Is Living Off the Grid now a Crime?

Over the years we’ve covered numerous examples of how government officials from around the world have been systematically targeting those who choose to live an off the grid lifestyle.

From targeting self-reliant homeowners with antiquated zoning laws and regulations to forming special zoning boards that are designed to force people back onto the grid, there seems to be a war against self-reliance, and sadly it seems like the government is winning.

Off Grid Home with Solar Panels

Throughout the country government agencies are forming so-called “nuisance abatement teams” designed to intimidate and force Off Grid homeowners into giving up their land or abandoning their lifestyle. Believe it or not, people are actually being fined and jailed for choosing to live an off-grid existence.

Living off the grid declared Illegal in many areas of the United States

From Costilla County, Colorado trying to ban people from building off-grid homes or camping on their own land, to the federal government actually trying to make it illegal to live in a tiny home or off-the-grid RV, there are a growing number of government agencies attempting to regulate this lifestyle out of existence.

While the mainstream media continues to ignore the problem, a couple of independent media organizations and a few reporters have taken notice, and over the years we’ve tried to shine a spotlight on the problem. One of the first cases we covered was the story of how Off Grid enthusiasts in California were being harassed and targeted by their local government officials.

The deserts of Los Angeles County, California used to be a sort of mecca for those looking to live a more self-reliant lifestyle. But just like so many areas of the country, these Off-Grid residents are being targeted, arrested, and intimidated into to hooking back into the grid.

A couple of years back, Reason Magazine took a film crew out to one of these secluded desert towns in California and filmed some of the off-grid residents. From being threatened with jail time if they didn’t hook back into the grid, to actually being thrown in jail because the county didn’t like the look of their homes or land, the people in the deserts of Los Angeles County are being terrorized by their local government.

Instituted in 2006 by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors’ Nuisance Abatement Teams have been targeting and jailing residents for victimless misdemeanors and code violations.

Code enforcement teams have been hitting unincorporated areas of L.A. County hard, leaving local off-gridders unsure of what the future holds. Residents are scared that they may lose not only their homes but their freedom as well.

It’s a sad day when living off your own land becomes a crime. Please spread the word because cases like this are increasing at an alarming rate.

23 Comments

  1. Christina
    September 4, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I hear you Frank. She and you will be in my prayers. I hope you also hold me and my young family in yours.

  2. Bruce Cunningham
    September 4, 2011 at 11:32 am

    That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

  3. rondo
    September 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Our gracious president has now signed 3 pertinent EXECUTIVE ORDERS…
    One is the Security Parameter Agreement for the North American Union, #2 is the Council of Governors and MOST IMPORTANTLY- #3 is the Rural Council on as part of the sinister Agenda 21 plan. Yes, control on every thing you do if you are living in the country. If the government wanted less oil pollution, they would of allowed Ford and Diesel to produce their first cars using Ethanol, Ford using hemp ethanol, Diesel using hemp oil. Yes, way back then……..no follow the rules of the big boys, NO MONEY from the powerful bankers. Same as today with corporations and bankers. A Corptacracy, fascism. Look up, “executive order, Obama Rural Council” just passed in April. Good luck

    • Jason
      March 26, 2012 at 6:16 am

      Obama Rural Council= ORC

      u mad JR Tolkien?

  4. Able Freeman
    September 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    So where is the class action suite that will make these people whole. Where is Carl Drega when you need him, RIP. I do not advocate the initiation of force. But these code enforcers are initiating every day. By the way they need a warrant to get on the property if property rights mean anything. I never in these stories heard whether warrants were issued? This must stop and your “wonderful ” authorities are on the wrong side, so it is up to the people to begin defending their rights. Have we not seen for long enough and blatant enough the actual participation in the destruction and abrogation of rights by “your” government! Certainly not mine.

  5. Sheila
    September 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Jason has a point. I live in a city where there are codes that work to our advantage. For example, I live in a ground floor condo. The owner of the unit above me miss installed a used washing machine without using a licensed plummer. It leaked. They “fixed it themselves”. It leaked again and over one night two inchesd of water ran from the linen closets covering my floor and ruining the studds, walls. I had a mess and had to live in a motel for a month and with consstruction and drying for another month, all at my insurance and then my expense. Here, if you do not get a permit, nothing is done. Many people fix thing s themselves. Tenants changed upstairs. The new one found a dangerous electrical flaw that could have started a fire. There is still land where you are out by yourself and do not have near neighbors and codes. Perhaps the people could move to another state to a rural area and buy there. But where your actions affect the welfare and safety of others, I believe codes are beneficial. Sheila

  6. Dante
    September 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I think its a load of crap that they can tell you how to live. Where is our freedom that our country sought and fought for? If I want to use solar panels for electricity, and use the water from the natrual underground reserve under my land, then I will. Its bad enough that I have to keep paying taxes every year on land thats already paid for, and on cars that are already paid for. Our envirorment needs to be taken care of. You (the government) need to put your foot down when it comes to cutting down forests for shopping malls and other things. Because the trees and grass is what takes in all the carbon dioxide the all the cars and factorys produce. Dont worry about the timber industry, the hell with them, worry about the rest of us, and future generations to come. Burning coal is not acceptable for “Keeping the lights on.” Instead more factorys should be opened up that make things such as solar panels, wind mills and such, that will help our enviroment, and create jobs at the same time.

