The Save Point Breeze Campaign, a part of the community organization Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze, is an anti-gentrification movement in South Philadelphia fighting to stop market rate housing from pushing out poor and working-class families.
Three neighborhoods in Philadelphia, including Point Breeze, have been designated to receive federal stimulus money through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (1). This stimulus money comes at a time when concerns about gentrification in the neighborhood have intensified. At both 1741 Federal St. and 23rd and Alter St. there are houses/condos on the market for $300,000. At 1737 Manton St. a penthouse is being built that will be in the high $300,000s. "We can go on and on, those are just some examples. How in the world can people stay in Point Breeze with those houses coming up all around them?" said Betty Beaufort, activist and longtime Point Breeze resident. In one year, from 2008 to 2009, the median home sale price in Point Breeze has gone up 45.7% or $29,500 (2).
Building a Movement
A severe housing crisis exists in the United States. All across the country, despite courageous struggles against divestment, land speculation and gentrification, public housing communities are being permanently displaced as developments are razed to the ground. Millions of families have been dispossessed of their homes, wrongly evicted and displaced from their communities by the escalating foreclosure crisis. Homelessness is escalating to levels unseen since the 1930’s as a direct result of the various forces of displacement stated above and economic dislocation from increased automation, deindustrialization, and the globalization of production.
Most Powerful Landlord in East Harlem, Multi-National Dawnay, Day Group, Comes Crashing Down
from Movement for Justice in El Barrio
October 14, 2009—In a battle of David and Goliath proportions, tenants and members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio fought back against the attempts of the multi-billion dollar London-based corporation Dawnay, Day Group to push low-income families from their homes.
"Sledgehammer!" Official video directed by Kareem Edouard Song produced by 14KT & Haircut of the Lab Techs Sledgehammer!
by Suzy Subways
When 200 residents of the Lindley Court Apartments in Logan lost their homes with two hours’ notice on Saturday, June 21st, the building’s fire alarm system didn’t work, raw sewage festered in the basement, putrid garbage piled up atop overflowing dumpsters, and there was no water because the copper pipes had been stolen. Reporters expressed shock at the conditions but didn’t ask the obvious question: Why were things allowed to get so bad that 50 families got evacuated?
by Tessa Landreau-Grasmuck and dave onion
On the morning of Friday, June 13th, 2008, Philadelphia police entered a Ridge Avenue home without a warrant and arrested four Philadelphia community members and dear friends – Daniel Moffat, Trevor Burgess, Andrea Okorley, and Jennifer Rock. These residents were pulled from their home at 1652 Ridge Avenue, arrested, and detained without charges at the Ninth District for over twelve hours. During their detention, Philadelphia Police called in the City’s Licenses and Inspections Agency, who deemed the house uninhabitable, and sealed the doors. Despite an extraordinary output of community support in response to the raid, the residents of the affectionately named Shoe Store are still facing an arduous struggle to reclaim their home. As we continue to support the displaced family of the Ridge Avenue Shoe Store, we seek to put their situation in the context of policing and displacement happening city, nation and world wide. We send this letter with two-fold intention: to respond to all the comrades who have asked how they can help, as well as to activate our support for those affected by these policies in the context of a diverse movement with wide and varied experience.
At the June 14th community meeting about the illegal arrest and eviction of the residents of 1652 Ridge Ave, many of you asked how you could help (for those who need more info please read the press release: http://defenestrator.org/shoestore_raid
Your help will definitely be needed as the residents determine what steps they must take to get their home back, and we hope you'll be available in the coming months to assist with practical needs as they arise. For now, we'd like you to consider contributing a few dollars towards the residents' emergency expenditures of the last few weeks, which total about $1000 (including almost $300 for cell phone usage, several hundred for recording and documentation equipment, gas money, etc.). At this point, we're only trying to raise enough to meet that amount and pay back all the people who fronted money, saving more serious efforts and generosity for when they'll be needed. The residents would much rather be able to rely on you for future support when specific needs become more clear.