The Squatter's Movement is a loose affiliation of independant communities attempting to live "Above the Grid". Global climate and political changes have lead to massive relocations, generally toward cities and centers of resource distribution; but a number of people are fleeing cities for precisely this reason and setting up self-sustaining communities in areas abandoned by the mainstream.
"Above the Grid" means that, while we are self-reliant with respect to our basic needs, we can choose whether we want to use mainstream resources to achieve specific goals. For instance, we don't have the resources to manage a private telecommunications network, so if we want to use phonelines we have to acquire them from the mainstream. But because we provide our own food, shelter, clothing and commerce, through our own labor, we consume less of society's resources than we would as refugees.
While there is to date no agreed-upon history of the Squatter's Movement, it is generally believed to have coalesced following the horrific hurricane season of 2005, which displaced over a million people around the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard of the United States. With local and national governments unable to cope with the refugee populations, a few people began to find their own solutions, occupying industrial and exurban areas that had fallen into disuse for political and economic reasons.
Most "Above the Grid" communities subsist on farming and local trade. Some of them are active in grey market trade in medicines, materials and luxury foods, though they rarely pay taxes or tariffs. A number of them communicate via the "Leaders' Forum", an invitation-only gaming community dedicated to long range planning and mutual assistence.