I don’t expect this to serve as a guide. Rather, here is my experience denying the State’s will for you to read; for enjoyment or to learn from my struggle, the choice is yours. There are plenty of guides on running a squat out there, though obviously most concern themselves with following the Law to claim ownership of the property.
My understanding of Oregon Adverse Possession Law is one has to physically live at the property for some 10 years. In essence, Oregon is a very anti-squatter State. While owning a house was my ultimate goal, I started squatting out of necessity. The specifics aren’t terribly important. I was homeless and desperate for some stability. Having guns with no home is a rough situation.
At the tail-end of the last couch-surfing stint I could secure, I found a vacant home a few blocks away. It was as good a candidate as any and pretty big as far as vacant homes go. I went into the house a few times, via a smashed in back window, with nothing but an empty tote bag, my 9mm. and a ton of trash bags. There were 3 bedrooms, though I ruled one out as it was the point of entry. I wanted to clear out a lot of the junk in the place from, presumably, the years of vacancy. It was a mess. I returned a few more times, gradually trash-bagging the upstairs bedroom. It was pretty clean by the time I was done.
Late April or early May, I had my former housemate move my bags into the house. The humor of moving into a house adjacent-to and joint-owned by a veterinary clinic was not lost on me. There were a lot of old uniforms from the vet, uniforms I used for photography purposes in front of the vacant vet. This led to jokes from locals about “Stirner taking [his] dog for a walk”. Life is truly absurd. My first night, I ended up just sleeping on the floor. I was exhausted after moving my boys in. Waking up, my back hurt and I needed food. I didn’t trust anything in the house, so I went across the street. There was a donut shop for food, and a sofa had been recently thrown out too. Frankly, there is too much waste to not dumpster dive.
I positioned 3 sofa cushions as a makeshift twin bed, hung up some art, and cleaned off a shelf to decorate my room a bit. I found a clean faucet for water at a nearby paint store and an open electrical outlet at the dentist next door. Living off the land.
I was poor, obviously. I still am too. I obtained most of the essentials for the squat from shoplifting and robbery. Bed sheets, wet wipes, and cheddar cheese were all one walk-out, one chambered-in-a-store bullet, one use-of-a-brass-knuckles away. I used my knife the most and, in all honesty, crime is fun – just do it. I cycled through outfits and hairstyles to evade LP.
After a few weeks, I managed to secure some support for the squat in the manner of mutual aid. It was more food than I could reasonably steal, a very cool day indeed. I moved it into my room, threw my flag behind it, and posed some gun photos around the food. Most of the food, however, I couldn’t cook. The house had no electricity, no water, no heat. This would become the largest problem, given my Florida-self and the coming cold. Most of the windows were smashed in, letting in a terrible draft. There was a fireplace on the lower level though. The basement had plenty of firewood. Tons of paper and books to burn too.
I have always been a staunch advocate of Propaganda by the Deed. I’d never robbed cash, but felt stores were exploitative enough to warrant it. More importantly, I needed to pay my phone bill and buy items that have proven themselves hard to steal, like candles. On May 19th, I robbed our local 711 at gunpoint in an act of Propaganda by the Deed. I was in all black, Nike and Adidas, with a change of clothes at the nearby Triple-A.
I waited for a gap in traffic, estimating I’d need, at most, 5 minutes, and entered the store. I took out my 9mm and jumped the counter. I threw a handful of Backwoods cigars into my black tote and had the clerk open both registers. I left with around $900.
Some total-Karen had seen the last seconds of my robbery and called the cops. I couldn’t steal her Buick SUV (sorry Kodak), so I took off running. A second spectator, a total homie, biked with me for a few blocks to throw off the scent for the police dogs.
I opened up my arm jumping the fence at a Catholic high school, narrowly avoiding the first string of cops. I hid in a bush, running to my bag after a second wave of cop cars. With a red dress and coat, Nike slides and Adidas socks, I walked right by the newly formed police line towards the squat.
