June 7, 2010
Freegans and squatters
The New York Times Magazine had an interesting article this weekend about squatters in Buffalo. The larger issue concerned the freegan movement - "Above all, freegans are dedicated to salvaging what others waste and — when possible — living without the use of currency." The focus of the article was on their occupation and renovation of a Buffalo mansion. Property folks will love the discussion of what the concept of "private property" meant to the freegans. As much as they disliked the idea of being property owners, with the ability to summon law enforcement to protect their property rights, they struggled with the difficulty of managing the upkeep of the mansion as one large, unowned commons. Ultimately, one of the freegans used the legal system to obtain legal ownership of the house, with all of the benefits - and headaches - that ownership entails.
Ngai Pindell, UNLV
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