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International Squat Symbol

Just for future reference...
Does anyone know what the international squat symbol looks like? Is it a circle with a lightning-bolt shaped line through it with an arrow on one end? I'm thinking about spraypainting this on government buildings just so hitchhikers know what's up...

paranoid 21.May.2003 18:52


This may be paranoid. I see here a post asking what a symbol is, stating clearly the writer wants to spray it on government buildings, an act which as of two weeks ago is, at least in LA, considered and punishable as terrorism, then the same person not getting a response, tries to get one by offering a reference. Something doesn't seem right. Is it possible indymedia could be held accountable if someone helps this potential agent obtain materials [the symbol] to commit terrorism?

I know this is reaching, but if this post is real, I suggest the person figure it out for themselves.

Terrorism? 21.May.2003 19:21


Terrorism, my ass! At worst, spray-painting a building is vandalism. Pretty soon, anything and everything the government doesn't like will be called terrorism, punishable by life in prison or death. Or, I just realized that this has already started. Better stock up on paint now before you need a license and a security check.

terrorism 21.May.2003 20:03


I'm not suggesting that spray painting is actually terrorism idiot. Read and understand something before you respond.

What I am saying is that spray painting is being defined and punishable as terrorism in parts of the US.
Quick references:


featured in the second half of this broadcast:

also activists working in relation:

also on democracy now there was a focused story, but i don't have the link

george 21.May.2003 20:32


i posted the picture and am not immyJ. i don't know what led you to think i was.

and, yes, the government could look anywhere on this site and see the thought crime it is calling terrorism, including someone mentioning they would like to spraypaint a symbol on a government building. and including people saying they intend to do all they can to reign in this fourth reich. paranoia during these coming days is useful, but only if applied wisely.

hoody 21.May.2003 21:31



uhhh, hey... 30.Jun.2003 14:52


I don't think it's fair that someone who has apparenly never squatted a day in their life gives the rest of us a bad name. Can you rethink this whole situation and find a better way to get a point across? & if you're trying to give squatters a bad name I think you should look into it a little bit more because we aren't as evil as we seem.

meaning 25.Dec.2003 06:26

meinhard benn

as this page comes up first when you type "squat symbol" into google, i'd like to add some info on the meaning of the circle with the broken arrow:

"As a sign that they would »go on« to the bitter end, the circle with the arrow borrowed from Hobo language was elevated to squatting symbol." - taken from:

this explains some more (does not explain the exact meaning of the arrow):

here are some hobo signs (circles with arrows are used a lot):

does anyone know what the broken arrow in hobo language means? "go on"?

and no, i'm not working for the government.. =)

broken arrow 18.Aug.2004 01:22


The international squat sign is actually taken from the hobo language and altered to make our own. As with the hobos , we squatters have a kind of "unexisting" sign-language, since the subcultures are largely the same . Take ACAB f.e. everyone knows what it means. spraypainted on a building , the squatterssign says " squatters live here. be welcome if you want." to other travellers. To us(squatters) it says "We won't fucking move. We won't give up. We are free. " The circle can be seen as a house, the lower part of the arrow is were we enter , the midsection the time we stay in the place and the upper section with the arrowhead means we know we'll be kicked out, on to the next squat.At least thats how i heard a fellow squatter explain the sign to the police a goodly ten years ago.
also dont forget that the antifacist squatter movement is a social movement , that has as a goal not only housing , but freedom for all who wish it.

Greetz ,

A Belgian Squatter

Squaters symbol 24.Jul.2005 09:44


Does anyone know the background and meaning behind the symbol? Why the lightning bolt and arrow and circle? Does this symbol have any racist meaning?