RISE Scotland members placed hundreds of posters on vacant commercial properties around the country on Tuesday night. Aiming to draw attention to the thousands of empty buildings that blight our towns and cities, and to encourage our neighbourhoods to look at how we can use vacant properties for the benefit of our local community.
Posters with the following text were placed on old bank buildings, empty BHS stores and council properties that are tendered out at inflated costs.
"NOTICE OF PROCEEDINGS
Failure to use this building for the benefit of the local community, will result in the occupation and expropriation of the property, by the local community for the local community.
Whilst this property lies empty and derelict thousands of our people are forced into poverty, hunger, homelessness and in extreme cases death.
We have grounds to believe the land banking of this property is a direct contributing factor to these problems.
It is for the above stated reasons that we request that this empty property is put to a use that directly benefits society or actions will be taken to ensure it does.
Signed: RISE Scotland"
Last year we were involved in various campaigns in the aftermath of a number of homeless deaths in Glasgow, at that time the high number of empty properties was a major talking point. Even after a Sunday Herald front page story revealing that one homeless person was dying on the street a week in the city, thousands of the same buildings are still vacant.
We believe that this can help not only provide political pressure and support for our homeless communities throughout the hard winter months, but can be the ripple that starts a wave of actions across Scotland. We are asking our local Circles, Networks and Affiliated organisations to get out into their neighbourhoods and start planning how these commercial spaces could be used to directly benefit our society.
From community cafe's to rave's and gigs these spaces could be used for a diverse range of events designed to bring our people together, empowering them to transform our high streets and city centres into places that everyone can enjoy and benefit from.
We now encourage everyone to download our letter, grab a few friends and set out to begin transforming our society.