I got to the squat with little issue, counted the cash and rolled a Backwoods. The next day, I bought a bong for the squat across the street, some Marlboro Black 100s at Fred Meyer, and a few candles. The cash I had now made boosting from self-checkout for food very easy. I’d get a $2 or $3 purchase and bag $30-40 worth of food and drink, much easier than finding camera dead-spots to bag stuff.
Two days later everything popped off. I’d thrown out my hoodie, but still had my mask and kicks. I owned no other kicks. It was cold enough for me to have the fireplace lit, but some Karen called the cops, per usual. Karen said I was trying to burn it down. If only.
I was on Discord flirting with some girls when the Fire Department raided the house. They smashed out the front window and came running in, screaming for anyone in the house to leave. I had my shotgun slung, my 9mm on my thigh, and confronted them at the stairs. “Get the fuck out of my house!” They were scared shitless and left their 4-foot fire extinguisher while fleeing. Then the fire department called the cops. Fuck the Fire Department!
My house was on a tall grassy hill, so the cops stayed on the curb around a hundred feet or so away, maybe more. Around 6 SUVs full of cops contemplated a raid, but as I had the high ground, they were too scared. Good. I had lost most of my ammunition in my recent divorce. The news showed up, 3 or 4 news vans, then everyone left. A terrible situation, yet I was grateful to have defended my squat in the first fight with the State. Now, what to do about robbing the fire department?
Cable news: the block was on fire. Everyone stared at me whenever I was outside. I opted to only enter the squat at nights now, which was anxiety-inducing, as I couldn’t take my shotgun in to stores. I posed in front of the vet with my shotgun and a fur vest, then I tried to lay low.
The next day the police were staging sting operations at the vet. I was checking the mail, strapped, when a Sheriff’s SUV rolled up and ordered me to stop. They were packing heat and jumped out of the drivers seat pointing their pistol. I called his bluff and ran back to the squat, jumped in through the window and took aim, in case I was followed. Understandably, they were still too scared to follow.
A few days passed with no events, until some punks came over claiming to be exploring. I initially thought they were pigs. I had stuck my barrel out the window before I realized. The punks ended up finding me on social media and we arranged for dinner and a party. Modelos, stolen Backwoods and lemon kush.
I took some photos with my mask, then burned it in the house. With my Riot case approaching an arrest warrant, I was trying to finally flee the state. No one knew yet about the robbery I did.
I was partial to just get high, listen to Kodak Black, and figure out another squat location. Guns made mobility an issue, so on the 29th I set off to make use of the storage unit my ex had graciously left me full of her shit. I couldn’t afford rent, so I planned to visit a mutual aid event downtown after storing my weapons. I’d figure something out from there.
I’d ridden on Tri-Met with my guns tons of times and expected no issue today. Instead, the driver not only called the cops, but lied and told me directly that it was safe to ride. Two stops later, the bus stopped and 20-some cops threatened me with guns for the crime of riding the bus with guns. Law is so restrictive and arbitrary, limiting our freedom of movement. We shouldn’t have weapon restrictions, thus the PPB arrested me and seized all my weapons. Washington County had issued a warrant for me, so I was transferred to their Sheriff’s Office and charged with Criminal Trespassing With a Firearm. This charge came with the release-agreement to not return to the vet.
After a brief train ride, I was back at the vet. I didn’t really respect the State. I still don’t My stuff had mostly been tossed out the window, but some of it was left inside. I moved my bags behind the house and broke in again, this time into the bathroom, as the other window had been boarded up. The hole was like 1×1 foot. The toilet was broken. I needed to unboard the back window, but 20+ screws proved too much for a pry bar. I moved most of my stuff into the attic and assessed the damage.
Most of my shit had been seized or stolen. My copy of Stirner’s Ego was thrown onto my bed. My bong, smashed. The tote I’d robbed the store with was gone. (Through some minor stroke of luck or corruption, it never made it into the police report.) I started looking for a power-drill and for someone to join the squat. Given I was already on cable news, I opted to search online.
I took in some stranger from the nearest train stop who was homeless. He was a construction worker and chill enough. We were walking home with food and decided to stop at the dentist to eat first. A pig rolled up and we took off running. Across the street, essentially, a dollar store had recently closed due to a fire. We hid out behind the store, but my new friend ended up getting a bit too handsy for me. I considered robbing him, but decided to just kick him out. I waited around 30 minutes, then tried to head to the squat again.
