Squat:Hampstead to Nepal

Couple of squatting stories from very different places…

Squatters occupying £10m property

A group of squatters are occupying a £10m property in an exclusive
neighbourhood in north-west London.

The nine-bedroom detached house, which has a swimming pool and a large
garden, is in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Local residents say a total of 16 squatters moved into the property,
which has been empty for years.

A developer has planned to demolish the property and build two houses
at the site but the proposal is being blocked by the Hampstead Garden
Suburb Trust.

‘Like a dream’

Jane Blackburn, of the trust, said: “The developer is trying to take
the trust to the Lands Tribunal at the moment and we welcome that as
we think our case is very strong and we would like to see the matter

Until a solution is found, Katalin Ursachi, a gardener from Romania,
and some of his friends are living there rent-free.

“Its like a dream… this is the most amazing squat I ever lived in, I
have ever seen in my life,” he said.

Jonny Sokoli, another squatter, said: “Nice to find myself in the
middle of millionaires, it’s a big space and has a swimming pool,
which is going to be cleaned up soon.

The owners could not be contacted for comment.

General strike gathers along Nepalese highway
By: media for freedom
Posted on: 6/12/2007
General strike along highway on rise in Nepal

Landless squatters in Nepal gathered at major points of the cities
throughout the country and obstructed traffic movement since Tuesday

The traffic obstructions by agitating landless squatters have
partially affected the transport movement in Nepali capital Kathmandu
while most of the academic institution throughout the country remained
shut Tuesday.

According to the Private and Boarding Schools’ Organization of Nepal
(PABSON), the schools had to be closed due to obstruction in vehicular
movement in various parts of Kathmandu city.

Very few vehicles are entering to capital via Thankot, the entry point
to Kathmandu Valley, police said.

Reports say that the general strike has also affected life in several
districts outside of capital valley. Traffic movements in major
highways have also been affected.

A report from Chitwan, some 85 km southwest of Kathmandu, said
hundreds of passengers have been stranded when traffic came to a halt.
The vehicular movement in the area was obstructed as the landless
squatters staged a demonstration in Narayangarh bazaar this morning.
The bazaar remained totally closed.

Meanwhile, local newspaper the Gorkhapatra daily reported on Monday
that the transport entrepreneurs as well as passengers traveling via
land route in Nepal have expressed serious concern over the growing
tendency to use general strike by the people living along the highway
as means to put pressure on the authority to fulfill their demands.

Various groups have been obstructing vehicular movement in major
highways throughout the country demanding electricity, irrigation and
other facilities in their areas.

Local media reported on Monday that thousands of passengers traveling
in east-west highway were left high and dry in the middle of nowhere
as the vehicular movement was obstructed for six days in a row by the
locals at Chisapani road section of the highway in Kailali District,
some 470 km west of Kathmandu.

The transport entrepreneurs expressed concern over such strikes that
are leading to total disorder in regular vehicular movement in the
highways. “We have been thinking of giving up the business for good if
necessary steps were not taken by concerned authority to stop such
tendency of obstructing vehicular movement in highways,” said a
transportation entrepreneur of Kailali District Jaya Raj Bhatta.

He also urged the political parties currently in the government to
take necessary steps so that to maintain conducive atmosphere for the
transport entrepreneurs to run their business smoothly.

“We do realize that some of the demands put forward by the agitating
parties are reasonable but they are trying to pressurize the
government by putting out bread and butter at the stake,” the local
daily quoted a bus driver of the region.

The transport entrepreneurs also expressed the view that the
government should circulate separate acts and laws to avoid such
strike in major highways of the country which is causing uncertainty
among the passengers. Source: Xinhua