Besides urban exploration, why do people trespass?

I don’t know any other reason why someone would enter a place where they aren’t supposed to go, besides to steal something or do some urban exploration.

Yet, trespassing is a common charge, don’t ask how I know that. My mind is going blank and I can’t think of any other reason. Of course, I can ask people who have had trespassing charges, but that would be nosy.

Some people do it as a form of civil disobedience. I was arrested twice in 1979 for trespassing at local nuclear power plants.

People want to go somewhere and they don’t own the property.

People cause problems in a store or other businesses, and won’t leave when told to leave. The cops come and arrest them for trespass. They get arrested for trespass the next time they enter the place after having been told they are to never enter the property again.

A homeless person is sleeping in a park. They are told to leave. They are arrested for trespass when they don’t leave.

As postcards says, it’s simply a fact of life for activists that you’ll get charged or ticketed with trespass. Since the capitalists claim to “own” all the land, the rich and powerful can buy their way out of social responsibility. For example, try handing out information flyers at Wal-Mart. They “own” so much concrete wasteland around their stores that the only way you’ll even be within visual range of people entering the store – let alone close enough to hand them something – is to trespass.

“The power of enclosing land and owning property was brought into the creation by your ancestors by the sword; which first did murder their fellow creatures, men, and after plunder or steal away their land, and left this land successively to you, their children. And therefore, though you did not kill or thieve, yet you hold that cursed thing in your hand by the power of the sword; and so you justify the wicked deeds of your fathers, and that sin of your fathers shall be visited upon the head of you and your children to the third and fourth generation, and longer too, till your bloody and thieving power be rooted out of the land.”Gerrard Wistanley, A Declaration from the Poor Oppressed People of England, 1649

In urban areas, a certain amount of trespassing is done in vacant buildings and other low traffic areas for the purpose of partaking of illegal substances and/or having sex.

In rural areas, it’s mostly to hunt, fish, or ride off-road vehicles in areas that are off-limits, but the illegal substance use and sexual activity can come into play there, too.

Does a sled count as an “off-road vehicle?” :slight_smile: In my suburban hometown, the golf course close to my house had the best sledding hills ever. We were definitely trespassing, but the golf course management kindly tended to look the other way and let the kids have fun.

Once I got old enough, the golf course was also a prime location for the aforementioned illegal substance use and sexual activity, especially in the warmer months. They did try to keep people from doing that, largely because the greens could easily be damaged by trespassers. An old sand mine was also a popular spot for teenagers to get alcohol poisoning.

So I guess another common reason for trespassing is to find privacy where other options may not be easily available.

Well it’s their property, they do indeed own it whether you like it or not, in the same way I’m not welcome to walk into your house and start eating all your biscuits and drinking all your coffee. How would you like it if I stood outside your house and handed out fliers detailing all the times you jaywalked (you have some crazy crimes over there) or all the flaws in how you go about your daily business?

Why don’t you just burn them up with mirrors?

I would, but the moral uprightness of the good christian people hereabouts prevented me from obtaining the knowledge necessary to bring my evil plan to fruition, and thus the glory that is capitalism lives for another day. USA! USA!

Not to hijack, but not knowing where “here” or “there” is I am curious what this comment means. There are places where jaywalking is legal?

Another reason trespass is a common charge is that it’s easy to prove. If someone goes into a building with intent to burglarize it, but the cops get him before he’s filled up a sack with stuff that doesn’t belong to him, they have a hard time proving he’s a burglar. But it’s obvious that he’s a trespasser. So prosecutors often go for the slam-dunk, rather than trying to argue a case they might lose.

Criminal trespass is also a ‘lesser included offense’ in the case of burglary. Sometimes, they’ll take someone to court for burglary, but the jury will be instructed as to the particulars of criminal trespass, so that they have the option of finding the defendant not guilty of the greater charge, but guilty of the lesser included offense.

I once sat on a jury where the defense admitted the guy was trespassing, but tried to argue that was all–that he didn’t steal anything. They claimed the stuff the homeowner said was his had been in the guy’s pockets when he entered the place. We concluded that the items were unique enough that there couldn’t be two in existance. The clincher was a glass bottle stopper that had been in a fire, and was partially melted. That the defendant happened to own and carry with him a stopper that happened to be melted identically to the homeowner’s wasn’t credible. So we convicted him of burglary. But we had the option of just giving him criminal trespass.

