Bolt cutters and the politics of expropriation

Homes Not Jails, urban squatting, and gentrification

in Cooking up a revolution
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Chapter 6 looks at the response from the Jordan administration on Food Not Bombs’ sister organization, Homes Not Jails, which illegally housed the homeless in abandoned buildings. In interviews with people involved in both Food Not Bombs and Homes Not Jails, I was often told stories of police leniency with the squatters, something that was unheard of for Food Not Bombs’ actions. This differential treatment concerns the political nature of space and the city’s desire to hide the homeless from public view. Because the city wanted to push the homeless into private space, Homes Not Jails, by illegally housing the homeless in abandoned houses, ended up unintentionally working to help the Jordan administration achieve part of his public space goal. This chapter argues that city agencies react to autonomous political projects differently depending on whether they erupt in what the state defines as public or private space.

Cooking up a revolution

Food Not Bombs, Homes Not Jails, and resistance to gentrification



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