  7. Todd
    September 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Welcome to the People’s (Democratic) Republic of California. You won’t enjoy your stay; that’s not why we’re here.

  8. Barry
    September 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Who cares. Starve the beast. Cheat on your taxes, buy gold, hide it, rinse, repeat. Screw the fed.

  9. Michael
    September 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    This just proves that this country of ours is dying. Perhaps if illegal aliens moved in they would be left alone? American citizens living off the grid is part of the American pioneer spirit we should all celebrate!!

    Our country fought for independence for less reasons than this!!!

  10. Lori Schwegel
    September 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    I am so sorry to see this repeated across the country. I live at the edge of the everglades..folks who have lived here for generations are now subject to ” BULLSHIT” REGULATIONS.. They can , seemingly not live here in peace anymore either.. Oh come on.. I am, all for preservation and environmentalism but give folks who live ” here ” the respect they deserve .. The right to live here as they have for generations..The rest can go buy their permits to reap profits to make money on the environment..

  11. pmr
    September 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Government power,and over running of the people! Looks like another Ruby Ridge in the makings! They will run up on the wrong citizen soon enough and someone is going to get their head peeled back!

    • Wil
      July 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Okay…who?…specifically, who is going to get their head ‘peeled’back?…sounds violent. Guess what you get????….WWWWWTTTTTFFFF!!!!

  12. Sam Beavin
    September 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    We are WAY past time for a real revolution. Doubt if we have the collective huevos to do it though as it will NOT be pretty or safe. At least VOTE the A’holes out.

  13. HH
    September 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    @Angela They already are. A farmer here was subject to a DEA style raid… for selling raw milk. There are constant threats of regulation on the back yard gardener who sells or even gives away their produce to others.
    They control the oil.
    They control the energy.
    They control the air waves.
    They control the food.
    Do you really think you are free?

  14. Metamorphic
    September 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    History loves repeating itself. The same was done to Native Americans centuries ago. The “civilized man” took their land for future development and also ruined their way of life. Who knows… Maybe in the future the few surviving relatives of the “desert rats” will be given Casinos as compensation for what happened to their ancestors! And Michael… That part of the country was once Mexico. The “illegals” are only “illegals” in there today because we have bigger weapons. Let’s not forget that either.

  15. ALee Jones
    September 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Follow the money, but carefully because these people will be killed by these county administration thugs…..

  16. onlylogical
    September 5, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Please do not do anything to let them set a precedent for this. This is necessary to humans everywhere. To not allow people to build their own shelter, and grow their own food is to let the Government say Human Adults are not capable of making their own decisions and must never trust in their own abilities and judgement. That we must not dirty our own hands, but must hire ‘help’ to do anything. And if you don’t have the means, you must go somewhere else.

    They are taking away the means to sustain life.

    They are taking away the very basic means to liberty.

    The are blocking your pursuit of happiness.

    Read the damn thing! You want to talk about the law? This is prior legal precedence!
    http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

  17. Jim
    September 5, 2011 at 4:30 am

    You have the 2nd Amendment right to protect your property.
    Property taxes are unconstitutional.
    If a big-shot had my house destroyed I would burn his to the ground (Justice)

    • Jessica
      February 29, 2012 at 4:55 am

      Wish this had a like button.

  18. SB
    September 5, 2011 at 6:12 am

    This sounds like land seizure in compliance with UN Agenda 21. http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

    This is a violation of rights and liberty. It is happening in various forms around America. The Constitution has little or no meaning to these little dictator wannabes. I hope these folks resist and if help is needed to form a line, I will join them.

  19. Cece
    September 5, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I applaud the group that gathered together to fight this issue. The sad thing is that when people unite for a force against the Nanny State and the government as it is today – they are labeled domestic terrorists, racists, extremists, crazy and the list goes on – just watch the mainstream media and see what they say about the Tea Party. It is a sad state of affairs. What I don’t understand from the videos presented here – why didn’t those people whose neighbors are 10 miles away go ask their neighbors about the complaints to validate the claim from the government that neighbors complained? Why didn’t the person making the videos go to the neighbor’s and ask if they complained and inform them that if they didn;t complain they are being used as a scapegoat?

  20. Brette Sterling
    September 5, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Please get this video on YouTube as well and send news releases about it to major media – NY Times, LA Times, wire services such as AP and Reuters.
    This is a story every American needs to know about. Per LA County, all of our pioneer forebears would have been run off their land into a state-controlled environment. This is insane.

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