Chris Robbins, an art professor at SUNY Purchase, is expanding his extra-curricular activities into teaching illegal squatting for his so-called “hipster students.” Yesterday he held a class, unaffiliated with the university, in SoHo (appropriately, in a shuttered Catholic school on Mott Street) in hopes of helping “at least one or two of the 20 attendees…find an unoccupied apartment or condo and unsafely and illegally move in — without paying rent or taxes.”
Sound appealing? This is in an effort to push students to move outside their comfort zones, like into an illegal apartment squat. Broadening! In terms of best options for squatting, Robbins suggests Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens, which offer lots of unoccupied, unfinished condos and boarded up homes. Robbins had plenty of other tips as well, including making sure a building is actually empty before you break in, and checking to make sure it won’t collapse on you. Then, make friends with your neighbors — we’re sure they’ll love you.
Given that this article appeared today in the New York Post, we suggest squatters keep a low-profile for a bit. And if you need a class to learn to squat, maybe you’re doing it wrong.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 11, 2011