Philly Activists Reclaim 50 Vacant Houses, Creating a Model for Organizing as Mass Evictions Loom

Democracy Now!

Sep 29, 2020

In a historic victory for unhoused people, Philadelphia city officials agreed to hand over 50 vacant homes to a community land trust, following months of organizing and protest encampments. We hear from one of the organizers and speak to Philadelphia-based Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, who has written extensively about housing insecurity and says the direct actions there are applicable across the U.S. “This dynamic exists all over the country where you have both empty housing and houseless people, a completely irrational expression of what American capitalism means,” Taylor says. The sustained movement in Philadelphia established “a model for what all tenant organizing and activist groups should be taking up, which is occupy the space, occupy the properties and put political pressure on public housing authorities to do their job and house people that are unhoused.”

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