Montmartre, October 16 -
The Free Lands Act, an initiative that Prime Minister Magritte's administration praises as "a significant step in breaking down bourgeois notions of private property," passed Parliament today on a party-line vote, with all members of the Red-Black Alliance voting in favor, and all members of the Democratic Freedom Group voting in opposition. Prime Minister Magritte signed the law shortly after passage.
The law, drafted by members of the Worker Freedom Party, the anarcho-syndicalists, was designed to address the problem of landowners forcibly removing bands of Travelers and other migrant groups from private lands.
Travelers, a nomadic group that travels in caravans, had petitioned the government to change the law so that they would have an easier time finding temporary places to live.
The new law prohibits landowners from removing caravans of Travelers or other migrants from private lands in all circumstances "unless the presence of the Travelers threatens the safety of the landowner," and only then, after the landowner and the Travelers go through a mediation process to resolve any dispute.
A second part of the law loosens restrictions on squatting, and permits tenant unions to occupy and renovate dilapidated and abandoned buildings.
Jean Valjean, spokesman for the WFP, said of the law, "The focus of the Worker Freedom Party is in taking control away from the central government and putting it in the hands of the people. This law does just that, and is a good step toward creating a culture of collective ownership and mutual aid that will destroy the old capitalist notions of extreme individualism and isolation from society."
The Free Lands Act is the latest in a series of laws that Prime Minister Magritte's administration says will "break down the false dichotomies created by capitalism to divide us: private vs. public, worker vs. boss, government vs. people."