On June 3rd, I got stung at the vet, as the previous pig had ID’d me. This “peace officer” got me in cuffs, behind my back, and then put me in a knee-on-neck chokehold. I screamed that “I couldn’t breathe” for two minutes, eyes wide open, before he stopped. The report was falsified, something about being afraid I’d shoot him, and the chokehold was omitted per its illegality. I had part of my scalp removed by the street.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office confiscated my weed and my bail was threatened to be set at $5,000,000. I was charged with Interfering With a Peace Officer and Violation of a Release Agreement. I was released after booking. After a brief stop at Nike World, for a tennis court cheddar cheese photo, I was back at the squat. Kodak Black had just FritoLay’d and I had just gotten the police to launder my robbery proceeds. I just had to cash out my gift card. Cool.
The pigs hadn’t gotten the house re-boarded, likely assuming I hadn’t gone back in. I bought some more blunts, some Gold Peak Georgia Peach tea, weed, and candles. Back to being high at the squat and figuring out what to do. A trans girl, one I later would learn to be a Maoist and a rat, moved in with me. We threw up some tags in the house. Given my Riot arrest warrant, I decided to try taking a train ride out of state. I bought the ticket on the 7th for the 8th, then I spent the night at the squat.
On the 8th, a few hours before leaving, the squat was raided. There was nowhere to really run and the police had done surveillance with a drone a week prior, so they knew I was likely unarmed. 8 pistols and 2 police dogs, way more outside. I stayed silent, but the girl threw me under the bus and talked at length about me. She was charged with trespassing. I was given Burglary in the 1st Degree. My $5,000,000 bail stuck, so I now needed $500,000 to get out.
I was in custody for around a month when suddenly I received a secret indictment for Robbery in the 1st Degree With a Firearm. Given that the girl was in custody and already ratting, I suspect she tipped off the pigs. I hadn’t spoke of the robbery, but not much happens in Beaverton. The case was sudden, solid, and I didn’t want to take a chance with these crackers at trial. After a successful bargain of my soul, I am now here.
Obviously, with a gun, I’d have fought. It’s hard to capture the circumstance in writing, to explain it, so I wouldn’t have changed much. Everything seems easy and clear after the fact.
My first fight didn’t stop, obviously. Now I am in a struggle to have the DOC grant me a vaginoplasty, a medically necessary procedure covered by insurance. I wear nearly the same Nike shoes I used to jump the counter here in prison. One small step for Sofia, one giant leap for trans-kind. I will not be the first incarcerated woman to received vaginoplasty, nor the last, but it is surely a struggle to realize it on my own.
My insurance covers mammoplasty, and although the DOC forbids it as a “cosmetic” surgery, this is on my list of goals as well. Dysphoria is never a cosmetic issue. Given the masculinizing equivilent is permitted, I foresee my mammoplasty as a matter of public support. Vaginoplasty was formerly in this boat, yet here we are. Arbitration being repressive, as usual.
I’d love for my struggle to influence squatting law, but I am not hopeful. The possibility of being charged criminally for all 10 years makes averse possession essentially impossible, as the former owner will be the “victim”. Property is robbery, but with no danger or risk to the robber. Better laws would hardly fix the issue. We need no Law.
The statute used to impose my 90 month, day-for-day, minimum sentence is §ORS137.700. It is known as “Measure 11”. As arbitrary as it gets. Production of Child Porn or Rape of a Minor earns you 5 years, whereas Arson and Robbery have a 90-month minimum. The repeal of this mandate is what’d allow me to try for an earlier release, but given my maximum sentence for my Riot conviction (5 years) I will likely be locked up for a while. At least I get to eat FritoLay snacks for 7 ½ years.
Law is how the State justified its Violence; Morals.
Write to Comrade Candle at:
Sofia Johnson 23976151
Coffee Creek Correctional Facility
24499 SW Grahams Ferry Road
Wilsonville, OR 97070