Squatters espousing allegiance to an esoteric black nationalist movement have staked a claim to a Bywater house up for sale and remain there more than a week after neighbors complained to police about the apparent trespassing.Or maybe it's more like the occupied ranger station. Either way it's somewhere in Oregon, I think we're all agreed.
The newcomers have posted signs claiming the property now belongs to the Washitah Mu'ur Nation. The Washitah, more commonly spelled Washitaw, are an obscure group that claim to be descended from the original inhabitants of the New World, who, according to the the group, were black Africans.
Fredrick Hines, whose name is on the tax rolls for the property and whom neighbors say is the true owner, called police after he found out a group of young people had moved into his investment property and changed the locks. Hines said he showed police the deed, which has his name on it, but they wouldn't remove the people living in the house.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has drawn parallels between the Washitaws' strange legal claims and those of the "sovereign citizen" movement, noting a similar anti-government bent. The group probably only has a few hundred hardcore members, according to the center, but many more dabble in its "cocktail of New Age vocabulary" and "pseudo-historical and -archeological gobbledygook."Hippies or libertarian gun nuts, who the hell even knows the difference anymore. It's all pretty much the same delusion in the hipper realms anyway. Besides, aren't all these people supposed to be into the "sharing economy" anyway? Or does that only come into play when housing stock is "shared" to the benefit of landlords operating outside of the law rather than tenants who do so?