Yes. In Britain it’s not a crime at all. There is the “highway code” but you won’t (nor can) be arrested for disobeying it. You can cross wherever you want (except motorways, where it’s not legal to travel on foot anyway). Punishing jaywalking is very much a commonwealth phenomenon.

I happen to be agnostic. And British. ¬_¬

How did you know the homeowner didn’t find that stupid stopper in the guy’s pockets and lie about having owned it? Even if the person took the worthless piece of glass, it’d be pretty unfair to convict him of “burglary,” imo. But, I suppose, that all plays in during sentencing…

The homeowner didn’t search the guy–the police did. The homeowner wasn’t there when the cops found the guy going through the house. They asked the owner if anything was missing, and he gave them a list that included the two bottles and one stopper the burglar had with him. The owner wasn’t told about the contents of the burglar’s pockets beforehand. The bottles weren’t unique, and the burglar was a bottle collector, so we’d have had to admit reasonable doubt if they were the only items, but the stopper was easily identifiable.

The stopper and bottles were collectibles, so they weren’t worthless–though we weren’t given values for them.

And the definition of burglary is roughly “taking other people’s things from other people’s places.” Once we decided that what he had in his pocket came from the house, we had to call it burglary.

I have a comrade on the street with a crack addiction. He’s homeless, poor, black, and also happens to be an activist. As far as the police are concerned, he might as well be Osama. When he’s on a binge and desperate, he’s been known to sell soap to even more desperate addicts. (Soap looks enough like crack to pass if it’s dark out and you’re not looking too hard.) The cops caught him selling soap and in the time it took to come to trial the soap had been transformed into actual crack by the Crack Fairy while in police custody.

The fact that “the police found the stopper on him” doesn’t mean much. They routinely lie and manufacture evidence.

That is a bit of a hyperbole if you are comparing protesters and activist to someone entering your home.

Don’t people do that already when there is a person who has committed a sex offense in their neighbourhood? How is that any different from pointing out a megastore sells products derived from child labour, or has smashed unions, or has engaged in some other ethical violation?

On topic, activists who are lawfully assembled and not engaging in civil disobedience do get charged with trespass even on city or public property, including reporters taking pictures of protests who get their cameras, and memory cards confiscated by police who then “lose them”. I am in Canada, and even here we have the right to lawfully assemble, even when the powers that be do not like the cause we are assembling for. Protesting can be an agent of change through making people aware of a cause - sometimes in a democracy there can be a tyranny of the majority simply because the majority is unaware of an issue - activism is an important part of democracy, and those who wish to arrest protesters for lawful actions are the ones who are being anti-democratic.

Well of course they would consider him comparable to Bin Ladin. He keeps company with someone who plots to burn uniformed authority figures to death.

Besides, selling drugs and dishonest business? I think they were helping him avoid worse charges.

Awwwwwwwwwwww. Crack addict criminal got done wrong by the police. Poor thing.

I think you’re missing another ‘8’ at the end of your name.

Not at all, I (as it was put) “own” my home and have every right to eject someone I don’t want on my property. Just because an individual (or group of individuals) owns a buisness does not allow you to infringe on their rights.

Maybe things are different where you are, but over here the Not In My Back Garden Brigade are considered a bunch of tabloid reading cretins. How are we, Joe “Everyman” Bloggs, supposed to know how valid the claims of the individuals making a racket down the street claiming that our new neighbour is a communist (or is it paedophile nowadays, I can’t remember) or getting in the way of the already soul destroying weekly shop to shove leaflets in our face are, after all?

Some might argue that there are plenty of other ways to protest. Remember the right of freedom of speech is typically only applied against governments. Private individuals have their own right to not have their streets blocked. And if the majority don’t agree with you and aren’t intersted in what you have to say (perhaps, incidentally, because you’re blocking their street and slowing traffic) then tough, the world isn’t supposed to bend over backwards for you.

Oh snap! I can’t come back against that.