothing drives up rents and hours prices more than the now very real fear that the alternative is the streets.
WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter