Let Them Have Homes

Jeudi Noir is a housing activist group in Paris that has been staging squats in unoccupied buildings since 2007. They are called “les nouveaux militants—the new activists—for their youth and media savvy” and they currently have a group of 60 people squatting in a 21,000 square foot office building. They’ve been visited by the housing minister and “Interior minister Manuel Valls appeared on news network Canal+ to tell one of the squatters: ‘Madame, you are not outside the law, because housing is a right under the law.’”
 

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Just some context: the right to housing has been in the French constitution since 1946, and reaffirmed a number of times since then. In 2008 it became an “enforceable” right for certain groups, which I believe expanded in 2012 to cover most of the population. So technically you can sue the government if you are unable to find appropriate/affordable housing.

Here is a brief NY Times article about the “enforceable right to housing” law of 2008.

And here is a very detailed paper on how the law actually works in practice.

So actually the legal position of the squatters is probably roughly equivalent to a group of black people conducting a sit-in at a segregated restaurant after the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

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